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The Berry BowlAuthor: by Marcia Ray
( Article orginally published May 1952 )
FROM the 1880's, a tri-partite agreement, so to speak, must have existed between the makers and importers of novelty glasswares, the manufacturers of plated silverware, and the jewelry trade of America. The result was the assembly and sale of an unbelievable total of combination glass and silverware which graced practically every sideboard in the land. The berry bowl, for the ceremonial service of berries (in the days when heavy cream was 20 cents a quart) and innumerable individual berry dishes was a favorite wedding gift and the bowls made a brave show among the gifts to the bride.
Now, the grandchildren of these one time owners, whose parents disposed of their parents' household goods as old-fashioned, outmoded, and "Victorian", are haunting the Antiques Shops of the land, hunting these very items for use with or without the plated silver stands that once lent glamour to the glass or porcelain bowls. The record, checked with some baker's dozen of manufacturers of these elegancies of other days, reveals these types and kinds of bowls: Bohemian glass, red and green; German gilded glass; American crystal, plain and cut; Peachblow, yellow, pink and rose glass, pink lined white glass, white lined pink and rose glass; overlay glass, cut and engraved. Most of the bowls are shell-form, with ruffles, pleated rims, fluted rims, and crimped rims. Then there were bowls of French; and of Oriental porcelain. Pattern names seem to mean almost nothing; the names in manufacturer's catalogs disappear in wholesaler's catalogs. But we do have a great heritage of surviving bowls and, we predict, one fine day collecting of these items will be so general a pursuit that brochures on "Berry-bowl Glass" will be published. For all we know, somewhere a far-sighted lady may be at work on the task right now.