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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Royal, yes...Star Glow, maybe not

I just made a discovery that will probably surprise many of you as much as it did me. I was looking for replacement prices for what I thought was our set of Royal Star Glow, but all I could find was mustard-colored cups and accessories, so further research was necessary.

I found a thread on the MODish site, which I consider a reliable source, and as it turns out, our set isn't Star Glow at all, but an earlier Royal pattern called Crystal, which had pattern-decorated cups and accessories and a much more atomic shape than the later Star Glow. Crystal was produced in the mid-to-late 50s, while Star Glow was the result of a redesign/rename in the mid-60s and was only produced with the mustard-colored cups and accessories, as well as with redesigned round berry bowls.

Michael Pratt of MODish is very thorough and insists on ephemera to substantiate claims about patterns. After reviewing old newspaper ads, he was convinced that Crystal did, in fact, predate Star Glow. Pratt said of the discovery, "It really is clear that our knowledge of mid-century modern ceramics is not static but increases as new sources of material are uncovered."

1950s Royal Crystal...not Star Glow

Royal Crystal, with pattern-decorated cups and accessories

1960s Star Glow...with mustard cups and redesigned bowls

And now I have to find this piece, with a lid that does double duty as a tidbit server. How cool is that?

Royal Crystal casserole with lid that doubles as a tidbit server


  1. It's still ultra cool. So fun to look and learn more about what's out there.

  2. i always wondered about this! as a Star Glow collector, i have been sad at how absolutely boring the tea cups, etc are. hehe, great collection!

  3. Wow - mystery solved. And seriously, that lid is pure genius!

  4. love, love, love!!!

  5. I think what surprised me most is that Michael Pratt was surprised. I thought he knew everything there is to know about mid-century ceramics!

    @DearHelenHartman: Yes, I thought it was very cool. Now I wonder how it will affect the pricing, since it's older and apparently harder to find.

    @Bandita: Now you get to start a new branch of your collection. :)

    @Tanya: It is, isn't it? I want to find one, just to admire the sheer ingenuity of it.

    @Ashly: Me too! Aren't the shapes of the sugar bowl and creamer great?

  6. Thanks Dana! I had wondered about the discrepancy between the older and newer sugar & creamer. I am loving that casserole too!

  7. Well, this explains it. I purchased a full set of this same pattern to re-sell several months ago. I was wondering why the sugar/creamer/cups and lug bowls didn't have labels. Part of the set I bought is Star Glow. Thanks for this post as I'm sure there are other folks who have wondered about this too.

  8. I've tried to register on that site, but they refuse to send me a password!! Oh well. Your stuff is lovely, regardless of the name!

  9. I love your diligence in getting to the bottom of this matter! Awesome dish with the lid. Hope you can track one down for yourself!

  10. Those look awesome! I wish when I found those North star bowls and plate at the thrift store that they had the whole set there! That would have been awesome but these look pretty awesome too!