It is very difficult to identify early blown glassware from the 18th century because talented modern glass blowers can make good copies in the earlier styles and colors.
Today, chemical analysis of the glass, along with other modern methods, can identify the source of the sand (silica) used in glass. It was discovered that many museums had 1930s Mexican copies.
If you are lucky enough to find a piece of early American blown glass, look at the shape and clarity of the glass, ask about the history, and look for scratches and other marks that indicate wear. Then get a bill of sale that describes the piece and includes the probable age and history.
Also, be sure there is a money-back guarantee if the piece turns out to be a fake. Most auctions do this, but online sales of unknown dealers or galleries can be dangerous, especially when you are buying old glass.
A bright cobalt blue-blown covered sugar bowl was sold at a Norman C. Heckler & Co. auction for $2,340. It is 6¾ inches high and 4¾ inches in diameter. Of course, it has a pontil scar. The finial on the lid is shaped like an acorn, but the best clue to its age is the engraving “A.G. 1780” on the glass and the knowledge that it has been in a famous glass collection for many years. Experts think it was made in the Pittsburgh area.
Q: I have two original Currier and Ives lithographs that I would like to sell, and I wonder if you can help. My understanding is that they are part of an original set. Both are framed and in mint condition. The prints are “The Knitting Lesson” and “An Increase of Family.” I’m looking for a general value of the prints and maybe a place to sell them.
A: Currier and Ives made the famous American lithographs marked with their name from 1857 to 1907. Nathaniel Currier was the printmaker who started the business. James Ives was the bookkeeper who became Currier’s partner in 1857. Neither was an artist; prints were drawn and lithographed by others. Many reprints have been made. The name Currier and Ives appears on all original prints; if it’s not there, it’s either a copy or a trimmed print — both of which are less valuable than untrimmed originals. The prints also included their street address in New York City, and it’s possible to date the year of the original issue from this information. A local auction house or print dealer can examine the paper and the print to ascertain whether your prints are original lithographs or reproductions. They were not made as a set. If original, “The Knitting Lesson” is worth $325 to $375 and “An Increase of Family” is worth $275.
Q: I have a Carlton Ware walking teapot, four cups and sugar bowl with Hawaiian decoration. What are they worth?
A: Walking Ware tea sets are creamy rounded earthenware pieces mounted on quirky legs. They were designed in 1974 by husband-and-wife team Roger Michell (1947-2018) and Danka Napiorkowska (1946-) and made in their English studio called Lustre Pottery. Pieces were handmade by Roger, then decorated by Danka. Later, Walking Ware was also made by Carlton Ware, a Stoke-on-Trent pottery factory started in 1896. After a trip to the island of Saint Lucia, the couple designed the Caribbean Series in 1978 with a tropical theme decoration in light blue, green and yellow. The legs are wearing white socks with a blue band and yellow shoes. Pieces were made by Lustre Pottery and also by Carlton Ware until they closed in 1986. Limited-edition items were made in the 2000s. Plain Walking Ware pieces sell from $10 for an egg cup to about $50 for a teapot. Caribbean-decorated pieces sell for about twice that.
Q: My family found an old stove door in a swamp on our family farm. It has the words “Maple Channon Emery Stove Co. Quincy Ill” on it. It’s rusty and appears to be very old. Do you have any information about the company and the type of stove?
A: The Channon-Emery Stove Co. was founded in Quincy, Illinois, by Joseph Emery and William Channon about 1880. The company made various types of heating and cooking stoves and ranges. It’s best known for the Never Fail line of ranges that burned coal or wood. The Maple model was listed as a “heater” in a 1904 issue of “The Metal Worker,” a trade journal. The Maple was an airtight variety with a polished steel body, a cast-iron top, nickel-plated footrails and a spun brass nickel urn on top. It was made in two sizes and was designed to burn wood. A few other models by Channon-Emery also were named after trees — the Cheerful Oak and the Cherry. It’s not clear when the company closed, but it was still in business in the mid-1920s. We found a Cherry model nameplate that sold for $34.
Q: My grandmother gave me a matte-glazed pottery vase marked with an impressed mark, “Handicraft Guild Minneapolis.” It is a plain, slightly bulbous shape, about 6 inches high. She said she made it in a pottery class at art school. Can you tell me anything about the school and the pottery?
A: The stamped mark on your vase was used on pottery made by students and artists working in Minnesota after 1904. The pottery had the die-stamped mark seen on your vase, the stamped initials “HG,” a paper label or no mark at all. Arts and Crafts style included arts of many kinds, such as pottery, tiles, silver jewelry, copper desk sets, boxes, tableware, wood carvings and even table lamps.
Tip: Got bubble gum on your sports cards? Rub them gently with a nylon stocking.
On the block
Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.
Mary Gregory jug, cobalt blue, child holds out arms, tree, 1900, 7 inches, $45.
Sevres figurine, deer, laying down, head up, green, oval base, black, Paul Millet, 10 by 18 inches, $110.
Gouda vase, stick, flowers, leaves, curlicues, multicolor, signed Zuid Holland gouda, 1905, 15 by 6 inches, $115.
Lithophanes, panel, Jesus, cross, cut glass border, red, blue, green, KPM, 11 inches, $190.
Weathervane, horse, prancing, arrow, 1900, 13 by 23 inches, $325.
Van Briggle vase, three graces, matte turquoise, women, draping material, five-sided base, 17 by 10½ inches, $390.
Porcelain plate, ducks, lotus blossoms, pond, blue, white ground, Chinese, 15½ inches, $570.
Chanel purse, leather, caviar, tote, quilted, stitched logo, medallion, gold-tone hardware, 9 by 12 inches, $780.
Mirror, Murano glass, gilt, faceted, ribbons, flowers, beads, etched, 1900, 57 by 33 inches, $1,020.