Sunday, January 31, 2010

Free ebook on Packing & Shipping Glassware

This is an ebook that I wrote (and recently revised) on packing and shipping glassware of all kinds. I wanted to post it here so that any sellers out there that wants some tips, can use it. This ebook is available for free PDF download here:

Good Things Come in Great Packages

By Sandy Faust

Yes, packing and shipping sounds like a very simple thing to do; wrap it, put it in a box, label it and ship it off. Is it really that simple? Well, yes and no. If you are shipping bricks, no worries. However, if you are shipping glassware or fragile items as I am, you need to take extra precautions when packing, and I am going to give you a few tips that I have learned along the way.

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started. All of the things I have to tell you are very simple and easy to accomplish. I am sure that it will improve your sales and bring those customers back to purchase more from you because they can count on receiving it in great condition.

PACKING MATERIALS; free (or almost free)


If you ship with USPS (United States Postal Service), you can go to their website at, where you can order Priority Mail boxes in different sizes. (You can now order these from ebay also.) They even have boxes that are a flat rate no matter what the weight of the merchandise is. Along with boxes, you can also order Priority Mail labels (I use these to cover up unwanted information on other boxes that I find, or to put on plain boxes that are going Priority). You can also get your Customs forms through this website, or if you print your international labels from your computer, you can also fill out the Customs form online. Everything is free, and is delivered right to your door by your regular mail delivery person.

There will be a time when you will need a plain box for shipping worldwide or you will need a larger box than what is offered through the postal service. Great places to find free boxes are from local businesses or at your local grocery store. I get free boxes from a company that I work for seasonally. They normally break them down and send them to the recycler, but are more than happy to let me take whatever I want from the stack before the recycler comes. Your local grocery store is another great place to find free boxes. Check with the manager to see when and where they put their boxes out. My grocery store has an area where they leave the boxes for anyone to take. I try to get the boxes with the least amount of writing on them, and the ones that are not too heavy.

One last thing to know about boxes is to check the bottom to make sure that it will hold the weight of what you are shipping. Most good shipping boxes have a weight load of about 65lbs. These are good sturdy boxes. But, beware! Some boxes are extremely thick and the added density can add up to an extra pound to the weight of your shipment. Try to avoid those boxes, as the extra weight can cost you part of your profit.

Bubble Wrap

The next thing you will need is something to wrap your items in. I have found that there is no substitute for bubble wrap. I use both the small bubbles and the larger bubble type. You can buy bubble wrap through packing supply outlets, but it is not cheap. It usually comes on a roll and costs about $55 for a 750’ roll. Here again, I have found great sources of bubble wrap from companies that receive goods, but do not ship. They usually throw away this precious commodity!!!

I get mine free, and all it takes is a few phone calls or visits to local businesses. Mine comes from the parts department of a recreational vehicle company that receives parts protected in the bubble wrap! Use your imagination - and even run an ad in your local newspaper or go on in your city, if necessary - to get your supplies free. It’s worth it!

If you do buy your bubble wrap by the roll (they are approximately 4’ in diameter), I have found a fantastic way to dispense it. I purchased a metal clothes rack for $12.00. You can remove the bar, slip the roll on the bar (it will hold 2 rolls) and snap it back together. It stores it neatly, and is ready for you to just pull off as much as you need! These can be purchases at any discount store like Wal-Mart or Target.


USPS carried free Priority Mail tape at one time, but has since discontinued it. I now buy it at the local Dollar Store for $1 a roll. If you want to buy it in bulk, check with a packing supply company. You may be able to purchase it for less than a dollar a roll when buying 12 rolls or more. Make sure to get a good quality tape that is relatively thick. If you don’t, you will have loads of problems with it sticking together and bunching up, wasting more of the tape than you will use. The tape that I recommend is 2” x 55 yards of clear packaging tape that is 2.6 mils thick. Also, get yourself a good tape dispenser (a one-time purchase) from an office supply store.

