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Article: Imperial Glass Corporation Boudoir Items

by Bev Harris


The Imperial Glass Corp., of Bellaire, Ohio is famous for its leadership and longevity in quality American handcrafted glassware produced from 1910-1984.  Until 1996, when Myrna and bob Garrison finalized their research on Imperial's line of boudoir items with the release of their book, Imperial's Boudoir, Etcetera, most published material about this great company dealt with its dinnerware, barware, vases, and other household items.


Ladies everywhere have always relished the luxury of having elegant containers to hold and display their personal toilet articles and luxurious perfumes and colognes.  What you view in this display is a rare and interesting collection of Imperial's many styles of ladies personal boudoir accessories.  The handcrafted perfume and cologne bottles, powder and dresser boxes, dresser trays, mirrors, clocks, and vases represent items Imperial produced for its own general lines as well as for private mould customers.  Most of these items were manufactured during the 1940s with a few exceptions representing the 1920s and some very late and limited productions from the 1980s.


Imperial's largest private mould customer was Irving W. Rice, New York.  During World War II, Irving W. Rice (often referred to as Irice) brought some of their moulds for Imperial to reproduce when they could no longer receive overseas imports.  You will notice that many of the cologne bottles resemble the hand cut Czechoslovakian bottles.  Imperial bottles are pressed glass, not cut, which is one way to identify them.  Some of the pieces produced for Imperial's own general lines are marked with an IG, but most have no other identifiable marking.  Imperial did apply many decorating treatments including hand-paintings, floral cuttings and etchings, applied gold, and a treatment referred to as coarse ice.  Other private mould customers also purchased boudoir items from Imperial and added decorative treatments such as metal filigree, atomizers, and cuts.


Some of the pieces that will be on display were made for Imperial's own general line and sold to private mould customers.  We have identified these with both the number given for the general line, and the number assigned for the private mould customer.


This and many other companies and pieces on display at the Heart of America's fall annual Show and Sale will undoubtedly leave you awestruck as well as furthering your educational experience.  Don't miss this exciting event in Independence, MO. (Kansas City Suburb) on October 25-26, 2003.