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Duralex Picardie Glasses

Posted Thursday, July 28th, 2005

I am looking for information about Duralex Picardie glasses - who makes them, where to get some etc. Duralex was a French company and the 'Picardie' is the model of drinking glass illustrated here. This unassuming masterpiece of 20th century design is being featured in my catalogue of design classics. If you know anything at all about the design, manufacture, or history of the Duralex Picardie drinking glass or where they can be obtained, please add a comment or send the information via my contact page.

I recently bought a set of six 'Vintage' Duralex Picardie drinking glasses off Ebay, for just over 20 GBP - four large glasses and two small ones, complete with original Duralex labels. The seller is someone in Arizona, and the glasses are yet to arrive in the UK. I've been assured they will be packed with plenty of bubblewrap and arrive in good order [they did].

Related article: The Duralex Picardie Glass.

The discussion below continues here »

Page last modified: March 09, 2014

Comments


Posted by Kathy Garrett

October 13th, 2005 at 18:56

I am an antique dealer and I am not sure if you would be able to use this information but I too was searching for info on Duralex. I acquired a French Officers Military Trunk from 1952 that had little to no usage. Inside it was full of Aluminum pots, pans, etc. but what was amazing was the plates, bowls and small cups with the same Duralex sticker you show in the picture. I was struck by the fact that they would carry around such heavy and fragile dishes and not aluminum ware. Then I investigated and found out how versatile these little unassuming pieces are. I would imagine they carried them to be used with hot coffee in the cold weather and they wouldn't break. They sure made the trunk heavy though. But I am confused by the fact that other companies use Duralex glassware and I can't find anything out on where it came from and who invented it?


Posted by Patrick

October 14th, 2005 at 22:27

Kathy, I'm not sure what you mean by "other companies" using Duralex. I haven't been able to find out anything about the origins of the Picardie but they go back a long way – 50 years at least. There does seem to be some ongoing interest in them so I suppose you are on to something if you have a stock of originals with labels still on.

The labelled set of six I bought off Ebay (pictured above) finally arrived at the end of September, having been posted in the USA on 1st August.


Posted by Matthew

October 19th, 2005 at 09:27

After a quick email correspondence with Patrick I did a little research and found out the following. Sources are noted below.

The Duralex company, which was founded in 1927 and bought by Saint Gobain in 1934, made Duralex glasses from two factories: La Chapelle Saint Mesmin, near Orleans in the Loiret departement, and Rive de Gier near St Etienne and Lyons in the Loire. (The Rive de Gier factory apparently was owned by Danone not SG, according to Figaro). The company (or the two factories) was / were bought by an Italian company, Bormioli Rocco, in 1997. According to Figaro: Rive de Gier was bought from Danone in 96 and La Chapelle Saint Mesmin from Saint Gobain in 1997.

Bormioli tried to close down the Rive de Gier factory in 2003. Lots of protests from the workers, a la francaise, of course, and there was then a management buy-out Рone of the original management of Duralex, Pierre-Andr̩ Froger, who had transferred to Bormioli bought both factories off Bormioli in November 2004.

But: it appears that Bormioli retained the Duralex trademark, or at least it's still on their website, and they still claim to supply Duralex (Picardie and other) glassware. The last catalogues shown on the website are 2002, so (i) they may just have some stock which they're trying to sell, or (ii) maybe they came to a deal in which both Bormioli and the French factories had rights to the design and (iii) the Italian Bormioli factories may now be producing Duralex.

All complicated of course by the fact that Duralex is the name of the original company, a registered trademark (as claimed by Bormioli on their site), and technically the name for the process (tempering from 600 degrees c).

The company owning the French factory went into receivership in June of this year (2005); it goes under receiver's control for six months, and then if necessary a further six months (after which presumably it is put up for sale or closed down). The receiver has granted temporary subsidies to pay the salaries of the 500 or so employees.

References:
(1) L'avenir de Duralex serieusement ebreche (LExpansion.com – 03/06/2005).
(2) www*lutte-ouvriere-journal.org/article.php ?LO=1923&ARTICLE=24 (page no longer active) Duralex – Une histoire transparente, des benefices opaques (a socialist website – 01/06/2005).
(3) Coup dur pour Duralex (Google cached Figaro article – 5/6/2005).

There do appear to be a handful of wholesale suppliers (i.e. large quantities only) in the UK – just Google "duralex picardie" from UK Google and choose "sites from the UK only". I haven't confirmed that any of these have the glasses in stock though.


Posted by Patrick

October 19th, 2005 at 15:33

Matthew, an excellent contribution – and remember, if you ever decide on a 50/50 split on 72 genuine Duralex Picardie glasses with "Duralex Made in France" written in the bottom, I'm in.


Posted by Louis Osteen

November 28th, 2005 at 22:49

Bormioli is trying to finish with their stock. Who will then be the distributor? Williams Sonoma is certainly this country's largest retailer. I have a restaurant and need to find the source.


Posted by joan dobbs

April 6th, 2006 at 18:40

I've just been digging in a previously undisturbed spot under the hedges of our 95-plus year old house. I found a small glass bowl, 2 1/2" across. 1 1/2" deep, coupe shaped, with "Duralex" and "made in France" and the numeral 29 on the bottom. It has a double row of lines around it. Anyone have any knowledge of the age of this "find"? It's really pretty funny – this is the first "treasure" we've found in our 30 years of digging and planting in this place. Oh yeah, I forgot the penny.


