I have a passion for Duralex glasses but apart from the aesthetics and functionality of them, I didn't quite understand how special they were, whilst doing some technical research, the results you can find below I came across a quote which I believe sums them up "the ultimate drinking vessels created by man". Who could argue with that?
The Gigogne glasses are often recognised as the old school tumblers, indeed along with the Picardie glass these would have been used in many a school. There is good reason for this and here comes the technical research, Duralex in 1939 developed the tempering pressing process, based on the principle of thermal shock where the glass is heated to 600 degrees and then cooled very quickly, giving excellent transparency and impact resistance making the glasses 2.5 times stronger than any other glass. WOW! No wonder they had them in school, every child friendly home should have some! These glasses are chip, shock and heat resistant, enabling, if you choose to use for hot drinks, stylish espresso or perhaps a glass of mulled wine. Gigogne is a french word meaning nested or stackable and I can vouch for that, my cupboard is stacked full of them but apart from my cupboard they also have a spot in the permanent display at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris.
Still produced in La Chapelle Saint Mesmin, near Orleans, there used to be two factories but this is the only one remaining. Duralex went through some tough times between 2003-2009, when there was changes of ownership, management buyouts and industrial action, administrators were knocking at the door but despite all the odds Duralex glasses are the great survivors! Lets hope these iconic glasses never become extinct or else we’ll be hunting markets and antique stalls paying a fortune for them. You don’t find many iconic pieces of design that cost £7 for 6 glasses.
Don't just take my word for it, I found a great review here.
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