Duncan Diamond

by Glenita Stearns
Rainbow Review Glass Journal - November 1974

The Duncan and Miller Glass Company manufactured many lovely patterns in their years of production, and one of the loveliest is their "Diamond". This beautiful crystal is seldom seen today, though many pieces were manufactured in the forties. In 1940 it was advertised as brand new, and created to commemorate 75 years of production of "the loveliest glassware in America."

The Diamond pattern is a fitting commemorative for a Diamond Anniversary. 75 years of making glass that in 1940 was already acclaimed as some of the finest American glass ever made and much of Diamond Anniversary ad which was even then already on Museum shelves and in antique collections, deserved a design of the worlds most coveted jewel.

To celebrate this anniversary, and to introduce the "Diamond" pattern, an "Anniversary Special" was advertised. From May 15 to July 15 of 1940 the 12" bowl and the 13" plate were offered together for only $2.45. The regular price on these two items was $3.50, and as was usual in this era slightly higher in the west. These pieces, it was suggested, have dozens of uses, alone or in combination. Salad set, cake, sandwich, or hors d'oeuvre plate, flower bowl - the pattern inspired by the richness and elegance of life in the South, before the Civil War.

All the usual pieces were manufactured in this pattern, the goblet being of particular interest because of the two varieties, one plain, with the diamond pattern only on the stem, the other patterned, as shown in the illustration (below, right). The one light Hurricane lamp is a novelty for this period. and the 4 piece, 2 compartment salad dressing set is an attractive addition to any table. This set consists of a 6", two compartment handled bowl, footed, 6" across and 2½" high; a 7½" 2 handled plate and two ladles.

The candy box and cover in this pattern is 6" across, 5½" high and has a lovely, diamond shaped finial. The candlesticks are shaped like the base of the hurricane lamp, and come in a 4" size, a 4" with bobeche and prisms, and 8" with bobeche and prisms.

A salad bowl 9½" wide and ¼" deep was made, as well as the 12" by 3¼" ruffled bowl previously mentioned, and other Duncan Diamond bowls made included the 9½" x 3" flared bowl, the 5" high flower arranger, 7¾" across, an 11½" flared bowl, 3" high, an 11½" crimped bowl, 4" high, an 11½" oval centerpiece bowl, 2½" high and 8½" wide, a 10" oval bowl, 4½" high, or an 8" sweet pea bowl, 4" high. One of the loveliest bowls in this line is the 11", two handled oval centerpiece bowl, 2½" deep and 8½" wide.

If serving sweets is your bag, Duncan "Diamond" provided pieces for you, The 7½" oval candy basket, two handled and 4¾" wide might serve your purpose, or perhaps the 6½" flared mint dish, 2¼" high. The two compartmented bon bon dish is 6½" across and 2" tall and has two handles. The 7" sweetmeat dish also has handles, and sits 1¾" high on its lovely base.

Pickles and relish can be served on the 6", two handled, two compartment oval relish, 5" wide and 1½" high, or on the flared relish, 5½" wide and 1½" high. An 11" two handled, three compartment celery and relish is 2½" high, 8½" wide. A four compartment Hors d'oeuvres plate is 12" wide, oval shaped, 1¾" high and 9" across. An olive bowl was manufactured, 6½" x 5" x 2", and a mayonnaise set, a two handled bowl, 5½" across and 2¾" high sitting on a plate with 2 handles and 7½" across, round, and a mayonnaise ladle. Glass mayonnaise ladles were the vogue at this time, as they did not tarnish on contact with this substance - one experience with the greenish grey color silver plates make in your mayonnaise would convert anybody to glass servers!

The lovely 13" torte plate was manufactured both flat and with a rolled edge. A sandwich plate, 12" long and 10" wide, with handles is a handy piece to have and, of course, an 8½" salad plate. The cream and sugar set came with an 8" oval tray.

This is a lovely simple pattern, often left on shop shelves unrecognized and reasonably priced, so watch carefully and you may find for yourself a Duncan "Diamond."