Saturday, February 25, 2023

Out Junkin' and a Find

     There was a time that I frequented local antique shops, actively engaged in "the hunt".  I playfully called it "out junkin".  Most times this was a singular activity.  Not too many of my friends enjoyed old memorabilia. However, today I had a friend and it was her idea to visit a local resale shop.   I love finding old memories from my childhood and unusual, unique stuff.  

     I am a collector.  I joked that these collections would be my retirement money, reselling them.  Sadly, the joke is on me.  Current generations with any disposable incomes are traveling light.  Simply put, they don't want the old "junk".

     To be fair, I haven't been in an antique store in ages.  I have enough stuff in my home to set up my own shop.  Some purchased, some given to me from friends and older family members as well as items I kept from closing three family estates.  The most precious and valued are antiques previously owned by my maternal and paternal grandparents.  Which leads me to the subject of this blog.

     My mother was an only child.  Consequently, she inherited everything she wanted to keep when her mother died.  Mom loved glass and kept some beautiful old pieces of functional brilliant glass, pressed glass and crystal pieces.  When Mom died, many of the pieces came to me. 😇


       When I saw the glass candlesticks in the resale shop (photo at the beginning of the blog), I knew they looked familiar.  And, indeed they are an exact match to ones in a cabinet in my kitchen.  Candlesticks from my maternal grandmother's (Martha Frederick Stark) and Mother's estates.

     The seller at the resale shop listed them as Duncan Miller.  There were no visible markings on the shop's candlesticks, nor are there any on mine.  The Duncan Miller Glass Company went through several incarnations over it's existence.  Formed in 1865, George Duncan purchased a factory on the South Side area of Pittsburgh.  Along with his sons, the company was known as George Duncan & Sons.  In 1877 George Duncan died and his son, James Duncan became the head.  In 1892 the factory on the South Side burned.  James rebuilt in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1893 and the company was renamed George Duncan's Sons & Company.  In 1900, following James Duncan's death, the company became Duncan and Miller Glass Company.  The company ended the production of glass in 1955.  Wikipedia has a very informative article on the Duncan & Son's Company.

     I was surprised to learn that the molds and equipment were sold to the US Glass Division in Tiffin, Ohio in what was called their Duncan Division.  That would be the old Tiffin Glass Factory where I would visit and purchase glass in the late 1960's while a student at Heidelberg College.  Small world!

     I have many questions and theories regarding the candlesticks.  If they are pieces of pressed glass from the Duncan factory, they probably are Duncan and Miller circa 1900 and after.  My maternal grandparents married in 1914.  They could have been a wedding present or purchased by them.  Another possibility is that the candlesticks were owned by my maternal great grandmother (Lucinda Orr Frederick) and following her death in 1909, they were given to my grandmother.

     I have blogged about other Duncan glass pieces that my maternal great grandmother, Lucinda Frederick, owned.  She had Three Face glassware which following her death was given to her son, Robert Frederick.  The story I was told was that Robert's wife was not a fan of the glassware and gave it all to the Goodwill or whatever charity organization was in operation in Pittsburgh in the early 1900's. 

     Will I ever get the answers to my questions regarding these candlesticks?  Probably not; however, I do know they are over 100 years old and a precious piece of my family history.

P.S.  I was able to junk today and didn't buy a thing. 😀


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