The GPSA Gazette
monthly newsletter vol. 5 December 2002
From the Editor...

It's holiday time
at GPSA!

GPSA member
diantiques has brought us a peek into the wonderful world of mercury glass deer.  pjt, another GPSA member, has shared a great item from her extensive collection of open salts.  Fellow eBayer has graciously allowed us to share her story about selling a record-breaking head vase.   GPSA member irishjune sends us an off topic, but important, holiday reminder. And, as always, we welcome our new members.

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A Special Holiday Collectible
Silvered "Mercury Glass"Deer
by Diantiques
"Of all the creatures in the menagerie of glass made figures, perhaps none is more beloved than the deer."
Christmas traditions involving evergreen customs and folk items from Germany often use the stag as representative of winter in the forest.  As part of this tradition, silvered glass deer were produced in Germany and Bohemia in the late 19th and early 20th century and provided a decorative ornamental item to add to the Christmas display.

Although too fragile to be used as toys, these items were no doubt treasured by inventive children who used the deer in imaginative play-acting. Sadly, the fragile blown glass runners that kept the deer erect were likely broken by a child who “walked” the deer on surfaces while playing with them.

Shiny silvered glass deer were used as centerpieces, tucked into the corners of crèches, or as my German grandmother did, incorporated into a fantasy table-top Christmas village complete with a mirror glass pond, diminutive figures and real pine boughs.
New at GPSA...
  We're all very excited at the GPSA, and have been as busy as Santa's elves preparing for this event!

We will be offering special year-end "Deals and Steals" with loads of merchandise starting at just $1 with NO RESERVE! 
That's right, the same trusted GPSA sellers that you've dealt with in the past, the same honest, accurate descriptions and careful packaging that you've come to expect, and all at rock bottom starting prices!

are the property of the author of each article unless credited elsewhere.
Made from non-flint glass and blown into shape by careful fabrication, the deer figures have clear crystal antlers gently pulled into points along with tiny ears.
The glass was silvered using a combination of silver nitrate and other elements to create the viscosity necessary to allow the silvering material to adhere to the inside of the double walled piece. 

One step that is not well known was that the items were then carefully heated to allow the silvering to ‘set’ in the piece.  Upon examination it is evident that a small blowpipe was used and that the opening in the snout was where the silvering solution was introduced.   Further embellished with black glass enamel eyes in black and shaded coloration around the mouth, the deer were finished into fanciful items that were exported in great numbers to both the European and American markets.
Most of these glass deer were made standing upright although occasional “grazing” examples can be found. The average stag measures between 3” and 4” tall, and about the same dimension from tail tip to nose.
Note the subtle differences in the deer on the left and right.  Small variations such as the position of the head, stance and nose treatments make these fun to collect.  Original tags, like the one below, add to value.
The majority of these whimsical items found today were likely made between the 1920's and WWII and sometimes retain their oval paper labels. Since the silvering was prone to deterioration from the atmosphere, pieces found in undamaged condition are quite rare. A “Made in Germany” label makes the item even more desirable and recent market research indicates that the average prices range – depending on size – from an average of $25.00 to $35.00 with some examples in mint condition selling for over $100.00!
While We're On the Subject of Animals From Germany...

How about this vintage Black Forest Bear Open Salt?  From the collection of GPSA member, pjt (known at GPSA as "The Salty Nut"), this little bear would have held a spoon on his outstretched paws.  Salts with carved wooden bears like these were common souvenirs from the Black Forest region of Germany and are now highly prized by collectors.
Record Set on eBay for Sale of a Head Vase
Don't You Wish You Had One of These?
This gorgeous Marilyn Monroe Head Vase set a record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a head vase.

The eBay auction closed on November 24 at a price of $3,255.  The vase, Relpo #2089, was sold with its original box, as pictured.  The previous record for a head vase at auction was $2,800 for another Marilyn Monroe which sold in 1998.  Our congratulations to the seller,
Photo Courtesy of
eBay member
The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in November.  As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the
Glass & Pottery Sellers' Association








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About GPSA

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A Gentle Holiday Reminder
from GPSA Member Irishjune
As a child, I believed wholeheartedly in that whimsical character called Santa Claus. When I crawled reluctantly beneath the covers on Christmas Eve, there was no doubt in my mind that I would wake to find that he had left lots of wonderful things beneath our tree.

Because I was a minister’s daughter, some years were leaner than others – not that we ever lacked or wanted for anything. Besides, I was a child, I had no concept of lean or plentiful – all I knew was that Santa had come & I had presents to open. He never let me down.

Sooner or later, I had to grow up and I learned that Santa is not always a jolly little guy dressed all in red.  In fact, most of the time he wears overalls and answers to “Papa.”  (He does, however, have a button nose, a beard, rosy cheeks & a jolly disposition.)  Magic, wonder, and especially, love were always a part of Christmas in our home.

Personally, I still believe in Santa Claus.  My views of him, coming from the other side of childhood, have changed somewhat.  Now I think of him simply as the spirit of Christmas.  He is warmth and caring, and the smiles on children’s faces as they open their gifts. He is the love of man for his fellow man.

That is all well and good for me, and perhaps for you, too, but let’s have a reality check here. What about the children who will not have a holiday gift this year? So many of us have so much to be thankful for -- why will there be children who have nothing?  Kids are what it is all about.  Not just the season, either. Kids are what everything is all about. They are our present joy & future hope.  Can we not give a little of ourselves to bring light into the life of a needy child?

Organizations all over are gearing up to do just that.  Toys for Tots is a nationwide drive headed up by the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves.  The Salvation Army across the nation gathers toys.  ABATE organizations and churches and local charities hold drives as well, the list goes on and on.  People from all walks of life are reaching out in the true spirit of the season to help others.

Receptacles are located all across the nation for these drives.  If each one of us who has so much will place one gift or toy in a receptacle, then one less child will be left wanting this holiday season.

I still believe in Santa Claus, do you?

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Archived Issues
November 2002
Corn Ware, Cranberry Glass, Turkey Plates,
October 2002
Steigel Green, Slag Glass, Fraud
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September 2002
Mosaics, Mercury Glass, Stretch vs Swung
August 2002
Roseville & Catalina Repros
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