When you look at the area of glassware, you will see many different colors and finishes that the glass was made with. There are as many distinct color combinations as there are manufacturing techniques. Here’s a few of them that you will most likely run across:
Cased Glass—this is glass of one color that has been covered with one or more layers of assorted colors. The outer layers are then acid-etched, carved, cut, or even engraved to produce a design. This design will stand out from the background, and will have a kind of raised motif when done. The first cameo glasses were made by the Romans in ancient times, and the genre was revived in England and America (to a lesser amount) in the late 19th century.
Flashed Glass—this is glass that has one color with a very thin applied color on the outside (like crystal glass that has a cranberry color applied to it). This technique is accomplished by applying a chemical compound to the glass and then re-firing the piece to bring out the desired color. Flashed glass is often used for etched glass (the flashing will be applied after the etching is completed).
Gilding—this is the process of decorating glass using gold leaf, gold paint, or even gold dust. There are examples that have the gilding applied with mercury (it’s called Mercury Gilding. It’s rarely done today due to its toxicity). The gilding is then usually attached to the glass by heat.
Peachblow—this is a type of Art Glass made by quite a few American factories in the late 1800’s. Most Peachblow glass has a coloring that shaded from an opaque cream to pink (or even red), sometimes even over an opaque white. There was a similar glass that was made in England (it was by Thomas Webb & Sons and even Stevens & Williams).
This is only a small sampling of what has been made. What kinds of colored glass have you run across?
What are some places for me to sell some of the items that I have bought? This is a common question for everyone from collectors to people trying to start their own business. There are three places that you can use so you can sell some of your stuff.
The first place is the internet. There are websites like Etsy, eBay and even Craigslist that allow you to sell your goodies, and the internet has the biggest audience for you to sell your items to. Just make sure to pack everything really good when your items sell.
The second place to go is open yourself a booth at either an antique mall or flea market. If you have quite a bit of good items that you want to get rid of, a booth allows you to do this. It also allows you to go month-to-month on paying rent until everything has been sold off.
The third place to go is to a swap meet. Swap meets are a lot like setting up a booth at an antique mall or flea market—you will have a booth to set up what you have to sell. Swap meets typically run a day or two instead of an entire month like a booth. These are great if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on rent.
These are just a couple of ways to sell the items that you have. What other ways have you tried or run across?
Whenever you go shopping for antiques, there are always a few things that you need to remember. The first thing that you need to keep in mind is what kind of budget that you have. What I do so that I don’t go over my budget is to write down on a piece of paper how much my bill will be.
Another thing to remember is to keep an idea (or even a list) on what you are looking for. It could be a lamp for your living room, a carburetor for your Indian motorcycle or even a Morgan dollar for your coin collection. I often look in reference books or on the internet to see how much the item that I am looking for will cost so that I know what to expect to pay.
The next thing that I do is to figure out where I would like to go. You may have several antique stores, flea markets and even swap meets that are pretty close to home, so you could hit several of them in one day.
The last thing to do is to throw a box or a sack into your car or truck. It might sound silly, but I have one when I go shopping—you may be at something like a garage sale or even a swap meet and need to pack something in it.
The best rule of thumb of all is to have fun!
When do you restore an item? Do you leave it well enough alone or do you restore it? These are questions that you will hear when you are dealing antiques and collectibles, and it can be kind of hard to know what to do.
The first thing to know is how much the item is worth—both in its current form and what it will be worth after the restoration. An effective way to do that is to get an appraisal on the item. Ask the appraiser to give you an appraisal on both before and after values to see if it is worth it to restore the item.
If the item’s value will go up after the restoration, you need to keep in mind on what the item is. If it’s something that you don’t feel comfortable restoring yourself (like a rug or a painting), then you will need to find a good conservator to help you out.
Be careful though—restoring an item could get to be a very expensive proposition. I’ve seen restorations go from as little as $500 (for a painting) to well over $50,000 (for a car). To help figure out what it will cost to restore your item, I would contact people who do restorations to get an estimate on what to expect.
The last thing to consider is if you want to do the restoration or to just do a few simple repairs to the item—after all, all the item may need is a good cleaning and one or two new items on it.
The auction that you attended is now over, and you have everything that you bid on and won during the auction packed up. What exactly do you do now?
The first thing that needs to be done is to pay for what you bought. More often than not, you will pay for everything at the same place that you got your bidder’s number. The person that assigns you your bidder’s number gets a sheet from the auctioneer that states what was sold and for how much it went for.
This sheet will be separated out by the bidder’s number written down on it so they can have all the buyers pay for the right items.
After you pay, you now get to take everything home and make any repairs if there are any to be made. Once that’s done, you now get to take the items to your booth, list them online for sale, or even add them to your collection.
What kinds of great finds have you run across at an auction?
When I started to buy and sell pottery, there were some terms that I picked up pretty fast that I use quite often. These terms are pretty common and help describe the manufacturing process of the piece. Here’s some of the terms:
Pinholes—these are faults in the surface of a ceramic body (or even the glaze) that resemble pin pricks. These are not very big at all, and there is usually no other damage around them. Air bubbles are the most common culprit that causes these.
Bloating—this is the permanent swelling of a ceramic piece during the firing in a kiln. It’s caused by the expansion of gases like air not being able to escape out of the piece.
Iron oxide—this is a common oxide in glazes and some clays that generally gives the item a reddish color.
Biscuit pottery—this is also called Bisque pottery. This is pottery that has been fired, but no glaze has been applied to the piece.
This is only a few of the terms out there. What have you heard?
So you have decided to go and see what goes on at an auction. You scouted out the perfect one, and have even showed up about 30 minutes before it started. Now what do you do?
The first thing that you need to do is to register to get a bidder’s number. More often than not, the auction company will have a special area set up for just this purpose. All that you need to do is to show the auction company a valid ID and supply a phone number, and you have a biding number. What this is for is to let the auction company know who you are and even able to contact you if something arises (like if something that you bought gets left behind).
Whenever I have attended an auction, this will only take a few minutes at most, and it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.
The next thing that you will want to do is to look at the merchandise that’s in the sale. Getting to the auction a few minutes before it starts will help you look over the items to see what’s there and to see what kind of condition that it’s in.
Make sure that you listen to what the auctioneers say at the very beginning of the auction when they make their announcements. This will let you know what will happen during the course of the auction and what will be sold first.
So have some fun when you go to auctions and see what’s out there!