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Culver Glass Company – Lavish and Oppulant Cocktailware of the 1950s – 1960s

Culver Plaid Highball 04Culver Ltd was a glass company famous for their stunning decorative glassware in 22-karat gold.

Culver Ltd was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1939 by Irving Rothenberg.  Culver Glass features real 22-karat gold decoration used effusively and magnificently especially from the late 1950’s on through the 1960’s.  The company gained notoriety and its products became highly collectible and only sold at high-end department stores.   In 1980, the company moved to downtown Rahway, New Jersey.   Irving Rothenberg passed away in 1987 and his son, Mark ‘Mickey’ Rothenberg, continued the Culver Glass Company.  Mickey ran the company until he sold Culver Ltd.  in 1996 to Moderne Glass Company, Inc.   Mickey Rothenberg continued in the glass manufacturing business by running another glass company until his death on 9/11.   He was one of the passengers on the hijacked Newark-to-San-Francisco flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.

The company’s early production line featured acid etch, decalcomania, sandblasted, hand-painted, banded, sand-cut monogramming and silk screen.  In the late 1950’s, Culver Ltd started the application of the 22-karat gold to their glassware.   The super-heated, roll-on process of gold remains a secret today.  By the 1980’s, Culver stopped making its own glass and began using glassware ‘blanks’ produced by other companies.

The patterns of Culver are extensive from gilded mushrooms, owls, cats, wildlife, Egyptian or Asian inspired design themes, scrolling leaf patterns, holiday designs, sports motifs and many others.   The gilded Moroccan-style trellis and raised emerald-green diamonds of the ‘Valencia‘ pattern become their most popular pattern in cocktailware.  Some other collectible patterns are the following:

Prado: Green and gold squares

Antiqua: low-set, simple crackled-gold band with a single row of oval cut-outs

Seville: Like the ‘Valencia’ pattern, but with aqua-blue diamonds and considered very rare

Pisa: Crackled gold with three rows of oval cut-outs

Paisley: The red reverse and gold swirly paisley pattern

Culver glass from the 1940’s through the ’50s are signed with a script Culver.  The Culver mark changed to block lettering in the late 1960’s through the 1970’s.  Culver glass after the 1970s are typically unmarked today because the company changed to paper labels attached to the glass.  Many of these labels have disappeared from use.

Culver cocktailware is highly collectible and remains popular today.  Classy Concoctions have several Culver cocktail sets to embellish your next Cocktail Hour.  Click below to view the different Culver Glass Collections.

69 comments on “Culver Glass Company – Lavish and Oppulant Cocktailware of the 1950s – 1960s

  1. Mary
    May 9, 2013

    I have a late 1950s set with numerous seashells in different types on each glass. I am unable to find this pattern anywhere. The glasses are marked Culver Ltd in cursive and all the application is in gold. I’m guessing this is a rate pattern since I have been unsuccessful in finding any other Culver products with this pattern. Any answers for me?

  2. Dianne Cameron
    July 6, 2013

    I have a martini pitcher, 6- 8oz glasses and an ice bowl with opened cotton boll on them. I have had no luck in finding this particular pattern.
    All items are marked in cursive Culver, Ltd and in gold. Can any one help me find this pattern or have any answers?

  3. Dianne Cameron
    July 10, 2013

    Did not see this pattern. Is there a way for me to send you a photo of the glassware? Thanks.

  4. Donna Flaherty
    July 22, 2013

    I came across 2 unopened boxes of Culver glasses marked “Arabesque White” 755-024 set of 4 D.O.F glasses, 4 oz. They are marked with “Culver” directly on the glasses and also have the foil removable label stating they are 22 Karat gold. Any idea of the manufacture date of these? I have no luck with the pattern info online.

    • Norps
      July 22, 2013

      Here is a little tip for figuring out dates of Culver glassware.
      Glasses feature a gold script lettering Culver are from the 1940’s to the early/mid 1960’s.
      Glasses featuring Culver in good block lettering were made during the late 1960’s through the late 1970’s.
      Gold foil stickers were used during the mid to late 1970’s. many of Culver glasses today are unmarked because the foil stickers have been lost. I would assume that your set is from the 1970’s era by the gold foil sticker.
      Hope this helps.
      Classy Concoctions

      • Tami
        October 30, 2013

        I received a set of 8 tall glasses that I cannot locate the pattern on any of the websites. Any idea on who I can contact to get some information on what style they are?

      • Norps
        October 30, 2013

        You send a picture to and we could know the pattern. If not, has some useful information.

