Word of the Week: American Brilliant

We’ve gotten another request from a reader, this time to discuss the term “American Brilliant.” This has to do with cut glass, and was actually an era that was in existence between 1876 and 1917.

This term is in reference to what is known as the Brilliant Period. Prior to the 1870s, Europeans owned the glass making industry. Many American craftsmen were immigrants, so the American style was practically identical to those across the pond.

Over the years, and as the generations moved on and away from the home country, they started gaining their own techniques and developing their own style. By the time the mid-1870s rolled around, the Americans owned the glassmaking industry and even the Europeans couldn’t compare.

This is what is known as the American Brilliant era.

I don’t have any pictures to show you guys because we haven’t come across any of these pieces before. However, there is an incredible site dedicated to cut glass and this era in American glassmaking. Please be sure to check it out for pictures and additional information!


My Weekly Score: Sandwich Glass Cereal Bowls

We got a whole bunch of Anchor Hocking glassware in a few weeks ago, nearly all of it being sandwich glass. (Sandwich is the pattern, but it’s referred to collectively as sandwich glass). Among a wide array of bowls, plates, cups, and specialty pieces, we had these four cereal bowls:

As you can see, we decided to split these up into two lots of two each. It was a good thing we did!

There was an all out bidding war on the first set we put up. It ended at $88.94. We were much less successful with the second pair, but still netted $26.00. That’s a total of $114.94. For four bowls.

We paid over $900 for the entire set, and have over 150 pieces. That means we paid roughly $5 per piece of sandwich glass. For these four bowls, we got about $28 per piece. That works for me.

Next week I’ll bring you another sandwich glass score!

Word of the Week: Pressed Glass

Last week we talked about cut glass, so this week we’re going to touch on pressed glass. Where cut glass is made by hand using a wheel to form the pattern, pressed glass is made using a mold.

You can usually tell pressed glass from cut glass by feeling the edges – they will be rounded and not sharp at all. You’ll also find a seam somewhere along the piece that indicates it was in a mold.

Here are some examples:

Here’s a pressed glass cruet.

If you look closely, there’s a seam along the handle here that carries down the rest of the piece. A matching seam is on the opposite side.

Here’s another pressed glass piece – a creamer!

It’s hard to spot in the picture, but the seam is right down the middle. Look closely!

Which do you prefer – cut glass or pressed glass?

Fakes & Forgeries: Candlewick vs. Boopie

In this newly developed series we’re going to explore items that resemble one another – it might not necessarily be for the explicit purpose of tripping up collectors and making them buy something they don’t mean to, but that is often a consequence of their similarities. One of the biggest culprits is between these two patterns: Candlewick and Boopie.

Let’s start off with Candlewick. It’s made by the Imperial Glass Company. It was produced from the mid-1930s to the mid-1980s. It’s clear with a beaded pattern along some of the edges.

Boopie, on the other hand, was made by Anchor Hocking in the 1950s. It’s also clear with a beaded pattern along some of the edges.

See how that can get confusing? It’s been tricking buyers and sellers for ages and we’ve been fooled by it more than once as well. Luckily, once you learn the differences between the patterns, it’s actually quite easy to distinguish the two.

This website is the best one I’ve found that gives a clear picture of how these two differ. Please visit it for a complete run-down. I’m just going to discuss the main point here.

The biggest difference that you need to know is in the beading. The candlewick beads are usually separated by a little bit of space, while the Boopie beads are much closer and may actually touch one another. See the pictures below for a comparison:

Notice the wide-set beads on the Candlewick…

…compared to the closely-placed beads on the Boopie.

There are some other differences, but this is the main one. If you have a more unusual piece, please refer to the website mentioned above, as it has some more specific examples to help you out.

I also find that candlewick generally looks daintier and classier, while Boopie is a bit heavier looking. After a while, you get a better feel for both kinds of glassware and distinction between the two will be much easier.

Here’s a Boopie candle holder that quite often gets mistaken as Candlewick.

And here’s another example of Candlewick.

My Weekly Score: Pyrex Range-Top Teapot

This was a really neat vintage find that had a surprising value to it.

It is a range-top teapot made by Pyrex. This is probably from the ‘50s. The best part was that it came to us brand new in the box.

