Like the “beaded handle” set shown in an earlier entry, these mugs were made Bryce Brothers in the 1880s at a time when the company may have been known as Bryce, Walker & Co. In 1891 Bryce joined other glass manufacturers to form U.S. Glass Co. and became known as “Factory B” of that concern; it continued manufacturing these mugs, although I don’t know for how long. According to John B. Mordock and Walter L. Adams in their book Pattern Glass Mugs (The Glass Press, Inc., Marietta, OH: 1995), they are known to have been made in clear, amber, blue, canary, and light amethyst. All of the mugs have similar bowl shapes, the same shape of handle, and bases showing an eight-pointed star.
The set is made up of four mugs, the largest of which is called Robin in a Tree, although the branches on which the two birds sit have roses and rose leaves on them; it could be a tree rose, I suppose. This mug measures 3-1/4″ in diameter and 3-1/4″ in height. I have several of this size in the colors amber, green, blue, opaque white (sometimes called “milk” or “custard” glass), clear, and carnivalized cobalt. Mordock and Adams report that this mug was later reproduced by another manufacturer, Mosser Glass Co., but that these are marked with Mosser’s maker’s mark, the letter “M” inside an outline of the state of Ohio. Although I would not be surprised to learn that the cobalt mug, especially, is a reproduction, none of my mugs bear the Mosser emblem.
All of these mugs were made in two-part molds which can be determined by the number of seam lines on the bowls. Each has a seam line along or underneath the handle (which is part of the molded mug, not an applied handle) and another directly opposite the handle. This can be seen in the following photo of the Robin in a Tree mug.
Here are photographs of two of my Robin in a Tree mugs in other colors, the solid or opaque white known as milk or custard glass and the carnivalized cobalt.
The second mug in the set measures 3″ in diameter and 3-3/8″ in height. It is known as Grape Bunch and is the only one of the four mugs to bear the same design on both sides.
Similar in many respects (size, bowl and handle shape, and bottom pattern) to Grape Bunch, but not considered a part of the set, is Strawberry and Pear. According to Mordock and Adams, this mug is only “presumed” to have been made by Bryce (and later US Glass) because of these similarities. (A 1940 reproduction reportedly has a 24-point star on the bottom; I’ve not seen this copy.) Unlike Grape Bunch, this mug bears different designs on its two sides. The side with the pear, which might actually be a fig, also bears a bunch of grapes; the leaves shown with the fruit do not appear to be those of any of those fruits, however.
The next smallest mug is Feeding Deer and Dog, which measures 2-3/8″ in diameter and 2-5/8″ in height.
The smallest of the set, which I have yet to obtain, is Chicks and Pugs. It measures 1-7/8″ in diameter by 2″ in height.
I have elsewhere provided information about the Bryce company (in the post entitled Glass Mug Collecting: Bryce Beaded Handle Set), so I will not do so again here. The Mosser Glass Company can be found today in Cambridge, Ohio. The company history and their current catalog can be found at their website, MosserGlass.com. (None of these mugs is shown in the current Mosser catalog.)
I have the Robin in a Tree in a light blue. 8 pointed star on the bottom and no M or Mosser mark. Your thoughts?
It probably is an original. Bryce Brothers did make light blue glass in the late 1800s. The Glass Lovers Glass Database includes a picture of a small light blue Bryce Bros mug in another pattern dated to the late 19th Century. If your mug is of a similar color, it is likely to be an original. The other-pattern mug is found here: http://estatesalestore.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=2419