  5. Mike Arganetto
    August 17, 2013

    I have 8 of a pattern I can’t fine anywhere but this one website. Can anyone tell me the pattern name or how much their worth? They have the signature on them. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

    • EDCARO
      May 8, 2014

      Pattern name is AZTEC…. :O)

      • Norps
        May 14, 2014

        That is correct as Aztec. Thank you for the help Edcaro. Cheers

  6. towncrier55
    September 7, 2013

    I have a Bar Set of stacked frosted glass bowls (small) that are for ‘Olives’, ‘Cherries’ and, ‘Onions’. The lettering for these are in the 22k gold with the Culver LTD in the fancy lacy type surrounding of the words. What can anyone tell me about this set. There is a lid that has a 22k gold glass knob shape for the lid.

  7. Missy Russell
    September 16, 2013

    I have a set of Orange w/ gold pattern Culver glasses. They are in a “carrier”. I can’t find any information on them. Nor can I find anything in this color. Are these rare?

  8. Annabelle Steiner
    September 20, 2013

    My father was working in that company and when Culver moved, the boss sold him some things with that brand….I dont know about prices, but How much could cost a plate for example???…I have no Idea…

    • Bonnie Worthman Goodman
      January 22, 2014

      What did you do there? My father was the designer for years and years. Was your father in the Coney Island plant? There were 3 locations in all. Coney Island, Dean Street and Rahway, NJ.
      Bonnie Worthman Goodman

      • Bonnie Worthman Goodman
        January 22, 2014

        To Annabelle Steiner I meant what did HE do there?

        Bonnie Worthman Goodman

  9. Bonnie Goodman
    October 1, 2013

    Please contact me. My father, Moses Worthman was the designer of most of Culver’s glassware.

    • Norps
      October 1, 2013

      How interesting! I would love to learn more about his craft at Culver. Thank you for reaching out.

      • Bonnie Worthman Goodman
        January 22, 2014

        Sorry this took so long. Life interferes. I am trying to get his name and reputation out there. There seems to be a very solid interest in Culver Glassware, and Culver Glassware would never have been the success that it was without my father, who was a designer par excellence.

    • Dee
      October 26, 2013

      Stumbled on 2 Culver glasses, elegant! Will the gold ever fade?

      • Norps
        October 26, 2013

        Culver usually used 22 karat gold on the glassware. It should not fade, but will disappear in time if washed in the dishwasher or using harsh household detergents (windex). Always hand wash your vintage glassware with a mild dish soap like ivory or meyer’s organic dish soap.
        Thank you for checking out my blog.

    • Lucy
      January 4, 2014

      Do you have a email that I could contact you through. I have something and was wondering if I sent you a pic of it. if you could tell me more about it.

    • Dear Ms. Goodman,

      I work with the Flight 93 Oral History and Documention Project. I read your posts concerning your father’s employment with Culver Glass with interest. Wondering if your father knew Mark “Mickey” Rothenberg, son of Irving Rothenberg, who operated the business for a number of years? Mark Rothenberg was a passenger aboard Flight 93 and was killed when the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Flight 93 is credited with thwarting this attack by terrorists on their intended target in Washington, D.C.

      Kathie Shaffer
      Flight 93 National Memorial
      Oral History and Documentation Project Assistant
      814-893-6322 Ext. 7

    • Jenny
      January 5, 2015

      Hi Bonnie, I was very happy to come across the information that your father designed Culver glasses. I have some Culver sets, which I love, but a friend recently gave me a set of glasses that are signed “Moss Worth” (not “Culver”). Did your father have his own company at some point? I’d really like to know more about these glasses. They are double Old Fashioned size, black with gold images from the oil industry. No lettering other than Moss Worth.

    • Michael Kaye
      June 17, 2015

      Hi Bonnie, I have a relative that knew your father well. Like you, I am trying to get him the credit and recognition he deserves. He was at Culver for many years.

  10. Jack M
    November 6, 2013

    Have a set of Cincinnati Zoo glasses with Culver sticker. Guess they would date from the 1970s. Anyone have any other info on these? Can’t find any other examples online.

  11. Ralph Galati
    November 12, 2013

    I Use To Fix The Typewriters & Adding Machine’s For Them- I Use To Deal With Phillis

    Reliable Typewriter
    904 Utica Ave
    Brooklyn , NY
    Ralph Galati Jr

    • Bonnie Worthman Goodman
      January 22, 2014

      As my father, Moss Worth, was Culver’s glassware designer (A fact that is left out of all the articles) I knew Phyllis very well and liked her a lot.

