Food

Classic Glassware Shopping and Care Information


“Everything that we need has been made already, you just gotta go look for it,” says Bottle Bacchanal proprietor Beth Hughes, whose wine store additionally sells classic barware and glassware. It’s a philosophy driving various new bars, eating places and retailers to completely inventory secondhand drinkware.

From shopping thrift retailers to scouring on-line marketplaces, there have by no means been extra methods to seek out secondhand items in your residence bar, too. Whether it’s a basic coupe or a one-of-a-kind specialty glass, an vintage merchandise from one other period may be the right crowning glory to simply about any cocktail. 


Here, the place to seek out the perfect items, what to think about whereas buying and find out how to care in your new (outdated) residence bar staples.

Even with seemingly infinite portions of classic gadgets obtainable on Etsy, eBay and Instagram pages, which may be nice locations to look, in-person buying is the popular methodology by business execs, as a result of it permits for fast, simple high quality management (fading, go away it; intact engraving, purchase it). Victoria Vergason, proprietor of The Hour Shop, a Virginia retailer that shares greater than 10,000 classic cocktail-related items, says she sources her stock from flea markets, property gross sales and public sale homes.

Hughes, who favors property gross sales, recommends signing up for native property sale newsletters to be alerted of alternatives to buy. Preview pictures of the estates may help decide whether or not a sale might have good finds—even when the pictures don’t embody glassware footage, the upkeep of the house and different gadgets may be indicators of high quality.

But, purchaser beware: “Unfortunately, the internet is full of incorrect information that is often perpetuated,” says Vergason. Asking questions on potential purchases and consulting with glass museum web sites may help with authentication, she says.

Vergason, who primarily sources Twentieth-century glassware, searches for particular designers, whose signatures she’s come to acknowledge. Familiarizing oneself with the actual options of a given designer can assist in on-line looking out and point out the standard of items that bear these traits. Among the designer work featured in The Hour Shop, for instance, are Dorothy Thorpe’s sterling-overlaid goblets and Collins glasses, etched and amber items from Japanese maker Sasaki Glass, and colourful, marbled glass by Italian designer Carlo Moretti.

Even with out such in depth data, the informal classic shopper can discover one thing thrilling, too. At Hi-Lo Club in San Francisco, a bar that completely makes use of secondhand glassware for its cocktails, accomplice Justin Mulford calls the bar’s assortment “lost and found” items. Not essentially vintage, and never essentially meant for cocktails, the eccentricities vary from dessert bowls to consuming glasses with nostalgic inscriptions like “Prom ’78.” Sourced from thrift retailers and even pals of the bar, the mismatched choice provides to the story of the drinks and the bar’s environment.

When mixing and matching, nevertheless, contemplate the quantity of every glass, says Jason Shechtman, founding father of Courtland Club, a cocktail bar in Providence, Rhode Island, impressed by the Nineteen Forties social golf equipment that used to occupy the bar’s constructing. It may be troublesome to make sure that drinks are cut up evenly throughout classic glasses of differing sizes, so he recommends in search of a pair or set of 4 glasses when doable.

Vergason notes that “condition is everything”; understanding the damage on an merchandise earlier than buying is essential. While some items may be restored—even severely tarnished silver components may be shined, for instance—light or chipped glassware can’t be fastened. Also, cloudiness in glassware is irreversible; search for clear glass with unfaded patterns and etching. 

To profit from vintage items, hand-washing is finest. Glassware with platinum or silver rims and gildings may be polished—Vergason recommends Wright’s Silver Cream—and rinsed with heat water. Avoid stacking classic glasses when storing, in order to not injury their rims.

Most importantly, with any heritage piece, “treat it with respect,” says Hughes. “A lot of these glasses have been around for 40 to 50 years, and you don’t want to be the one to break them.”

On Etsy: Find colourful Depression glass from ClassicGlassCarnival, store for funky stemware (assume frosted flutes and zigzag ’tini glasses) from ShopDotonEtsy, and blend and match items or choose a curated set from DotnBettys

On Instagram: @cosas.nyc sells full units of glassware in a spread of codecs, cordial to Collins, whereas the account @shoprosemaryhome showcases its distinctive items sourced from around the globe. 

Elsewhere on-line: Sort by way of Chairish’s classic barware by fashion—Art Deco, midcentury trendy and minimalist are among the many many choices—or head to Vergason’s The Hour Shop for high quality items categorized by sort or nation of origin.

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