I recently identified a piece of EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) for a GPSA member as a McKee “Tec” pattern. Her reaction was, “Are the ‘tec’ patterns attracted to me or were there just a lot of them produced?” Our member is very charming indeed and I am sure any glass pattern would follow her home given half the chance. But, the truth is, there are many McKee “Tec” patterns.
The “Tec” patterns, as they have come to be known, are a line of 18 patterns all named with the suffix tec. The most well-known and popular of these patterns is the Aztec pattern. Nortec, another well-known “tec” pattern is often known by the popular name Centipede.
A Little History
McKee Glass Company began its life as McKee and Brothers Glass Works in Pittsburgh, PA in 1853. The factory later moved to Jeannette, PA, which was founded by H. Sellers McKee and named for his wife. In 1901, the National Glass Company took over the factory and ran it as McKee Glass until 1904. In 1904, National leased the factory to McKee-Jeannette Glass Company. It is this company that launched the patterns we now call the “tec” patterns.
The Introduction of the Patterns
In 1904, McKee was granted a patent for the Pres-Cut trademark. The trademark was used on pressed glassware that imitated the fine cut glass of the time. McKee introduced its new line with two patterns that had already been part of the line under National — Aztec and Toltec.
This new marketing approach was very successful as the line quickly gained popularity. Later that same year McKee added another former National pattern to the Pres-Cut line — Nortec. Fentec, the first McKee-designed pattern, was the next to be added. It also turned out to be the longest produced “Tec” pattern. Fentec can be seen in McKee catalogs as late as 1942. Two more patterns, Sextec and Bontec, were introduced in 1906.
The introduction of new “Tec” patterns slowed down in the years between 1908 and 1912, as the company once again reorganized, becoming the McKee Glass Company in 1908. While new Pres-Cut patterns were added during this time, only Yutec was named using the “Tec” suffix.
1913 brought new activity to the “Tec” line. Between 1913 and 1915, eleven more patterns were added to the line: Bontec, Glentec, Carltec, Doltec, Plytec, Plutec, Quintec, Rotec, Startec, Valtec, and Wiltec.
Note: Some authors give 1894 as the date for some of the “Tec” patterns. It may be that some of these patterns were made at that time, however, documentation is conflicting. It is known that these patterns were called by their “Tec” names and added to the Pres-Cut line after 1904.
Identifying “Tec” Patterns
Many, but not all, “Tec” patterns are found with a Pres-Cut trademark. There are several variations of the trademark, including:
(sometimes found in a circle)
I confess, at first glance, many of these patterns look like each other and also like similar “imitation cut” patterns of the period. I have created the chart below to help you identify “Tec” patterns using their most distinctive design motifs.
|Aztec||Double buzz saw|
|Bontec||Hobstar snowflake in a shield of diamondpoint|
|Carltec||Hobstar in a beveled U|
|Doltec||6-petaled flower alternating with hobstars with small fan motif|
|Fentec||Deep pattern with multiple motifs including hobstars and tassels|
|Glentec||Ovoid buckle alternating with rows of hobstars|
|Martec||Large central hobstar (Kemple reproduction)|
|Nortec||6-pointed star alternating with reverse herringbone “centipede” motif|
|Plutec||Band of small hobstars topped with fluted panels||
|Plytec||Teardrop with fanned tassel motif|
|Plytec||Teardrop with fanned tassel motif|
|Quintec||Hobstar and cane panel alternating with fine point panel|
|Rotec||Ovoid buckle with hobstar alternating with cane|
|Sextec||6-petal flower alternating with small hobstars (very similar to Doltec)|
|Startec||Stars alternating with ovoid panels|
|Toltec||Panels of hobstar snowflakes (Kemple reproduction)|
|Valtec||Upside down V of herringbone, alternating with hobstars|
|Wiltec||Spinning feather motif|
|Yutec||Floral sunburst alternating with hobstar|
In 1945, Kemple Glass Works purchased many of the former McKee molds. They made reproductions of several of the “Tec” patterns in clear, milk glass, and colors until 1970. If you have a “Tec” piece in color or milk glass, it is likely a Kemple piece. Kemple produced glassware in the following patterns:
After the closing of the Kemple factory in 1970, Wheaton purchased a number of Kemple molds. While they did not purchase all the molds, they acquired at least one mold in every “Tec” pattern made by Kemple except Quintec and Valtec. Glassware was produced by Wheaton until 1979.
