The GPSA Gazette
monthly newsletter vol. 3 October 2002
Welcome! We hope you enjoy our monthly newsletter, the GPSA Gazette.
We will attempt to publish informative and fun articles every month, with a focus on glass and pottery, for sellers and collectors alike!
From the Editor...

In the Halloween spirit  we've included an appropriately creepy story that most of us "Glassies and Potties" can relate to. It's written by our very own Jogle and we hope you think it's a treat!
Our "Buyer Beware" article gives advice on how to avoid tricks when looking for treats.

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We hope you will visit our other web pages. We have added a new
Featured Sellers program to highlight three members each month. We also have a new spiffy mouse over feature that describes what you'll find on each link.

There's no resting on our laurels around here. We are committed to continually improving our association and the usefulness of the GPSA web site!

Thank you for your support and encouragement!
by Jogle
They're waiting for you...

They attack at the worst possible moments. I have found them in my hair, on my shoe, on my clothes, and yes, even in my underwear (don't visualize that one for too long...)

They follow me to work, to church, to social gatherings, ready to jump out and embarass me at the worst possible moment.

I used to get angry at myself - obviously my efforts at housecleaning (such as they are) were misfiring. It was me. I was doing something wrong. Yet no matter what new broom, vacuum, dustpans, or cleaners I tried, I could never eradicate them.

These failures led to great emotional stress. I began seeing them in my dreams. I began talking to them. Months of therapy and medication accomplished nothing.

Finally - acceptance. It's not me - it's just one of those things in life you have to deal with. They're out there. They'll always be out there. You can run. You can hide. But you can never escape...

...stray packing peanuts.
What's In a Name?
A Look at Stiegel Green
by Wgpaul

Do a search in the Glass category on eBay on the word Stiegel and you will come up with a variety of glass from 18th century blown wares to 1990's Fenton products.   You will also likely find items by Imperial, Morgantown and Heisey.  Who was Stiegel, and why did so many companies use his name?

In their book,
American Glass, George and Helen McKearin refer to Henry William Stiegel as "the most romantic figure in the realm of early American glass".  Stiegel, a German immigrant, was well known for his flamboyant lifestyle.  He was called Baron Stiegel by his Pennsylvania neighbors, even though he was not truly of noble descent.  He had bands positioned on the rooftops of his three mansions to play music as he arrived or departed.
The tradition of vibrant colors begun by William Henry Stiegel was carried on by early American pressed glass makers into the 19th century as seen in this stamp from the U.S. Postal Service.

Stiegel opened the Mannheim Glass Works in 1764, where he began by producing mainly bottles .  He quickly opened a second and third glass works, where he began to produce flint table wares and fine blown glass, as well as beautifully etched and enameled pieces.  He is acknowledged as the first flint glass manufacturer in the United States.   He earned a reputation for exceptional workmanship and vibrant colors, especially blue, amethyst and green.  Other glass houses followed Stiegel's lead.  Because most of the pieces made by Stiegel cannot be attributed specifically to the Mannheim Glass Works, you will frequently see references to Stiegel type glass.

The first modern glassmaker to use the name Stiegel appears to be Morgantown Glass, who introduced a color called Stiegel Green in 1931.  The color, a vibrant green with a hint of blue, stayed in the Morgantown line for most of it's history.  It was used on many of its most famous pieces, including the Morgantown #7643 Golf Ball stems and their deco styled 1930's #73 Radio Vase.

Imperial Glass followed soon after, introducing their Stiegel Green color later in the 1930's. This was used primarily on their #701 Reeded pattern, but can be found on other items from the 1930's such as the #153 Newbound console bowl pictured at left.  Imperial also produced a small line of bowls in the 1950's called Stiegel Bowls.  These bowls were intended to imitate 18th century glass and came in shapes called Acorn, Oak Leaf, Snail, Petal, Shamrock, Spade and Scallop.  Interestingly, while they were produced in colors, they were not made in Stiegel Green.
A Stiegel Green Newbound Console Bowl from the 1930's by Imperial.
Heisey also used the Stiegel name.  However, it didn't describe a green color.  Instead, in recognition of Stiegel's fabulous blue colored glass, Heisey occasionally called their cobalt color Stiegel Blue. 

More than two hundred years later, the Stiegel name continues to represent rich color in the glass world.  In the 1990's Fenton combined their Stiegel Green color, developed in in 1933, with a stretch glass treatment to create their Stiegel Green Stretch line.Several of the Stiegel Green Stretch items are hand painted with the Wind Flowers design, such as the basket at right.

