Collecting Antique Vintage Collectible Art Glassware

Antique or vintage art glassware collections are beautiful. Although frequently having high monetary values, pieces can be found at garage sales for astonishingly small amounts of cash.

Some weekend, go to one of the myriad garage or house sales listed in your local newspaper. If you are willing to take the time and look - and to do your research in advance - you can find some of the most astonishing antiques that sell for just a fraction of their worth.

One of the most prized of antiques that you can find at these sales, and they appear with more frequency than you would imagine, is collectible art glassware. Generally, the people selling these items have just cleaned out their attic and most likely believe that what they are selling is more or less worthless junk.

That is not necessarily so, however.

Often times, the so-called junk that people are practically giving away, is really worth many times over what you might pay for it. The best advice here is to obtain a copy of a recent antiques pricing guide and study up on it a bit. That way, when you go to the estate sales and entire-block sales, you will know exactly what you are getting.

Just to give you a sampler of things to look for, listed below are several kinds of art glassware that are well worth the effort, both for their beauty and for their value.

Depression Glass

* Depression Glass is American-made glassware from period of the early to mid 20's to the end of WWII.

* Its coloring is generally pale colored or clear transparent glass. It can sometimes be opaque (more rare) and can have enameling or edging in gold, silver/platinum (but again, not usually found as such.)

* It is significantly different from 'Elegant Glass' which was also manufactured around this time frame because Depression Glass added little or no hand finishing and embellishments once it came out of the mold. 'Elegant Glass' typically had fire polishing, hand etching and hand cutting into the glass. Imperfections were generally ironed out by companies manufacturing 'Elegant Glass'.

* Depression Glass often was a promotional item or special offer, and one could find it in food boxes, give-aways at supermarkets and theatres, etc. for the time produced.

* According to the National Depression Glass Association, the colors found were usually amber, pink, green, blue and crystal. They were even pale purple and bright orange at one time, but those were not especially successful or popular.

* The prices can go for hundreds of dollars, but very often, one can find pieces at garage sales, estate sales, attic sales and the like for a fraction of their worth. Many people have no idea of the value of their items that get cleared from their attic, and sell for a tiny amount. As mentioned above, if one wants to see what the pieces are going for, one can obtain, through their library or bookstore, a copy of the various antique prices guides available on the market.

* There are many patterns but most famous or well-known are the Adam and the Windsor patterns.

Fenton Glass

* Now celebrating its 100th year, Fenton Glass started in 1905 as a decorative glass factory.

* It is handmade art glass that is famous for blown glass and pressed glass.

* The factory is located in West Virginia, and in present day, they conduct tours of the factory.

* Fenton Glass was strongly influenced by Steuben and Tiffany artware.

* The company introduced iridescent glassware now known as 'Carnival' glassware.

* It is still being manufactured today. Pieces can be found in gift shops that specialize in premium glass art pieces. Prices can vary widely.

Vaseline Glass

* Vaseline Glass is usually greenish-yellow colored glass that is produced by adding 2% uranium dioxide to the glass recipes.

* One can always tell Vaseline Glass by using a blacklight or ultraviolet lamp because it causes the glassware to glow bright green.

* It has an organization devoted to the collecting of Vasoline Glass called Vaseline Glass Collectors, Inc. or VCGI which has a lot of information about the genre.

* Vaseline Glass was manufactured from 1840 to around WWII, and then production ceased for a time, due to wartime shortages. Production was reinstated from 1959 to the present. Fenton Glass (see above) is just one of the producers of Vaseline Glass.

Stretch Glass

* Stretch Glass was manufactured mostly from around 1916 to early 1930's.

* Like other forms of art glass listed above, it was mostly either blown or pressed in molds. Often, it was handmade, however.

* To achieve the 'stretch marks', when the glass was hot from molds, metallic compounds were added to the glass and then reworked and reheated. This process caused the crinkling on largely iridescent surfaces.

* According to the Stretch Glass Society, Stretch Glass differs from Carnival Glass because Carnival Glass was worked first and then had iridescent glazes applied later. Also Carnival Glass had patterns designed into it. Stretch Glass made its own patterns from the actual manufacturing process.

This just gives you a brief idea of what is out there. If you can go to the sales, you can pick up beautiful works of art that will grace your home, and only appreciate in value. Or, if you wish to make a profit on your garage sale purchases, you can contact a dealer to see if he or she would be interested in buying your antique finds so you can make a nice tidy sum from it.

Either way, collectible art glassware is an ideal way to get into collecting antiques.

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