Limited Edition Water Sets
Imperial Glass

by John Valentine

Red Robin 7 Piece Water Set

I chose this water set for my next article, because of its beautiful color and its the most controversial. Also this will help to set the story straight. I had the great opportunity to talk to Ward Russell about this beautiful water set that he had made. The one question I had for him, was why the different markings on the pitcher? He said that the pitcher was produced by Imperial and Smith between 1977-1978, it has never been reproduced in this color since that time. The reason it was produced by the two different companies, was Imperial had gone on strike at the time the pitcher was in production, the molds were then taken from Imperial over to Smith to finish the run, the pitcher never finished its total run because Smith was having problems with the red glass. Smith ended up only making less than 100 pitchers and Imperial less than 75 pitchers. The tumblers were all made by Imperial for the total of the 300 sets. The water set was to be limited to 300 but less than a total of 150 complete sets were made. This makes this set a very rare one, and with either pitcher it still will hold its value for time to come.

Mr. Russell had also added that for the future collector this water set will be a hard one to come by and it will be a highly sought after set.

A special thanks to Ward Russell and the information about his water set.

Hobnail Ice Tea Set

The Imperial Hobnail 7 piece Ice Tea set, was made for Levay Glass Company in 1978, and was limited to only 75 sets in the "Rubigold" carnival. This was the only Hobnail ice tea set that was produced in carnival by Imperial. The pitcher is 9 inches tall and a smooth rim top the tumblers are a full 12oz size with a smooth rim top. All sets have the "IG" mark on both the pitcher and the tumblers and the bottom has a stippled background. But as for the markings for Levay glass, there were some sets marked and some that were not marked. The Hobnail set is a very hard to find and rare set to come by. Because of how limited it was, the value will always be high for this set. And also remember by now there is a great chance that all 75 sets have not survived the 19 years. You can consider yourself lucky to have one of Ice Tea sets in your collection, and if you are looking, keep looking, they do from time to time come up for sale.

Four - Seventy - Four Water Set

This Imperial 474 7 piece water set is from the original old Imperial mold. This set was made for Joan Westerfield in 1977 by Imperial Glass Company. The set was in the Ultra Blue carnival and was to limited to 250 sets produced. To positively identify it as new, Joan had a special plate made for the bottom. She used the theme President Carter used during his campaign, "A New Spirit" symbolized by a peanut. Also you will find the Imperial (IG) trademark beside the peanut on the bottom. One must also remember this was the only time this set was reproduced in carnival by Imperial Glass. Since there were only a limited production of these sets made they will be a very sought after by the future collector. The picture below represents the bottom markings of the set


Tiger Lily 7 Piece Water Set


The Tiger Lily 7 piece water set is another example of a limited edition made by Lenox Imperial glass for Levay glass. This set is in the Rubigold (marigold) carnival, the pitcher is 8 1/2" tall and the 6 tumblers are 4 1/2" tall. Each set was signed Levay and dated 1977. The Tiger Lily water sets were limited to 255 sets, all of these were sequentially numbered and beared the (LIG) trade mark. Being that this set was a limited edition it will be a hard one to find, if you do come across one you are lucky. The iridescence and the color is outstanding on this set.

Lusture Rose 7 Piece Water Set


The Lusture Rose 7 piece water set was a regular line item by "ALIG" (Arthur Lorch Imperial Glass). The reason that it is shown as a a rare and hard to find piece, is that he had made very few of these sets. The set pictured is the Sunburst Yellow carnival, This is not Vaseline carnival, this was made in a yellow type of glass, there is a difference when you compare Vaseline to the Sunburst Yellow. One of the first things you will find it does not glow under a black light. This will tell you right away that it is not Vaseline. Most items that were marked ALIG were made in a very limited number. This set is a hard one to find and should be considered rare. If you do come across one you should pick it up.

Verde Green Robin 7 Piece Water set

Verde Green Robin 7 Piece Water Set

This was another limited edition water set that was made for E. Ward Russell. The 7 piece water set was made in Imperial's Verde Green color and then iridized. This color I would say is close to a olive color green not a ice green color. The set was limited to 300 total sets made. All sets do have the Imperial "IG" trade mark. The set is a hard one to find and is considered rare. If you have one in your collection you are lucky. There are not to many out there anymore. The Verde green was not a popular color in regular Imperial line, and this is the only known carnival piece made.

Field Flower 7 piece water set

Azure Blue Field Flower 7 Piece Water Set

The Field Flower 7 piece water set in the Azure Blue Carnival (Ice Blue) was made by Imperial Glass for Levay Glass. The set was made  in 1978 and was a limited edition of 190 sets. Each set was signed Levay and dated 1978 and sequentially numbered. The pitcher and tumblers all have the "IG" Imperial Glass trademark. Being that this set was made in a very limited production it will be a hard set to find for future collectors.



White Carnival Tiger Lily 7 piece water set

White Tiger Lily 7 Piece Water Set

The Tiger Lily 7 Piece Water Set in White Carnival was made by Imperial Glass for Levay Glass. The set was made in 1977 and was a limited edition of 500 sets. There were seconds made but these sets will have an "S" marked on the bottom to let you know this was a second. All sets are marked with the "IG" Imperial Glass trademark. This set will also be a sought after due to the limited production.


Imperial Lace 7 Piece Water Set

Pink Imperial Lace 7 Piece Water Set

The Imperial Lace 7 Piece Water Set in Pink Carnival was made by "ALIG" (Arthur Lorch Imperial Glass). This in the old is referred to as the Octagon pattern but its contemporary name is "Imperial Lace." This was the last water set made by Imperial Glass Company before they closed. It is said that there were only 80 complete sets made. The sets were sold only through the retail outlet the "HAY SHED" at Imperial. The pitcher to the set was 8" tall and the tumblers were 6" tall each, and the set was trademarked "ALIG." This set will be sought after by future collectors, being the last water set Imperial Glass made.

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