by Fostoriack Matt
We covered glass quality, mould marks, and legitimate Fostoria reproductions in the August and December 2003 GPSA Gazette issues. Now we come to some defined identification tools for discerning Fostoria American from its look-a-like counterparts. Here, we get to the nuts and bolts (and bowls and cups) of recognizing Fostoria American (FA).
Pound into your psyche the definitions of elegant glass and the mould mark facts in the previous installments. That said..... let’s get started!
Cubist or American Whitehall or ??
The two non Fostoria glass lines competing for your attention are Jeanette's “Cubist” pattern and Indiana’s “American Whitehall” pattern (AWH).
Jeanette’s Cubist pattern is depression glass (lesser quality than elegant glass) and there are only 30 pieces. Cubist pieces have either 2 or 4 mould marks. Nearly all FA pieces have three, remember? Cubist pieces come in a few different colors but most commonly in two—a limeish green and pink. With very little Cubist made in clear, pay attention to the Cubist pieces, note the lower quality, mould marks, and the colors you see. Soon you will be able to spot them easily. There is very little AVAILABLE American in color (ruby is most common) and many crystal choices, so chances are, if you find a piece of FA in color, especially pink or green—it is not FA.
Indiana’s American Whitehall (AWH) is lesser quality newer glass. Most pieces have only 2 mould marks. How many does nearly all American have? (Yes! Three!!) Again, colored American, excepting ruby, is hard to find. AWH comes in a wide array of colors including ruby, blue, teal and ruddy pink, but if you use the following information it will soon become a breeze to tell which aren’t FA.
How Can You Tell??
How can you tell a look-a-like from the real thing? Can you guess? First, check for mould marks, and quality. I can’t stress this enough. Ugly glass is valueless even if it is FA. As well, the mould marks are paramount—stay away from 2 and 4 marks.
That said, again…
Make sure the pattern you are seeing is made of cubes. Not diamonds, triangles, and not squares.
The ring of glass a piece sits on is called a foot. The toes, usually sprouting from the foot (some pieces have no foot), are telltale identifiers. Buy only toes that have a paw shape to them. The look-a-likes (AWH) have a peg-shaped toe.
This common oval vegetable bowl comes in two variations. One is a regular oval and the other has a glass divider running the width of the bowl seperating it into two halves. When you see these bowls buy only those that have 24 rays pressed into the bottom of them (FA). The look-a-likes (AWH) have only 20.
Never buy a bowl with a small circle pressed into the middle of the rays (AWH).
Obviously never buy a piece of glass with Homco impressed on the bottom of the piece.
FA glasses have 3 mould marks. Never buy anything you could drink from if it does not have 3 mould marks. Except for the pieces listed in the August 2003 article, all FA has three. I would recomend buying drinking vessels in person until you can learn to spot the shapes online.
Never buy a lid or lidded piece if it has a disk of glass between the knob and the arc of the lid (AWH.) A lid with 2 mould marks is also a loser.
Never buy a pitcher (any size) or handled suger (any size) if the handle starts on the second row of cubes from the top (Cubist and AWH.) All sizes of FA pitchers and sugars which have handles begin forming in the top row of cubes. A pitcher with 2 or 4 mould marks? Don’t buy it. Cubist creamers and sugars not only have handles starting in the second row of cubes, but the shape of these handles as compared to the shape of an “ear” are pointy like the ear would be on an elf—shaped more like the number “7.”
Never buy, unless it is VERY LARGE (over 10 inches), a bowl or plate with BOTH cubes AND rays impressed in the center of the bottom.
There is a ¼ pound butter dish (for a stick of margarine) made by AWH that is a good match for the FA one. The difference is the AWH piece has only 3 rows of cubes running across the length of the lid. The bottom plate part has rays pressed into it. The Fostoria one has 4 rows of cubes and NO rays on the plate.
All FA basic bowls, including punches, have a ric-rac edge around the top of the bowl and 3 mould marks. Watch out for green and pink bowls with ric-rac edges—they are most certainly Cubist. Watch out for colored bowls period. AWH bowls with ric-rac edges will have the circle in the bottom.
All FA plates have ric-rac edges and have, if you can see them, 3 mould marks. The only exception to this is the FA saucer. FA saucers have a band around the rim. Cubist saucers have no band.
Fostoria never made a round snack tray with a cup ring on it. If you are fortunate enough to find a FA tray (round, rectangular, or square), the cubes will be in rows across the tray, not in concentric circles (getting larger from the center.) FA plates have ric-rac edges and trays have smooth edges. FA plates have circles of cubes (ric-rac edges) and trays have smooth edges (lines of cubes).
The AWH punch bowl and the snack tray are the two biggest pieces in that line and the Cubist pattern has no large pieces that you are likely to find. So lastly, if it is good quality, beautiful, clear in color, and larger than most commonly found pieces, it is most certainly Fostoria American. If it is all these things AND has 3 mould marks, you have a winner.
This information will get you through most tough decisions. These are the most common trouble makers. If I didn’t list the piece here, what will you do? Try checking quality and mould marks? There you go!
