Beautiful and Useful

Hazel Atlas Crisscross Bowl
Hazel Atlas pink depression glass bowl in the Crisscross pattern. 9.5″ diameter. Circa 1930s.

I was browsing a thrift store one day on my lunch hour, just to kill time. I scanned the sad-looking objects on the sparcely filled shelves in the little housewares section — about to turn and head out — when a filthy bowl caught my eye. Depression glass, I knew right away, although I had never seen a piece quite like it. (I had learned about collectible glass from both of my grandmothers when I was quite young. Now I have an eye for it.) I snapped up the grimy treasure and spent a fair amount of time cleaning it up once I got home. I spent even more time trying to find out who manufactured it. Finally, I learned that this lovely pink depression glass mixing bowl was manufactured by the Hazel Atlas Glass Company — probably in their Clarksburg, WV plant. The company was founded in 1902 after a merger of several individual companies owned by the same family. (The “Atlas” brand of fruit canning jar fame was made by this company, too.) This art deco rolled rim bowl is 9.5″ in diameter and it is made of mold-etched, machine-made glass in the Crisscross pattern. As was common for their  mold-etched depression glass dinnerware, the bottom of the piece is not marked. This may have originally been part of a set of 5 stackable mixing bowls. I would love to have a full set, but honestly, I am thrilled with the one piece I do have. I found it by total luck, and it is one of the most beautiful and useful objects in my kitchen.

On a side note, if you are ever in Lancaster, Ohio, the home of Anchor Hocking Glass, the Ohio Glass Museum is worth a visit. It is a charming, extremely informative resource, with a terrific library of reference books as well. It has changing exhibits, a glass blowing studio, and an attentive and knowledgeable staff. (Oh, and if you collect Hazel Atlas Glass and have something more to share on the subject, I invite you to leave a comment!)


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