Packing Peanuts

I have nothing against sellers who pack their items in newspaper for shipment. I just refuse to do it. Repeat after me: Newspapers are for reading, not wrapping. It does not look professional, it is not as protective for glass items, and is extremely dirty and messy for the person who is unpacking their purchase. Yes, it is free and a good way to get rid of old newspapers, but unless it is all you have access to, I would avoid it at all costs.

I prefer to use packing peanuts. I have been purchasing mine from a packaging supply company for $15 for a 14 cubic ft. bag. This is the cheapest price I have found, and it is a large bag. However, when you are shipping 75 to 80 packages a month, you can go through many packing peanuts. One tip that I received (thanks to Danna Crawford) is to check with your local doctor’s office.

They receive many supplies and will often have foam boxes, bubble wrap and packing peanuts that they just throw away. Ask them to save them for you, and set a regular day to pick them up. Here again, I would suggest running a very small advertisement in your local newspaper, asking businesses that throw them away to contact you, and you will be as happy to take them - or even pay a minimal fee to purchase them – as they are to get rid of it.

Another tip is to let your friends and family know that you are in need of these supplies, and ask them to save any that they receive. Everyone orders something at sometime and receives packing materials!


A special touch I like to add and one of the first things that I make sure of, is that any glassware that I ship is clean, bright and sparkling before I ship it. Your customer is very excited about receiving their merchandise, so imagine their disappointment when they open their package and find a dirty piece of glassware!

This not only will reflect very badly on you and your store, but it will also hurt your chances for repeat customers. Your purpose is to get customers into your cybershop, not just once, but looking forward to coming back. A loyal customer is worth their weight in sales. They are your best advertising.

When wrapping glassware for shipment, always make sure to use enough bubble wrap to protect the item during its journey, whether it is going 10 blocks away or 1,000 miles across the ocean to another country. I ship a lot of goblets, and I have found that wrapping each piece of glassware separately is the best. This way the pieces can not bump together during shipping and become damaged.

When wrapping an item, always make sure that the edges are well protected. Wrap it so that you have bubble wrap to fold over the edges and tape securely. Whatever you do, DO NOT SKIMP ON THE BUBBLEWRAP!

For packing china, such as plates, saucers and bowls, I use coffee filters between each plate to keep them from getting scratched or damaged. You can put six plates together by putting the large coffee filters, or single sheets of the small bubble wrap between the plates. Use packing tape to secure the plates together. Tape them all the way around so that they are secure and do not move.

After securing them, wrap them together in a large sheet of the big bubble wrap, making sure the edges of the plates or bowls are cover with enough thickness to avoid damage.

When wrapping fragile stemware, especially the type with very thin stems, always protect the stem first before wrapping the entire goblet. I take one sheet of bubble wrap, fold it and wrap it around the stem only and secure with tape. Then I wrap the complete goblet. This keeps the stem from being broken in transit.

Because you are using sufficient bubble wrap and packing materials, always add a small “handling” fee to your shipping cost. Normally I add from $1.00 for very small items to $2.50 for full sets of goblets or larger items. It is worth it to your customer when they see how well you have packed their merchandise, and they will appreciate receiving it undamaged.


Now you are ready to place your well-wrapped item in the box for shipment. Choose a box that will leave you plenty of room to put a good amount of packing peanuts surrounding the item(s).

I suggest putting about 3 to 4 inches of packing peanuts in the bottom of the box. Place your item(s) in the box and make sure there is room around the item for packing peanuts to entirely surround it. I usually give the box a little shake to make sure the peanuts have settled to fill in the empty spots, and then cover the item completely with more peanuts.

One word of caution! Do not put so many peanuts on the top of the item that you cannot close the top flaps flat. If you pack the box too tightly, the glass item inside can actually be crushed from the pressure. This is why I say to choose your box carefully so the item(s) fit comfortably in the box, including the peanuts.

Tape the carton shut with at least two strips of clear packing tape. If need be, also tape the sides (I do this mostly on large boxes). If you are using a plain box and are shipping to a destination in the USA, I always add one or two of the Priority Mail stickers to the top of the box.

