THE KOVELS | Antiques and collecting It's a pattern: Pressed glass regains its popularity
Pressed glass is popular with collectors again.
Sets of dishes, goblets, serving pieces and other everyday glassware were made by many American factories beginning in the 1840s.
Glassware for the home had become inexpensive enough for the average household.
Hundreds of patterns were created to entice buyers to keep buying more of the glass. The patterns of the 1840s were simple, but often were ribbed or decorated with loops.
By the 1870s, a new style appeared. The new glassware was clear with frosted patterns and three-dimensional figures as decorations. Patterns like Lion, Three Face, Polar Bear, Frosted Stork, and Deer & amp; Dog were made.
A touch of patriotism
Westward Ho was one of the most popular. The design, made just after the U.S. Centennial in 1876, expressed the patriotic feelings of the day and the public's interest in the settlement of the West. The design showed a log cabin, charging bison, deer fleeing from a hunter, and American Indians. The handle for each covered dish was a crouching Indian. The other figures were found in the frosted sides of the pieces.
A footed sauce dish and a platter were new forms. Today, we might not know how the dishes shaped like a covered butter dish, celery vase or spoon-holder were used.
Pressed glass went out of fashion in the early 1900s.
Collectors found it in the 1930s, and old pieces began to sell so well that many reproductions were made.
By the 1950s, pressed glass was again ignored by collectors.
Although reproductions and fantasy pieces of pressed glass have continued to be made, it was not until the 1990s that old glass began to rise in price.
Mix-and-match sets of pressed glass goblets, rather than delicate Waterford-type cut-glass sets, were preferred. Unfortunately, some of the 1930s reproductions are so good that it is very difficult to be sure of the age of many pieces.
Q. My bedroom set has simple lines and plain knobs. I think it dates from the 1930s. Inside a dresser drawer, there's a branded mark: "A Consider H Willett Inc. product, Louisville, Ky., Solid American black walnut." Can you help with history and value?
A. The Consider H. Willett furniture company manufactured furniture in Louisville from the late 1930s until the '60s. Willett furniture was especially popular during the 1940s and '50s, when it was advertised in national magazines. Yours is probably an early Willett set. Later ones were mostly cherry or maple. Willett furniture was well-made and sells for good prices at auctions and house sales, particularly in Kentucky.
Q. We found a tall table lamp at an estate sale and would like to learn more about it. The three-piece base is porcelain, with hand-painted scenes and flowers. All over the lamp, surrounding the paintings, are tiny encrusted white porcelain flower buds. The lamp is missing its chimney and top globe. It was converted to electricity. The mark on the bottom is the letter "T" above an "X" and the word "Germany."
A. Your lamp was made by the Saxonian Porcelain Factory of Carl Thieme. The factory, in Potschappel, Germany, was founded in 1872. The mark on your lamp was used between 1888 and 1901. The Meissen-style encrusted flower buds and the hand-painting on your lamp are typical of Thieme's work. Your lamp originally used kerosene as fuel. The chimney would have been clear glass, and the globe probably a light-colored decorated glass that would allow light to show through.
Q. My childhood collection of 78-rpm records includes about a dozen picture records -- the kind that have colorful pictures molded right into the grooves of the records. Are they rare and valuable?
A. There are collectors who want to buy records like yours, but the records are not rare. They sell for $3 to $5 each. Picture 78s were made from the mid-1940s until the mid-'50s. Most of them were produced by the Record Guild of America, Voco and Sav-Way Industries, which made Vogue records. Many collectors display the records by hanging them on a wall or leaning them on shelves. Few play them.
Q. My grandmother's fancy porcelain bowl is decorated with hand-painted pink roses and green leaves. There is gold gilding on the rim. The green mark on the bottom is a line with "CFH" above it and "GDM" below it. Below these marks is the word "France."
A. The CFH mark belonged to Charles Field Haviland, who established a porcelain-decorating studio about 1860 in Limoges, France. By about 1868, he also owned a porcelain-manufacturing company there. He retired in 1881, and a firm called Gerard, Defraisseix and Morel (GDM) took over his business. This firm combined the initials of the two companies and used the mark that's on your grandmother's bowl from about 1891 until 1900.
To remove sediment from the bottom of a vase or pitcher, put salt and crushed ice in the vase and stir. The friction will remove the stain.
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