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Art Deco Acid Etched Vase with Maple Leaf Motif by Dorothy Thorpe


This sophisticated vase was created by Dorothy Thorpe, the acclaimed midcentury glassware designer, in the 1950s. Its understated elegance- consisting of an austere cylindrical form and acid etched maple leaf motif- helps to explain her renown. While this is a perfectly functional vase, perfect for storing flowers, it is also a work of art in its own right. With its timeless foliate pattern and clean lines, this is a gorgeous object that would be a stunning addition to any interior from Classic Art Deco to contemporary. It is in excellent condition. Acid etched Signature Dorothy Thorpe logo on bottom. American, circa 1945 Dimensions: 6.5" Diameter x 22" Height.


  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1945
  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 22 in. x Dm 6.5 in.

    H 55.88 cm x Dm 16.51 cm

  • Diameter
    6.5 in. (16.51 cm)
  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number

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About Dorothy Thorpe (Designer)

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.

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