Prepare to be dazzled! The greatest joy in buying and collecting is the beauty and variety of the objects themselves. In collecting open salts, and even in selling some of them, my favorite area has come to be art glass, which I define as pieces made principally for their beauty rather than for utilitarian purposes. That’s a personal definition.
The first group is made up of English art glass salts in silver-plated stands, made around 1900 in the Stourbridge area by makers such as Webb and Stevens & Williams. This style is highly prized by collectors and is getting very hard to find. The blue and apricot colored ones in silver stands were a find and a gift from my most recent trip to England. Both stands were a gift, and I had previously bought the blue, missing its stand, so it was a perfect marriage. (Photo 1 - please click images to enlarge)
Cranberry glass is almost universally admired, and I show one of these out of its stand so you can see the “berry” composed of tiny drops of glass covering the rough pontil. (Photo 2a) These are characteristic of Thomas Webb. (Photo 2)
The clear iridescent glass salt and the pink striped one with berry pontil are especially fine examples of English blown glass salts. (Photo 3)
I value this vaseline opalescent salt in stand for its shape and because I got it at my first salt collectors’ convention from my English friend who died early this year. (Photo 4)
These two cranberry salts are in flower shapes in a different sort of stand. One has a glass spoon with opalescent knob on the handle. (Photo 5)
If this piece looks larger to you, you are right. It’s a jam or marmalade dish in much the same shape as the salts, but it measures about 5” across at the rim where the similar salts measure about 3”. I bought it on eBay from Australia, which has much good English glass. It was my lesson on paying attention to measurements and not a seller’s label. It is such lovely glass, polka-dotted in white on cranberry with a vaseline rigaree, that I kept it rather than asking to return it as mislabeled. (Photo 6)
The hat-shaped violet salt with silver handle and the cranberry cut-to-clear in cased glass pedestal salt are also English, typical of many made with no stand. (Photo 7)
The next group of three represent English pressed glass in decorative form. These are all made by George Davidson around 1900 and show his most usual colors, opalescent rimmed blue and primrose and a clear pink which Davidson called Patten Rose. Two of the three bear an English registry mark, which is useful in determining exact age. (Photo 8)
The last salt in opaque purple slag glass is by another fine English producer of pressed small novelty pieces, Sowerby. These almost invariably have the pressed Sowerby peacock mark in the bottom and often an English registry mark. (Photo 9)
Stay tuned for part two of my article which will show some salts from other countries, including 20th century U.S. makers.
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 SarahAll too often we get hung up trying to identify glass, pottery and china patterns. We’re in a hurry. Often we skim a site just looking for a particular piece. The website for this month is a far departure from that kind of a site. It’s eye candy, it’s the ultimate Mother’s Day present to yourself or someone else and it is relaxation in its purist form. So sit back, get a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or for that matter, some cheese and crackers and a soda and enjoy the view. It’s phenomenal. May I present Dale Chihuly.
It was late in the sale when eBay seller gerrysjunque bid on this doll head (click image for closeup)at a local estate auction. As an antique dealer, Gerry was aware of the value of antique dolls, so he was pleased and surprised to get this one with the unusual tinted complexion and plumed hat at a reasonable price.
“Virtually all of the items were going quite high, but no one seemed to paying attention to this piece,” Gerry told us recently. “I purchased her because she was odd and unusual looking…I had no idea what I had.”
Gerry posted the doll on eBay at a starting price of $49.99. Almost immediately, it began to receive bids…and questions. Gerry received over 30 questions from doll collectors, antique dealers and even a museum in Germany. In the process, Gerry learned that the doll head he had listed as a “half-doll” was actually known to collectors as a “hatted china shoulder head doll.” Doll experts estimated her to be from the mid 19th century.
The doll sold on eBay for $3,209. After the eBay auction ended, Gerry spoke to many of his colleagues who attended the sale where she was purchased. He tells us that “absolutely none of them remembered the piece ... I purchased her between the cracks. She was purchased through eBay by a very knowledgeable collector who was absolutely thrilled to have her in his collection.”
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!
- Do any of you sellers out there feel like some of these GPSA members about the search for the perfect box?
- My son bought a new radiator for his car. He was heading for the trash with the box and I chased him down the driveway yelling "don't throw away the box". No one understood.
- Went to Home Depot the other day and embarrased my husband because they were unpacking boxes that were the perfect size for these pictures I am selling. I went over to the counter and asked the clerk if I could have them. I was SO EXCITED!!!
- I like to think of myself as a 'box connoisseur' Walmart is great. I go through with a shopping cart when they are really busy stocking, Friday and Saturday. Albertson's Liquor store for wine boxes, like Rossi, that are square and neatly double box a #7 priority box. I confess, I do have a 'favorite dumpster' where the Little Debbie man stacks clean empty shipping cartons....and still struggle with a large platter finding the right box.....actually the shipping boxes that priority #7 boxes come in are great for most platters.......Who would think cardboard is such a turn on!! :)
- The ever elusive box hunt. My greatest find was in an alley in Vancouver. My kids thought I was mad as I tried to point out the superiority of the box. Now they say "how's your box collection?" or "found any great boxes lately?"
- Many times photographing clear glass can be a challenge. Here are some photos showing the same glasses in three different manners. First, a photo of the glasses using a flash; second, a photo of the glasses using no flash; and third, using a photo editor to change the flash photo into greyscale.
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 April 2005. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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