It also had the heat spreader grid and the original instruction booklet. Whoo hoo! That always makes something more valuable, more interesting, and more usable.

I don’t know what exactly we got this for, but it was only a couple of bucks. We ended up selling it for $56.51, though! Even more interesting than that? It went to Japan!

How to Sell: Anchor Hocking

(This post is going to be short and sweet today. We’re about to change up Mondays around here, and things are about to get a lot more interesting!)

In 1905, a man named Isaac J. Collins and six of his friends pooled $8,000 and bought the Lancaster Carbon Company in Lancaster, Ohio. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to start operations in the Black Cat facility (so named because of all the carbon dust). With the help of E.B. Good (and an extra $17,000), however, Collins was able to start off with one building, 2 day-tanks, and 50 employees.

It was renamed the Hocking Glass Company, after the Hocking River that was located nearby.

We have this labeled as a relish dish, but it’s possible that it could be a divided bowl for vegetables. This is an example of pressed glass that could’ve come from one of the molds the company developed (below).

In 1924, the Black Cat facility burned to the ground. Without missing (much of) a beat, they built another plant and took over a second one. When the Depression hit in 1929, this company was one of the ones that actually wasn’t severely crippled. This was because they had developed a machine that raised their production from one item per minute to 30 items per minute. When things got really bad, they developed a 15-mold machine that could actually produce 90 pieces per minute. They could sell tumblers for “two for a nickel” and still make money to survive the terrible economic times.

It was in 1937 that the Anchor Cap and Closure Corporation and the Hocking Glass Company merged and formed the Anchor Hocking Glass Company. By 1969 they were a worldwide company and started producing more than just glass. This is when the company finally became what we know it as: Anchor Hocking.

(All information came from this fabulous website: The Anchor Hocking Glass Museum.)

This is a gorgeous set of tumblers with a white swirl/gold heart pattern.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, it’s important to include some (but probably not all) of this information in your listings. Not only might your buyers be interested in learning this, but it will increase your own knowledge base and it makes you appear more credible. Buyers will know that you’re not just a random person selling what you found in your basement, but someone who has researched the products that you sell.

You might want to fall back on our Pyrex post because a lot of the same general rules will still apply – pattern names, shapes, condition, dates, etc.

The casserole is by Anchor Hocking, through the trivet/basket might have come separately and from somewhere else.

When using Terapeak.com, I found that there are two incredibly popular (and valuable) Anchor Hocking pieces:

1. Jadeite (also seen as Jadite) – Sets, mugs, plates, vases, etc. This is beautiful and highly collectible. If you see the name Anchor Hocking on the bottom of anything that looks like Jadeite, buy it!

2. Milk Glass Mugs – Some of them have patterns, some of them don’t. If you see a cool retro mug, it’ll probably be worth your time and investment. This is especially true if it has a well-known character on it like Mickey Mouse or Snoopy.

Keep your eye open for Fire King – that’s made by Anchor Hocking too. This is their Meadow Green pattern and is a covered casserole dish.

Anchor Hocking has almost 8,000 pieces on Replacements alone, so there are tons of patterns and styles to look for. Do some research and see what you’re attracted to and what’s selling well. Remember to fall back on our How to Sell: Dinnerware post for information about the best way to sell things like these!

Word of the Week: Cranberry Glass

We’ve gotten our first request – cranberry glass!

After mentioning that cobalt glass was one of my favorite colors of vintage glassware, one of our readers heartily agreed. When I mentioned that I loved cranberry glass too, she mentioned that I should share some pictures of it. Great idea!

First off, let’s do a little background information:

Cranberry glass is also called “gold ruby” because of how it’s made. Basically (without getting technical and flubbing up some of the details that I really don’t understand) it’s made when you add gold oxide to molten glass, which you get by adding gold to acid.

Pretty cool right? I had no idea you needed gold to make this type of glass! This glass is typically hand blown or hand molded, so that just adds to the value.

Here are some pictures of cranberry glass that we’ve had around here:

This is a gorgeous hanging lamp with cranberry glass along the top that fades into clear glass.

This is an orchid-shaped vase of a deep cranberry color. Beautiful!

Here’s another vase with a brighter color of cranberry. This was hand-blown.