Posted by Cheri

April 9th, 2006 at 03:01

Hi. I live in Maryland and I went to a sale this weekend and came across 2 little dishes with the "Duralex" toughened Glassware Qualite, France, LeVerre Tempre, St. Gobain Green and Redish/Orange stickers on them. These Dishes are about 2 1/2 inches wide, about 5 inches long and about 1 1/2 inch tall. They have a really pretty diamond cut glass pattern on the side, anyone know what they are? or were? Cheri


Posted by Patrick

April 9th, 2006 at 11:30

Information on Duralex products, glassware, etc can usually be found by searching Ebay for "Duralex", which also gives some guidance on value.


Posted by Kristen

April 12th, 2006 at 20:22

I was just given by a friend a set of 9 duralex nesting bowls. My friend was given them by her mother, they are cleaning out the family home. On the bottom of every bowl it says Duralex, Made in France, sounding very similar to the one joan Dobbs found, with the double row of lines. I have no idea how old they are, but the news paper under them in the box was dated 1977. Does anyone have any information on these. i've been searching on-line and only finding info on the glasses. Thank you.


Posted by Martha Jenkins

April 21st, 2006 at 09:52

A note of information about the Picardie Glass.

Until last year they were imported into USA by Bormioli Rocco Glass Co. Since then they have stopped distributing them and right now have no distributor in the US. Bormioli is an Italian Co and may have been distributor in other parts of the world. I have a small kitchen store in Chapel Hill NC and have carried them for 20 years. I spoke to the manufacturer in France and can pass on that info if you are interested. He will sell container loads, for which I am too small an entity. However, I am ever hopeful and anticipate carrying them again.

I have only the 5oz in stock, but I have a lot of those. I am pestering the manufacturer to make me a smaller load and have no doubt I will eventually be successful. I think somebody in the US will pick them back up. I was just in Chicago at the Housewares show in March and spoke to the manufacturers of that glass. They in no way conveyed that the glass was going away. I will be at the Housewares Show in Las Vegas on May 6th and will make a point to look them up and quiz them further. I will keep you posted and also will keep my eyes open in the US.

Until then, we might need to go to France on a visit to shop! Good luck!


Posted by Lawrence Nagel

May 24th, 2006 at 00:24

I am eager to replace a number of my original/classic Duralex picardie glasses and do not want the "stackable" variety now offered by Williams-Sonoma. Does anyone know where and how to buy them from a reliable, trustworthy source?


Posted by Anonymous

May 25th, 2006 at 00:28

I have just stumbled across this website after Googling "Duralex" and am delighted to read that there are other fans of Duralex out there, albeit simultaneously worried to read about the production difficulties. Like Patrick I also drank out of Duralex tumblers at school and when I saw them on sale in Habitat years ago I immediately bought some and they have been in regular use since – I used one as recently as this evening. I find they complement an English design classic, by the way: Cornishware!


Posted by D. Mehta

June 1st, 2006 at 21:19

Hi

You can buy the PICARDIE Glasses from 'Popat' store on Ealing Road, Wembley, United Kingdom and same store on Melton Road in Leicestershire in UK.


Posted by Tony

June 7th, 2006 at 06:26

I frequently buy these glasses in South Australia from Jones Catering Equipment. The 220ml (8oz) is the perfect latte glass.


Posted by Kathy

June 18th, 2006 at 03:44

You can buy some Bormioli & Durlalex at: Bed Bath and Beyond, The Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Chefs.com, cooking.com, and tabletools.com. One of the stores admitted that they aren't "allowed" to advertise the Bormioli or Duralex name, you have to either go into a store to see what they have, or call an 800-number and nag them into giving you the manufacturer name. What's hard is that they all use different search key-words. For example, look under "refrigerator storage" for Crate & Barrel, "food storage" for container store, etc. Some is listed under Frigoverre instead of Bormioli or Duralex, but you get the item and it will also the other names on the label.


Posted by Kathy

June 18th, 2006 at 03:49

sorry–also see villagekitchen.com–they have a lot of drinkware and storage, with a special section under Duralex for "Picardie Tempered Glass Tumblers".


Posted by Juma Khan Katawazy

June 18th, 2006 at 06:24

Hello,

The comments from Mattew (above here) well cover the history of Duralex and he has studied well. I would like to add that Duralex is now sold to a Turkish firm and they continue to produce large quantities.

Juma khan Katawazy


Posted by Patrick

June 21st, 2006 at 15:06

Well, I couldn't find anything about the Picardie glass on most of the websites mentioned by Kathy, although Village Kitchen does list Duralex Picardie products but they're all "Rock Bar", which is a modern (ugly) version of the original Picardie design. This modern design is also available under various guises in shops, including Makro in the UK and Habitat in Paris (where I happened to look last weekend). The Village Kitchen website also says "Original Picardie only available in Europe", whatever that means.

The Turkish firm that Juma referred to is apparently run by Sinan Solmaz, a wholesaler of crockery and now principal shareholder of Duralex. In September 2005 he put forward a rescue package for the company, which was approved by the court in Orléans in December. It would be interesting to know whether production of the original Picardie range will continue in the future.