Given Stiegel's penchant for showiness, one can't help but think that the Baron would have enjoyed seeing his name associated with the deep rich colors produced by some of America's finest glass house.
This basket is from Fenton's Stiegel Green Stretch line of the 1990's.
1.  American Glass, George and Helen McKearin, 1941, Crown Publishers
2.  Morgantown Glass, Jeffrey B. Snyder, 1998, Schiffer Publishing
3.  Imperial Glass Encyclopedia Volume III, James Measell, Ed., 1999, The Glass Press
4.  The Heisey Museum,
5.  Fenton Glass Catalog Supplement, June 1994,
Slag Glass
by Febreb
One of our readers e-mailed a request for an article on slag glass. I'm going to step up to the plate and take a swing at it! Please bear with me as I am relying heavily on information found at the Online Glass Museums Glass Encyclopedia. If you have never visited this site you are missing out. There is a direct link to it on our Glass Links Page, and it is well worth the trip!

Slag is a commonly used term used to describe this opaque glass with a variegated color. It has veins and swirls (generally white) that are reminiscent of marble. In fact "marble" is another term used to describe this type of glass.
Many playing marbles are made of slag glass. So saying "slag marble" could almost be considered redundant - but not quite! Akro Agate was a glass company that switched from producing marbles exclusively to making decorative and functional glassware as well. Though not limited to slag, it seems that is what they are best known for. Nearly every glass company has incorporated slag items into their lines at one time or another, and some are still making it today. The name slag refers to impurities from iron smelting being added to the glass to achieve the colors. This is no longer practiced, but the name remains.

Slag glass is dense and often surprisingly heavy relative to it's size. Vintage slag glass almost always glows bright orange under a blacklight no matter what color it is in daylight.  Slag glass is sometimes confused with "
End of Day" or "Marvered Glass".

For more information and photos please visit these pages:
Purple slag glass basket by Imperial - slag marbles by various manufacturers.
If you buy only one collectibles reference book - this should be the one!
Buyer Beware
by Febreb
Antique Trader Guide to Fakes & Reproductions by Mark Chervenka

This is not a new expression. In fact it's probably older than the dead language Latin version "Caveat Emptor"!  Since most sellers and retailers are perfectly honest upright citizens not bent on ripping anyone off "Buyer
BE Aware" may be the best practice.

We read complaints fairly regularly on the eBay Discussion Boards regarding fakes and reproductions being sold on eBay, sometimes with misleading or deceptive descriptions. It's a common lament. But it is not exclusive to eBay. You will find these fakes, reproductions, knock offs and copies in your local shops, estate sales, flea markets and anywhere else you shop! Is the seller dishonest? Perhaps. Or perhaps they are simply not the expert you would expect them to be. To be fair even the experts are fooled occasionally. Try to think of a museum that has not at one time or another displayed a copy as the real deal!

A little
homework before you plunk down "collectible cash" for a cheap imitation can save you possible grief later. One of the advantages of buying your collectibles on eBay is TIME! Unlike a fast paced real live auction where you have to make your decision right then and there, or a flea market where you don't have the resources available to research your intended purchase, eBay auctions generally run for a whole week!

That week affords a buyer the luxury of checking the seller's feedback profile. Does the seller have many happy customers? Or do they have many dissatisfied customers? Why? Great packaging? Poor Packaging? Accurate descriptions? Inaccurate descriptions?
Checking a seller's feedback is one of your most useful tools - use it!

If you are a novice collector or buying a gift for someone else, make sure you know a little about the item. Does it have the proper characteristics? If you can't tell from the photos in the listing ask the seller for additional photos.
Ask any questions you have that are not answered in the description.

Do some independent research! While nothing will compare to having a library of reference books on hand, there are many, many other resources just a mouse click away. The GPSA has tried to provide a centralized place to locate some of the best online glass and pottery resources. Our Glass Links and Pottery Links pages have hundreds of links to sites that are useful to collectors and sellers alike. We have provided links to specialty clubs and organizations, many of which have photos to compare with your intended purchase, descriptions, and repro alerts as well as discussion boards where you may post a question. eBay Community has dozens of chat and discussion boards dedicated to specific interests. The Pottery Glass and Porcelain Discussion Board is incredibly educational.

I cannot even guess how many dollars have been wasted on
McCoy Little Red Riding Hood cookie jars!
One click on any McCoy site will reveal that McCoy
never made this piece! Joining a club or posting to a board is not just a way to protect yourself from making a bad choice, it's fun to meet other collectors who share a common passion. Learning all you can about the types of pottery or glass that you collect will have the additional benefit of increasing your buying confidence and enjoyment of your pieces.
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Archived Issues
September 2002
Mosaics, Mercury Glass, Stretch vs Swung
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August 2002
Roseville & Catalina Repros
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