Lifestyle: Duralex Picardie Glassware

Discussion in 'Articles' started by PLANofMAN, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    This is the first in a series of non-shaving related articles I plan to write.

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    My fiance gets a gift from her work each year, and this year the value of the gift was set at $80. She decided we needed new glasses, and set me the task of researching glasses that would be both elegant and durable...and under $80. :)

    Simple, right? Hardly. I like classic, vintage stuff...she likes elegant modern stuff. I figured if there was a happy compromise, it would be found in France. After typing "Best drinking glass" into Google's sorcerous search engine (and muttering a prayer under my breath to appease the internet demons) Google showed me the Duralex Picardie glasses.
    And Mr. Bond drinking out of one. Yes, that Mr. Bond. Classy, right? (Skyfall, scorpion bar scene and in the picture below, Quantum of Solace).
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    Interesting, I thought. A heavy base with tapered octagonal sides that flare out to a thin rim. Rustic, charming, and yet elegant. Also made of tempered glass as well, which is 2.5 times tougher than normal glass. A quick perusal of various articles on the interwebs and more importantly, Amazon reviews from people not trying to make a quick buck from blogs, and it was decided. She would get these glasses in a variety of sizes.



    History:
    Duralex (from the Latin phrase 'Dura Lex, Sed Lex,' 'The Law is Harsh, but It is the Law.' Perhaps a reference to gravity?) introduced the Picardie line of glassware in the 1930's, where it quickly became the dominant glass in cafés, schools, and homes. Durable, cheap and stackable, it remained a French icon until the 1960's, when it became popular in the U.K. and thereafter American resturants in the '70's and '80's.

    Failure to adjust to cheap competition from China and Indonesia and mismanagement caused the company to go into bankruptcy in 2005. As the remaining stocks of Duralex Picardie dwindled, it's reputation grew, along with it's value on the secondary market. At one time, 4 glasses would sell for $100 on eBay.

    After a court ordered restructuring, Duralex resumed production a few years later, much to the relief of Duralex fans everywhere.

    According to Amazon reviewers, the current production glasses are not as high quality as the older stuff, but that is hardly unexpected. As it turns out, one of the glasses we ordered did have a tiny air bubble trapped within the glass, but they arrived well packed and unbroken.

    If you've ever picked up your favorite vintage razor and marveled at the perfection of the craftsmanship, the perfect weight, and elegance of it's design, (yes, Gillette Fatboy, I'm talking about you). You will understand my feelings when I held one of these glasses in my hand for the first time. They are, without a doubt, the most perfect drinking glasses my hands have ever touched.

    Here is what she ordered (click):
    Duralex Picardie 18 piece drinking glass set


    Also, if you do by chance decide you need these, or anything else from Amazon, be sure to use The Shave Den's affiliate link (click).

    More info about that here:
    http://theshaveden.com/forums/threads/how-to-support-tsd.29097/

    I also ended up purchasing these used glasses on eBay (since Duralex no longer produces this specific design) as an engagement gift to go along with the ring, since she does enjoy the occasional glass of wine.
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    Oddly enough, the French tend to use the regular non-stemmed Picardie glasses for wine in the bistro's rather than a dedicated 'wine glass.'
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    The Picardie line comes in six sizes (and two colors, though the sizes are limited in the colored glasses).
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    Marine:
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    Umber (amber):
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    Here are some more links for anyone interested in learning more about these glasses. (Tapatalk users, click on the phrases below to go to the links)

    The original article that led me to Duralex Picardie glasses.

    History of the company

    A gushing review of the size and shape of the glasses

    An in depth look at the tempering process of Duralex Picardie, and what this does for the glass.

    The company website (English version)

    Here is another video, but in French. Still very interesting watching though. Shows the manufacturing process and QC testing as well.

