October 4, 2008

design matters: in search of the perfect tumbler

For some time now, I've been in search of the perfect all-purpose tumbler to replace our odds and sods assortment of glassware. I particularly dislike wine glasses, their clumsy stems & clunky bases - don't get me started on the ridiculously huge ones (yes opimium society, I'm aware they serve a purpose but to me they're bloated and unseemly). I've been not so secretly coveting my friend Jocylyn's single, perfect vintage tumbler (a sally anne find) but was unable to find my own.

The search came to an end last month when I stumbled upon a supplier of vintage deadstock restaurant ware on a trip outside. Dozens upon dozens of never used dusty, but perfect Duralex glasses just sitting there in their original packaging. Designed in France in the 1930's duralex glass used a revolutionary "toughening" process that makes their tumblers some 5 times stronger than regular glasses and able to withstand hot temperatures to boot. The picardie - aka the classic french bistro glass - is the most beloved duralex design among people who care about such things. (It's listed as #375 in the Phaidon 999 classic design objects series.) I picked up a few dozen basic tumblers and stackables (not picardies, but similar to picture) for $8 total. Who says good design needs to cost a fortune?

They're happily ensconced in the cupboard now, next to these quirky but less practical Revol "crumpled" porcelain cups we picked up a few years ago at the MOMA design store.

On to the next search.

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