Imperial sets glass auction

REARING horses, tigers, elephants and donkeys usually are associated with a circus or a zoo rather than outstanding glassware, but at least one of each animal figurine will be available at the seventh annual Imperial Glass auction Saturday at 6 p.m.

In addition, there’ll be a bowl and a pair of candlesticks featuring a ram’s head.

Those are only a fraction of the glassware offered at the auction, which will include such items as glass doll bells, baskets, boxes, tumblers, sherbets, bowls, vases, canape plates, signs from glassware companies, a blue Imperial logo paperweight, pitchers, picture frame, hurricane lamps, a cake dome and other glassware.

Joan Cimini, auction chairperson, said she thinks this year’s event offers a better selection and more variety than past auctions.

“We had a good many donated items,” she said. Consignment items also will be available at the public auction, and Cimini indicated the response for these items was good.

Prior to the 6 p.m. auction, viewing of items will begin at 4:30. Jim Frio will be the auctioneer, and the event will be in the activity room of the Bellaire Public Library, 330 32nd St. A lunch stand featuring sandwiches and desserts will be provided by the Big I Study Club.

Proceeds will benefit the National Imperial Glass Museum in Bellaire, and the auction is the National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society’s only big fund-raiser designed to support the museum.

In addition to glassware made by Imperial, which was in operation from 1904 through 1984, glass will be available from such companies as Fenton,Viking, L.E. Smith and Boyd.

Some of the patterns will be Candlewick, Cape Cod, slag, decorated and cut, Heisey by Imperial, Cambridge by Imperial, hobnail and Cathay, and there also will be original catalogs.

The National Imperial Glass Museum, located at 3200 Belmont St., Bellaire, is open from April to October on Thursdays through Saturdays, and the hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteer docents help the staff to keep the museum open and functioning.

This marks the fifth year for the museum to be open, and it continues to educate others about Imperial Glass. More than 3,000 pieces of glassware are displayed in the museum, and displays are rotated approximately every one to two years.

Many original items, moulds and tools from the Imperial factory as well as employee pictures also are part of the museum. Its library includes a variety of informational books from glass companies as well as books on Imperial Glass.

The gift shop at the museum offers items such as books, catalogs, souvenirs and glassware. Admission to the museum is $3, and a Glass Pass is honored.

For more information about the auction and museum, call the museum at (740) 671-3971 or check the Imperial Web site at

Pokas can be reached at