Posted by Douglas

June 23rd, 2006 at 07:28

I, too, am a big Duralex fan and am sad to hear the original French factories seem to be out of business. I have been looking for a source for these glasses and been frustrated to find few options.

What brought me here was the discovery, in a rented condo at Lake Tahoe, Calif., of a very similar Picardie glass design, perhaps even nicer than the original. Part of the Duralex appeal is the very subtle curve in the glass design. The glass I've found is slightly more curved and more tapered at the bottom. Sexier, if you ask me.

It is marked, on the base with the words "Palaks" and "Turkey" and another word in curvsive that may be "Pasabahce" or something like that.

I used Google to search for Palaks and Pasabahce and came up with even less info than the few hints available about Duralex. Perhaps this is what Juma referred to.


Posted by Jim Franke

June 24th, 2006 at 14:46

Very interesting stuff! — I wonder though why nobody has asked or made reference to the numbers on the bottom of the glasses. I have 5 that have the Duralex Made In France logo — one has a 3 on it, one has a 5, one has the number 30 and two have the number 23 on them. Why were they numbered? I don't know anything about glass mfg., but it seems like a lot of trouble to make the same glass with a lot of different numbers!

What do I call them? Drinking glasses? or Picardie glasses? My son said they are for eating icecream or dessert glasses!


Posted by Patrick

June 24th, 2006 at 14:49

Boxed sets of "old fashioned" Picardie tumblers can be obtained from Le Tom.

@ Jim Franke… the number on the bottom of each glass is the number of the mould it came from, and there are 48 moulds.


Posted by Jim Franke

June 24th, 2006 at 15:56

OK, now that I have learned all I can handle about Duralex glasses I think I'll go on to other stuff. I'm sure there is some other subject I am ignorant about! I just wanted to know enough so I could write an half way intelligent ad and list them on ebay. My son collects treasures and I (try to) sell the junk on ebay. Along the way I actually learn something — If I could just remember what it was!


Posted by Patrick

June 24th, 2006 at 20:03

hmmm… Jim, hopefully you've learnt that Duralex Picardie glasses aren't junk.

Update: the company regained its independence in December 2005 and its products are apparently no longer associated with Bormioli Rocco, who on their website now don't refer to any products as "Duralex" or "Picardie". The Bormioli Rocco name has also been removed from the boxes of the French-made glasses.

Duralex is still manufacturing the "old fashioned" glass in all sizes, including the small 9cl, 13cl, 16cl, and 22cl models, but is only exporting these smaller ones in pallet quantities, and since demand for them is not large-scale – at least in the UK – they are unlikely to be easily available, except maybe in France.


Posted by Wanda

July 15th, 2006 at 14:19

Just returned from France, Italy and Spain and guess what I found at a thrift store in France? Eight (8) tea cups and saucers with the Duralex/Made in France stamp. How valueable are these items? They are light blue and really cute.


Posted by Marcy

July 15th, 2006 at 20:24

About two years ago, at Wegmans Supermarket (sometime between January-Feburary) I stumbled on Duralex – Made in France… 3" x 1 1/4" Prep Bowls in the Home Essentials section. These bowls (I call pinch bowls) are used by professional chef's and are used to hold exact measured ingredients… like you see them on a cooking show. They "were sold" six to cardboard package, all the same size as above, priced under $3.00. I don't use these for cooking but found another very useful way to use them and don't know where to get more. I recently contact Wegmans Consumer Affairs… no luck. I did go to Bed, Bath and Beyond… they sell all other sizes but the one I need. Unfortunately for me, I discarded the cardboard packaging at the time of purchase or I would have more information to go by.

Can anyone help? I am amazed at the information I've read about Duralex so far.


Posted by Patrick

July 15th, 2006 at 21:42

Wanda, you can search Ebay for Duralex products and sometimes find information on value if someone is selling a similar item, even if they're used.

Marcy, Duralex still makes several ranges of toughened glass bowls. The 'Lys' bowl, which has a double row of lines around it, is made in at least five sizes, including a 3" diameter size – the nearest size I've seen in 'Chef' bowls is 3.5" and 3.6". The ones you want may well be hard to find online though. It tends to be pot luck on what lines the retailer does.


Posted by Marcy

July 17th, 2006 at 05:30

Thank You Patrick!!!!!!!!!! Great Job!!!!!!!!! At least I have a product name to go by. I will continue my search and be back to let you know what I find.

Marcy


Posted by Jocelyn

July 27th, 2006 at 03:07

I just tried to look up Duralex and came across your website and this discussion… I have a story for you about why I was looking up Duralex.

I have Duralex glasses that I received several years ago as a house warming gift. Last night I had an empty glass sitting on my coffee table after having a glass of water 2 hrs before. The glass, completely out of nowhere, exploded with major force into tiny pieces shooting all over the living room. There was nothing in it… no heat or cold near it… no one anywhere near the glass… but we saw it completely shatter on its own.

We immediately thought "oh my god, there is an angry ghost here", then I went to work and told coworkers about it and someone told me that Duralex is known to shatter on its own at random times. So I checked my glasses when I got home and sure enough they say Duralex Made in France 30.

Has anyone heard anything about this?? And hey… want to buy some glasses ;-) ?


