From our museum, we feature a beautiful crimped vase from the Chanticleer pattern by Duncan & Miller, in the Blue Opalescent/Frost color. The Chanticleer pattern was produced by Duncan & Miller for only ten years, from 1935 to 1945. One can see why these pieces have become so desirable and increasingly rare!
The pattern’s name, “Chanticleer,” and its design have special significance. Chanticleer was the name of a rooster and the subject of a fable that dates back to the Middle Ages, and was made even more popular by being included in Chaucer’s famous “Canterbury Tales.” Over time, many dinnerware patterns that prominently feature roosters were also called “Chanticleer.”
The vase was crafted by the Duncan & Miller company. The company founder, George Duncan, had worked in the glass industry since the end of the Civil War. In 1872, he formed a partnership with his sons, Harry and James, along with his son-in-law, Augustus H. Heisey (another famous name in the history of American glass making). The company, George Duncan & Sons, was located on the south side of Pittsburgh, PA. “Southside” at the time was the industrial hub of the city, and there George Duncan & Sons enjoyed the benefits of inexpensive barge transport, plentiful supplies of the sand, silica, and potash needed to make high-quality glass, and highly skilled labor. (Pittsburgh had been a leader in American glass making since Colonial times, and generations of European immigrants lived in the area, many of them drawn from the glass making centers of the Old World.)
In 1872, the original George Duncan & Sons plant was destroyed by fire. It was not until 1893 that a new plant was built, this time in nearby Washington, PA. Some 70 employees from the Pittsburgh plant joined the new factory on Jefferson Avenue in Washington. In 1874, John Ernest Miller, a native German, joined the company - he would go on to work with the Duncans for the next 52 years. Miller was made a partner in the company in 1900, and the name was changed to Duncan & Miller. It was during the Depression that the company introduced some of its most popular designs, including Sandwich, Canterbury, and Teardrop. In 1955, Duncan & Miller was sold to the U.S. Glass Company. U.S. Glass continued to produce Duncan’s most popular patterns until 1980, when the company closed along with its Duncan division.
We have a Duncan & Miller Chanticleer vase in the Blue Opalescent/Frost color available for purchase, and we also have a variety of Chanticleer and other Duncan & Miller pieces available; 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 500,000-square-foot facilities hold more than 12 million individual pieces in more than 425,000 patterns! Our showroom 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 showroom and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!