    The perfect glass needs the perfect water or white wine carafe too. I spent a couple days searching, and I think I've found them. They are not made by Duralex, but by Royal VKB and designed by Kaptien Roodnat. They are typically sold as a set with the 16cl sized glasses (what most Americans would consider a large shot glass). The glasses stack in the opening of the bottle, which is designed like a Picardie glass. (Edit: all that looking and the answer was right in front on me. I used the picture of the wine carafe and glasses earlier, but didn't notice the carafe was the same as I posted down here. :))
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    They can be ordered from Royal VKB here:
    http://royalvkb.kempen-begeer.nl/productdet.asp?catid=1152
    or from Amazon here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Royal-VKB-Fre...001AI9N5E/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
    The other style is for red wine:
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    This style can be ordered from Royal VKB here:
    http://royalvkb.kempen-begeer.nl/productdet.asp?catid=1423
    or from Amazon here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Picardie-Carafe-Stackable-Glasses-VC712-SET/dp/B009K56LZY/ref=pd_sim_79_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41F8tMf02aL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=1Z3W0JMF11R0FV89DVEA
    The 'Other' French Bistro glass:
    Luminarc. This 'working glass' is available with lids to use as storage containers. These are thick bodied, heavy, and have a rather clunky appearance. They rely on thick-walled construction for their strength. I passed on these, as they were not exactly what I was looking for, and similar glasses are available at Walmart and other big box stores.
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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
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  2. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Well done Ryan, nice read!
     
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  3. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Good read, keep em coming.
     
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  4. twhite

    twhite Peeping Tom

    Very interesting read. I will follow your other articles for sure.
     
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  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Fixed the two broken links in the article. :ashamed001:
     
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  6. Dzia Dzia

    Dzia Dzia Entitled to whine

    You really should go after that literary career. You made a boring subject come alive. Good read. Saving this one for the Missus.

    Keep up the great work, Ryan.

    Don
     
  7. Boojum1

    Boojum1 Valet Parking Available Here

    Thanks for sharing Ryan! Looking forward to your future articles.
     
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  8. Dzia Dzia

    Dzia Dzia Entitled to whine

    Do you have a blog? Website?

    Don
     
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  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    The Shave Den's article section is my blog. At some point, I might start a blog of my own, but in the meantime, these will hopefully bring in people who come for the article and stay for the shaving. :)
     
  10. TitanTTB

    TitanTTB Well-Known Member

    Nice article. I've got a set of Arcoroc rocks and juice glasses in the discontinued Lancer pattern that I really like. Pretty solid to boot, I've seen one drop and bounce twice with nary a scratch. Kind of like the French Anchor Hocking.
    I've also inherited a beautiful a set of Hungarian stemware from my grandmother that I suppose is from the early 60's that I need to find an occasion to use.

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  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Nice. Those Lancer pattern glasses were what my family used when I was a child. I think my parents have switched over to IKEA glasses now.

    I also updated the article with another video and added pitchers. (plus pictures of pitchers :p)

    Edit: My fiance loved her engagement gift, but hinted that we needed two more of the Picardie wine glasses to get a full set of six, so I had to order two more from eBay. Luckily there was some. They seem to be rather rare. I haven't seen them anywhere else. We also picked up six of the shot glass sized tumblers from World Market.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  12. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    Very nice article Ryan, "THANKS" now I have another AD to work on. :happy097: Congratulations to you and your fiancé.:happy088:
     
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  13. Porter

    Porter Well-Known Member

    Damn, now I want some Duralex Picardie glasses. Those 310's look perfect for cocktails or drinks of whiskey.
     
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  14. chrisbd

    chrisbd Well-Known Member

    Ryan,
    A very well written article and enticing, if you don't have a literary career you should seriously consider it. Classy glasses, I want some of those now.

    Belated congratulations on your engagement.

    Actually, with this and other posts, how do you find time to work?

    Regards,
    Chris
     
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  15. Porter

    Porter Well-Known Member

    @PLANofMAN thanks to your writing skills, I now have 18 pieces of Duralex Picardie glassware making their way to me. Best Buy Canada had a great deal on them and I figured why not? I'll get to feel fancy drinking my water/various drinks out of a Picardie glass. That, and i'll actually have more than 4 glasses total in the apartment which will hopefully last me a long time. I got the 25cl, 31cl, and 36cl glasses (8.75,10.5 and 12 and 5/8th oz sizes), so I'm all set for drinking pretty much anything in the foreseeable future.
     
  16. simms623

    simms623 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting read, thanks for taking the time to write it.
     
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  17. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I hope you will enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine. :) ...and being in an apartment, you will surely enjoy the ease of stacking them.
    I don't sleep much.
     
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  18. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    I read it all :)
     
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  19. BamaT

    BamaT Well-Known Member

    Great article, I really enjoyed reading it. Guess what? Duralex Picardie glasses are in our future!
     
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  20. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    My wife has a box full of these, the 6" tall ones. Her dad used to sell them or something, so they're a sentimental thing for her.
     
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