Westmoreland's Thousand Eye

by Virginia Scott
Glass Review - October 1981

Westmoreland Ad Westmoreland Glass Company, Grapeville PA, advertised their attractive Thousand Eye pattern in a few ads during the 1940's. However, it is known that the pattern was being made during the 1930's. The illustrations at right show a 1943 Westmoreland ad. This ad advised readers to "Recapture the charm of those glistening table settings that added so much to the brilliant gayety of life in the 1870's". The ad slated that "Thousand Eye" was an "Authentic Reproduction". I am not certain whether this statement meant that "Thousand Eye" was an old Westmoreland pattern. This could be the case, as many of the Westmoreland pieces that are still made are cast in old molds. Many of the old glass companies had patterns similar to "Thousand Eye". These were called by various names, including "Bull's Eye" and "Thumbprint". Heisey's "Whirlpool" pattern, made 1938 to 1957 was another variation of the "Thousand Eye" motif. So is the "Bubble" depression glass pattern.

The 1943 ad declared that "Thousand Eye pattern, rich as a setting of gems, is like an echo from America a age of elegance". A 1948 ad calls It "scintillating crystal". It is true that the rows of circles which form the pattern reflect the light and cause the handmade crystal to have a glittering sparkle. Notice that on most of the pieces, the smaller circles are at the bottom of the item or toward the center of plates and bowls. However, on a few pieces this pattern is reversed. This is quite apparent on the decanter and the sugar and creamer where the larger circles are at the bottom and the smaller ones are at the top.

Our illustration shows only a small selection of the pieces made in the "Thousand Eye" pattern. A page from a 1934 Westmoreland brochure is reprinted in Hazel Marie Weatherman's 1979 Price Trends 2. That reprint shows a large array of "Thousand Eye" pieces. There are ten different footed glasses, ranging from a 1 oz cordial to a 12 oz iced tea. In addition, five sizes of flat tumblers are offered. Other pieces shown on the reprint are: 8" oval handled basket, 10" 6-part round relish; 10" handled and 11" belled bowls; 5" compote; half gallon jug; single and twin candleholders; and the unique turtle-shaped cigarette box and matching turtle ashtray. The latter two items are shown at center left in the illustration. A 1948 ad featured a table set with "Thousand Eye". The cigarette box was in a central position on the table and each place setting had a turtle ashtray.

The small group of items at top left is from a small ad in the shopping section of a 1939 House Beautiful magazine. The large plate was described as an 18" salad or sandwich platter and the bowl as a 14" salad bowl. These were offered in the ad for $2.50 each. A set of eight of the smaller 8½" salad plates were priced at $5 for the set.

All the ads that I have found for "Thousand Eye" show the pattern in crystal only.