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Dorothy Thorpe

Dorothy Thorpe glassware was a chic staple of every mid-century modern wet bar, paricularly her festive Roly Poly silver-banded tumblers. Although not as widely known as such contemporaries as Eva Zeisel and Edith Heath, Thorpe was one of a group of creative and entrepreneurial women whose designs captured the imagination of the postwar homeowner with her modern and festive designs.

Thorpe was born in Salt Lake City in 1901 and settled in Los Angeles as a young woman. She began creating her signature glassware using the trade name Dorothy Thorpe Originals in the 1930s. Thorpe was a designer, not a glassblower. To create her shimmering wares, she purchased glass blanks from a variety of manufacturers and subjected them to various techniques, including sandblasting, etching and silver overlay. Initially Art Deco in style, the pieces were signed with a large T and smaller D. Thorpe also worked in ceramics and, in the 1940s, with Lucite, producing a line of household items, such as magazine racks, sculptural lamps, candlesticks and umbrella stands.

After World War II, Thorpe was inspired by the new interest in the flowers and animals of the South Pacific to begin incorporating tropical floral motifs into her work. She traveled to Hawaii and studied local irises, roses, azaleas, narcissus and eucalyptus. The decorative patterns based on these studies were created primarily by sandblasting, which makes a glass surface appear frosted. From the 1930s through the ’50s, Thorpe’s designs won her many fans among the members of café society, including Princess Grace of Monaco and the Shah of Iran. They were also widely imitated. Vintage tumblers that bear a silver stripe around the rim but lack the “DT” signature on the bottom are not Thorpe originals.

In the 1950s, Thorpe created the glassware line Atomic Splash, which featured the energetic geometric patterns that were so popular at the time. Atomic Splash patterned drinking glasses and serving dishes bore a silver overlay that evoked an explosion. She also designed a line of ceramic tableware decorated with a wreath of spring flowers in collaboration with Crown Lynn Pottery, in New Zealand, and, in the mid-’60s, created coffee sets for the Santa Barbara and Monterey companies. Among her own ceramics products were lines glazed iin the eye-catching shades Orange Persimmon and Blue Periwinkle.

Average Sold Price
$630
Styles
Materials
Pair of "Pretzel" Candlesticks by Dorothy Thorpe in Black Lucite and Chrome
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in New York, NY
Pair of rare Dorothy Thorpe black Lucite "pretzel" candlesticks with chrome candleholders, circa 1960s.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Chrome

Dorothy Thorpe Mid-Century Modern Magazine Rack Mirrored Glass Lucite and Chrome
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in Miami, FL
Dorothy Thorpe Mid-Century Modern mirrored glass magazine rack in Lucite and chrome. Beautiful piece for any interior design to store your favorite magazines or books.
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Chrome

Gold & Lucite Twisted Pretzel Candlestick Holder / Candelabra by Dorothy Thorpe
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in Landau an der Isar, Bayern
A Lucite and gold-plated brass double candlestick holder/candelabra by American designer Dorothy Thorpe, circa 1970s. Made from a single piece of bent and twisted acrylic to form the...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Gold, Brass

Mid-Century Modern Translucent Lucite Magazine Stand by Dorothy Thorpe
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in New York, NY
This stunning magazine stand was realized by the illustrious Dorothy Thorpe in the United States circa 1970. It features concentric amorphic forms realized in translucent Lucite with...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Lucite

Set of Eight Mid-Century Modern Lucite Pretzel Napkin Rings by Dorothy Thorpe
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in New York, NY
This whimsical, yet sophisticated, set of eight napkin rings were realized by the celebrated midcentury American designer Dorothy Thorpe in America, circa 1960. Each napkin ring feat...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Lucite

Pair of Dorothy Thorpe "Pretzel" Twisted Lucite Candlesticks with Chrome Holders
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of classic Dorothy Thorpe twisted Lucite candlesticks with nickel plated candle holders. Set does show some internal age cracks, one candle stick is worse than the other, come w...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Chrome

Etched Glass Lidded Box
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Lidded Box in the style of Dorothy Thorpe. Divided bottom, chrome hinge. 1 small chip to underside of lid's lip.
Category

1930s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Glass

  •  Etched Glass Lidded Box
  •  Etched Glass Lidded Box
  •  Etched Glass Lidded Box
  •  Etched Glass Lidded Box
H 2 in. W 8 in. D 5.5 in.
Set of Six Dorothy Thorpe Champagne Flutes with Sterling Silver Overlay, 1950's
By Dorothy Thorpe
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Set of Mid-Century Modern stemware glasses designed by Dorothy Thorpe. The rare blown champagne glasses feature short stems with the iconic sterling silver rims for which Thorpe is r...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dorothy Thorpe

Materials

Crystal, Sterling Silver

Browse all Furniture from Dorothy Thorpe
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Dorothy Thorpe Sellers

Dorothy Thorpe furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Dorothy Thorpe furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of glass and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Dorothy Thorpe collection of furniture, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 72 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many original furniture by Dorothy Thorpe were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Culver Ltd., Ben Seibel and Blenko. The prices for Dorothy Thorpe furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at US$225 and tops out at US$6,500, while pieces like these can sell for US$725 on average.

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