Heart of America Glass Collectors
Meeting Highlights & Program
Ed dazzled the club with a gorgeous program on Hall China patterns designed by Eva Zeisel. He gave us an overview of Ms. Zeisel’s life and prolific work and then turned to a very informative (and meticulously researched) description of the patterns on display. We learned that Ms. Zeisel will be 104 this year and that she continues to design. She was born in Hungary and studied painting at the Budapest Royal Academy of Fine Arts. She was not sure that painting was right for her so she turned to pottery and discovered her passion. Caught in the turmoil in Europe in the 1930s, she moved to the USA and started designing for General Mills, Rosenthal China, Castelton China, and Hall China. (See the Wikipedia article for a more exhaustive account of her life.)
Ed has collected Hall China’s Eva Zeisel designs for over 25 years; he has over 400 pieces now and continues to look for elusive treasures to complete sets. He enjoys her work because the designs marry well with the shapes (primarily Hall’s Century line and Tomorrow’s Classic line), though the patterns themselves often end up in odd places (such as between narrow handles on a lid). The Zeisel dinnerware is all rounded shapes and sensual forms; no piece has a hard angle. The Eva Zeisel designs for Hall China were sold from 1952 to 1957. A few of the patterns ran the entire time, but many were available for only one year or less. They all carry the Hallcraft mark; an additional line in the mark says “Shaped by Eva Zeisel” because several of Ms. Zeisel’s students contributed to the design of the patterns.
The club learned that the Century line offered 24 pieces in a set and the Tomorrow’s Classic line offered 40 pieces in a set. The Century line patterns are harder to find today. Neither line had coffee pots (though Tomorrow’s Classic had after dinner coffee cups and saucers); both had tea pots. Both lines called their individual casseroles “marmites” (a rounded earthenware cooking pot).
Ed’s program included the following patterns on the Century line (on the left side of the table):
The following patterns from the Tomorrow’s Classic line are toward the right side of the table:
Ed heartily agreed with Ms. Zeisel’s quote that “pottery is alive!” He continues to see (and feel) subtle nuances in the designs and shapes that keep him looking for more. Ed’s collection is a promised gift to the Kirkland Museum in Denver.
Show & Tell
Club members brought the following treasures for Show and Tell! Here are some highlights from this meeting. Descriptions of each treasure is found below the pictures using the corresponding number.
1. Imperial Cathay Concubine bookends.
2. Cambridge Apple Blossom tall comport in ebony with silver overlay.
3. Hazel-Atlas Moroccan Amethyst 10 ¼” apple bowl in clear.
4. On the left is a Crystal 3-footed bowl by unknown manufacturer with unknown cutting.
In the center and right is a Federal Glass Heritage 8” Master Berry Bowl and individual berry bowl.
5. On the left is a Green jack-in-the-pulpit vase with rough pontil, attributed to Blenko.
On the right is a Fostoria American tall salver with pedestal (salver have a brandy well (depression) in the center
and cake plates are flat).
6. Fostoria Heirloom 2726/311 candlesticks in ruby.
Handcrafted wood bowl in cherry, maple, and walnut.
Imperial Washington (Pattern 699) vase, designed by Phillip Ebeling, the same man responsible for Fostoria’s American line
and originally slated to be called Mount Vernon until Cambridge came out with a pattern by the same name.