how wexford made my day…

I have mentioned this before, nearly everywhere I have been, digitally or physically: I have a thing for Wexford. To be clear, Wexford pressed glassware by Anchor Hocking.

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our built-in hutch, filled with the majority of our Wexford serving pieces

Some thirteen-odd years ago, I started an intense relationship, with thrift stores. Nearly everything I wear, save undergarments, is second hand at this point. My husband as well. I am not sure when, maybe six or seven years back, but I had an epiphany about that candy dish I loved so much, and the cookie jar that matched it. They were Wexford by Anchor Hocking. The great little rectangular cranberry dish my mom has used at Thanksgiving since some time in the 80s, Wexford by Anchor Hocking.

What I like most about the Wexford pattern:

  • The pattern specific details, namely the larger square diamond pattern offset with an enclosed band of a smaller square diamond pattern. Somewhere is the starburst; on plates in the center, on larger vessels and glassware typically on the bottom.
  • Those details are redesigned into each piece of the line so well, scaled for the size and reconfigured for the shape.
  • The prolific availability left a saturated market of nicely made and easy to find pieces at decent prices.
  • Repeat, reuse, and scale: The punch bowl set is a large bowl and a base that fit together securely; the base can flip and be used as a serving bowl. The lid for the candy dish is the lid for the cookie jar. For that matter the ice bucket IS the cookie jar with a strap and handle added. That same lid for those also works on the large footed compote to make a taller candy dish…

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And Wexford was prolific, produced from 1967 (my birth year) until some time in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The pattern included nearly any service ware for in-home entertaining one could imagine. I cannot enter a thrift store without finding something from the line. Not everything, but something.

Let’s talk about the one part: the not everything part. Some pieces are hard to find. and the glass is heavy, so I am not likely to shop online because the shipping charges are more than the item prices. That said, the rarer items take forever to find.

decanters

The tall bulb decanter took my years to find, and then within three months I had four, and I now see them nearly weekly. The ship’s decanter in the foreground above was harder to find, and I found a second within two weeks, but then no more in decent condition. The rectangular decanter I have only ever seen online…

The small fruit bowl, which the cruet is setting in below, is the only one I have ever found. The tarnished silver plate banded pitcher below is the fourth large pitcher I’ve found, but the first one took five years to find. The hexagonal footed plate underneath the fruit bowl was first made known to me as a gift from a friend, and then I found six more in the next six months.

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Plates are rare in thrift stores, and expensive online. I have exactly four dinner plates, zero salad plates, two dessert plates, and seven buffet plates with the molded ring for a punch cup. Punch cups are easy, to my husband’s dismay we have about eighty.

I have a few single serving pieces I have not been able to find online either for sale or in catalog references: A five segment relish tray that is configured with a center strip instead of the typical center ring, and and oval relish tray with a lidded center section.

Most glassware is easy to find, but old fashions and double old fashions are difficult to find. And… until today, I have never found a beer mug. Now, we have two.

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I scoured the shelves, making sure there weren’t more left behind… but we now have two! And I think I need to go pour an ice cold summer ale and welcome the new Wexford addition to our wabi-sabi life.

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