Occasional thoughts of an Anglican Episcopal priest

Glass Mug Collecting: Medallion Pattern by Atterbury

Five Medallion mugs, three large (black, clear, amber), one medium (white), one small (clear)

Set of five Atterbury & Co. Medallion mugs

This is my set of five mugs in this pattern, Medallion by Atterbury & Co. Other names for this pattern are Ceres, Cameo, Profile & Sprig, Goddess of Liberty, and Beaded Medallion

According to Mordock & Adams, Pattern Glass Mugs, page 8 (The Glass Press, Inc.: Marieta, OH, 1995):

Atterbury & Co. manufactured this mug and this pattern about 1870. The large mug’s mold has been remade at least once. One variation is called Washington & Lafayette (compare the hairline and the base of the bust). Ceres mugs were made in clear, amber, blue, opaque turquoise, opaque black, opaque raspberry, dark amethyst, opalescent, blue opalescent, blue alabaster and pink alabaster. Over 20 different items were made in this pattern.

I have all three sizes: 2″ x 2″; 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″; and 3-1/8″ x 3-1/4″ (The first dimension is diameter; the second, height.)

Amber Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Ceres variant

Amber Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Ceres variant

Opaque black Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Washington & Lafayette variant

Opaque black Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Washington & Lafayette variant

Clear Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Washington & Lafayette variant

Clear Medallion mug (3-1/8" x 3-1/4"); Washington & Lafayette variant

Milk white Medallion mug (2-1/2" x 2-1/2"); Ceres variant

Milk white Medallion mug (2-1/2" x 2-1/2"); Ceres variant

Clear Medallion mug (2" x 2"); Ceres variant

Clear Medallion mug (2" x 2"); Ceres variant

The Glass Lovers Glass Database offers this information about the manufacturer:

‘James S. and Thomas B. Atterbury joined brother-in-law James Hale to form Hale and Atterbury in 1860 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The grandsons of Sarah Atterbury Bakewell (sister of Benjamin Bakewell and founder of Bakewell’s Glass Company), opened their White House Factory at Carson and McKee streets in Pittsburgh’s South Side. Hale was the firm’s glassblower. He was replaced two years later by James Reddick who left Atterbury in 1864. The company’s name thus was changed from Hale, Atterbury and Co., to Atterbury, Reddick and Co., then Atterbury and Co. before finally bearing the name Atterbury Glass Co. in 1893. Thomas Atterbury served as the company’s president throughout its history.

Thomas Atterbury was the principal inventor in the firm.’ (1) ‘The Atterbury Company was looked upon as the finest producer of milk glass. All their early pieces were marked with a patent date and the animals all had glass eyes that were glued in. Many of the animal’s dishes had lacy edge bases. Extra detail was given to all their molds to create realistic looking animals. The most popular animals included a hen, cat, fox, duck and fish. Atterbury also made many non-animal dishes that collectors are on the search for, such as the hand dish, maple sugar bowls, whiskey bottles and other table pieces. All their pieces are highly sought after by collectors.’ (4)

Atterbury and Co. also made a variety of items: canning jars and lids, bar bottles, covered dishes, salt and pepper shakers and other tableware, and lamps. Its covered dishes made out of opal or milk glass often featured animal designs – rabbits, ducks, chicks, bulls and boars heads.(1)

It’s most famous designs are its covered dishes, in which the covers were shaped like animals. ‘Rabbit’ appeared in 1886. ‘Duck’ in 1887 and the ‘Boar’s Head’ in 1888. The glass menagerie also included dish covers called ‘Chick and Eggs’, ‘Entwined Fish’ and ‘Hand holding a Bird’.(2)

Along with his brother James, Thomas created one of the finest kerosene lamp producing companies of the late 1800’s. They received over 100 patents for glass and lamp design and production. Their lamp patterns were numerous and varied: Chieftain, Prism, Tulip, Icicle, Loop, Fine Rib, Wave are only a few examples. When financial problems hit in the late 1880’s Atterbury and Co. joined with several others to form a new single company called the United States Glass Company.(3) “Atterbury remained an independent factory until 1903.”(1)

Ref: (1) The Lampworks
Ref: (2) The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts, Gordon Campbell, Editor
Ref: (3) royslamps.com
Ref: (4) Article by Go Antique’s Debbie Coe


  1. Diana Ricci

    One of our members found your lovely cups. You really have an amazing collection. Since we don’t have this pattern in our database, I am respectfully requesting your permission to use your photos there. I will link back to this page and give you any attribution that you’d like. Best, Diana Ricci, Glass Lovers Glass Database

  2. eric

    Diana – no problem. Please feel free to use the photos.


  3. Statler

    I am sorting through a very large collection of glass begun in early 1920s and stumbled across one of the 3 1/8″ mugs in a dark blue. Any thoughts about color or value of a blue one? Thanks

  4. eric

    Statler – without being able to see the mug, I couldn’t guess value. See if you can find a copy of “Pattern Glass Mugs” by John B. Mordock and Walter L. Adams. That will have suggested valuations.

  5. Cindy Rheinhardt

    I recently acquired a box lot that had several of these child mugs — I sell on EBay and have been researching them. Thank you for this information! I believe the one I’m looking at now may be blue opalescent Ceres, but I’m still researching.

  6. eric

    Cindy, I suggest you get a copy of Pattern Glass Mugs by John Mordock. It’s a bit dated, but it will give you a start on valuations.

    Thanks for looking at my blog


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