Glassware has long been a collectible item in the antique world. From the lead crystal of Bohemia to the early Canadian pressed glass, there are hundreds of different styles and manufacturers that provide us with the catalogue of glassware available today.
Cut glass is a type of popular collectible glass. It is “characterized by a series of facets on its surface produced by cutting” (Encyclopedia Britannica) and its decorative design can mean the difference between thrift store and museum quality. Corn Flower is a prime example of a cut glass design that has gained the status of the latter.
Corn Flower Glass was created by Dufferin County native artisan W.J. Hughes. He began cutting the iconic glassware in his Toronto home basement in 1912 and by the 1950s was a household name among working class people. Today, the glass is highly collectible and there is a permanent exhibit that can be found at the Museum of Dufferin in Mulmur, Ontario.
The Corn Flower pattern became so popular that it has been imitated, as many designs are. There is one true design though, that began as a 3 petal bud and evolved to a 12 petal flower with long and leafed vine.
In the late 1920s and into the 1930s there was a rise in coloured American Elegant Glass and some of Hughes’ most collectible and valuable work was created at this time.
Today you can find Corn Flower at antique markets, antique stores, even thrift stores if you look carefully! I carry a collection of Corn Flower Glass that you can find at the Cookstown Antique Market and am always on the hunt for interesting pieces.
If you’re looking for more information on Corn Flower glass, you can find the museum exhibit at https://www.dufferinmuseum.com/corn-flower-glass/
There is also a book I highly recommend you get your hands on called Corn Flower Creatively Canadian by Wayne Townsend. It contains not only information on Corn Flower glass but also gives a rich history of W.J. Hughes.
Until next Monday! Remember to check out the featured item at 50% off on my homepage. Every Monday from 10am-10pm only!