Verrerie Cristallerie d'Arques started out as a small family crystal and glassmaking shop in Arques, Frances in 1825, but by the 21st century, it had grown to become the world leader in tableware manufacture. The Durand family still owns the privately held company but ceased production of Acropal dishware, though it is still available from stores that offer replacements for dishware and on auction sites.
The Acropal Line
Acropal dinnerware, the company's opaque glass dishware line, first appeared in 1958, 10 years after the company introduced its flagship brand Luminarc, dishware made from transparent glass. Discontinued in 2000 when the company changed its name to Arc International, the opal glass dishware was especially known for its durability and strength because of the manufacturing process, which heated up the dishware slowly, and then cooled it quickly. The dishware is coated with a fire-glazed finish.
Opal Glass Dishware
When the company developed its Acropal line, it did so on the heels of innovation that allowed it to create the opaque opal dishware en masse. The company introduced mechanization to the production of this well-known glassware line, gleaned from trips to the U.S. that resulted in heat-resistant, but light, opaque dishware that the company named "opal" dishware. With its nonporous heat-resistance, Acropal dishware is dishwasher- and microwave-safe. While the glass dishware is durable, it can break, and when it does, it breaks into small pieces.
Thin and Strong
The thin, but strong dishware is fully tempered glassware that is break- and chip-resistant. The line also included Acropal bakeware that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, baked in the oven or used as microwave cookware. The glass dishware and bakeware claims strength five times over that of porcelain china because of the way it is made. The company included Acropal opal dishware in its Luminarc and Arcoroc lines, made solely for restaurants and catering firms.
While the company no longer makes this dishware line, you can find replacements from online retailers and auction sites in multiple patterns. While Acropal dishware has a white base, the company created colorful patterns that include plates shaped like flower petals with eight sides and floral designs. Some patterns included a single border rimming the plate or bowl, while others have patterns similar to those found on porcelain china. At the time of publication, expect to pay anywhere from $5 and up for plates, while you can get 12 pieces for as little as $25, depending on the pattern.