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Vintage Sleuthing: Hoya Art Glass

vintage sleuthing

Hoya cracked ice glassware
This sturdy modern salad set crossed our path with no labels, no makers marks, nothing to go on to identify it. That meant it was time for some vintage sleuthing.
OBJECTS: Five pieces of heavy high quality glassware in a modern cracked ice or rock textured pattern. Thick glass, nice design lines.
CLUES: Pieces are tableware, design is something like ice crystals or rock crystals or something like that. Most likely from the 1970s or 1980s based on style. Using those first impressions, we played a game of Google search word salad.
  • Hoya in the city of Hoya, Japan as an optical glass company by two brothers, Shoichi and Shigeru Yamanaka, in 1941.
  • The brothers began creating high end crystal in 1945 in addition to their high specification technical glass products.
  • A staff of 15 designers contributed to the designs manufactured by Hoya Art Glass and Crystal, inspired by traditional Japanese arts, nature and landscapes. The company's style was noted for it's clean architectural lines.
  • Hoya crystal reached the US art glass market when Alice Chappell proposed marketing the glass here in the states and opened a opened a showroom on Park Avenue in New York City. Ms. Chappell had some serious glass experience, having been a vice president for marketing at Steuben Glass. She became intrigued with Hoya after seeing pieces in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in Corning.
  • According to a 1986 article in the Christian Science Monitor, prices ranged from $15 for a goblet to $30,000 for an art piece. Most pieces were priced in the $300-500 range.
  • Hoya ended crystal production in 2009.

CONCLUSION: It's not easy to track down information about Hoya crystal pieces and patterns. The quality and unusual design are quite lovely, well worth putting on the list of things to look for.

Curious about Hoya? Read more about Hoya company history, about the opening of the showroom in New York and about Alice Chappell's work in introducing Hoya to the US. All those sources were used in writing this post.

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