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REDLANDS: Museum showcases treasured glass

Post Time:Aug 17,2015Classify:Glass QuotationView:1431

The shelves glitter with the multi-hued colors of jadite candleholders, amberina vases, carnival glass bowls, antique salt cellars and fluorescent Vaseline glass.

China Glass Network

Housed in a late Victorian-era bungalow, the Historical Glass Museum contains more than 5,000 pieces dating to the early 1800s and the American invention of pressed glass making.

The museum at 1157 N. Orange St. in Redlands is believed to be home to the West’s biggest historical glass collection – and has a far larger trove not on display.

“We have the largest collection of glass west of the Mississippi,” said museum foundation President Joann Tortarolo on a recent tour of the place.

The museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary after opening in September 1985 under its late founder, glass collector/dealer Dixie Huckabee.

Every piece in its inventory is donated. That includes 38 pieces of art glass made by Steuben Glass Works, a rival of Tiffany; ornate cranberry glass and sterling silver pickle castors or serving dishes; Fenton hobnail cups and CataloniaWare.

But more than just beautiful glass objects, representing different types of glass and glass making, are enshrined there. Intriguing relics such as glass fly traps and salt cellars or “dips” used for centuries on dinner tables to hold salt sit inside glass cases.

The museum possesses 76 antique automobile bud vases that draw vintage car clubs and calls from all over the country. The vases, which were attached to a car’s interior sides, held flowers to give cars nice aromas from 1910 to the 1940s.

“A lot of people don’t know we’re here,” said docent Jacque Rocha, a collector since the 1980s.

A glass iron – one of only two known to still exist in the country – is also housed there. The other is at New York’s Corning Museum of Glass, which Tortarolo, who’s been collecting glass since the 1990s, described as “the” glass museum.

Why an electric iron made of glass?

“It’s because metal was really hard to find during World War II,” she said. “So they started making things out of glass. This iron was one of them.”

The museum is owned by the Historical Glass Museum Foundation’s roughly 100 members. Donations of $3 a person help pay for maintenance. Classes, sales and other events are held regularly.

The museum is seeking volunteers. Three to four people take in donations, research each item, clean displays and act as docents, Tortarolo said.

Contact the writer: 951-368-9444 or shurt@pe.com

Source: http://www.pe.com/articles/glass-776674-museum-torAuthor: shangyi

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