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Through colored glasses: a retro classic, today's barware is taking on new color; opulent jewel tones are the fashion when stocking your bar or china closet.

COLORED GLASS HAS class. Elegant or whimsical, clear or opaque, splinter thin or bottle thick, colored glass is an old idea--reborn for the '90s. Since glass was first invented by the Egyptians 4,000 years ago, drinking glasses made from it have been mostly transparent with colored glassware weaving in and out of favor. In earlier days, when wine was often clouded with floating particles, colored glassware hid its impurities. As technology made wine clearer, people wanted to see its lucidity and transparent glassware came into vogue. Perhaps because we trust our drinks now have jewel-like clarity, we're drinking from colored glassware again.

Available in a rainbow of colors--cobalt, amber, rose, green, turquoise, plum and yellow--some bar glassware has a colored base that reflects up into a clear bowl; others are completely imbued with color. Wine glasses may have colored stems and clear bowls--or just the opposite. Most major department stores and many specialty stores and catalogs offer a range of colored glassware. All can enhance and diversify your barware collection, and put a new twist on entertaining.

From Mexico comes thick, rustic glasses that are deep, solid and comfortable in the hand: an eight-ounce double old-fashioned glass in cobalt, turquoise or deep green; and cobalt wine glasses and goblets ($5-$7).

Spain makes two series of glasses in a pale gray-green tint: Luna glasses include a 16-ounce highball glass ($7) and an eight-ounce wine glass ($6); Verde glasses feature an 18-ounce highball ($4), a double margarita ($5), double old-fashioned ($4) and a wine glass ($5). All can be found at the Pottery Barn (800-922-5507).

At Williams-Sonoma (800-541-2233), you'd never guess that the gleaming, lightweight, Spanish green-stemmed glasses with clear bowls are acrylic until you pick them up. Made in Canada, they are available in a range of shapes and sizes ($3.50-$4.50).

Kosta Boda of Sweden offers a whimsical new colored crystal goblet called Palm Tree--a dark base in plum or green and a colored stem painted to resemble a palm tree ($65). Inexpensive offshoots at Macy's are Mexican-made margarita and wine glasses with a pale green bowl and dark green stem shaped like a cactus ($12). Crystal manufacturer Orrefors offers a small crystal liqueur glass with a red base and bright blue stem and a clear bowl with bright yellow swirls ($50). For purists with panache, Baccarat makes goblets and wine glasses ($63-$70) with clear stems and bases with their bowls ribbed in yellow, green and blue.

Possibly the most elegant colored glass is Roxanne by Lalique. First designed in clear glass in 1968, the crystal wine glass was reissued last year with an amber, green, blue or turquoise bowl on a long, clear stem that has a bow-like twist before it joins the bowl ($140).

Whatever your budget or favorite hue, colored glassware makes today's entertaining more festive.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Fried, Eunice
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jul 1, 1994
Words:474
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