This captivating American Brilliant cut glass toupée was crafted by the revered Libbey Glass Company. Exhibiting an elegant design of sparkling hobstars and intricate cane work, this rare design is often thought to be a toupee stand, thanks to the rounded bottom of its attached underplate. An almost identical piece is featured on page 38 of Identifying American Brilliant Cut Glass by Bill and Louise Boggess.
The Libbey Glass Company was the foremost and most respected producer of the best cut glass of the Brilliant Period. From its very inception, the Libbey Glass Company assumed and maintained a prominent position, considered second to none in the production of premium American glass. The company was founded in 1818 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was known as the New England Glass Company. In 1878, William L. Libbey leased the company, changing the name to the New England Glassworks, LLC, Libbey and Sons, Proprietors. His son, Edward Drummond Libbey, took over the operation in 1883 and, in 1888; he closed the Massachusetts factory and moved to Toledo, Ohio, renaming the company the Libbey Glass Company. Libbey became the largest cut glass factory in the world during the Brilliant Period (1878-1915). The company's incredible exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair propelled Libbey's world-wide reputation. They brought 130 of their most skilled craftsmen to blow and cut glass, awing spectators by demonstrating the complicated and precise process of transforming raw molten glass into dazzling works of art. Today, examples of Libbey cut glass are considered the best of the best. Their fire and radiance remain unmatched and are highly sought-after by collectors.