L. E. Smith Glass Company Lilac Swung Vases

Aug 22, 2022 | Museum Monday Treasures

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a series of swung vases showing off L. E. Smith Glass Company’s unusual and unique Lilac color. Following Smith’s phenomenal success with their Bittersweet in 1960 (an opaque amberina, shading from yellow to orange), they introduced Lilac in 1961 to augment the Simplicity line. It is a pale lavender lightly swirled with white, so that it almost appears to be a slag glass. Unfortunately, production was limited to a single year, either because the color simply wasn’t popular or – more likely – it was difficult to maintain color control. Only thirteen pieces of Lilac appear in the 1961 catalog, including an ashtray, a bowl, and eleven different swung vases. Examples of Lilac tend to be difficult to find.

The first of our three vases is No. 1901, 15 ½” high. The same form is used for the second vase, with a pulled handle, and also with an indentation inside so that it could be used to hold a very tall taper candle. It was listed as No. 1902 and is 16” high. (Note that because these vases are swung, there can be a wide variation in their heights.)

The tallest of our Lilac vases is No. 0703 and stands 26 ½” high.

More Museum Treasures

Very Ornate Spill Holder

Very Ornate Spill Holder

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a very ornate spill holder. It is flint glass with panels with three overlapping leaves alternating with panels of high relief stylized vines. We assume the dates of this piece to be circa 1850s...

Paul Harrie Zephyr Perfume Bottle

Paul Harrie Zephyr Perfume Bottle

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the collection of the Museum of American Glass in WV is a perfume bottle made by Paul Harrie in his Zephyr series, as well as a paperweight in the same series, another in the Striped series, and a cube paperweight in the Tectonic...