by mrvaselineglass Dave
During the Victorian era, America loved souvenirs! These were small pieces of decorative glass that have come to be referred to as Victorian Novelties. During that time period, the word NOVELTY meant something NEW, rather than something CUTE. There was also a time period of about 3 or 4 years during the Victorian era when glass makers made colored glass in Amber, Blue and Canary (along with their usual colorless glass). This EAPG time period is now referred to as the ‘ABC’ time period. Some of these colored pieces have become quite rare, due to scarcity and a possible low volume of production when they were first made. When I refer to the (often misused) word, rare, in this article, I am referring to pieces that the advanced collector might only see for sale once or twice in 5 years, or might have seen once in a glass museum. Times also change: during the Victorian era, amber glass was valued as much as blue. Today, canary (as it was called then) seems to command the highest prices. Generically, canary and ‘vaseline’ glass are composed of the same colorant, depleted uranium salts (uranium dioxide), which gives that yellow-green cast. People now check to see if a piece is really canary/vaseline glass by putting a UV blacklight to the piece, causing the glass to glow a bright neon green. When the glass was first made, the only purpose was to add another color to the palate of glass colors available. Some glass maker original catalogs also only listed a particular piece as being made in clear, amber and blue, but a few vaseline/canary versions are known to exist, thus making them even more rare.
This butter dish is known as JOCKEY CAP butter dish. It has all the attributes of having been made by King Glass Company (Pittsburgh, PA), but does not appear in any original literature. King Glass made the HELMET butter dish (that looks like a Roman Helmet) and both the Helmet and Jockey Cap have the same Daisy & Button patterns on their sides and the horizontal ridges on the front. The Helmet butter was advertised in clear, amber and blue only. The Jockey Cap had previously been found in clear and amber. VICTORIAN GLASS NOVELTIES (Jo and Bob Sanford, copyright 2003) shows the clear version on pg. 156 and a listed value of $325-400. Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.
Central Glass Co., Wheeling, WV, made several novelties during the ABC period. These are very difficult to find, and original perfect versions are sought after by both collectors and museums. One of the scarcest of their novelties is the #824 FISH CREAM PITCHER. The Oglebay Museum in Wheeling has a blue version in their permanent collection. The West Virginia Museum of American Glass, Ltd. in Weston, WV, has a canary version. The creamer is 6½” long with an oval shape and the tail curves up and attaches to the body to form the handle. The value of this canary/vaseline piece is $400-600. This piece is shown (in amber) in Central Glass Company, The First 30 Years 1863-1893 (Marilyn R. Hallock, copyright 2002).
Another beauty by Central Glass is the #732 OWL RELISH. This piece was reproduced from a new mould by L. G. Wright, but the new mould had some differences from the original. The easiest way to discern the old from the reproduction is to measure in a straight line from the tip of the left ear to the tip of the tail feather on the left side. It should measure about a 1/16” of an inch under 8” in total height. The reproduction measures 8 3/8” using the same measurement and is visibly longer on the left side than by measuring right ear to right tail feather. The value of this piece is $350-550. The photo shown is the original OWL RELISH.
This little open salt wheelbarrow by Campbell and Jones was cause for excitement when it was first discovered 4 or 5 years ago. Just a few years prior to that, the EAPG Journal did an article about this piece and said that it was only known in clear, clear with satin finish, and amber. Two sizes of the wheelbarrow are known. This is the smaller version (3 1/8” long). It has an original pewter wheel. No larger version (8¼”) has been found yet in vaseline glass. The pattern is part of the BARLEY pattern, designed and patented by James Dalzell. Since the discovery of this vaseline version, two more collectors have stated that they own one. Value: $300-400.
Children’s toy glass also has some rarities! This little CAT ON A CUSHION cup and saucer (omn: No. 175 Toy Cup & Saucer) was made by U.S. Glass, factory F, which was the old Ripley & Co. factory in Pittsburgh, PA. The vaseline version is different from the amber and blue versions. The vaseline version has a smooth saucer and the amber and blue versions have a saucer with a moulded ribbing. All colors of the matching saucer have a kitten sitting inside a boot in the center of the dish. On the large link of this photo (click the thumbnail to enlarge), the viewer can see the cat on a cushion on one side, and the dog running next to a picket fence. The easiest way to see these patterns is look at the far side of each photo. Value: $175 – 225 in canary/vaseline. An original catalog illustration is shown in Encyclopedia of Victorian Colored Pattern Glass, Book 5, U.S. Glass From A To Z (Heacock and Bickenheuser, copyright 1978) on pg. 179, illustration ‘F’. It is also shown in VICTORIAN COLORED NOVELTIES (Sanford) on pg. 72.
David Peterson is the author of two books on Vaseline Glass:
Vaseline Glass Canary to Contemporary: The Comprehensive Guide to Yellow-Green Pattern Glass, Art Glass, and Novelties from 1840 to the Present (copyright 2002 by Antique Publications), and THE LOST CHAPTERS, the addendum to Canary to Contemporary, self-published 2004, 2005. He is the editor of GLOWING REPORT, the official publication of the Vaseline Glass Collectors, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization incorporated in 1998 to educate and unify Vaseline Glass collectors everywhere. He is also the webmaster for their website.
PLEASE NOTE: All photos are copyrighted by VGCI and may only be copied for the use of reference knowledge, not for any commercial usage. All photos may also be found on the Manufacturer’s Gallery on the VGCI website.
Recently featured sellers in the GPSA in July were bpprat, cranberrymanor, cinw1, lost_spirits, and marketpl; and in August: 278stuff, fanoffenton, geekaw, lan5, lost_spirits, and roxannesebastian. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.
by bpprat Bill
by wgpaul Bill
How much would you pay for a 5” tall figurine of a girl holding a rooster with this description of condition? “Condition: old crack and repair on base, cracked hair scarf, glued crack at neck, glued crack at ankles, rooster tail cracked. “
Probably not much, unless the figurine in question was a Bulgarian girl, signed MI Hummel with the slogan Napred Bulgaria (Onward Bulgaria) on the base. And, if it were numbered 88, indicating it was the 88th figurine out of only 100 believed to be made in the 1930s exclusively for the Bulgarian market, then what might you pay? Considerably more than your first thought, we are guessing.
It turns out that on-line bidders thought enough of this pretty little figurine, despite her flaws, that she recently sold on eBay for $4729.00! Our congratulations to eBay seller 1001pc on the sale of this wonderful and hard to find piece.
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!
- With the severe heat conditions that have been plaguing the country lately, it is wise to alert buyers to allow their incoming packages to acclimate inside their air-conditioned houses for perhaps up to one day before opening. We have heard of non-crazed porcelain items becoming crazed. It makes sense considering the heat of the delivery trucks versus the shock of the coolness of one's home. The same method should apply in areas of extreme cold, too!
No reserve clearance sales, less than TWO DOLLARS!
GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of $1.99 or less. 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.
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The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in June and July 2006. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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