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Vol. 12 August 2003

American, the Popular!
by  fostoriack and amxjewel
From the Editor...

It's the dog days of summer.  The heat is at its hottest, eBay is at its slowest, and fall seems like a million years away!  There's only one thing to do - pour yourself a big glass of iced tea, pull your monitor a little closer and cool off with this month's GPSA Gazette!

This month's feature article is one many glass buyers will appreciate - with so many imitators out there, it's nice to know more about the beautiful American pattern by Fostoria.  GPSA members
fostoriack and amxjewel share their extensive expertise in this first in a series article on this well-loved pattern.

A wonderful chintz plate that's anything but chintzy is feaured this month by

PAJewel shares a fun "fairy tale" about dime banks which has a very happy ending!

New member,
vpretz, shares pictures of a little post office mistake!

Rat, we'll miss you this month.  So will our computers!) 

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Before closing in 1986...

Fostoria Glass Company pressed millions of pieces and, some say, thousands of patterns. Through 99 years of production only one of these patterns was pressed for 71 years. From 1915 until 1986 Fostoria pressed their longest running, best selling pattern. It was designed by Joseph Eberling and was named "American"

American's popularity was attributable to two things. The diagonally stacked cube pattern, like a glass pyramid, reflects and refracts color with amazing brilliance, making it beautiful in high light or low. If all Fostoria's glassware was beautiful, American had another plus. It was also durable. Rarely did a pattern have both attributes. With open stock at an affordable price, American made company history.

As a result of its long life, American had more individual pieces than most patterns. From approximately 75 moulds, Fostoria's glass workers and artisans used their skill to produced over 400 unique pieces. Ending with a fire polish and days of gradual cooling, one piece could go through the hands of 16 people from start to finish.

Some pieces varied over their production lives, including minor changes in dimensions or subtle changes in design. Some variations offered better function. Some variations were more mysterious. For instance, whether or not a piece has a rays pressed into the bottom. Mostly, the variations do not greatly affect value and some are hard to spot. There are, however, two variations deserving special mention. The English line and the Ornamental line.
"The diagonally stacked cube pattern, like a glass pyramid, reflects and refracts ... making it beautiful in high light or low."
The English line was pressed from a group of moulds not used in normal production. They differ in design by a specific pattern change. Worked into the cubes of these rarities is a narrow leaved "maple leaf." These pieces were pressed or shipped to the U.K. in an effort to expand American's market share. They weren't, however, the only pieces sold in Europe. Some of the most sought after pieces in the regular line are being sold daily on Ebay U.K.

The other important variation was also a pattern change. The Ornamental line, too, was pressed from separate moulds. These pieces have a smaller cube pattern, similar to the large diagonal cube pattern, impressed into the "top" side of every cube within the larger cube design.

Both the English and Ornamental pieces are very rare and worth purchasing. They will command high resale or make an uncommon addition to most collections.
New at GPSA...

As always, we are working on bringing you interesting articles in the coming months.  Watch for a hot article next month on Blenko!

Some GPSA members are planning a mini-get together at
Washburn's American Glass, Pottery and China show in San Antonio in September.  While it's not the first time GPSA members have arranged to meet, it is the first gathering of its size.  If you attend the show, say hello to the GPSA folks!
If you see this "maple leaf" design on a piece of Fostoria american, you are looking at an English variation.
Looks like Fostoria American, but not quite?  If it looks like this sketch, it's another variation known as Ornamental.
On any given day, you will find 800 to 1200 listings for American on eBay. American accounts for roughly half of all the Fostoria listings and has it's own subcategory. Prices vary on the mid range ($50.00-$400.00) pieces but are consistently at book, or just below. The common low end choices (below $40.00) sell for about half book. The very high-end sells for considerably less than book. "High-end"  pieces book at many thousands of dollars. It may not be so, outside of Ebay, but few on-line collectors or dealers will bid much over $3,000 dollars for a single piece - even if book value is far higher. You win either way. Above the $40.00 range, American sells well on Ebay and can be a nice addition to your profit margin. If you are collecting, exclusively, Ebay yields high-end bargains nearly every day.

There is so much to know about this pattern that this article is meant to be only an introduction. We will be writing, quarterly, three more articles in an attempt to cover more information. So... what's to come? We will do our best to cover reproductions, look-a-likes and similar patterns.

For this introduction, we offer the shortest, and most useful identification rule. There were very few pieces of American made with less than three mould marks. If your purchase has less than three it is not Fostoria American.  
The only exceptions are:

1.)  Banana Splits, and "spun" (versus "only" pressed) 14   inch punch bowls; both have no mould marks but are         quite rare.

2.) The
very rare twin salt dip and the common glass-         handled cake plate; both have only two mould marks.

3.) Plates, too, have no mold marks but are easily distinguishable.

We will detail the cake plate (2) and regular plates (3) in a subsequent issue, but for now, if it has cubes and three or more mould marks, it's American.