Posted by Jocelyn

July 27th, 2006 at 03:13

My glasses are the Duralex Picardie… same as in the picture. I have 3 sizes of them and 10 left in total… although some have broke over the years… including the most recent incident.


Posted by Marcy

July 31st, 2006 at 06:05

Hello Jocelyn,

Since you already went through process of elimination in your description of the shattered glass… have you considered sound? Just a thought. Glad no one was hurt when it exploded.

Marcy


Posted by Patrick

July 31st, 2006 at 08:29

Compressive surface stresses are created in the manufacture of toughened glass. They are the reason for its increased strength, but a small surface chip or scratch can weaken the surface layer, occasionally causing the glass to shatter, sometimes well after the original damage occurred and for no apparent reason.

Despite the (rare) instances of a glass 'exploding', toughened glass is regarded as safer than annealed glass because when it is made to shatter, it tends to form the small pellets like a shattered car windscreen instead of the sharp, jagged shards normally associated with broken glass.


Posted by Jocelyn

August 18th, 2006 at 04:51

Thanks for the info and the explanation! Much appreciated.


Posted by Ditas

August 23rd, 2006 at 10:03

I received duralex glasses as a wedding present in 1989. I started using them only last month. A few days ago, one glass exploded after it was washed. Another glass exploded yesterday as it was placed upside down on a tray. No one was touching it. It just exploded on its own, forming small pieces of glass (like a car windshield that shatters when broken). Luckily, no one was in the kitchen when these events happened. I disposed all the other glasses for fear of more explosions.


Posted by Kim

August 29th, 2006 at 13:02

You can get these through Crateandbarrel.com or williamssonoma.com in the US.


Posted by Lynn

September 20th, 2006 at 16:43

Re exploding glassware: we just had a Duralex (small) shallow dish explode on us… again out of nowhere… just sitting on the counter with some egg wash in it… now I realize that was probably what happened 3 years ago when I also heard a loud exploding sound… again for no reason… we went running into the kitchen to see glass in smithereens… at that time I couldn't even tell what had broken!!


Posted by Marie Kamran

September 26th, 2006 at 05:55

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had the contact details of the manufacturer of Duralex in France?


Posted by Patrick

September 26th, 2006 at 14:32

Hello Marie

The only information I have on this is at the bottom of this page »


Posted by Susan

September 28th, 2006 at 06:57

I've never had one of my Duralex glasses explode. The only times I've had a glass explode was when there was a sudden change in temperature. I took it from the hot rinse water and sat it on the counter just as a cold wind blew through.

I picked up my first Picardie glass at a thrift shop two years ago for a quarter. I loved the shape. It's been fun to hunt them down ever since. I do hope in the future the company will again be selling the classic picardie style in the U.S.

Patrick, I've really enjoyed your essays on Design Classics. They remind me of a book that I have called Quintessence by Betty Cornfeld and Owen Edwards.


Posted by Patrick

September 28th, 2006 at 09:46

Susan, I'm going to buy that book, having read up various reviews about it on Amazon etc. It looks fascinating and right up my alley.

Thanks for the comment about my essays. I might add more in the future. It's surprising how many people contact me asking if I can supply some of the items in bulk, as if I'm the manufacturer – the Thonet chair, for example, which I think is actually the best of all the classic designs I've featured.

And yes, I've never had a Duralex explode either, even after they've been dropped on concrete, and I don't remember it being an issue during the eleven years or so that I used them daily in the dining hall at my old school in England.

As regards the Duralex company selling the classic picardie style in the US, Duralex doesn't sell direct to the public. They distribute their products via selected importers into each nation. Normally, the importer then deals through wholesalers. It's really a question of supply and demand, and it doesn't seem that there's enough demand for the 'old fashioned' models for many wholesalers and retailers to carry much stock. From time to time I send some out to the US – I even sent some to Hawaii recently.

US residents can sometimes obtain them on Ebay. I bought some vintage ones from a seller in Arizona last year (see above) but the prices can be high – especially for a used item.


Posted by Louis Osteen

September 28th, 2006 at 14:06

Does anyone know if there is a 'new' distributor for the US?

I have a couple of hundred (Picardie) in storage and am ready to put them back into use at my restaurant. They are the most durable glass I've ever used.


Posted by Cathy Grosse

October 2nd, 2006 at 13:30

The Duralex Picardie glass are available in most sizes at the Vermont Country Store. It's on the web at vermontcountrystore.com and they are sold individually. The store has a lot of nostalgic items. It's worth a visit.


Posted by Patrick

October 2nd, 2006 at 14:07

They sell a 'Rocks 9oz' at $1.95 each, but those are tumblers from Italy, made by Bormioli Rocco if I'm not mistaken, and sometimes marketed as 'Picardie Bar'. This has become a popular design but they're not the same glass as the original Duralex Picardie.


Posted by Gary

October 12th, 2006 at 02:37

I'm looking for one Duralex France #27 glass. It's an insert for a "russian style" teacup… made of brass. I got the teacups (brass holder and Duralex glass) at the gift shop in the Amsterdam Maritime Museum. On our last visit we hoped to buy some more of them, but we were told they had been discontinued as stock items. They were available with silver holders for the glass insert as well when I originally bought the pair I had.

