It's Tiffin

by Larry Baker
Volume 25 No. 5 - December 1998

Last time, we were discussing some of Tiffin's cold enamel decorations, namely some of the Parrot decorations ... and how these were great favorites of the late Jerry Gallagher. Tiffin made many, many different enamel decorations. We have not even scratched the surface of this topic!

Pictured at right is #8133 Breakfast Dish(Priscilla) Breakfast Dish. Shown In Bickenheuser 2, page 11, with the Deerwood etching, these were a great favorite of Jerry's. Usually found in undecorated Amber, Reflex Green or Rose, most are marked with the USGCo logo. Some will also have patent information -- either "applied for" or "patented." This unusual almost child-like decoration depicts a smiling salad bowl ringed with dancing carrots! Perhaps this little "breakfast dish" was more versatile than originally designed for! I must point out that this bowl does NOT have the USGCo logo or patent information - so it may be the work of a decorating company.

Tiffin created several enamel decorations that were both reverse painted and trimmed with gold on the top. The effect is absolutely stunning! All of these satin, enamel and gold decorations were available in a wide assortment of useful and decorative items: cheese and cracker sets, vases, whipped cream (mayonnaise) bowls, console sets and candy jars, to name a few. The colors used were essentially the same for all decorations; blue, green, orange, pink and white. While related in style, each retains its own identity.

Candy and MayoSweet Pea Decoration, (at left) Bickenheuser 2, page 118, is a fine example. This is found on both Rose Satin and Reflex Green Satin blanks. The hard painted Sweet Pea design is on the underside of the glass with a trim of gold on the top. To the left is the #179, Conical Candy Jar and Cover in Reflex Green Satin, and at right is the #151, whipped cream in Rose Satin. Being hand painted, the decoration may Candy Lidvary somewhat -- the colors of the sweet peas are red and yellow together, with blue alone on the candy jar; but, the blue is paired with the yellow and the red is alone on the whipped cream!

Several different floral patterns were created with this technique, including the Morning Glory Decoration, (at right) shown in Bickenheuser 2, page 144. Shown here in Rose Satin, is the same #179 Conical Candy. Note that on the Sweet Pea Conical Candy, there is no painting on the candy bottom -- just gold trim around the rims. So, these bottoms were interchangeable between the differently decorated tops! The same gold leaf design is used to accent both the Sweet Pea and Morning Glory decorations. Morning Glory was also available in Reflex Green Satin.

Larry Baker is a collector of Tiffin and other Depression Era glassware.

The books mentioned in this article are:

  • Tiffin Glassmasters, volume 2
    by Fred Bickenheuser
    Glassmaster Publications, 1981
  • Tiffin Glass, 1914-40
    by Leslie Piña and Jerry Gallagher
    Schiffer Publishing Co., 1996