IS IT A DOROTHY C. THORPE ORIGINAL?

Fakes, Forgeries and Other Not "Authentic" Items

UPDATED July 4, 2012


I am revising the information provided previously regarding the new gold foil label that is appearing on new, mass-manufactred stuff. While I have previously opined that these items were fake, I am now revising my opinion to say that items bearing the gold foil label below are not authentic "Thorpe". Thorpe sold her interest in her company in 1953 following the death of her husband. I have not followed the ownership of Dorothy C. Thorpe of California, Inc., but must allow for the possibility that the most recent company to purchase Dorothy C. Thorpe, Inc., is now manufacturing glassware and ceramic pieces and using the gold foil label. So, while these new pieces and the pieces manufactured after Thorpe sold the company in 1953, are not "DOROTHY THORPE ORIGINALS" they are still, by definition, Dorothy C. Thorpe, Inc., pieces.

The information about the label provided below is for reference only. Thorpe herself passed away September 4, 1989 in Carlsbad, California.

Based on this revised information, it seems that Dorothy Thorpe only ever did floral and similar decorations which include the etched pieces such as coffee pots and trays that have lucite handles and bear the DTC logo. The company that purchased Dorothy C. Thorpe of California Inc., went on to produce Silver Band and other known pieces with the same attention to detail and quality as was the rule when Dorothy owned the studio herself. All of the floral and etched decorations are referenced as "Dorothy Thorpe Originals" and by the time of her retirement, she was famous for her floral decorated glassware that was owned and displayed by celebrities, galleries and museums.



It has been suggested to me that these pieces might have been experimental. I think, more likely, just new by a company using the old name. California is not included on the new label.



  


NEW "LUCITE TWIST" CAKE PLATE

These started showing up a couple of years ago and popped up on eBay as Dorothy Thorpe. Amazingly, they were also available in retail stores ($29.95). Be very wary when you find something like this online. This is NOT Dorothy Thorpe.



These pieces are brand new, will always be in near mint condition to brand new with no damage, and have never been seen before 2005, long after Thorpe closed. These are pretty in their own right, but they aren't Dorothy Thorpe, don't pay for Thorpe.


SILVER FADE GLASSWARE


Other known pieces of glassware that are not Thorpe, that are consistently advertised as Thorpe are the "Silver Fade" glasses. I don't know why people use "Mad Men" when listing them, the Silver Band line was only in the first two seasons. However, Thorpe did not manufacture "silver fade". That's a term somebody came up with to describe glassware probably made at one of the bigger names in West Virginia and the region. The "silver" in "Silver Band" is - believe it or not - Silver. On the Silver Band line (trade name "Allegro"), Thorpe used Sterling silver. Allegro is not to be confused with "Old Gold", which used Platinum for it's band. It is safe to polish Silver Band pieces with a cream polish and gentle rubbing.


NEW FAKE ON THE SCENE!

I picked this up at a thrift store a few years ago and posted it as a lousy repro of Thorpe's Eucalyptus cladocalyx. What this manufacturer has done to avoid outright infringement, is they have changed the type of species from cladocalyx to globulus. I have now seen 3 of these pop up on eBay, fortunately 2 of these sellers did not use Dorothy Thorpe in the Title. They did use them in the description as a possible maker. I always contact Sellers when I see errors. Most are appreciative, some aren't. Anyway, as these are now showing up sans labels, people who don't know and maybe some people who do, might list these as Oda or Thorpe. Take a good, hard look and remember - NOT THORPE, NOT ODA!

Today I saw a piece on eBay that purported to be Thorpe. It was just a unique piece but because of the stippled effect on the decoration, and the interesting mark, it was, in my opinion, not Thorpe. I emailed the seller, as I often do, and told her that the signature did not look to be authentic. This is one of those sellers that got defensive rather than curious so she told me it was the same mark that was on all marked Thorpe and that was that. So I thought I'd post an image of her piece's mark, and one of my piece's marks and let you make the call. My mark is on top, her piece's mark is on the bottom. Seller says that her mark is "acid etched". Thorpe's marks are made by sandblast over a stencil. So, is it legit?