I dropped one insert in the sink and it shattered (nice way to begin a morning with a pot of hot tea waiting!). Can anyone help me locate a replacement Duralex #27? It is very simple, kind of like a juice glass. Blessings will flow to whoever can help me find one.


Posted by Patrick

October 12th, 2006 at 08:32

Gary, as far as I know there isn't such a thing as a Duralex #27 glass. All the glasses have numbers marked on the bottom but that identifies the factory mould, not the model.

The glass you're referring to is most likely a standard model from the Duralex range, so the question is: which model and which size? Most are still made, but some models and sizes are more easily available than others.

It might help if you could describe the appearance of this particular glass (shape, dimensions, capacity, etc).


Posted by Aaron

October 13th, 2006 at 00:08

One reason why tempered glass shatters like that is how it's formed. It's an expected result of tempered glasses when they "fail". While tragic, it's entirely normal and not indicative of anything wrong.

If treated well, Duralex and other tempered glasses can last for many years. Even if you drop one, it might not break, but it will suffer microscopic fractures inside the glass that can't be seen by the naked eye. Other stresses such as heating it up with boiling water can cause the fractures to worsen until it reaches the point where anything can cause it to break.

I would not personally recommend tempered glass for very hot liquids. Ceramics are better in this respect. I think anything up to about 160 or so is fine for tempered glass, which is about how hot the dishwasher gets. I'm not saying that you can't use boiling water in them, but just be aware that it MAY increase the likelihood that the glass could shatter later on.

I use lots of tempered glass items at home and think they are wonderful and very safe when they do fail.


Posted by Patrick

October 13th, 2006 at 00:21

Expert advice there. Thanks Aaron.


Posted by Gary

October 20th, 2006 at 22:27

The Duralex Glass I'm looking for says "Duralex Made In France 27". The top of the glass is 6.5 centimeters (2 5/8 inches) in diameter. It is 9 centimeters (3 1/2 inches) high. The sides are smooth and featureless, and the base is 6 centimeters (2 1/4 inches) in diameter. It is used (in my case) as an insert to a brass holder. Its capacity when filled to the brim is 6 3/4 oz (roughly 20 centiliters). As I mentioned above, blessings and good Karma will come to whoever can give me information on where to find one. I purchased 6 Duralex Glasses from KlinQ (item # 108072) which appear to have the number 3 on the bottom under the word Duralex. They are listed as "Duralex Chope Unie Set of 6 Tumblers – 6.75 oz – by Bormioli Rocco". They are too narrow at the bottom as well as too narrow at the top of the brass base, which is 6 centimeters high. Please, if you know where I can find such glasses contact me at gbarton@fuse.net . Thanks, Gary.


Posted by Patrick

October 20th, 2006 at 23:26

Gary, I'd go to the source, and write a letter to Duralex in France. Their postal address is:

DURALEX INTERNATIONAL FRANCE
7, Rue du Petit Bois
45380 La Chapelle Saint-Mesmin
France

Give them the same precise information about the glass you're looking for, and ask what is the model and who imports them into your nation – the United States I presume. If no-one imports that particular glass into the US (assuming Duralex still makes it) then ask to which nation they do export it. If they export that glass to the UK, then contact the importer and ask who is the distributor, where they can be obtained etc.

If you can't find a US importer but do find a source in the UK (who doesn't ship to the US), let me know and I might be able to help. That's really all I can suggest.

And if you do find your glass, please post here how you did so.


Posted by Sanjeev

November 30th, 2006 at 11:17

Hi all

I bought Duralex glasswear from a store in east London called Gifts. They are based on 378 Romford Road in Forestgate. The prices are too cheap compared to green street shops and they do a deal for a bulk buy! Fantastic and professional service.


Posted by Nils-Petter Norman

December 11th, 2006 at 02:20

Hi there!

I accidentially hit this page looking for Duralex Picardie glasses on the Internet; I bought 8 glasses of no. 33 (small) in transparent, but slightly blue (cobalt) 2 years ago in a shop in Ã…lesund, Norway, which is a part of a Swedish chain called "Ã…hlens" ("Ahlens"). A year later I wanted to buy more of the same kind… unfortunately they didn't have them anymore, and since then I've been looking… If anyone knows where they can be purchased, please let me know! (Did anyone try the French adress over?)


Posted by Patrick

December 11th, 2006 at 12:42

Nils-Petter Norman, at present I think those will be hard to find, though I believe the Picardie glass is still made in blue. My advice is the same as I gave to Gary (above) but substitute Norway, or even Sweden. Good luck.


Posted by Lee-anne

December 13th, 2006 at 23:37

I was given a set of Duralex drink glasses for a wedding gift back in 1985. They are great glasses but one day, I had one sitting on the cupboard and it just exploded. My daughter and her friend were standing there and said they didn't even touch it, that it just exploded for no reason. This never happened again until yesterday… I liked my Duralex so much that I bought another set from Costco here in Canada about three or four years ago. Last night while I was putting dishes away, one of my Duralex glasses fell out of the cupboard and exploded in mid air right in front of my face! Boy did that scare the daylights out of me!! I am a little wary of them now. I may just throw the rest out for fear of this happening again. When they explode, they really explode! I had glass all over my entire kitchen and all in my hair and clothing. What a mess. Just thought I would share my story…


Posted by Patrick

December 14th, 2006 at 00:01

Lee-anne, thanks for sharing your story, but I wouldn't throw the rest away. They do not explode for 'no' reason, but perhaps for 'no apparent' reason (see Aaron's post above). The chances of this happening again are infinitesimal. There are countless millions of Duralex glasses still doing good service throughout the world.