Fostoria American 101. There you have it! So, watch mould marks and look for continuing details in the months to come. You, too, can become a buyer with the right stuff to purchase "American, the popular!"
"The shortest and most useful rule: 

If your purchase has less than three mould marks, it is not Fostoria American."
Looking for the USPS Boxes You Ordered ?
You might want to check with GPSA member Vpretz.  She ordered 50 of the #7 boxes, 50 of the #4 boxes, 100 labels and two rolls of tape.

Instead she got:

250 #7boxes 
200 #4 boxes 
100 16x12x3 boxes
100 16x10x2 boxes,
700 preprinted labels
8 rolls of tape
100 9 1/2x11 Mailing Envelopes
50 one price envelope
50 small envelopes

"They just kept coming and coming," she told us.  And they're still coming - she got a roll of tape just yesterday!
Plate of the Month
by Dianetiques
One of the most popular types of collectible ceramics is “Chintz China”...

so called, because of its resemblance to the dense patterned textiles known as chintz.   Although chintz-patterned wares were first produced around 1910, tablewares made in “chintz” were not produced until the 1920’s. Initially developed by the A. G. Richardson Company and marketed as “Crown Ducal,” the earlier chintz patterns were exotic and colorful, printed by transfer on vases and trinkets intended for the middle classes. Later production included a full compendium of tableware, which continued to be produced by many other companies including James Kent, Ltd., W.R. Midwinter, Ltd., Elijah Cotton Ltd. (“Lord Nelson”) and perhaps the most recognized maker – Grimwades, Ltd., (“Royal Winton.”)

Leonard Lumsden Grimwade co-founded a pottery factory with his brother at the Winton Pottery, Stoke-On-Kent in 1885. In 1928, the first Royal Winton chintz pattern created was “Marguerite,” soon followed by “Summertime,” “Old Cottage Chintz,” and “Delphinium Chintz.” These patterns were comprised of dense flowers on an ivory ground, often trimmed in gold. 

First produced in 1934 as number 2208, the dramatic pattern “Hazel” has a distinctive black background, which makes it highly recognizable and very desirable. “Hazel” patterned chintz, like the other floral patterns, is found on virtually every type of tableware imaginable, including eggcups and toast racks. Prices are generally higher as compared to other patterns, and a coffee pot is listed at a value of $850.00! 
Left, pattern detail shows the elaborate chintz type decoration.  Above, the Hazel mark from the back of this plate.
Considered to be inexpensive ‘everyday’ china, these earthenware items were easily chipped and damaged. In addition, the tiny patterned glaze crazing, although generally accepted as “typical,” is really a result of poor manufacturing. As a result, items found today in undamaged condition command extraordinary prices!

This round plate measures over 7” ¾” in diameter and is trimmed in gold. The pattern consists of bright shaded mauve pink and golden yellow damask roses together with purple lilacs and green foliage against a reticulated patterned ground, with a textured, pebble effect. With a look that is almost mosaic, the dense and lush pattern is at once bold, yet cozy.

Collectors may decide to seek out different shapes in the same pattern, yet many other people assemble items in different patterns – and there are literally dozens and dozens to choose from! Chintz China is truly a unique ceramic collectible and a piece of “Hazel” would make a fine addition to any collection!
A Dime Bank Tale
The Two Little Pigs
by PAJewel
Once upon a time ...

n the land of Zane in the Ohio County of Muskingham two piggy banks were born. The bank born first in 1956 with great detail and design. It is a break to open bank, so many of it's brothers and sisters met the fate of a hammer to get to the money out. The bank was not marked by the manufacturer, so most finders of this bank don't have clue who made it.
The Pastel piggy bank born in 1958 could hold 75 dollars in dimes. It had thousands of brothers and sisters born each day. The company put a cork stopper in the bottom for easy access to it's money, and stamped the bottom with the company initials and year of manufacture!

Which of these pigs is the big pig on the block forty some years later? The realistic Brush McCoy pig, is rarely found and sells for around 30 dollars on ebay if the bidder know it's identity. The Hull dime bank is commonly found selling for 200 dollars plus!

If you have a pottery or porcelain bank that need identified, contact PAJewel (Gary) at his
web site!
Florence Ceramics Figurine
Don't You Wish You Had One of These?

Think that all valuable figurines are from European manufacturers like Meissen, Dresden or Royal Doulton?  Then take a look at this lovely figurine entitled

She's a California girl!  Made by
Florence Ceramics, she sold recently on eBay for $2,148.33 making her the highest selling figurine sold on eBay during the month of July!
Rat's Tech Tips
by Rat's Attic
Dear Reader:

** Out of the Office Reply***

You are reading this reply because I am away right now.  I'll return soon with more Tech Tips.

The following eBay sellers became GPSA members this month.  As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the
Glass & Pottery Sellers' Association
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Archived Issues
July 2003
Candlewick, American Sweetheart, Dresden Plate, $16k Carnival Glass
May 2003
Shawnee Minis, Dresden MA Plate, Eggs in Your Computer
April 2003
Children's Dishes, Cut Glass, Russian Plate
March 2003
Dryden, Green Depression, More Salts
February 2003
Amberina, Figural Planters, Frankoma
Do you have an idea that you would like to share? A suggestion for a future article?
If so, please e-mail us at
January 2003
Open Salts, Coalport Plate, Little Red Riding Hood
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