      • Bridget Boyle
        September 12, 2014

        Culver glassware is a favorite of mine. It was interesting to hear about your father the designer who is never credited for the gorgeous designs. It is actually hard to find any info online about the company and patterns etc. I sell vintage and have a beautiful set of six Culver Holiday glasses complete with the Caddy in excellent condition, It has a pattern of frosted glass and holly leaves and of course 22KT gold. I could never find out the name,( I have never seen another set like it for sale). I estimate it to be 1950’s. I recently came across some low ball frosted Culver glasses with small gold Christmas trees, and Block lettering for the Signature, which I have read places it in the late 1960’s-70’s.
        It sure would be interesting to hear more about your Father and his designs, did you ever see any of his artwork or what he was designing as he worked on projects?

      • Doreen Piserchia
        September 22, 2014

        Bonnie, my father worked there for many years and I am trying to get some history and info. Can you contact me?

      • Michael Kaye
        June 19, 2015

        Hi Bonnie, my grandfather knew your father very well. He worked with Culver for many years. I have heard many wonderful stories (some where your dad was mentioned) I lived in Brooklyn for a short time myself. Great memories!!!

  12. Ann Eshabarr
    November 24, 2013

    I have a vintage fleur de lis bowl. (Circa 1970’s) Along with the gold there’s white which I think is paint. It gives it a frosted look. So maybe its frosted? I don’t know. I do know it needs cleaning and was wondering if any experts might be able to help me. I’ve used dish soap and water and am afraid to try anything else. Help!! Thanks

  13. Lisa
    December 10, 2013

    I have a cocktail set of 6 glasses and ice bucket with the 22 karat gold fruit motif that has Culver’s signature in script lettering. They are oretty much in mint condition. I’m trying to find out the name of the pattern and the value.

    • Pam
      October 4, 2014

      I had a set including a martini pitcher and 4 roly poly glasses in the fruit pattern that I read somewhere was called Florentine Fruit. But have seen most people just list it as gold fruit.

  14. Annabelle Steiner
    January 22, 2014

    Hi Bonnie, I dont Know what exactly he did, I remenber He told us his work was so hard because he worked near ovens with high temperature. He worked at New York Plant I guess in Brooklyn, …. He Stopped to work in Culver when the company moved to New Jersey..

  15. erika
    March 5, 2014

    I have a set of 4 rocks glasses with little cats amd 22k gold all over I was wonderimg what they are worth.

  16. Donna Marcum
    April 9, 2014

    Hello. I have been trying to ID a set of Culver ltd. glasses that I have. I can find nothing on them. Pattern name, date made, value? They are blue and silver tumblers. Any info. Anyone can provide would be much appreciated! Bonnie Worthman Goodman, your father was a true artist! I hope one day he will get the recognition he deserves. Donna Marcum

    • Norps
      May 14, 2014

      What style glass is it? Are they signed by Culver and what type of lettering? What does the pattern look like – floral, Asian, geometric, etc.?

  17. Lauren
    April 22, 2014

    Hi, I just found a bunch of lowballs with the signature. I had been wanting them but I don’t know the actual pattern name. They have cotton bolls on them and are gold and white and brown.

    • Norps
      May 14, 2014

      Those glasses are from the 1960’s signed Culver, Cottonball pattern, 24K gold and enamel. It is a pretty rare pattern. Hope the gold is in good condition. Have your next Classy Concoction in those. Cheers

  18. Katie
    May 21, 2014

    Helping price items for a church yard sale…came across a Culver tumbler with a two-tone design. The main design of the glass looks like it has small grain/wheat design in an arch over stripped window. If anyone can help identify the pattern name, that would be great!

  19. Pam Hein
    May 30, 2014

    Hi, Wondering if you can help me identify this pattern. I have posted some photos to my flickr acct. Signed Culver in block letters. Pink, Aqua, Gold stripes and a tropical flower design in gold. Thank you

  20. Cassie Freeman
    June 7, 2014

    Hi – I have a set of 8 highballs that are gold and black with the Carte Blanche credit card, American Express credit card, and the Diners Club card on them. The rim is a series of $’s. They are signed in script at the bottom. I would love some additional information if possible! Thanks so much!

  21. Patty
    July 16, 2014

    Hi I have a set of 8 highball owl glasses they are signed with a script at the bottom, could you share how owl these would be and there value. All in excellent condition, never used. Thank you.