Your piece will be “Absolutely American!” if you buy according to these guidelines. Happy Hunting! Did I mention to look for 3 mould marks?
PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.
by FanofFenton Sarah
This is a wonderful site that belongs to the Antique and Art Glass Shaker Collector’s Society. It is invaluable if you are a collector of old glass salt shakers or are interested in glass of the Victorian era. There are pages and pages of photos and identifications with selections of everything from Vaseline to Northwood’s Cactus with lots of rare finds in between.
There are examples of glass made by Consolidated, Greentown and Monroe, as well as a variety of shakers from Dithridge and Dalzell Gilmore and Leighton.
There are several pages of rare shakers and a long list of shakers identified and unidentified. There’s information about the group’s previous conventions, convention display tables and the special pieces made for the convention goers.
You’ll find an informational page about the AAGSSCS activities and a history of the organization and last, but not least, there’s a brief identification quiz that was rather fun to take. It’s a great site for those interested in Victorian and Turn of the Century glass, shakers, and their makers.
by Fostoriack Matt
It began with a memory.
My wife, Donna, saw in a TV movie, a bowl like she and her sister used to eat popcorn out of when they were little girls. The large yellow bowl had gotten broken before she was even 10, and yet she had remembered it her whole life.
In the process of looking for pieces to add to our main collection, Fostoria’s American pattern, we ran into yet another yellow bowl at a flea market. Donna smiled warmly at the bowl and the other 3 nested inside it—one red, one green and one blue. Ah, a set of four Pryex nesting bowls. She showed me the complete set and the littlest one, the blue one, was identical to the bowl my dad had eaten cereal out of my whole life (to this day). “You mean my Dad’s blue bowl was part of a set?” “Yep.” she said. “The same set my yellow one came out of.”
Well that was it, we had to have that pristine set of “Primary Colored Mixing bowls.” Just like new out of the box, we paid $57.00 and took them home. This was a few years, and many bowls ago. Now it is nothing for that set to sell for $90.00.
We moved on from the primary color set to the pink bowls, the aqua bowls, the dot bowls… well, we have a lot of them. As well, hanging in our kitchen, a profesionally framed advertisement from one of the first years the primary color set was sold. We also have a toy set of primary color bowls in plastic. The design and colors on this toy set is so perfect, it’s hard to believe they are not real.
I will not value our Pyrex collection for you, nor tell you how many pieces we have. Suffice it to say, “priceless” and “never enough!”
It's every eBay seller’s dream. You are shopping in a local antiques mall when you spot an especially beautiful and rare piece. You buy it at a very reasonable price and post it on eBay. When all is said and done, the item sells to a collector at over $5,000.
That’s what happened to eBay sellers Mike and Karen who sell under the name watertower. They purchased this beautiful Cambridge Japonica Keyhole vase at a Wisconsin antiques store. Japonica refers to the lovely Japanese style floral design. The deep red color was named Carmen and is highly prized by Cambridge collectors. It is marked Japonica as well as with the C in a triangle logo. The vase sold at the end of November for $5,988.
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!
- Our member backthenvintage Lisa has a great packing system for china. She sells lots of it! She recently packed 9 place settings in 30 minutes. It was 4 place settings in one box, 5 in another box. And yes, they weighed a ton…lol. Here is her “system” in her words.
- “I know exactly how many pieces of foam, white paper and bubble wrap I will need for the number of dishes I have, so I tear all the foam and bubble wrap sheets off and stack them. Then I cut the white paper to the size I need and stack them. I then get in the floor with all the dishes and stacks of packing materials. I place a foam sheet between each plate, then wrap two sheets around the whole stack. Then I wrap in bubble wrap. Repeat for each stack of each different size plate. Then I place foam between all bowls, wrap the bowls in paper, stuffing the excess in the top bowl to fill it. Then wrap all of those in bubble wrap. The cups I put peanuts in the handles, wrap in a sheet of white paper, then wrap in bubble wrap. I think I have just done so many that my “system” comes automatically to me now…lol. Last step is to put several wadded up balls of paper in the bottom of the box, then peanuts. Dishes go in the box, usually put sheet styrofoam around inside edges of box, and fill in the space between the sheets and the dishes with peanuts. Plates and bowls go in the bottom, then a layer of peanuts, then cups and saucers on top, more peanuts, then seal. Has always worked, never had any dishes arrive broken (knock on wood). The only time I double-box is if they are going out of the country.”
- Good editing makes good photos. There are many good software programs to use for editing photos in a wide range of prices. Like anything else, you get what you pay for, so get the best program you can afford. I use Paint Shop Pro by Jasc. Version 9 has recently been released, which means a bargain can be found on Version 8. Whatever software you choose, it should have the ability to crop, rotate in small increments, adjust contrast and brightness, size the finished image in inches, and save as a .jpg file. You may also want a feature that puts text into the image.
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!
To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!
We’re so happy to have you join us!!
The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in November 2004. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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