Croesus pattern toothpickBy

Croesus pattern
toothpick

Croesus pattern glass was developed in Wellsville, West Virginia by the Riverside Glass Works around 1897. The pattern consists of fans and scrollwork bordered by crosshatching. Around 1901, production of the pattern moved to Jeanette, Pennsylvania.

Original Croesus was made in only three colors: clear crystal, amethyst, and deep emerald green. A complete line of tableware was available in over 30 shapes. Six common pieces are shown in the ca. 1900 catalog page at the bottom of the article. Most pieces except the tumblers, cruet, shakers and trays stand on flat tab-like feet. In the best examples, the rims and scrolls are decorated with heavy gold paint.

The first reproduction Croesus began appearing in the mid-1970s and included a toothpick, a four piece table setting and tumbler. Production was done by two American makers and one Japanese firm. This article will discuss the toothpick only.

Telling new from old

Of all the reproduced Croesus, the toothpick is probably the easiest shape to separate new from old. In old toothpicks, the ends of the scrolls curl back sharply and either touch or nearly touch the inner curve of the scroll (Figs. 2 and 4). The scrolls in reproductions are much more open and do not curl back into the body of the inner curve (Figs. 1 and 3).

Another good indication of age is the beading or scallops around the top rim. Old pieces have sharp, evenly spaced beads; new pieces have shallow, poorly formed beads (Figs. 8-10). You can also use the shape to distinguish old from new. Old originals are pineapple shaped; new pieces have vertical sides or a definite shoulder like the pieces shown in Figs. 5 and 6. You should also consider the gold trim. Gold on new pieces is thin, poorly applied and too shiny. The gold on old pieces, even though it may be worn, is thicker, more carefully applied and duller than the new gold.

The rules and illustrations discussed in this article apply to Croesus toothpick holders only. Do not use these guidelines when evaluating other Croesus pieces.

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Fig. 1-A (New)

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Fig. 1-B (New)

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Fig. 2 (Old)

Figs. 1-A, 1-B, & 2 The photos above show two reproductions and an original. New and old differ in several ways including shape, how the rims are formed and details in the scrolls. See the illustrations below for close up details.

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Fig. 3 (New)

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Fig. 4 (Old)

Figs. 3-4 The ends of the scrolls on new toothpicks end in open curves. These are shown at the arrows in the enlarged pattern section in Fig. 3 above. Scrolls in old toothpicks curve back much more sharply and touch the inner side of the curve as shown at the arrows in Fig. 4 above. NOTE: This test is for the Croesus toothpick only. Do not use this scroll test for any other shape.

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Fig. 5

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Fig. 6

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Fig. 7

Figs. 5-7 Reproduction toothpicks come in two different shapes and are shown in Fig. 5 & 6 above. Fig. 5 has almost vertical sides; Fig. 6 has a definite shoulder where the body bulges out from the neck. The original shape in Fig. 7 is more like a pineapple--a bulbous bottom and gently rounded sides. All shapes, new and old, measure virtually the same in height.

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Fig. 8

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Fig. 9

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Fig. 10

Figs. 8-10 You can find more clues to the age of a toothpick by looking at the top rims. In old pieces, the beads or scallops around the top are almost perfectly round, the same height and crisply formed. The beads or scallops in new pieces are uneven in height, poorly formed and very shallow.

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Fig. 11

This catalog illustration shows six original Croesus shapes. From upper left hand clockwise: sauce dish, butter, sugar, tumbler, spooner and creamer.