For well over a century, cabinets and tables in America’s most elegant homes have been graced with precious vases, dishes, candlesticks and objects d’art lovingly passed from generation to generation. They are not made of sterling silver or fine bone china. Each delicate piece began as a handful of sand.
American glass is among the most valuable glass in the world and among the best of the best in glassware, made by Pairpoint. Founded in 1837 in South Boston as the Mt. Washington Glass Company, Pairpoint is the oldest operating glass works in the country. Examples of Pairpoint’s timeless designs can be found in the decorative arts collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Entire books are devoted exclusively to the history of Pairpoint and a quick look at the keen bidding for Pairpoint on eBay proves that it’s as popular and coveted today as it was back at the turn of the century.
In 1880, not long after The Mt. Washington Glass Company moved from Boston to New Bedford, it merged with Pairpoint Manufacturing – a silver and metalworks company founded by Thomas Pairpoint – the world-recognized British silversmith and designer. The new Pairpoint Company began designing extraordinary pieces – some mixed metal and glass, some were all glass. And while many of the company’s earlier lines are highly collectible, Pairpoint's “puffies” are among the most sought after examples. These metal-based lamps feature ornate, polychrome glass shades and fetch thousands of dollars at auction.
Glass is an art form and as such is in a continuous state of transformation. Pairpoint quickly established itself at the forefront by consistently inventing new techniques and stylistic trends that are copied to this day. In addition to the famous “puffies”, Lava, Peachglow and Satin glass were first created by Pairpoint glassblowers.
Pairpoint also has a long history of providing custom glass and crystal commemorative pieces and trophies to some of America’s most prestigious sporting clubs and organizations. In 1974, Pairpoint began issuing limited edition pressed cup plates that have become highly collectible. There are now about 100 different patterns to collect.
Enthusiasts travel hundreds of miles to the Pairpoint factory and showroom – now located in the shadow of Cape Cod’s iconic Sagamore Bridge– to purchase a single piece of Pairpoint’s deep, richly colored Cranberry glass. Hand-blown vases, stemware, decanters, perfume bottles, pitchers, cream and sugar sets, lamps, candlesticks, bottles, and paperweights are among the many items made at the factory alongside the Cape Cod Canal. In addition to Cranberry, colors include sapphire blue, cobalt blue, gold ruby, Pairpoint ruby, rosaria, vaseline, opal, amethyst, camellia, auroria, and amber.
America’s oldest glassworks and America’s newest glassworks have something in common. They are one in the same. Contemporary, yet timeless styles, hand-blown one-at-a-time by master glassblowers from the United States and Europe can already be found among the more traditional lines in the Company’s new Sagamore showroom. New pieces of “recognition ware” are now available for order along with a line of elegant corporate giftware. High-end retailers including Tiffany’s; Shreve, Crump & Lowe; and Artisans in Glass also feature Pairpoint glass and crystal. And the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Boston Museum of Fine Arts not only have prized pieces in their collections, they also carry both new and traditional designs in their stores.
About Tom Fiocco, Owner and President of Pairpoint Glass
Tom acquired Pairpoint Glass in Fall 2004 and continues to build upon the company’s long standing heritage as America’s Oldest Glassworks Company and create a world class brand known for its innovative designs and outstanding color.
Prior to purchasing Pairpoint, Tom was Vice President and General Manager of Nelson Bach USA, Ltd (NBUSA). During his tenure, he was charged at establishing the first foreign subsidiary of Nelsonbach in 1995. He was responsible for significantly expanding and managing the distribution network, and helped the company to increase its sales by 700%.
Tom’s background includes extensive experience in establishing, managing and growing businesses. From 1987 to 1995, Tom was Vice President/General Manager of Atlee Corporation. Prior to Atlee, Tom was Vice President of Finance for HyComp.
Repairs and Reproductions
If you have ever chipped the edge of a prized piece of glassware, or broken one candlestick of a set, Pairpoint can help! Our experienced glassblowers can recreate that matching candlestick, or smooth the edge of your chipped vase, bowl or stemware.
Custom repairs and reproductions are our specialty; individuals and museums across the country have depended on Pairpoint for years to restore or recreate a valued part of their glass collections. Contact our corporate headquarters on Cape Cod to discuss how we may be of service to you.