Help! I’ve fallen for something and I can’t identify it – UPDATED

About a year ago I came upon these pieces in my local thrift store.

A Middle Eastern salad set? I can't seem to find examples of it anywhere.

A Middle Eastern salad set? I can’t seem to find examples of it anywhere.

My first reaction was that they were spooky in a haunted house kinda way.
My second reaction was that I had to have them. I thought the set was pricey at $50, but for some reason I REALLY wanted them.

Well, they were mysterious then, and they’re even more mysterious now. I have no idea what they are, who made them, when they were made, or if they’re junk or priceless antiques.

The only clue is that a faint “Vereco” appears on the bowls. Vereco is the name of a mid-century French glass company whose pieces are collectible. But the only examples online are plain colored glass.

A faint

A faint “Vereco” can be seen at the bottom of this bowl.

Do you think I could find even one cruet like these?

Cruets

I was able to find one or two similar bowls here and there, but nobody seemed to know anything about them. And I found a bottle that was larger, with a different shape but the same filigree. I was, however, impressed with the asking and selling prices!

This bottle, with a similar filigree, came from an estate - but nothing's known about it, either. Photo courtesy of The Little Treasure Shop, Etsy

This bottle, with a similar filigree, came from an estate – but nothing’s known about it, either.
Photo courtesy of The Little Treasure Shop, Etsy

I can’t stand it when I have a mystery on my hands!

I asked an antiques appraiser. He thought the items were made by individual artisans, perhaps in India. The filigree also looks like Russian tea glass holders (Podstakannik). And a photograph on Flickr has tags that say they’re Swedish vintage items.

A perfume bottle? Vinegar, to go with the cruets? Who knows?

A perfume bottle? Vinegar, to go with the cruets? Who knows?

At one point I thought they could have been from a 1970s Pier One Imports line, so I contacted the company.

Nope. Wasn’t theirs.

I even saw a similar bottle in an eBay listing for a $1500 antique voodoo box — yikes!

So they remain a mystery — French glass with a twisted wire overlay that could be Indian, Russian, Swedish, Middle Eastern, Hippie American or Early Voodoo Priestess!

And there they sit, on display in my hutch, giving off their wonderful haunted vibe. After all this work, I’m keeping them!

UPDATE: I found a cruet similar to mine at RetroDecoShop, an Etsy seller from Greece.

Greek-made cruet or pitcher.

Greek-made cruet or pitcher. Photo courtesy of RetroDecoShop

I contacted the seller, who says that these pieces were made in Epirus, Greece in the 1950s. Apparently there has been a 300-year tradition of performing this filigree work. Since 1900 Greek artisans would use bowls, ashtrays and other items from companies around the world and add their own metalwork by hand.
Mystery solved!

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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, Collectibles, Glass and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Help! I’ve fallen for something and I can’t identify it – UPDATED

  1. Jeannine says:

    I have a green set with six small glasses. I too purchased them in Athens in 1975. Wish I knew more!!

  2. Andrea Smartt says:

    Have you solved this mystery? I have a set that looks similar. It was something we kept from my mother in-law’ s estate. My set is a blue glass, and includes a decanter and six small glasses. No legible markings.

    What are these treasures! ?

    • sarathurston says:

      Andrea, it’s still driving me crazy! Sometimes I think only five people in the world own these pieces!
      At one point someone suggested that could be part of “Wheatonware,” a home-party type product made or distributed by Wheaton Glass in NJ. I’ve been in contact with someone who said they’d try to find out more information, but so far they haven’t.
      The more mysterious this set is, the more I want to keep it! I’ve seen other bowls and one or two bottles, but no decanters and glasses and no cruets.

  3. Karen says:

    I have a similar bottle and cant find anything about it. I was told the owners bought it a long time ago in Greece. I wish I could somehow include a photo here.

  4. sarathurston says:

    Update: Someone suggested that it could be part of the Wheatonware or Wheaton Craft line of specialty glass. Since I love close to Wheaton Village that may be something to investigate!
    http://chataboutdg.com/gallery/img5953.search.htm

  5. Geri Lynn says:

    So, you have fallen. I could possibly lend you a hand but doubt I can get you up to where you wish to be. I have a decanter about 85-90% similar to yours. I was looking online for information as yourself and ran accross your post.
    Mine is a decanter set that includes 6 small liquer glasses, frosted brown amber glass. The overlay is a silver; I don’t think of high purity (cleaned it does not come to a high white silver). The filigree has the vertical zig zag strips running up the bottle, the fine twisted wires form graceful curving S shapes and more intricate patterns. Single wires form a stetched out spiral that surrounds the widest point of the bottle then pulls up to the top lip. Mine does not have a handle. It does have the chain that runs up to the top of the stopper (not as sharp a point as yours) and has four zig zag strips to the top. I see no markings regarding the manufacture but I would not hesitate to say mine comes from the same creator as yours.
    What I do know is that I purchased this set in Athens, Greece in 1974. I have searched online with all the tag words and like you I have nothing solid. I have the impression that though I purchased it there, it my not be the country of origin.
    You may find this interesting.
    Old Extremely RARE Perfume Religious Bottle Decanter BLUE GLASS Silver Filigree at:
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Old-Extremely-RARE-Perfume-Religious-Bottle-Decanter-BLUE-GLASS-Silver-Filigree-/321400463756?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ad4f5e18c#ht_1184wt_867 It says what ???? $5,000.00. Our finds are quite similar.
    I wish I could upload a photo from this post , but don’t see the option. Respond and I could send you one. I would greatly appreciate if you would save my email address and keep my informed of news you might find. Respond so I have your email and I will do the same for you.

    • sarathurston says:

      Hi, Gerilynn:

      Your bottle does look as if it’s from the same era/workmanship as mine! It’s SO frustrating that we can’t figure out what we have! HAHA
      I was just thinking of reposting my article again on FB to see if anyone recognizes it, and I noticed your comment. Please, if you get the chance upload the other photo – this set has been driving me crazy for more than a year! LOL
      Sara

  6. MaxSold says:

    Love your blog as we follow everything antique, DIY, Vintage, Reuse/Repurpose. Our Vancouver auction has vintage, teak & other items that might be of interest. http://www.MaxSold.com/Vancouver

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