I'd suggest you continue to enjoy your classic French glasses.


Posted by Tammy

December 17th, 2006 at 05:30

Patrick,

You are definately the go-to guy. I am looking for the Duralex square stacking bowls in the Lys pattern. I believe they sold in a set of 6. Any ideas, or has the line been discontinued and unattainable?

Thanks…


Posted by Patrick

December 17th, 2006 at 13:29

Tammy, I would guess they are still making the square Lys bowls but I don't think they are currently being imported into the UK, although the rounds ones are, as are Ramekins in two sizes.

The company has a very large range of products – perhaps too large – and its biggest market is apparently Eastern Europe and Asia where those square bowls are more likely to be available.

For products that are difficult to obtain in a particular country, the starting point is a direct approach to Duralex themselves.


Posted by michael

January 3rd, 2007 at 07:35

HI ALL,
I own a little cafe in Melbourne Australia and am trying to find bulk quantities of the picardie duralex glasses in the 6oz size. Can anybody help me PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
Cheers
Michael


Posted by Patrick

January 3rd, 2007 at 13:10

Michael, I've read somewhere (a few times) that Duralex glassware is currently not being imported into Australia or New Zealand. You'd have to contact Duralex directly to find out if this is true. I've sent you an email, as I might be able to help. Shipping costs from Europe to Australia by air might be an issue though.


Posted by Julie

January 6th, 2007 at 03:44

Hello fellow Duralex lovers! My family has been using the Picardie glasses exclusively as our everyday glassware for at least 20 years. I've always purchased them at William-Sonoma, and panicked when I recently noticed they were no longer on the shelves. I, like everyone else, am at my wit's end! Despite their durability, there is the occasional mishap and need for replacement. In response to Lee-Anne's comments, I too have had several experiences throughout the years of glasses "exploding". However, the events were not spontaneous, rather they occurred when being placed in the dishwasher. Hopefully the original design will be manufactured again instead of the stackable model with its ungraceful lip! Good luck to all… unfortunately we may be competing for the remaining glasses!


Posted by Margaret

January 6th, 2007 at 20:41

Hello all,
We too have been using Picardie glasses for many years. Until I started this search I had no idea they had become such a cult item. It has been fun reading about them. Never had one explode. I would buy more in a minute if they were available – not so sure about the new design.


Posted by Patrick

January 6th, 2007 at 20:51

Hello Julie and Margaret. The original classic Picardie glass is still available – click the green DURALEX sign near the top left of this page. As far as I know, the 'new' (inferior) design was only made by Duralex during the short time the company was owned by Bormioli Rocco (Italy), from around 1997-2004. Bormioli Rocco don't make the original design but they do make the 'new' one – which actually isn't a Picardie glass at all.


Posted by ann

January 6th, 2007 at 21:24

Why did you refer Julie to the site on this page to get the original glass? Those picardies are the stackable ones. That is the key word. If it says stackable, then it is the new design. NOT the original design… I was in Italy for 3 weeks in September and no where were the glasses to be had in any little shops… Too bad.


Posted by Patrick

January 6th, 2007 at 21:51

Ann, the original 1927 Picardie glass is stackable. Trust me on this. I'm looking at some now. A stack of six. They have always been stackable. We used them in the school dining hall when I was young – hundreds of them all in stacks – and they are the very same original Picardie glasses on the website I referred to. The so-called 'new' design sponsored by Bormioli Rocco also happens to be stackable.


Posted by Julie

January 8th, 2007 at 08:37

Thank you, Patrick. Prior to reading your January 6 response, I followed up on Kathy's comment of June 18th, and went to the Crate and Barrel website. Lo and behold, I found the Picardie glasses, pictured as the original "nonstackable" (of course we all stack them so what's that all about anyway… cutting down on shattering?). The brand name is not listed on the site, so I called customer service, and the rep stated that the brand is Duralex, and that the glasses in stock are those that are pictured. Of course I immediately ordered several boxes of each size, so time will tell if they really are the originals. If so, this is a great resource for those of us living in the US, wanting to save on UK shipping charges. When they arrive, I will let everyone know if indeed they are the original Picardies.


Posted by Sebastien

January 10th, 2007 at 20:27

Great posts & great article from on those classic glasses.

The Duralex factory is in a lot of trouble at the moment and its future is very unsure. One of the factories was closed down last October because of safety risks caused by the ovens in case gaz ran out (the company that owns Duralex had a huge outstanding gaz bill). The second company was facing the same type of threat.

The Duralex Picardie glasses (& Gigogne glasses for that matter) is a typical French wine-cellar glasses in rural areas of Western France.

Picardie glasses were made in the following sizes: 9cl (3fl oz), 13cl (4.4 fl oz), 16cl (5.4 fl oz), 22cl (7.4 fl oz) and 50cl (16.9 fl oz) – all fl oz = US.

