This bowl was made by Bergen in their Portland or Empress pattern. For years, this was known as the Empress Eugenie pattern. It is patented as Empress by Bergen, but shown as Portland in their catalog. Take your pick on the name! This pattern is one of my absolute favorites – it provides the perfect amount of balance and combines many unusual design elements not seen on any other patterns. According to Bergen’s 1893 catalog, the Portland pattern is by far their most expensive pattern to produce bringing 20% more than their next most expensive patterns and 100% more than the cheapest. This bowl, in 1893 was a whopping $30, compared to the average price of $16 of other bowls in the catalog. Clearly there was quite a bit of skill and difficulty involved in making this piece. This is the third piece I’ve ever seen in this pattern ever. It’s an old piece with wood-wheel polishing.
The center of the bowl has a most unusual deeply cut 6-point hobstar formation. Lying in the recesses of each point are loops. Each loop features two framing borders of notching which are connected by a hobstar on either side.. These surround either a completely oval hobstar (unusual in American cut glass) or a field of cane. It’s important to note that the cane is used as a central design element in this pattern rather than filler, like most other patterns. The border of the bowl is particularly special. Parallel lines run up the edge of the bowl and what’s particularly amazing about this is that two deep miters create a nice peak between them. Somehow, the cutters managed to top off each peak with an additional miter! The only other time I’ve seen that done is on Bergen’s Cornucopia. The pattern is Brilliant Cut Glass design perfection and the use of depth and spacing is second to none.
The bowl is in flawless condition and measures 9 1/4″ wide and 4″ tall. The polish and blank quality are outstanding and highlight an already incredible pattern. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to own a piece in this pattern.
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