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Kusak Crystal Vintage Sale

by Karen on March 16th, 2015

 

 

Pieces from Kusak Vintage Crystal Sale

Pieces from Kusak’s Vintage Crystal Sale

 

I love to shop estate sales and set a gorgeous table affordably.  For me the best part of this kind of shopping is the hunt.

Treasure is often found at a fraction of the cost and the quality of each piece brings years of enjoyment.  A HUGE estate-style vintage sale of crystal begins March 19th right here in Seattle.

a matched set

or mix up patterns for an eclectic look at your event

Years ago when I was just starting out in business I began working with Chuck Kusak of Kusak Cut Glass. Chuck is the 3rd generation to run this family business that offers high quality gorgeous crystal and genuine customer service.  After 100 years in business they are now offering some of their truly vintage pieces in a huge estate-style sale.
(For more about their 100 + year history, see end of post).

As I photographed these pictures, I marveled at how wonderful real hand-cut, hand-blown crystal wine glasses feel in your hand.

You feel grown up holding a crystal glass……….finally able to enjoy the finer things in life.

……..But you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get it…….

As I walked around the showroom this week I was amazed to see champagne and wine glasses normally $55.00+ now priced in the range of $12.00-$25.00 per glass–yes that’s for hand-blown, hand-cut crystal in the vintage styles you want with gold trim or hand engraving…UNBELIEVEABLE pricing for gorgeous vintage crystal.

You can toast your special event with real crystal in true vintage style.

Gold Rim Stemware, tons of it in the vintage sale, a great mid-century modern style

Gold Rim Stemware, tons of it in the vintage sale, a great mid-century modern style

Large quantities of these champagne and wine glasses were tucked away in the warehouse–so whether you need 6 glasses for a dinner party, 60 glasses for a rehearsal dinner, or 450 glasses for a larger event you need to stop by between March 19-28th.

mix and match, many choices

mix and match, many choices

The agates in the photo are some unique stones my mother in law found and tumbled. Each one is a rare find, and so is Kusak’s. A jewel in our Emerald City. Their attention to detail is evident in the perfect engraving and gorgeous sparkle.

When you see the Kusak showroom and meet the warm, friendly people you will agree it is a jewel that you will be glad to find.

For those of us who remember Frederick & Nelson department store it is interesting to note that owner Donald Frederick offered Kusak crystal to his customers in the early 1900s and continued to do so for over 70 years.  Many of the pieces in the sale were once sold in stores across the country and have been stashed away in the Kusak warehouse for decades.  (Current owner Chuck Kusak expanded the business into crystal corporate awards and recognitions.)

Kusak’s Vintage Sale is the place to be beginning March 19th at 9:00am, be sure you are in line early.

In addition to handcrafted crystal glasses you will find many gift items: bowls, vases, art glass, and even chandeliers.  With Kusak crystal on the table, your event will have a warm vintage glow.

bowls, vases in many patterns

bowls, vases in many patterns

 

Photos from Kusak’s Huge Vintage Sale showroom:

Hand Cut Overlay Crystal Vases

Hand Cut Overlay Crystal Vases

more gold rimmed mid-century modern glasses

more gold rimmed mid-century modern glasses

IMG_2793

Don't you love seeing the bubbles up through the stem? Kusak's Hollow Stem Champagne

Don’t you love seeing the bubbles up through the stem? Kusak’s Hollow Stem Champagne

Hand blown and hand cut lead crystal hi balls in the Pineapple and Button design (that's either a vase or a pitcher)

Hand blown and hand cut lead crystal hi balls in the Pineapple and Button design (that’s either a vase or a pitcher) They are in the process of getting everything polished and ready for you, I was there a bit before all the polishing.

IMG_2853

another hand cut overlay crystal vase--Aida

another hand cut overlay crystal vase–Aida

I think I want Pink

I think I want Pink

an absolutely stunning vase

an absolutely stunning vase

I love these little toothpick holders.  Lots of great gifts.

I love these little toothpick holders. Lots of great gifts.

detail of several designs available

detail of just a few of the many designs available

Kusak Logo BW

located south of I-90 on Rainier Ave South at 22nd
1911 22nd Ave. S., Seattle 98144

Some Kusak History

anton kusak history

A lovely book was put together a few years ago recounting the incredible history of the Kusak family business and how a resourceful and determined thirteen year old young man from a small village in Czechoslovakia managed to gain marketable skills as an engraver of crystal and ultimately became a successful businessman.
Copies of the book are available at Kusak’s but here is a little snippet:

In 1900 Anton Kusak knew that his parents did not have the ability to help him any further than connecting him to folks at a prominent crystal factory where he would perform menial labor. If Anton was going to make it in the world he had to make the most of this position. He did everything he could to learn how to use the copper wheels to engrave his own designs by practicing during the off hours on old discarded glass.  One day, one of Europe’s leading glass designers arrived early to find the thirteen year old at an engraving wheel which inspired the designer to secretly give Anton private instruction in the early hours of each day for two years until Anton was accepted into the factory’s apprenticeship program.

 

From these humble beginnings he moved on to work in France and several other European countries, and then to the United States to work at the Fostoria Glass Company in West Virginia.  He married Marie in 1910 and the young couple decided to move to Seattle to live with Marie’s brother, also a glass engraver. They opened Washington Cut Glass Works which eventually became Kusak Cut Glass Works.

IMG_3029_2

In 1914, Frederick & Nelson department store began selling Kusak Crystal and Anton began travelling to other West coast cities to market crystal to jewelers and other merchants.

 

There is plenty more to this story but the thing that strikes me is how such a young man was able to work hard against all odds to develop skills that would allow him to survive.  He was resourceful, confident, creative, determined and took a few risks along the way.  I am sure most families have similar history from this era.

There is so much value in these stories that our children often do not understand, especially if they have grown up in households where life is much easier.  I would love for our kids and grandchildren to learn how hard work –truly hard work–can lead them to success despite the odds.  I guess the only way that happens is through experiencing the hard work and the rewards that come with the effort!

Three generations of Kusaks have each translated their unique skills to make Kusak’s a success for over 100 years.  Anton’s story is above. Anton’s son Tony worked with Anton to get the company through the Great Depression and WWII  to 1969 when new college graduate Chuck joined the business.  Each year of business brought new challenges where that resourcefulness of thirteen year old Anton shines through each of his successors!  Chuck is still keeping the dream alive and very much involved in paying it forward by giving back to the community that sustains the business.  Stop by for a visit!

 

Disclaimer:  I occasionally handle media buying for Kusak’s and am paid an agency commission for that work.  This post is a little tribute to a business that I have worked for on a free lance basis for all of my adult life !

I got to visit the sale early for some lovely pieces…..my husband was very impressed….and that says a lot…..he rarely notices my purchases……. I am going back for more……

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