Published: November 3, 2009
The glass collecting community lost a dedicated scholar when Duff S. Allen Jr died on October 20, at the age of 80. He is survived by his wife Mary (Menzies) Allen, known as Molly.
Duff was born on December 8, 1928, in St Louis, Mo. He was the son of Mildred (Burns) Allen and Duff S. Allen Sr. He was a graduate of John Burroughs School, Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a doctorate in organic chemistry. A longtime resident of Greenwich, Conn., he was employed by Lederle Laboratories in pharmaceutical research.
The Allen glass collection began with one piece purchased in 1981. As members of the Westchester Glass Club, the Allens managed the club’s premium glass show from 1986 to 1996. In 2000 they were founding members of the Cape Cod Glass Club. Duff also served on the board of the Sandwich Glass Museum.
Duff was a true scholar who scrutinized in detail each object in the collection of predominantly Nineteenth Century American glass that he and Molly judiciously assembled. The collection became an extended family, and it was with great sadness that the decision was made to dispose of it in 2008.
Duff is survived by three children: Duff Allen of Woodstock, N.Y., Cori Allen of Palo Alto, Calif., and Tana Allen of St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada; a sister, Rita Glastris of Missouri; a brother, Robert Allen of California; and two grandchildren. His first wife, Iris, and brother, Richard, predeceased him.
A memorial visitation was conducted October 26, with a private burial to follow at a later date. Donations in Duff S. Allen’s memory may be made to the accessions fund of the Sandwich Glass Museum, PO Box 103, Sandwich MA 02563.