The sale of items from the legendary late collector set new participation records for a Sotheby’s UK auction.
Dorothy Thorpe Glassware is decorative glass created by the American designer and artist Dorothy Thorpe.
Brief history and description
Dorothy Thorpe was an American artist operating from her studio in Los Angeles. She is best known for her glass designs, which she created primarily during the period spanning from the early 1930’s until the 1950’s.
Thorpe bought glassware from various companies, which she then decorated in her own designs and sold. She is also known for her ceramic designs.
Many of Thorpe’s glassware pieces feature heavily etched designs, though she also dabbled in sand-blasting and silver overlays.
Guide for collectors
Dorothy Thorpe glassware is considered a niche but highly useable and decorative collectable. Identifying Thorpe’s work is easier than with some artists and designers, as she is known to have signed most of her pieces, namely with a large ‘T’ and a smaller ‘D’.
Dorothy Thorpe glassware is available from both mainstream and specialist auctioneers; Thorpe’s glassware is also available at online auctioneers such as eBay, which not only features low start prices on listed items, but also an extensive guide to Thorpe’s work which may prove useful for prospective collectors seeking to correctly identify a particular piece.
Dorothy Thorpe glassware has reached high sale prices at auction, with some items reaching prices in the region of $500-$1,000.
On 24th June 2006, Skinner auctioned eighteen pieces of decorated glass by Dorothy Thorpe for $550, all featuring an etched floral design.
Skinner also auctioned a separate lot comprised of twenty one pieces of Dorothy Thorpe glassware on 15th November 2006, for $650.
Thorpe’s work has also sold elsewhere for far lesser sums, primarily for lots which comprised singular items or those sold in smaller sets, such as the Dorothy Thorpe art nouveau vase which auctioned from Richard Opfer Auctioneering, Inc. on 1st May 2011 for just $10, and the pair of Dorothy Thorpe champagne glasses which sold from Dalton Auction Gallery on 24th October 2004 for $35.
Main article: Glass
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