I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but over the past few years I’ve developed a strong interest in a particular style of glassware. It all started several years ago when I set up my cocktail cabinet (See “Hey Manhattan”). I bought six of each of the required glass styles and thought myself pretty well set up. My then girlfriend then convinced me to ditch the standard stuff in favour of something a bit more impressive. You see, she was very much of the opinion that what you drink out of is as much a part of the experience as what you drink, and suggested I invest in something else.
As a result of some digging around on Etsy, I came across the work of Georges Briard. He was unknown to me at the time, but I could see that his work really stood out and so I bought three sets of his glasses, all in the same style. For those of you who don’t know, Briard was a a mid century modern (MCM) designer who produced glassware from the 1950’s until the 1970’s which was sold at such outlets as Neiman Marcus.
All was well and good, and I derived a great deal of satisfaction from using them. As cash has been rather tight over the past few years I haven’t added to my collection, but that all changed a few weeks ago.
Just before the whole world turned to shit, my sweetheart flew down to Palm Springs to visit her cousin. Being the incredibly generous soul that she is, she wanted to bring something back for me that was better than a tee shirt. I understand that Palm Springs has more than it’s fair share of antique stores, and while browsing she found what she assumed would be the perfect present for me. Without telling me too much, she asked about “The guy whose glasses you like”, so I could tell where her mind was going, so I told her and left it at that.
She later sent me a picture of a set of glasses and asked me what I thought. Take a look for yourself.
As she was on a tight schedule I answered her immediately and she snapped them up. Only later did I learn the full story. In addition to buying me eight of these glasses, she also bought me six of these:
Just so you know, this is a Double Old Fashioned, so it holds twice as much as a regular glass. Naturally, I was blown away by them, as I just love Briard’s use of gold in his work. Bringing them back on the plane was a bit of a hassle for my sweetheart, especially as the bag broke just as she got to the airport. Such was her plight that upon disembarking, she went straight to the Coach shop to see if she could buy a bag from them. As small acts of kindness go, giving someone a bag isn’t a big deal, but I do appreciate them for just giving my sweetheart a very sturdy paper shopping bag in which to put all the glasses.
You can imagine my delight when she got home, not just because I hadn’t seen her for five days, but the fact that I now had more glasses than I knew what to do with, resulting in me reorganising my sideboard to make room.
But wait, there’s more. We’d been looking on Etsy and she’d seen a set of glasses that she thought might appeal to me, and she was right. The problem was that the shipping was more than the glasses, so I passed up the opportunity but still left them in my cart, as did she, just in case. Guess what? Last week she asked if I was still interested in the glasses, largely due to the fact that they’d caught her eye as well. I said yes, and so she ordered them. I asked her how much I owed her, but she just waved it away, saying that she’d pay as it was her idea. She’s a wine drinker and has no use for Lowballs, Highballs, Collins’s or Old Fashioneds, so it was doubly heartening that she would do this for me. As a result, I now have another six Double Old Fashioned glasses in my collection.
Yeah. I know. I understand now how people end up dying surrounded by thousands of commemorative Victorian teaspoons, match books or toy robots, but least I can use the glasses. You see, I don’t regard myself as a collector, but as a appreciator, if there is such a thing. I don’t buy them just to have them and look at them, but to use them for their stated purpose. I really don’t see the point of having something and not being able to use it. And I have to admit that my former girlfriend was correct. What you drink out of DOES matter as much as what you drink.
In a way, I’m glad I don’t have the money to indulge my love for Briard’s work, as I would need an aircraft hanger to store them all, and maybe that’s for the best, mind you, I have a pretty good idea where my stimulus check money will be going…