    • Norps
      July 16, 2014

      The owl pattern by Culver features two owls sitting on branch with a gold ring around the rim. The pattern is called Owls – CUVOWL.
      The gold is 22karat. The script style text CULVER was produced during the early to mid-1950’s. This is a common pattern and can be found easily on the market.
      Highballs in excellent condition with no to little wear to the gold leaf are valued around $10.00 to $12.00 each.

  22. beckabaier
    July 16, 2014

    I am not having any luck finding my pattern after several Google searches and wondered if anyone can help. I have a set of four lowballs – gold pinstripe with blue bands marked with Culver in block lettering. The pattern looks very similar to the Devon Black on, except the band is blue and there is a double gold stripe below the band as opposed to a single. Any help is appreciated!

  23. beckabaier
    July 16, 2014

    Actually they look very similar to your Devon Old-Fashioned picture on your blog post except there is a blue band above the double gold stripe on the bottom.

  24. Teresa
    July 20, 2014

    I have the Culver mushroom glasses. I believe my parents bought them in the 1970’s. Where would be the best place to sell them and how much are they worth? They are in perfect condition – hardly ever used. They still have the Culver signature on them also.

  25. kristi
    August 5, 2014

    I have set of gold and aqua blue diamond highball glasses with matching cheese board and dip set. has culver ltd 110 . script.

  26. Larry tullos
    August 5, 2014

    Hi I recently found a gold etched glass labeled culver on the side. Then it has a old model a car and underneath it says Detroit the motor city. Underneath that it has copyrighted the name PERRIN. Do anyone know anything about this glass?

    • EDCARO
      August 5, 2014

      No… but sounds very interesting… would love to see a picture of it… ::O)

  27. lauren
    August 6, 2014

    Are the 22k gold culver ltd glasses safe to drink out of? My mother in law just gave me a set and I was wanting to know if it’s safe to use or should strictly be for show. I couldn’t find any information on this.

  28. Elizabeth
    August 9, 2014

    Need help finding the pattern name or anything related to the culvert glasses i have. They are signed in block letters. The colors on the glass are a red,purple,and black design. Very 60’s looking pattern. Thanks E. Mangrum

  29. EDCARO
    August 10, 2014

    Found this morning at a sale in SW Florida a set of 7 signed Culver, Inc. tumblers…. pattern is just like Imperial Shojis but there is green in the denter of the rectangles… does anyone know the pattern name…. half blind from looking for them on the internet! Thanks in advance for any help you can give me….!! :O)

  30. isabel
    August 12, 2014

    i have this i guess its a chip/dip tray its engraed in gold culver ltd im thinking its 22kt prado/valencia pattern but i dont know how much its worth

  31. John
    September 1, 2014

    We have six goblets with the owls on it – CUVOWL that are in great condition any idea on their worth? Thanks!!

    • Hazel Smith
      October 20, 2014

      Like you, John, I was curious to find out if my beautiful barware glasses had any special worth. I have had them for years, and I have never found more anywhere to extend the set. I was able to identify the Culver, Ltd signature online by a picture of 2 double old fashioned glasses in the Owl pattern for sale on eBay. You may want to take a look. My pattern is “Antiqua”. After reading the history here, thanks very much to Classy Concoctions, I don’t know if I want to part with my 5 glasses which remain from a set of 6 :-(

  32. Pam
    October 4, 2014

    I just found 5 tumblers with the block Culver name that have a purple and gold textured alligator or crocodile pattern on the bottom 1/2. Gold bands above and below the pattern and just below the rim. Any idea of the pattern name. Thanks

  33. Gloria
    December 8, 2014

    Thank you for the info. on your blog about Culver. I just found a set of 8 rudolph the red nosed reindeer 12 oz highball glasses in mint condition signed in cursive and with lots of 22k gold detail. At Goodwill!!!
    Any idea of their value? Ebay has them listed anywhere from $65 to $130 for a set of 6 and a set of 9.
    Sad and interesting to read about the founder’s son dying in Pennsylvania.

  34. Jessie Lira
    December 10, 2014

    I have a set of Signed Culver Scroll Barware glasses with Orange & 22k gold, but I can’t find information about them or there value so if you could help me?

  35. Shawn
    January 9, 2015

    Is all Culver barware signed? I just picked up a very nice 8 piece set with clear ice bucket and tongs all in a stand for a ridiculous price. Decided it must be a knock off. Thoughts?

