The International Art Ware Corporation was too long a name and therefore most people know it by its shorter version, INARCO. This company, which is known for its lady head vases, was established in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 60s but was later sold to NAPCO and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. The companyís founder was Irwin Garber and it is believed that his wife served as a model for many of the head vases that the company createdMore . . . > > >
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Many scenes of the Mad Men television show are shot in the offices of the executive partners of the fictitious advertising agency. It is interesting to watch as most men and women of that generation smoked and drank . . . in their office. Unlike today where smokers have to go outside; and more and more companies are requiring that their employees not smoke at all. But what interests me, as well as other collectors Iím sure, are the time accurate accessories on the show.
One accessory on the show that has caught a lot of attention is the barware and in particular, the Roly Poly glasses used by the shows characters at least in the first few seasons. These glasses filled with whiskey, vodka and other liquor were designed by Dorothy Thorpe.
Thorpe was an American designer originally from Utah. In college she was a music major, but later moved to Los Angeles where she began to design glassware and dinnerware. She imported glass blanks from Europe and decorated many of them with floral motifs and used a unique sandblasting technique. Aside from her ornately decorated glassware, she also had a line of barware that was decorated with a simple one inch silver band around the rim; the Roly Poly glasses are part of that collection.
Interestingly enough, the silver bands around the top of these glasses could be made of one of two materials; sterling silver or Allegro. The sterling silver bands will tarnish, where Allegro is a mirror like substance that does not tarnish. Most of Dorothy Thorpeís designed glass is etched with a large D and stylized T, but in the case of the silver band barware, a paper or foil label making it hard to distinguish from fakes.