I was really surprised to find out they came in such a variety of sizes. My preferred size is the small one (9cl/3 fl oz). Cute little glass, and when you go down to a rural wine cellar, the smaller glasses the better in my experience :-)

I'm looking at buying a stack from a wholesaler in France before they go out of stock. They come in large quantities (multiple of 144 for the 9cl ones) so I'll probably put the extra stack on ebay. Let me know if you'd be interested (sizes 9cl/3floz & 50cl/16.9floz) – not sure about postage costs to the US though :-S


Posted by Patrick

January 10th, 2007 at 21:58

Sebastien, thanks for the update on the company. One can keep abreast of developments in the French press (to a degree). I get the impression the Rive-de-Gier factory is looking for a new owner, with the help of the French authorities.

If the Picardie and Gigogne become unavailable altogether, then in my opinion boxes of new unused glasses will become collector's items. I'd hang on to them and see what they're worth in a year.

Of course we're hoping Duralex survives. They are only a small company but have a worldwide brand name for over half a century. I would be surprised if they aren't bought out by a much larger glassmaker.


Posted by Janice

January 11th, 2007 at 05:35

I have been looking for a wholesaler for the 9cl glass. They would be the perfect votive candle holder in my aromatherapy business. The news here comes as a great disappointment. I would love to buy a lot of them!


Posted by mcb

January 11th, 2007 at 06:35

Sebastian, They also came in a 12.5 oz. (about) size which is the size I have and my favorite. I went to William Sonoma to purchase some more and they don't have them anymore! Crate and Barrel is selling them on line, but only in the oddball sizes. They don't have the 12.5 oz. size : I had to call (as a previous poster did) and they hunted around and then said the manufacturer was "Duralex International" not just Duralex. Do you think it's the same company? They have the tall ice tea size (16 oz) and two tiny ones and a fat one. But, they do look like the same glasses.


Posted by Susan Leary

January 11th, 2007 at 16:01

Julie, I'm dying to know if your Crate and Barrel glasses are the originals. Please DO let us know! Susan


Posted by Susan Leary

January 11th, 2007 at 16:33

I just called Crate and Barrel to get to the bottom of this, and unfortunately, I don't believe that they are the originals. The customer service agent said that there is a "lip" inside the glass for stacking. She also said something about the fact that they are a new glass that was manufactured in June.

Susan


Posted by Julie

January 12th, 2007 at 06:32

My order has been shipped, so should arrive soon. The customer service agent I spoke with assured me that they were the glasses pictured on their website. If not, it certainly will be a great disappointment!


Posted by Samira

January 12th, 2007 at 07:25

Hi all,

I am glad that I found this website :) I have been searching for Duralex products for a couple of months now. I came across the clear tea cups and saucers (they might be espresso cups) in Israel while having tea at a restaurant. It had the Duralex logo and it also said made in France. I have looked for them for a while now and the only ones I found have the stainless steel saucers at Klinq.com. Does anyone know anything about them and how I can get them!


Posted by Richard

January 12th, 2007 at 10:12

I'm a french DURALEX worker in the LA CHAPELLE SAINT MESMIN factory…

If you want some information please contact me!!!


Posted by Stephanie

January 12th, 2007 at 12:19

Richard, how can you be contacted? The big question is what is happening at Duralex France International? Is production of the original Picardie, Gigogne, etc going to continue in the future?


Posted by Richard

January 12th, 2007 at 18:27

Hi, I'm Richard and my girlfriend put a message for me this morning on this forum!!!

Stephanie, the production of the original PICARDIE would continue in the future… Our turkish businessman who is the owner of the society DURALEX INTERNATIONAL FRANCE want to sold or close the RIVE DE GIER factory for only keep the LA CHAPELLE SAINT MESMIN FACTORY.


Posted by Patrick

January 12th, 2007 at 18:51

Richard, thanks for the information. It's good to hear that production will continue. I wish you and your employers every success for the future.


Posted by Richard

January 12th, 2007 at 19:32

Thanks, I doesn't know before today that the PICARDIE has fan!!! For information the PICARDIE glasses exist in 8 sizes in white colour and 3 sizes in blue colour.


Posted by Patrick

January 12th, 2007 at 19:36

Absolutely. Fans all around the world. The Gigogne glass also. If you can find the time, it would be great if you could write more news about what is happening at Duralex and what the company hopes for the future, how we can find out what is in the product range (votre collection) etc. Several people on this page have been asking about other Duralex products and the availability of Duralex glassware in different countries.


Posted by Richard

January 12th, 2007 at 20:45

And in the past the PICARDIE was product in pink and amber… I know the most part of actual Duralex production but no all the vintage production. The GIGOGNE is actually product in 3 sizes. I work in the factory not in the commercial service so I doesn't know the availability of our mark in the world.


Posted by Martin Dean

January 13th, 2007 at 05:21

One of my Duralex glasses exploded tonight in my kitchen cabinet. The glass was everywhere. Does anybody want my remaining set? I am thankful I was not holding it at the time. I do not want to touch them again. Does William Sonoma have any responsibility in this issue. I have about 30 of these exploding devices in my home. Any suggestion?


Posted by Richard

January 13th, 2007 at 09:03

What model MARTIN DEAN? The fact of glasses exploded everywhere in your kitchen is due to that's TEMPERED glasses… But they don't exploded whithin reason… BE rassured: more the pieces are small less you has chance to cut you…


Posted by Stephanie

January 13th, 2007 at 13:07

Richard, I'm pleased to hear that Duralex is still making glassware.

