The Crown Collection by Fostoria is a beautiful pressed glass series that comprises 4 different patterns: Windsor (2749), Hapsburg (2750), Navarre (2751), and Luxemburg (2766). For our museum feature this month, we feature a chalice and a candy dish, both in the Hapsburg pattern. Pieces in the Crown Collection were produced in gold, clear, royal blue, and ruby colors. Types of pieces in the collection varied among the different patterns, but included bottles with stoppers, candleholders, chalices, footed chalices, candy dishes, and bowls, along with a trundle candle bowl (the only known piece produced in the Luxemburg pattern).
Fostoria advertising literature provides an interesting historical backdrop for their Crown Collection series: “Fostoria’s Crown Collection is fashioned after the famous crown designs of the Old World. Each owes its inspiration to the glittering splendor of an actual royal or imperial headpiece. Originally, crowns were simple garlands, awarded for achievement in athletics of battle. They had no intrinsic value; the honor, early Romans felt, was reward enough. Rulers wore the diadem, a simple band of linen or silk, of Eastern origin. Later, rewards became more material. The first soldier to scale a wall received a crown of gold, decorated with turrets. The one given the victor of a sea battle had points, symbolizing the prows of ships. Crowns, as we know them, are a richly decorated combination of the award for achievement and the diadem which conferred authority. Now Fostoria offers you these historic shapes in sparkling, hand-molded crystal, to enhance your modern decor with a touch of elegance out of the past. Use “Crowns-in-Crystal” for candy and nut dishes, in centerpiece arrangements, in matching pairs on mantels or end tables.”
The series was designed in the late 1950s by George Sakier, a painter, industrial designer, engineer, and inventor who began providing glass designs to Fostoria in 1929. Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1897, George Sakier was educated at Pratt Institute and the Art Students League before attending the engineering school at Columbia University. After leaving Columbia, Sakier painted camouflage patterns for the U.S. Army Camouflage Division during World War I.
It was around this time he began working as a draftsman for the Franklin Railway Co., where he designed a number of inventions later used by railroads and the U.S. military. He then went on to work as an art director at magazines like French “Vogue,” “Modes and Manners,” and “Harper’s Bazar” before beginning his relationship with Fostoria. Sakier’s bold, geometric, glassware designs were decidedly modern, and represented a departure from Fostoria’s more traditional design aesthetic. Sakier’s design work for Fostoria includes Art Deco vases in the Lotus and Diadem patterns, a variety of square-footed, short-stemmed glassware, geometric bowls and candleholders, the Sorrento pattern, and many more chic designs.
Based on the radical design elements found in these pieces, the Crown Collection designs were surprisingly traditional for Sakier! In addition to his designs for Fostoria, Sakier also created glass and ceramic designs for Venini & Co. in Italy and L. F. Grammes & Sons, along with award-winning package and art designs for a number of products ranging from liquor to perfume. Sakier also became known for his eye-catching industrial designs – his Neo-Classic plumbing and bathroom fixtures were installed at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel in 1931. Sakier counted famous artists like Marcel Duchamp, Willem de Kooning, and Man Ray among his friends, and his glass designs and paintings have been exhibited in museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and others around the world. Sakier continued to send designs to Fostoria until its closing in 1986, two years before his death in 1988.
Although the Crown Collection pieces in our museum are not for sale, we do have several items from Fostoria’s Crown Collection available for purchase from our inventory. Replacements, Ltd. also carries a wide selection of Fostoria items in other patterns that are available for purchase; be sure to browse our web site. And remember that we always invite you to visit our facilities – here you’ll see a stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles! Our retail store and museum are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm ET, 7 days (except holidays); free tours are available from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm ET, 7 days. The retail store and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!