Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining my hubby on his yearly golfing trip. Well before we left, I did a quick search for thrift stores and shopping centers that were in the Daytona area, and saw they had a few, so, at least I could have something to keep me busy. Luckily I had the wheel during the wee hours of the morning. The roads were empty and my eyes could wander a bit. Well I spotted a few thrift stores and a Goodwill along the way to the hotel. Naturally I couldn’t wait to get there the next day. Well my friends… let me tell you… That was THEEE Best Goodwill I have EVER, EVER,(pause-roll the head) EVAH been to. OH MY GOSH! This was a true “being at the right place at the right time” moment for me. Ok.. talk about luck – I had to pinch myself.. Me and my aunt walked in the store and I notice how neat and clean it was (and got even more excited) walking past the registers I look up at the top of the racks and spot some crystal wine decanters, and walked towards them, but then low and behold I spotted some bee-u-tiful barware. I made a mad dash to them. I couldn’t believe it.. They were the exact ones I’ve been watching and wanting. I told my aunt stand right there and guard them while I run to get a cart. She started laughing at me – because she couldn’t believe my excitement. She said – “Girl, you’re acting like you found gold” I told her I did!! Look what I found!!!!
A complete set of Culver “Valencia” barware. What makes this glass set special is it’s embellished in 22kt gold and it’s their most popular design that ever sold. Culver glass company was founded in 1939 by Irving Rothenberg in Brooklyn, NY. The company later relocated to my nearby hometown Rahway, NJ in 1980 and remained there under the realm of Mark “Mickey” Rothenberg, who took over the company in 1987 after his father, Irving, passed away. Mark ran the company until he sold it in 1996 to Moderne Glass Company, Inc. He then headed another glass company until his death on 9/11 – he was one of the passengers on the hijacked Newark-to-San-Francisco flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. Known for lavish designs, many embellished with 22-karat gold, the company gained notoriety and its products became highly collectible. For the most part, Culver did not begin producing gold embellished glass until the late 50’s and much of their pieces made prior to this time, are unsigned, unlabeled and often difficult to identify.
In the early 60s, Culver perfected the (still secret process) of high heat firing, 22k Gold onto their fine glassware, allowing for thick, textured, gold & rhinestone displays, that better handled the test of time. Wealth was abundant in the US, and opulence was equally embraced, with the sleek, Mid Century Modern / Futurist Atomic Age styles, more commonly associated with the time, and business soared.
With the release of the Valencia pattern, popularity exploded & soon Culver was considered the wedding gift of the “Up and coming”, becoming available in the finest department stores. The process of high heat firing 22k Gold onto the glass for permanence, was kept close to the vest by the family & employees.
So you see, I did find gold! I couldn’t wait to get them to their new home displayed on my bar cart
They added the perfect touch to the cart
The cute pineapple hand towel was a gifted item I’ve had for years.
The brass pineapple was an estate sale find for a mere $8.00 (woohoo) and my girlfriend spotted the cheetah print napkins and she said they had my name all over them 🙂 (Thanks Kimmy!)
The vintage emerald green decanter- another yard sale find for $5.00 enhances the jewel tone of the glassware and the silver bar accessories were caught at the same estate sale for $4.00.
Now the story starts with me watching this barware on Chairish. I was holding off buying them until after some upcoming travel plans. I’m so glad I did, because I was able to snag this 13-piece set for $32.00. I would have kicked myself if I’d bought them before. My stylish bar cart look is complete and all done with thrift store, yard sale and estate sale finds. Now let’s get our “Drink On!!”
I had to give my hubby one big kiss (one for winning the tournament and one for bringing me 🙂 )
If you liked these glasses check out more of them on my Pinterest Board “Fancy Glass” and follow along. Happy hunting and remember – you, too, can thrift your house into a home! Cheers
*ps.. the Culver glass history was retrieved from Collectors Weekly and you can read more about it here: