Tiaras and Honeycombs

These two pink glass boxes came from different QBO estates, where one was being used as a powder jar on the bathroom vanity, and the other as a trinket dish in the bedroom. At around 5″ square and 3″ deep, they can also be used as candy dishes, although that was not their original purpose. 

Produced from 1970 through 1998, Tiara glass resembles 1940s Depression glass because the same production techniques were used: molten glass blown or pressed into patterned molds. Popular Tiara patterns such as “Sandwich” and “Avocado” (AKA “Sweet Pear”) were even made using original molds from the 1920s – 40s so some are essentially re-issues, although many additional serving pieces in the Sandwich pattern were created for 1970s buyers.

Tiara glass was not sold in retail stores, it was marketed via in-home selling parties like LuLaRoe leggings are sometimes sold today. Most of what Tiara put out was table wares such as plates, mugs, and tumblers in a rainbow of colors like bicentennial blue, golden amber, Chantilly green, spruce green, clear, peach, and ruby. Lamps, “fairy lamps” for candles and special serving pieces such as these charming boxes were also offered. 

The Lancaster Colony’s Tiara Exclusives company was based in Dunkirk, Indiana, and was just the designer and distributor, not the manufacturer. Production was contracted out to multiple American and European makers, with the majority of Tiara glass being produced by the Indiana Glass Company which was also owned by Lancaster Colony. L.E. Smith Glass Co. and Fenton Art Glass also produced pieces for Tiara. Most Tiara glass ceased production in 1998, but in 1999 Home Interiors commissioned Sandwich Glass dinnerware in a purple/plum/amethyst.

So what about all our cute glass boxes here? When you see the same box in “Golden Amber”, its purpose becomes clearer. The lid and bottom swarm with honeybees, and the sides are impressed with old-fashioned skeps (dome-shaped beehives made of clay or basketry) – it is a Honeycomb Box! 

Back in the day, more people ate the honey-filled comb just as it was cut from the hive, wax and all. For added sophistication you could keep it on your table in a dedicated serving piece. When Tiara put these out in the late 1970s the number of people eating honeycomb was waning but Tiara’s nostalgic glassware was based on earlier products. 

This next amber, hexagon patterned piece is Fenton depression glass and this second pedestaled version from our last sale probably also dates to the 1920s – 40s.

Today you can buy comb honey from beekeepers, farmers markets, or upscale grocery stores. It is sold in chunks floating in jars of honey or built directly into small premade wooden ‘cassettes’ by the bees themselves. The cassettes are fit into the larger standard frames beekeepers use to help the bees start making their honey. Comb honey is eaten raw because the heat needed to pasteurize honey would destroy the wax comb, so it contains more of the enzymes that give honey antibacterial properties. And although the wax mostly passes through you undigested, you do absorb small amounts of beneficial long-chain fatty acids and alcohols.

If you’d like to treat yourself to some sweet, sweet honeycomb in true vintage style, you can buy a dedicated honeycomb box online for anywhere from $60 to $100. Or better yet, come by our estate sales and score one from the busy QBO bees in person!