My mom is a huge thrift store shopper and yard-saler. I cannot begin to share all of the little, and big, treasures she has come across over the years. It is really quite amazing the things that people just give away. The love-seat sofa that sits in our living room, for example, was a great yard sale find. The people selling it wanted $5 for it so my mom offered $3. That afternoon she and my dad came home with a rather gross looking $3 love-seat sofa. My mom reupholstered it, added some cute throw pillows and the couch looked brand new! When Andrew and I got married, my parents gave us the couch. Mom and I reupholstered it to fit our tastes and it is so adorable! It cost me $60 to reupholster it. You cannot by a couch for $63 anywhere. I digress. Back to this great new find…
For the last few years, I have really been in to owls. Now, they are everywhere! This Christmas, Andrew and I had a present under the tree from my parents that was to both of us. We opened it to find four beautiful glasses that were hand-painted in gold leaf, featuring owls! They are so neat! Each one was signed by Georges Briard, too. I asked her where she found these and she said, “a thrift shop.” I was curious about the signature and decided to look up the artist. What a treasure my mother found!
Georges Briard was formerly known as Jascha Brojdo, born 1917 in the Ukraine. He was a noted artist and designer, winning many awards throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He is best known for his signature dishware and glassware. (These owl glasses, for example!) His signature collection was sold at high-end department stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Bonwit Teller.
Brojdo studied at the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his MFA. He served as a Russian interpreter for the U.S. Army throughout World War 11. He was fluent in several languages. After being discharged from the Army in 1947, he began working with artist Max Wille in New York. It was Max Wille who came up with the name Georges Briard as his signature name. This name is found on his designer glasswares and dishwares. Brojdo was also a painter and signed each of those with his actual birth name. the M. Wille Company was the first to produce the designs and work of Georges Briard.
In honor of Briard’s extraordinary contributions to the glass and ceramic decorating industry, he was awarded the Frank S. Child Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 by the Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators. At the age of 88, Georges Briard died in New York City on July 30, 2005.
A pretty awesome find, huh? Moral of this story…go thrift shopping. You never know what treasure you will find there. These glasses are definitely a treasure to me!