Martin, I used to work in a school where Duralex were used in the dining room for many years. I'm a great believer in the safety aspects of toughened glass for drinking glasses. For every (very rare) occasion when a glass would shatter there would have been many more occasions when a normal non-toughened glass would have broken into dangerous shards. With toughened, this does not happen.

The same applies to Arcoroc and even Pyrex and car windscreens as it does to Duarlex. There must be countless millions of these specially strengthened glasses throughout the world, ever since the 1930's when they were first introduced. The occasional rare "explosion" might occur but I agree it can't happen for no reason.

Each glass contains stored energy by virtue of the manufacturing process and that's what makes it strong – stored energy held in equilibrium. The release of that energy is what causes the apparent explosion, but this is always caused by user damage or exposure to excessive temperature change. The fact that those rare occasions happen some time later makes it seem as if the glass failed for no reason, but there actually was a reason. Even toughened glassware should be looked after.

Every glass is independent. If one happens to fail, that's no reason for others to do likewise, unless they have all been mistreated in the same way by the owner. So I'd say to Martin: carry on using those 30 glasses just as we carried on happily using the many hundreds we had in our school dining room (Gigogne, by the way).


Posted by Jane

January 14th, 2007 at 04:58

I have been using the same Duralex Picardie glasses in my home for the past 25 years. None are broken but a little scratched and I thought I would just order them from William Sonoma tonight. Unbelievable what I found out here. It does appear that the Le Tom website in the UK has them but the shipping is double the price of the glasses themselves. Has anyone been able to locate the originals in the U.S?? I am devastated. How could a product that is in demand not be in the U.S. Would love some comments. Thanks.


Posted by Richard

January 14th, 2007 at 11:36

As you know Jane Duralex is in trouble at the moment. Our distribution network is in the course of rebuilding. I could put on sale on EBAY some Duralex but the carriage costs will exceed the value of glasses too. Maybe I'll do it if someone search a particular model.


Posted by Patrick

January 14th, 2007 at 11:56

Le Tom offers shipping to the US via FedEx, which can be much more economical for more than one or two boxes. The contact page can be used to request a quotation.


Posted by Jane

January 14th, 2007 at 15:44

Thanks, Patrick, I'll try that.


Posted by Jane

January 17th, 2007 at 17:20

I just received 24 glasses from Le Tom. They are the originals Duralex Picardie, sent via Fed Ex. I am thrilled.


Posted by Marie

January 20th, 2007 at 00:32

Thanks Richard on the company's status. Do you know when Duralex will begin full scale production again? Does Duralex have a new owner or is it still owned by the turkish man? Also I would love to go direct to Duralex France to purchase their glasswear, so who in your opinion who would be the best person for me to contact?


Posted by Richard

January 20th, 2007 at 14:29

Et patrick ce que tu fai c pas de la censure???


Posted by Patrick

January 20th, 2007 at 14:56

Peut être, mais j'ai expliqué la raison dans un email. J'ai aussi écrit à Samira.


Posted by Darlene MacLean

January 25th, 2007 at 13:06

Hi, I have a set of 16 full place settings in amber Duralex. They are stamped Duralex France on the bottom of each piece. In all my searching for more pieces I have never come across any info on amber Duralex pieces. Can anyone help or give me any info at all? Does anyone else have any amber Duralex?


Posted by Patrick

January 26th, 2007 at 00:08

Marie, as Richard explained, Duralex works through a distribution network – importer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer. That sort of thing. I don't believe you can go straight to the manufacturer. As a consumer you can only buy through a retailer, otherwise the supply chain would break down.

As far as I am aware, Duralex is in full production at the factory at La Chapelle Saint Mesmin, owned by Sinan Solmaz.

Darlene, perhaps when the company has completed the rebuilding of its distribution network we will be able to know more about their full range of products, amber glassware included. Promotion of the range to the consumer would normally be done by the manufacturer and the retailers.


Posted by Marie

January 28th, 2007 at 10:58

Thanks Patrick for the clarification!


Posted by RICHARD

January 28th, 2007 at 12:16

Hi, We actually produce amber glasses… So you can watch a little part of our production on eBay as pink Picardie, amber picardie and other. But all around the world the Duralex are RARE…


Posted by Linda

January 28th, 2007 at 23:18

Hi, I purchased 11 glasses in 2005 with Picardie #11. I love these glasses and would love to find more. Too bad these are hard to find as they are the best glasses ever. I have arthritis in my hands, wrists and shoulders and cannot hold a heavy glass for any length of time. These glasses are not only beautiful and thick in design but light weight even when full. When I first saw them at the store and went to pick them up I was so surprised to find they were not too heavy for me. Thank God for the genius who designed these so long ago. Please let me know if anyone knows where I can purchase them either in the states or outside. Thanks so much. Good hunting!


Posted by Patrick

January 28th, 2007 at 23:30

Linda, I agree. The best glasses ever. And there's no need to hunt any further. You can purchase them at Le Tom. Just click the green DURALEX sign higher up on the left of this page.

Feel free to continue this discussion here »

Patrick Elsewhere