The sale of items from the legendary late collector set new participation records for a Sotheby’s UK auction.
|Vintage Dugan and Diamond carnival glass is glassware produced by the American Dugan Glass Company, which later became the Diamond Glass Company.
The Dugan Glass Company was founded in 1904 by Thomas Dugan. Dugan was the cousin of the English glassmaker Harry Northwood, founder of the renowned company H. Northwood.
Dugan left England for the United States a year after his cousin Harry, and came to work for him at Northwood’s first glassware factory in Pennsylvania. He worked alongside his father and two younger brothers, and was made factory manager when the company was taken over by National Glass in 1899. His family purchased the plant themselves in 1904, and established the Dugan Glass Company.1
By 1909 the company had started to manufacture carnival glass, updating their older moulds by using the iridescent treatment. They later created new designs, and developed the peach opalescent treatment for which they are now well known.
In 1915 the company was sold to the Diamond Glassware Co, and Thomas Dugan left the business. As with many American manufacturers, it found success during the years of the First World War due to the lack of competition from European competitors.
It continued to produce carnival glass until 1931 when a fire swept through the factory destroying much of the stock, and many offices. This huge financial loss, combined with the problems caused by the onset of the Great Depression, meant the factory was never rebuilt and the company closed down.
Dugan and Diamond carnival glass patterns
The company produced a large number of patterns during its time, with many based on moulds used before the introduction of carnival glass. Some of the most popular with collectors today include:
Main article: List of notable Dugan and Diamond carnival glassware
Collecting Dugan and Diamond carnival glass
Due to the wide variety of items, patterns and colours produced by Dugan (and subsequently Diamond), prices can range from less than $50 to more than $10,000. The price will of course depend on the rarity and condition of the item.
Although the company is famous with collectors for its peach opal glass, it also produced a limited number of pieces in blue and an even smaller number of green pieces.
One of the most valuable and popular patterns for collectors is Farmyard, particularly in the form of peach opal bowls and purple plates. Both of these examples can sometime fetch more than $20,000 at auction due to their desirability.2
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