Fostoria Glass was in business for a very long time, from 1887 to 1986 when the factory closed in Moundsville. Even after the factory closed Lenox crystal produced some patterns, notably Navarre. Indiana Glass purchased the trademark and continued to make a few other pressed patterns.
This book by Milbra Long and her daughter Emily Seate wrote other books on Fostoria Glass, including two I reviewed earlier, one on stemware and one on the 20 year period that saw Fostoria reach new successes in style and profit.
Today’s book, Fostoria Tableware: 1944-1986, covers the time from 1944 to the factory close. The book shows the dinnerware and some, but not all accessory pieces in a given pattern. Some pattern listings include photos of real pieces plus the catalog reproductions that are well-done line drawings and photos.
One good point about the illustrations and listings is that many include dimensions. For example, the Thistle etch catalog illustrations show a 3 pint pitcher, quart pitcher and one pint picture. Not only do they show the capacities (3, 2 or 1 pint) but also give the heights. It is much easier to measure a pitcher’s height than its capacity!
Long and Seate include piece listings with approximate values for each pattern. This is helpful so you can match your piece in hand to the name Fostoria used it. For example, the Century pattern includes a three-toed round bowl called a “bon bon”, a three-toed bowl with scalloped rim called a “tricorn” and a very shallow three-toed bowl called a “tid bit”. If you didn’t have photos or dimensions it would be difficult to tell these apart.
The prices are directionally correct, albeit not accurate. Here’s what I mean. The Navarre listing shows the three-piece mayo set for $85. You may find this piece selling for $50 or $100. Or you may luck out on an auction and find it for $20. The pickle dishes are listed at $39 and 42 and may sell today for $25 to $50. If you decide you want a mayo you can be reasonably expect to pay more for it than for the pickle.
Why are glass reference books so useful?
- If you are trying to sell glass, then it’s great to know what you have. You’ll sell more at higher prices if you know the pattern and the piece.
- If you are collecting, then you can decide what pieces you like.
- If you have a few pieces and just want to get enough to use, then the piece listings and photos can help you know what to look for.
- And last, if you enjoy glass but aren’t sure what patterns you like, then a book like this, filled with pictures of gorgeous glass can help you. Prices are not accurate, but you can use the prices within a book to get a sense of which pattern you can afford.
I use this book quite a bit since I sell quite a bit of Fostoria from the 1940s-70s. That wide date range includes favorite popular patterns like Romance, Navarre, Meadow Rose and Chintz.
You will find many great patterns in this pattern guide, Fostoria Tableware: 1944-1986!