Bugle Boy Blog

Candlewick Glass

Candlewick is a line of handmade glassware produced by the Imperial Glass company. It was Imperial’s most successful series. The Imperial Glass Company opened its doors in 1904 in Bellaire, Ohio, under the direction of Edward Muhleman, a man with experience and a passion for the glass industry. His focus was to produce high quality glass that was also affordable for the average family. This resonated with the American consumer and lead to the Imperial Glass company taking its place as a leader in the glass industry.

In the early 1930s Candlewick glassware was developed by Imperial’s Chicago sales representative, Earl Newton. While on a trip to New York, Newton was introduced to glassware from the French Cannonball line. Newton fell in love with the elegance and uniqueness of the glass. French Cannonball glass was identified by a string of heavy glass ‘beads’ around the base of the glass. The glass inspired Newton to consider making the beads smaller and lighter in appearance. The finished product was reminiscent of the edging on a popular Colonial-style embroidery technique called “candle wicking.” Formally introduced in 1936, the Candlewick line quickly became one of Imperial’s best sellers. The collection launched with about 40 pieces with a high of exceeding over 200 items in the 1950’s.

Because of its popularity with the consumer, several companies attempted to knock-off the Candlewick design. But true Candlewick glassware is easy to identify by its glass beads. According to Judy Prather, author of “Information on Candlewick,” on items such as plates, ash trays and candy dishes the “beads should never touch on the horizontal plane. Beads on the stems of glassware may be large, small, or graduated and may touch each other on the vertical plane. There are no safe edges on any of the Candlewick glassware. The safe edge is identified as a bump on the interior edge of the rim of a glass.”

Unfortunately, as competition increased, numerous changes in management, and changing American tastes, Imperial ran into financial difficulty, filing bankruptcy in August of 1984. But the memories of what once was live on. Candlewick’s popularity has increased as collectors enthusiastically seek to add treasured pieces to their collections. The list of pieces is amazing, from everyday pieces like teacups, ashtrays, and candy dishes to cigarette boxes and cake plates. The most sought-after items are the coveted banana bowl and the covered punch bowl, both of which draw a higher price.

Check your drawers and cabinets – you might just discover you already own a treasured Candlewick piece.

Royal Doulton Toby Jugs and Character Mugs

One of the best parts of owning an estate sales company is the education I receive with each sale hosted. Collectibles are part of all of our lives and reveals a bit of our personality. With each estate sale I get to learn about the history of our clients collectibles. Each week, I am introduced to collectibles I never knew existed. I have learned so much so fast. I love it! I thought it would be fun to share those learnings in hopes that you find their stories as fascinating as I do.

First up, Royal Doulton Toby Jugs and Character Mugs. My recent client had an extensive collection of Toby Jugs. I know…I had the same question. What is a Toby Jug? “Toby Jugs are sought-after estate sale collectibles, for the value they bring to homes and the high prices they fetch at auction. These quirky figurines feature happy, seated men, each with a mug of his favorite beverage. Jovial-looking Toby Jugs have been a part of English culture for generations. Although the jugs’ notable appearance gradually evolved, they retain their lively spirit and are still popular with collectors to this day.”

“Toby Jugs first made their appearance in 18th-century England. Speculation continues about the origin of the Toby Jug name. One potential source is Sir Toby Belch, a memorable character from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Or, perhaps the name sprang from a popular song of the era, “Brown Jug.” Brown Jug’s tune features a character named ‘Toby Fillpot (or Philpot)’.”

“Royal Doulton is a leading name in Toby Jug collectibles. Toby Jugs have been around since the 18th century, but it wasn’t until Royal Doulton started producing them that they became a household name.”

“During the 1920s, Character Jugs were introduced. Each new jug would feature the subject’s head and shoulders instead of a head-to-toe depiction.”

“Over the years, the Character Jug handles began to reveal more about each character’s personality. For example, the Long John Silver Jug sports a parrot handle. The Alice in Wonderland Duchess Jug shows off a flamingo handle.”

Interesting to note…”If Character Jug was unexpectedly discontinued, the remaining pieces typically have a high value. The Clark Gable Character Jug is a good example. In 1984, Royal Doulton produced 2,000 Clark Gable Character Jugs to sell in the United States. However, Gable’s estate didn’t approve the jug, so Doulton stopped production of new pieces, recalled all sold pieces, and demolished all unsold pieces. Today, there are approximately 100 remaining Clark Gable Jugs in existence. Each is valued at approximately $3,363, considerably more than other celebrities’ jugs of that era.”

It was so much fun to unwrap the clients collection and see each character mug. Customers went crazy for them at our sale. One customer purchased twenty! And I will admit, I purchased one too. Which one? William Shakespeare. I am an English major after all!


Source “Toby Jugs Value & Price Guide” by Paul Williams

Attention Collectors: Blue Ridge Pottery Available!

Join us this weekend for the Great Greenville Estate Sale featuring ... a large collection of authentic Blue Ridge Pottery. New to Blue Ridge? Check out Southern Vintage Table or Wikipedia for a beginner's lesson. Great history, quaint vintage collectable dishware - and we have a BIG colleciton available at our next estate sale in Greenville, Texas (June 18-20, 2021). See our listing at EstateSales.net. This a MUST SEE sale, not to be missed. Join us!