  36. Leigh
    January 25, 2015

    I have several highball glasses and sets of 6 heavy-bottomed whiskey and large rocks glasses. The pattern is turquoise and gold with Asian horseback riders that look like they may be playing polo. On the small whiskey glasses, there is an etched script signature on the bottom of the glasses that I cannot read. I cannot find one on the larger rocks glasses. These originally had a gold toned carrier and are from the 50s. I would like to get more of the highball glasses, but do not know if these are Culver glasses, or another manufacturer. Can anyone help me?

  37. Leigh
    January 27, 2015

    After some additional research (see above comment/question), I believe that these glasses may be Fred Press. However, there is no signature like his other glassware. Is it possible these are still Fred Press?

  38. Hans G broemel
    April 22, 2015

    This is so very interesting because I met Mr. Rothenberg several times in Brooklyn and then once in New Jersey. My father and I designed and manufactured the machinery in the Bronx N.Y., which screen printed the various glasses. The company was called ALPEHA Machine Corp. Mr. Rothenberg wanted to print with tall manual machines where the operator was required to stand. The screen was tilted down to the glass (not touching) and the Squeegee was pushed down manually. Then the operator moved the screen across from one stop to the other. A very long taper made it possible that the screen would move across like a windshield wiper. The taper was established where the two glass sides would intersect at the bottom of the glass. Sometimes it was over 36” long. That intersection point was then the pivot location of the screen as it was pushed from one side to the other.
    The glassware had to be handled many times for getting all the passes just right.
    Each successive color had to be registered to the first and then be fired in a lear for about 4 hours plus slow cooling off period in-between, if I remember right. . This required much handling… and to register another color to match the previous one — a little steel pencil shaped pointer was mounted on the fixture and used to locate the 1st color by eyeballing it. This was work intensive.

    There was no requirement for automatic printers. Mr. Rothenberg liked the manual method for better control. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Culver had slowly faded away. Quality was just more important. It’s sad about the 9/11 story.
    Perhaps my late father met Mr. Worthman too, yet that was quite a while ago.
    I too have glasses yet which we picked up at discount many times before Christmas and they were kept or given to friends then as gifts. After reading about the history of this company I believe we will keep these for a while yet– for they are a piece of Americana and we will never see the raised gold design like this again.
    Last but not least many glasses had the name George Briard also displayed too.

  39. Kay
    May 20, 2015

    I am SO glad that I stumbled on this site!! I love vintage barware and am always trying to find out the history of the various companies. I have a set of 6 Ebony Baroque highball glasses that I love and USE!! They are still in pristine condition and are the PERFECT mojito glass. I would love to hear even more about the company and the designers that worked there.

  40. joy
    June 6, 2015

    Hi. I found some Culver glass at a thrift store and cant identify the pattern. Culver is in scipt and its a greek key pattern done in white, orange and gold around the top with columns below in white. Any help would be appreicated!

  41. Joni Rothenberg Konsky
    June 13, 2015

    This is regarding your article written on April 2, 2013 which I recently came across. I’d like to set the record straight about Culver Glassware Company. My name is Joni Rothenberg Konsky and my father was Abe Rothenberg, the founder, creator and sole owner of Culver. He created many of the designs for the glassware collections and serving dishes. Moses ‘Moe’ Worthman (Bonnie Worthman Goodman’s father) was a major contributor as a designer for my father’s company as well. He was a very talented artist-they worked hand in hand for many years.

    Irving Rothenberg (my father’s brother) was brought into the business by my father and many years later was made a partner. My father passed away in 1966 and Irving Rothenberg became the owner. My cousin, Mark ‘Mickey’ Rothenberg was brought into the business sometime later by his father and I assume he became the sole owner of Culver after Irving died.

    Also, as a point of information, Culver got the name from the original location on McDonald Ave in Brooklyn that was located under the “CULVER” train line.

    Finally, I would like to point out that without Abe Rothenberg’s ideas, inventions, designs and processes that created the products, there would not have been a Culver Glassware.

    Being that you have an interest in Culver, I wanted to make sure that you have the accurate history of the Company. I was so happy to see that you and many others still remember the CULVER name.

  42. Tina bronk
    July 5, 2015

    I have 6 shot glasses in a rack it has 22k gold by Culver’s usa sticker on it and shot 1cent etched in it wondering what year it’s from and how much is it worth

  43. Sherry
    August 29, 2015

    I have four old fashioned/lo ball glasses with CULVER in gold block letters. The have what appear to be gold seagulls in flight around the glass, one bird has a large bronze circle behind him-the sun. I cannot find anything about these. The have been in my mother’s house for at least 30 years. Does anyone know anything about that design?
    Thank you.

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