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Featured Museum Piece

Rare and Fun Crystal Animals

Blue Dolphins by Baccarat

This month’s museum feature is especially exciting, sparkling free-form crystal animal figurines by world-renowned crystal artisans including Baccarat, Daum, Heisey, Imperial, and Fostoria.  In one antique case alone in our museum, we display over 30 of these really fun crystal pieces.  The famous French crystal house Baccarat has a long history of creating inspired glass art, including three rare blue crystal dolphins we have on display.  The dolphins are posed swimming and jumping, and viewed together are amazing.  These dolphin figurines are made of pure lead crystal with translucent blue coloring.  One note, the purity of the crystal used in Baccarat’s animal figurines is unsurpassed.  Other Baccarat pieces in our collection include a cobalt blue bird, a clear crystal dog, and an interesting crystal frog

But Baccarat is not the only French crystal represented in this wonderful collection.  Daum Crystal created a delightful elephant figurine that has oversized ears and trunk lifted skyward.  Daum is famous for refining a crystal manufacturing process known as “pate de verre.”  In this process, intricate and brilliantly colored glass or crystal shapes are created from a paste made from ground glass, then fired at very high temperatures.  This process results in brilliant pieces of free form crystal that conform to the creative wishes of the artist in every way.  

Horses by Imperial Glass
Heisey by Imperial Glass

American crystal animal artistry is also on view in our museum.  Wonderful green, blue, and red crystal horses by Imperial Glass are a great example.  The green horse is known as “Filly,” the blue one is   “Flying Mare,” and the red is “Show Horse.”   There is a great story behind these pieces.  Over the years, a family named Heisey showcased many thoroughbred horses.  The most famous of these was “Goodness Gracious,” the horse used as a model in the creation of the “Show Horse” figurine mentioned above.  The molds for these horse figurines  were actually originally produced by Heisey Glass, not Imperial.  In 1958, Imperial Glass Company purchased the molds from Heisey and began marketing the decorative pieces using the Imperial name.  Over the years, these animals have come to be known to collectors as “Heisey by Imperial.”  Sadly, in 1985, Imperial Glass was forced to liquidate its assets and the many animal figurines produced by Imperial and Heisey were produced no more.  Because of this, the value and rarity of these pieces continue to increase.  Collectors of American glass animal figurines cherish Heisey and Imperial pieces and still delight and wonder in their rich beauty. 

Stork flower frog by Cambridge
Stork Flower Frog by Cambridge

Another great American glass company represented in our collection is Cambridge.  Their clear “Stork Flower Frog” is especially intriguing.  A flower frog is used as a centerpiece and has series of holes into which are placed the stems of flowers.  This crystal clear stork is beautifully rendered, with its head and beak being tucked against its long neck, in typical stork repose.    

We also have pieces by Fostoria in our crystal animal collection including an amber duckling, a blue fish, and a green duck

Our entire crystal animal collection is a must see if you come to visit.  And while these museum pieces are not for sale, we do offer a wide variety of high-quality crystal animal figurines that are available for purchase.  We extend a most genuine invitation to you to visit our Museum, with its vast collection of rare tableware and collectible items, and our Showroom, where you can browse and purchase in a stunning array of china, crystal, flatware, and collectible patterns, and of course, glass animals!  Our Showroom and Museum are open from 9am to 7pm 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.  Make plans to visit us.  Come empty-handed, leave with wonderful pieces like those displayed in our wonderful museum.

Click here to view our Featured Museum Pieces Archive!

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