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Glass and Pottery Sellers’ Association - October 2006, Volume 35

What are NOT salts

by nvilla Nancy

Following favorable comments on a list I posted on items often mistaken for or mislisted as salts, I have taken a few pictures of some examples I have of such pieces. Some of these are so close to the shape and size of salts that they are included in my collection. A purist would never let them in, and they are not salts. Some sellers on eBay list these correctly, but many list them as salts, whether out of lack of knowledge or the feeling that salts sell better than another item, it is difficult to say. Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.

sake cups The first pair of porcelain bowls are sake cups. The one on the left is included in one of the Smith books on open salts with the notation that it is especially beautiful. It is beautiful, but it's not a salt. The one on the right has a little tube on one side that you can blow into producing a whistle. The only explanation I've been given it that it lets people know your glass is empty when you blow.

open salts with mustard pots The second photo illustrates open salts that have a companion covered mustard pot. The little slot in the lid is their distinguishing feature. Each of these little sets also has a pepper pot as well. I see lots of clear glass mustards on eBay, some quite tall and narrow. I don't have one of these, but the shape, as well as the slot for a spoon in the lid, gives them away.

intaglio trays The third photo shows two small intaglio trays that were most likely made as individual ash receivers or ash trays. On the left is an amber one with a classical scene, possibly from Greek mythology. On the right is a clear piece with the more unusual feature of paint on the base intaglio design. These little pieces, about 2-1/2" long, are interesting to salt collectors and reside in many salt collections, including mine.

children's toy sets The fourth photo is of some children's toy sets. I had the little white china sugar bowl in my salt collection until I found the matching creamer. The clear glass one is frequently seen on eBay, the Lacy Daisy pattern small bowl from a 7-piece berry set. The large bowl often gets separated from the six little individual bowls, and they become labeled salts because they are exactly the right size. The large bowl is the size of an adult berry bowl.

nut dishes Nut dishes, seen in the fifth photo, are also in many salt collections, and some were even marketed by their makers as both nut and salt dishes. On the left is a Herend nut dish, really a bit wide to call a salt since it's over 3" in diameter. In the center is a blue stretch glass piece by Fostoria. These are found in many colors and glass types and make excellent salts. The one with the painted nuts is Nippon and declares its intended use quite clearly.

toothpick holders Three toothpick holders are seen in this photo. They are generally taller and narrower proportionately than salts. The Nippon with three tiny feet and raised enamel decoration is in my salt collection. I can't even pretend that the tall flow blue china piece is anything except a toothpick. The blue aurene piece is by Lundberg Studios in California, a contemporary piece. It's just too large and tall to be a salt, and Lundberg did produce many salts for comparison.

inkwell, open salt, pomade jar Here, from left to right, are an inkwell, an open salt, and a pomade jar. The pretty red cut-to-clear pieces are much alike, the rim on the inkwell gives it away, as does the rim on the pomade jar, used for cosmetic creams. Some salts have rims, but they aren't usually smaller than the bowl and suitable for a lid. The salt here is 2" in diameter, individual size.

There are a few other categories that I thought of after doing these photos such as desk and dresser dishes, small pin dishes, and all those dishes that are much too large, but I think you get the idea. Few, if any, salts were made with lids, so those pretty little boxes with lids aren't salts. I try not to be the eBay police when I see all these kinds of pieces listed as open salts, but I do have to keep myself in check. Many of these articles are similar enough to salts that they take their place in open salt collections, but collectors know the differences, and some are very particular about identification.

I'm pleased to see that some of the GPSA members have an interest in salts, and I hope this little article is more helpful than confusing.

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.

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Featured Sellers

Recently featured sellers in the GPSA in September were gabla, godmother, jpthings, and wgpaul; and in October: 278stuff, gailsgoodthings, lan5, shellysthings1, and somelikeithot!. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.

The Godmother

Member’s Pick: Check out this Website!

by bpprat Bill

Great Glass

Great GlassHere's a "great glass" site, which, among other things, features various lists and tables of information which it hopes may be of use to both glass collectors and dealers.

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Don’t You Wish You Had One of These?

by wgpaul Bill

Photo Courtesy of pennsylvaniaoldstuff
Transferware Plate

This amazing 6¼” transferware plate features a cartouche of Lafayette with the words Welcome Lafayette. It also depicts a bridge with the caption “The Aqueduct Bridge at Little Falls.”

We believe it commemorates the return of the Marquis de Lafayette to the United States in 1825 as “The Nation’s Guest." Lafayette was wildly popular due to his role in helping the Americans win their independence. Streets, schools and even cities were named in his honor. We also believe the bridge shown may be the Aqueduct Bridge in Little Falls, NY. This bridge was on the famed Erie Canal which opened in 1825.

This plate has interest for three collecting areas – early transferware, Revolutionary War buffs and Erie Canal collectors. It is not surprising that the plate sold recently on eBay for $8,421.99. Congratulations to eBay seller, pennsylvaniaoldstuff on a great sale of an important piece of U.S. history.

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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!

How to Photograph Vaseline Glass! (courtesy of mrvaselineglass Dave)

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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.

Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!

To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!


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Welcome New Members

We’re so happy to have you join us!!

The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in August and September 2006. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.

  • brendajo0627
Welcome New Members

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