Harmony House Crocheted Crystal

by Virginia Scott
Glass Review - December 1981

The pattern shown in the illustration at right is "Harmony Hand-made Crocheted Crystal". This pattern was introduced in the Sears Roebuck and Co. Fall and Winter Catalog of 1943-44. Sears evidently had great hope for the popularity of this pattern as it was Harmony House Ad 1943 featured on two full pages of the catalog and over thirty-five items or sets were shown. The pattern was carried in subsequent catalogs for about seven years with items gradually being discontinued along the way.

Crocheted Crystal was offered only in clear glass. I have heard unofficially that the pattern was made exclusively for Sears by Imperial Glass Corporation. The open work edging seems to be the same as Imperial used on their Sugar Cane and Katy lines but those lines have a pressed design while Crocheted Crystal has "Optic ribs." When Crocheted Crystal is compared with pieces of Katy as shown in Weatherman II, it is easy to note that the shapes of several pieces, notably bowls and the candleholders and bowl of the console set, are very similar.

It is quite interesting to trace the history of Crocheted Crystal through the various Sears catalogs. The 1943-44 catalog shows six items of stemware: goblet, sherbet, iced tea, wine, cocktail and juice. Several fancy serving sets, decorative and accessory Items were also offered. These included a Cheese & Cracker Set (No. 11); Buffet Set (No. 3); Hors d'Oeuvre Dish, (No. 6); Celery (No. 13); Relish (No. 12); Hurricane Lamps (No. 9); Mayonnaise Set (No. 7); Epergne (No.4); Narcissus Bowl (No. 15); Punch Set (No. 19); Cake Stand (No. 16); three sizes of baskets (No. 14); Tall vase (No 17); Sugar & Cream Set (No. 8) and various sizes of plates and bowls. No cups and saucers were offered.

By the fall of 1944, the cocktail and juice glasses were dropped. Also discontinued were the 3-part relish the Cheese & Cracker Set, celery, all baskets, Hurricane Lamps, Tall vase and the sugar and creamer.

The 1946-47 catalog still devoted most of two pages to Crocheted Crystal. But, by 1949, only four items or sets were offered in a small corner at the bottom of the glassware page. These items were the punch set, the cake stand, the mayonnaise set and the console set. These same items were offered in the 1950 catalog but the 1951-52 catalog shows no Crocheted Crystal.

It might be interesting to mention that two changes in design of pieces occurred during the short life of Crocheted Crystal. In 1944, the original sugar and creamer were discontinued. In a later catalog a different set was offered. The first style has an openwork edge like the other pieces (see No. 8). The later set, not shown, had a plain edge and molded lines on the body of the pieces which simulated the openwork pattern.

Changes were also noted in the punch cups. The original cups were plain, with no optic ribbing, and the handles were open (see No. 19-B). Later the cups had optic ribs and closed handles (No. 19-A).

Crocheted Crystal was advertised as a "distinctively designed," "radiantly beautiful" crystal, "a perfect jewel because each piece is handmade to bring out the lovely sparkling highlights." It was claimed that the crystal was "reproduced from a famous elegant, old design." This would be a challenging pattern to collect.