Trends in Collecting and Selling “Tec” Patterns
Most collectors I’ve met concentrate on collecting one pattern. Recently, however, I met a collector who is working on finding one nappy in each of the 18 “Tec” patterns. Despite their age, most “Tec” pieces can be found inexpensively on eBay.
The Aztec punch bowl and cups were heavily reproduced and are among the most common “Tec” items found. Water pitchers, especially in the patterns that feature hobstars, often sell in the $50 — 65 range. Ruby-stained items command the highest dollar figures as demand for ruby-stained EAPG remains high.Sources:
The Complete Book of McKee, Sandra McPhee Stout, 1972
Field Guide to Pattern Glass, Mollie McCain, 2000
Early American Pattern Glass 1850 — 1910, Bill Jenks and Jerry Luna, 1990
Kemple Glass 1945 — 1970, John R. Burkholder and Thomas O’Connor, 1997
by Ezauctionbytwogals Pamela
Once again, I picked up something interesting. Hmmm, an ashtray, Swedish American line. I’m thinking that must have been a line of dinnerware or art pottery done by a Swedish company for their American market. The quality is excellent and the impressed mark is also interesting. So I put down my 50 cents and take it home.
A few days later I finally find time to sit down at the computer, go to Google and type in “Swedish American Line”. Wow, a nice surprise. The following link comes up: Cabin Class Collectibles and a whole new world opens up for me. This native I love the water as long as I can have one foot on land Nevadan never imagined that there was such an extensive collecting field. Everyday is an adventure and one never knows where researching our items will lead us. I haven’t listed yet.
It has to start somewhere! With a gift, a lone purchase or a souvenir. Then something happens! That need for more.
Almost 40 years ago I got my first Hummel figurine. I’ve had many since then, when later I became a dealer and imported them from Germany. My scaled-down collection now holds 35, with 3 of them the giant ones which are over 10” tall.
Perfume bottles came next. As a child I loved my grandmother’s vanity table which held treasures that a little girl could only dream of having. There were 3 perfume bottles that were my particular favorites and my grandmother waited until I was a married woman before handing them over to the next generation. Well, 3 looked a little sparse on the shelf, so I’ve since added 21 more.
I’ve always loved pottery and have bought, sold, and kept several pieces over the years.
Frankoma became a favorite of ours and we currently have over 70 pieces, and it’s growing daily.
During a trip last fall we were introduced to Dryden pottery and visited the factory and showroom. Bill and I finally agreed on one piece to purchase as a souvenir. That one piece has now grown to 18.
We only have 2 Rumrill pieces. What’s that? Is it a collection yet?
Oh, and I almost forgot my Pewter. About a hundred pieces which include a couple of dozen ice cream molds.
Then there’s the blue and white porcelain, letter openers, small brass tools, the Spanish swords and one lone pistol from early 1800’s.
I think that’s it.
for now. lol
This fabulous green nesting hen was offered on eBay recently by seller gbush39. There are always many hen on nest items (frequently abbreviated by collectors to HON) on eBay. If you do a search for “hen on nest,” you’ll generally find at least 400 items being sold at any given time. This piece is special, however, because it is a hard to find piece made by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company in the color known as Nile Green. Glass made by this company is commonly known as “Greentown Glass” for the city in Indiana where it was made. The seller tells us she has more rare HON items coming soon. We don’t know if it’s possible to top this one, which sold for $1881.60!
For more information on Hen on Nest items:http://www.gransplace.com/hens.htm
It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!
Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?
We share a few practical tips on photo taking and packing to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!
- Be very careful using colored tissue paper when wrapping items for packaging. The colored tissue paper can stain the item.
- Protect the shipping label from the elements — consider covering the address area with clear tape to prevent the ink from disappearing or the label coming off in shipping. Don't tape over any bar code printing.
- Learn to use the macro or closeup function of your camera. Brace the camera or use a tripod for the best results.
- Choose a background in a neutral color that will gently contrast with the item.
No reserve clearance sales, less than ONE DOLLAR!
GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of 99¢. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.
Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!
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The following eBay sellers became GPSA members between January 1 and July 31, 2004. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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