Collectors Facts - Graceful, Cristalerias Piccardo, Argentina
With thanks to Sandy Sage for her lovely photo of the water set and the wonderful personal story.
Pitcher - tankard style
Graceful, original maker’s name “Fantasia”, by Cristalerias Piccardo, Argentina
The pattern itself is a curling scroll design that repeats around the tumbler. The shape of the tumbler is different from most Classic Carnival examples, being somewhat belled out at the bottom. A twelve point star is pressed into the base.
The first blue tumbler in this beautiful pattern was found decades ago by Al Rodenhouse. Although it was found in Argentina, early collectors believed it was made in Europe – and Rodenhouse named the pattern “Graceful” after Carnival collector, Grace Reinhart. Then, in 1998, well-known tumbler collector, Bob Smith, discovered the pattern in a 1934 catalogue of the Argentinian glassmaker, Cristalerias Piccardo. The discovery was reported in our Carnival “NetworK” journal #17, in 1998.
The beautiful blue Graceful water set illustrated here is shown courtesy of the Sage Family (Sandy, Bob and Dolores). Sandy and Bob and purchased the pitcher from Argentina in 2012 and gave it to Bob’s mom, Dolores Sage, who loves both water pitchers and milk pitchers (and has quite large collections of both). Bob and Sandy were further able to purchase a set of six blue tumblers that matched the pitcher, also from Argentina, in 2015. They delivered them to Dolores at her home in Florida in January, 2016.
The beautiful set is complete!
The Cristalerias Piccardo catalogue of 1934 offered a full set of Graceful (Fantasia) items, water pitcher and six tumblers on a glass tray, as shown below right. The catalogue also offered single tumblers, and sets comprising a pitcher and just two tumblers. The tray is (so far) not known in Carnival Glass
Graceful tumbler in amber.
Courtesy Seeck Auctions.
Our research into the glass factory that made this beautiful water set provides an interesting context. Founded in 1896 and located in Buenos Aires, at its peak, Cristalerias Papini employed 1500 workers producing mainly domestic glassware, barware, bottles and containers. Sadly the company went bankrupt in 2000. Against all the odds, a workers’ co-operative was established on the old Cristalux site in Buenos Aires and today it produces glass plates and tumblers.
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