Our featured museum pieces for this edition are a pair of glass elephant bookends that were crafted by the Fostoria Crystal Company. These beautiful elephants feature a “silver mist” matte finish that is extremely rare among Fostoria collectible pieces, this finish being used in the creation of only a select number of Fostoria items. Each elephant stands 6 1/2 inches tall and is 7 1/4 inches long. These beautiful elephant bookends were released in 1939 and were produced through 1943. Fostoria released several sets of bookends during this period, including a pair of horses and a pair of owls. After the elephant bookends were discontinued in 1943, they immediately became very much sought after and highly collectible.
The history of Fostoria is rich in examples of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. The company began as a glass-producing house in 1887. Initially, the factory was located in Fostoria, Ohio, but would remain there for a short time only. Although the townspeople of Fostoria, Ohio had given their land to the glass company for free, Fostoria Glassworks was unable to stay because of a lack of natural resources. The promise of more abundant resources for producing glass caused the company’s leaders to make the decision to move to Moundsville, WV. Where, in 1891, the company built one furnace capable of firing 14 pieces simultaneously, a remarkable achievement for the late 19th century glassworks industry. Believe it or not, this furnace continued to produce glass until 1972! Following the Second World War, Fostoria would begin its most aggressive expansion. Its labor force was increased to prewar numbers, more natural resources were made available to the company, and the demand for casual and elegant dinnerware would increase to an all-time high. New technologies developed during the war allowed Fostoria to create beautiful patterns that were easily maintained and added an air of elegance to any dining event. Throughout the 1970’s, foreign competition increased and the company ultimately made the decision to close in 1983. The factory closed its doors and many of Fostoria’s original pieces and molds were sold. Not to fear though, the Fostoria legacy is carried on at Replacements! In addition to our featured, rare “silver mist” Elephant bookends, the Replacements, Ltd. Museum also features rare glass pieces including “Madonna with Child” and “St. Francis.” While these museum pieces are not for sale, we do carry over 1,600 (that’s “sixteen hundred”) patterns by Fostoria, all beautiful and all available for purchase. Come visit us at our Greensboro facilities to see these beautiful pieces and pick out Fostoria pieces to take home! Our Showroom and Museum are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm ET, 7 days a week (except holidays). The Showroom and Museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. If you would like to see a complete listing of Fostoria Crystal patterns, click here.
Want to know more about Fostoria? Click here for an informative history.