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History of Durand Art Glass Vineland Flint Glassworks

1892 - 1933

Vineland, NJ. 

      The Durand Art Glass Co. never existed. Durand Art Glass was produced by Vineland Flint Glassworks owned by Mr. Victor Durand, Jr. and later for a short time after Durand’s death by Kimble Glass Company, Vineland Flint Division.

Victor Durand, Jr. was born in Baccarat, France.  As several generations before him, Victor, at the age of 12, went to work in a local glassworks.  Victor’s grandfather and father worked for Cristalleries de Baccarat, a famous glassworks that was established in 1764.  In 1882, Victor Durand, Sr. immigrated to the U.S.  Victor, Sr. worked for Wheaton Glass Works and Whitall-Tatum and Company.

In 1884, Victor, Jr. (then 14 yrs. old) and the rest of his family joined his father in the U.S.  Victor, Jr.’s first U.S. glass job was for Whitall-Tatum.  Then he worked for Wheaton Glass Works.  The next decade he worked for several glass factories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Canada.  During this time, Victor was expanding his glass knowledge.       

In 1897, Victor, Jr., with the help of his father, leased a small glassworks then known as Vineland Glass Manufacturing Co., founded in 1892.  The company originally made bottles and jars.  Victor built a new furnace and started producing glass tubing, rods, and clinical thermometer tubes.  The new company started out with only 25 employees.  In 1899, Victor, Jr. bought out his father’s shares to become sole owner.  His father was semi-retired, however his brothers (Henry, Paul, and Charles) worked for the company, although not in executive positions.  The plant built of wooden construction and was destroyed by fire in 1904.  Later it was rebuilt of iron and brick. 

In 1909, New Jersey Clay Pot Company was founded and Victor Durand, Jr. was President and majority stockholder.  He also solely owned Vineland Flint Glass Works.  By 1920, Victor added a new title, President and majority stockholder of the Newfield Glass Company. 

Victor, Jr. still had one burning desire despite his financial success and that was to make art glass. So in 1924, he convinced Martin Bach, Jr. to establish an art glass shopMartin, Jr. had grown up in his father’s business, the Quezal Art Glass Decorating Company in Brooklyn, New York.  Quezal was started by Martin Bach, Sr. and Thomas Johnson.  Martin Bach, Sr. had previously worked for Tiffany Furnaces as a batch mixer, thus he knew all of Tiffany’s formulas.  In 1924, Martin Bach, Sr. died. The Quezal Company, already in financial difficulty, closed.  Martin Bach, Jr. agreed to go to work for Victor Durand.  Thus Durand’s “Fancy Shop” was born.  The Fancy Shop’s team was entirely ex-Quezal glassworkersMartin Bach, Jr. was superintendent, metal maker and art decorator; Emil J. Larson was the gaffer or shop foreman and designer of prototypes; William Wiedebine was the decorator; Harry Britton was servitor; and his brother, Percy Britton, was the gatherer.  Ralph Barber was a plant superintendent for Vineland Flint Glass Works.  Mr. Barber, who was famous for blowing Millville Rose paperweights, would also occasionally blow glass for the Fancy Shop.  It did not take long for this team of glass artists to produce new, unique glass color effects and designs.  Within two years of the founding of the Fancy Shop, Durand Art Glass was awarded the Medal of Honor at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. 

The Fancy Shop was not always profitable and was supported by Vineland Flint Glass Works.  However, in 1931, Victor Durand, Jr. died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.  At the time of his death, Durand was in the middle of a merger with Kimble Glass Company for the second time.  The second merger was left to be completed by Victor Durand’s widow.  It also left the new company without the influence of Victor Durand.  The Great Depression was gripping the U.S., and there was not much of a market for high quality art glass.  The last new art glass introduced by Fancy Shop was “powder glass,” similar to Steuben’s Cluthra.  Kimble’s Cluthra, as it is now known, continued production for about a year. These pieces carried the Durand name.  However, historians are not sure if the Fancy Shop had anything to do with its production.  By 1933, the remaining stock of the Fancy Shop and Kimble’s Cluthra were either sold or disposed of.  This was a sad ending to a great, but short-lived, art glass manufacturer.

Although the peak of the rose bowl production was a thing of the past, Durand Art Glass still made rose bowls.  Their rose bowl production was somewhat limited, but then again all of Durand’s glass production was limited.  The glass shape number of their rose bowls was #2001.  This shape was originally a Quezal design that was later used by Durand.  In reference to rose bowl pattern #2001, the bowl is of a spherical shape (ball) mounted on a short-footed stem base.  The spherical bowl is not crimped, while the stem and base is usually of a different glass than the bowl.  A variety of different types of glass and treatments have been documented as Durand rose bowls.  There is one other piece of glass illustrated in “Durand, The Man and His Glass” by Edward J. Maeshci that could be classified as a rose bowl. It is illustrated on page #39, Fig. 40, listed as “Vase, Silver blue lustre with opal Heart & Vine decoration. Height 4”.  We believe it to be shape #1917 or possibly #1995. 

The average collector is not likely to encounter a Durand rose bowl. If he or she does and if they are dealing with a knowledgeable seller, it should be expensive.  Good luck finding one!   

Vineland Flint Glassworks Rose Bowls

Vineland did not make any crimped Rose bowl.  Shape #2001 is today consider a rose bowl.  This shape was finished in many ways an crafted from different colors of glass.

 

On the rose bowl below you will note in the right photo on the left side below the V you will see #2001 that is the shape number.  This a golden orange with golden yellow highlight lustre with applied golden spider threading and a applied lustre foot.  Height 5"

   

 

The rose bowl below is shape #2001 in silver blue lustre and an applied lustre foot.  Height 5"

 

 

The rose bowl below is shape #2001 in the dark blue with sliver lustre Heart and Vine decoration and a golden applicd lustre foot.  Height 5"

 

The rose bowl below is shape #2001 in the blue Lustre with silver Heart on Vine with a golden applied Lustre foot.  Height 5"

 

 

The rose bowl below is shape #2001 in a golden orange lustre with opal and gold Pulled Feathers banded in green and applied gold Coil decoration pattern and a applied lustre foot.  Height 5"

    

 

Below are vases, shape #1995, are not considered Rose Bowls.  I have included them for reader's reference.

 

This vase, is shape #1995  in a golden orange Lustre in with and applied gold Coil Spider Webbing.  Height 4"

 

 

This vase, is shape #1995  in a blue Lustre in with and applied gold Coil Spider Webbing.  Height 4"

  

 

This vase, is shape #1995  in a golden orange with golden yellow highlights Lustre.  Height 4"

 

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