Tackling the Tecs: McKee’s 18 most famous patterns.

This biscuit jar was the first EAPG pattern I identified all by myself.

I thought I’d become an expert!

"Aztec" Biscuit Jar, 1904

“Aztec” Biscuit Jar, 1904

Little did I know that 17 other patterns were made by McKee, and that they all carried the “tec” suffix.

Some marketing manager was really on a roll, or maybe he had just come back from vacation in the Southwest. In any case, someone was obsessed with the whole Aztec thing and followed through with a vengeance!

“Tec” and the PRESCUT technique.

The “tec” patterns were launched in 1904, when the McKee-Jeannette Glass Company (then owned by National Glass Company) received a patent for the PRESCUT technique. Like McKee’s “Innovation” line, another forerunner of Elegant Glass, PRESCUT added hand finishing to mold-patterned glassware in order to imitate the fully hand-cut (but very expensive) American Brilliant. (Imperial did something similar in 1914 with their Nu-Cut line.) The lesser-known “DeepCut” line is attributed to Westmoreland Glass Company, but it’s difficult to find information about it.

Aztec and Toltec were the first in the line.

Their patterns had been developed under the National name, and McKee applied its new PRESCUT technique to them. Next up were Nortec and Fentec (the longest-lived pattern), then Sextec and Bontec in 1906.

McKee reorganized again and dropped the “Jeannette” name in 1908. Yutec was the only “tec” pattern introduced during this time.

Then McKee got really busy.

Beginning in 1913, McKee launched the rest of the “tec” patterns – 11 within just two years! (Maybe they knew that Imperial was hot on their heels.)

Fentec continued to be made until the 1940s, and in 1951 Thatcher Glass Company purchased McKee and owned it until Jeannette bought it in 1961.

Reproductions abound!

With all of the corporate buying and selling going on, molds were often transferred to the new owners, resulting in later reproductions of the original pieces. Here are some tips for McKee’s “tec” line:

  • Some reproductions carry the  “PRESCUT” mark. However, McKee didn’t mark all of their own pieces, either — especially Fentec and other “tecs” made after 1920. So be careful.
  • Blue, amber and dark green “Tecs” are all reproductions.
  • Kemple and Wheaton reproduced the Tec line in milk glass and colors as well as clear – and did so into the 1970s.
  • Aztec and Fentec clear punch bowls were made by L. E. Smith and other companies, and there are many reproductions out there!
  • “Aztec Sunburst” is a totally different pattern, and was called just “Sunburst” by McKee in 1910. Somehow, the “Aztec” was added by collectors.

    This pattern contains just about every design element, from whirling hobstars and fans, to canes, blocks, curves and arches.

"Aztec Sunburst" - A totally different pattern.

“Aztec Sunburst” – A totally different pattern.

The “Tecs” with links to photos.

The Glass Lovers Database has a wonderful library of information and photos of many EAPG companies and patterns. It’s growing every day! If you have a good photo that you’d like to submit, just use the contact form on the site.

This site is devoted to the “tec” line, and also has photos that may help you identify pieces you’d like to buy or sell.

Aztec (1904): Also called “New Mexico”: The most common and recognizable pattern, with its characteristic buzzsaw. Abundant pieces are available.* †

Bontec (1906) Hobstar snowflake in a shield of diamond point.*

Carltec (1913-1915): Hobstar encased in a beveled U.*

Doltec (1913-1915): Six-petal flower alternating with small hobstars (similar to Sextec)

Fentec (1905): Hobstars, tassels and a stippled diamond motif very deeply cut.†

Glentec (1913-1915):  Oval buckle alternating with rows of hobstars.

Martec (1913-1915) Also called “Star Arch”: Several high-relief “cut” hobstars inside an arch.*

Nortec (1905) Also called “Centipede”: Six-pointed stars alternating with a reverse herringbone or “centipede” motif.

Detail of a "Nortec" relish dish. Photo courtesy of GritsGirlz, Etsy.

Detail of a “Nortec” relish dish. Photo courtesy of GritsGirlz, Etsy.

Plutec (1913-1915): Band of small hobstars topped with fluted panels.*

Plytec: (1913-1915): Prominent teardrops, with fanned tassels inside, separated by buttons*

Quintec (1913-1915): Hobstar and cane panels alternating with a fine-point panel as well as buttons, zippers and diamonds (2).**

Rotec (1913-1915): Prominent oval, with hobstars alternating with canes.*

Sextec (1906): Six-petal flower alternating with small hobstars (similar to Doltec)**

Startec (1913-1915): Stars that alternate with ovals

Toltec (1904): Hobstar snowflake panels.*

Valtec (1913-1915):  An upside-down herringbone “V” alternating with hobstars.**

Wiltec (1913-1915): Hexagonal “stars” with spinning feathers around it. alternating arches, with hexagons filled with buttons lined up.*

Wiltec pattern, from the dish of a covered butter.

Wiltec pattern, from the dish of a covered butter.

Yutec (1908-1912): Hobstars, floral sunburst, stars, and diamonds around a central button.*

If you love learning about antiques as much as I do, follow the blog so you won’t miss the next article.
 And enjoy the hunt!

*Kemple and Wheaton reproduced this pattern.

**Kemple reproduced this pattern.

†Clear punch bowls were also made by L. E. Smith

About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JanvierRoad
This entry was posted in Antiques, Etsy, Glass, Vintage Glass Patterns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tackling the Tecs: McKee’s 18 most famous patterns.

  1. John... says:

    You forgot Jeannette, who also reproduced items in the Fentec pattern in the 1960’s-70’s time frame.

  2. Valerie says:

    Love this article, thanks for posting! However I still can’t locate my pattern. Its like a snowflake and zipper pattern and is marked pres cut. I did an image search and did locate a pitcher different from mine but same pattern, they didnt know what it was either! I would be happy to send a photo. I am hoping someone can help. Thank you 🙂

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