My wife is an amazing woman… she does not discourage my pursuit of bicycles and we share a common love of things that were made in an age when so many of our every day consumer goods were not disposable and made to a much higher standard.
Like many people my age I remember the table glasses we had while I was growing up were made by Duralex of France, a company that has been producing extremely affordable glassware since 1927 under a number of owners. They are also responsible for the invention of tempered glass which is what makes their simple glasses and tableware stand out from the rest and makes car windshields safer.
I also have an affection for Pyrex and cast iron but that is a ramble for another day.
I have been hunting for these glasses for some time and was quite pleased to discover that Ikea carries glasses that are made by Duralex, these are the “Provence” design with the IKEA brand on the bottom of the glass and they call them Pokal.
Even better than buying them new is finding 16 more of them at a thrift shop that all say “Duralex” and finding examples that are no longer made.
This is the Picardie, the glass that started it all for Duralex, and has been described as the perfect drinking vessel… and it would be hard to disagree once you have held one of these in your hand.
I found four of these 10 oz Picardie glasses that I believe are of more recent manufacture…
I have a set of the 6 oz Provence that was made when Duralex was run by Bormioli of Italy (1997 to 2003) and under their ownership, Duralex almost ceased to exist… this is the 4 oz version made by Duralex that I found today.
These are all glasses one can buy today as Duralex was saved and is now doing very well due to a resurgence in the popularity of these iconic glasses that most people of my generation remember.
This Duralex glass was THE one I was seeking and was the kind my parents had, for as much as I could find it would appear that Duralex no longer makes this design and references are scant. I call it a diamond pattern because I do not know the proper designation for them and will say it makes Celtic Crosses taste that much better.
It was a good day as besides filling my cupboard with my favourite glasses I also found a good number of picture frames and what appears to be a virtually new Rival crock pot that came with it’s instruction manual and recipe book. When you flip it over you can see that it says “Made IN THE U.S.A.” and my beautiful wife would tell you that the Chinese made crock pots are not worth the money you spend on them so for $12.99, this was a great find.
Those glasses are all washed up and one of their other virtues is their stackable design which can make the most of limited space which make them appeal to students and people in smaller apartments.
Patrick Taylor writes more eloquently than I do about the history and virtues of Duralex glasses on what appears to be a rather excellent blog…