Always mark your package “FRAGILE” in several places on the top of the box. I have purchased a stamp from a local office supply store that has red ink so it stands out clearly, but you can also use a red marker for this. I mark every one of my shipments as fragile, whether it is glass or not. I have had very little breakage in the years that I have been shipping, and I ship many packages every week!


I suggest buying yourself a good digital scale to use for weighing your packages. You can purchase one at any office supply store. They carry several different types and price ranges. This is a one-time purchase, and is really an essential item if you are going to be printing your shipping labels prepaid. I purchased my digital scale for less than $50 and it is very accurate and works wonderfully.

Since I pack and ship so many packages at one time, I have worked out a system that helps me keep everything straight to avoid labels being switched. It was out of necessity that I came up with this system, since I did mix up two packages once! It is not fun to try to fix, and usually you end up losing your profit from the sale.

After I finish packing a package, I tape the printout from the sale and the payment to the top of the box. I do this for each package. When I am finished with all of the packages, I weigh them individually, writing the weight on the printout and on the box. I also write whether the box will receive insurance or not. (On expensive pieces of glass, I make insurance mandatory.) This makes it much easier when I am ready to print out my labels. It keeps everything straight, and I have a record on the printout of the weight of the item and whether or not the package was insured, just in case I need to look back for any reason.


I started out by handwriting shipping labels and taking my packages to the Post Office to have them weighed and add the postage. I soon found out that eBay and PayPal make it so much easier to print your labels prepaid from your own computer. This has several advantages. No waiting in long lines at the local post office! You can drop them off at any mailing center, including those in the local supermarket, or you can have them picked up by your regular mail delivery person right at your front door. How convenient!

Most eBayers have a PayPal account, and if you don’t, I would suggest getting one set up mainly so that you can print your labels and have your business costs come directly out of the money paid by your buyers for the shipping.

Printing labels from your sold items page is very simple. All it takes is a click on “Print shipping label” and log into your PayPal account. The address and all information are there for you. All you need to do is put in the weight and whether you want to add insurance. What could be simpler? Plus, your customer gets an email letting them know that their package has shipped and giving them the tracking number!! In addition, you have a record of every shipment that stays on file in Paypal for about 3 months.

You can print the label directly onto plain copy paper and cut and tape, but I suggest buying the pre-sized, peel off labels from Pitney Bowes that are made especially for eBay. You can purchase them at You can buy them in boxes of 50, 100, or 200 sheets. Each sheet has two labels. I purchase the 100 sheet LD2-1, which gives me 200 labels and costs about $27 including shipping charges. Again, this is an expense, but it makes your job much easier and makes your packages look more professional. Below is an example of what an eBay LD2-1 printed label looks like.


I have only talked about shipping by Priority Mail through USPS. I also use UPS for the larger or heavier boxes that I ship. The advantage of UPS is that all boxes are automatically insured up to $100.00.

1. Priority Mail is the fastest form of shipping with out doing an expedited (Next Day or 2nd Day Air) form of shipping. Your packages are delivered within 2 to 3 business days. UPS usually takes only 1 business day longer.
2. Your packing boxes, stickers, and customs forms are all free from USPS. They can be ordered online directly from, and are delivered right to your door by your regular mail delivery person. You will need plain shipping boxes for UPS, as they do not provide them.
3. You get a free delivery confirmation with every shipment with USPS, which normally costs about 45¢ per package otherwise.
4. You receive a tracking number and can track your package online with both types of shipping.
5. Cost – I find that the heavier packages are cheaper to ship UPS, especially since USPS raised their prices and also go by the size of the box. For lighter or smaller items, I use Priority Mail.


By using the method and suggestions above, you should have very little problems with lost packages or damages, but if you do, I suggest you take care of them immediately.

I would say that 99% of your customers are honest (just check their feedback if you are not sure) when they say that something has not arrived or has arrived damaged. I have found that it is to my benefit to either send a replacement for the item if I have it, or do a refund for the cost of the damaged item. I do not have the customer return the damaged merchandise, as it would incur another expense that I would have to reimburse the customer. Why spend out of your own pocket to receive something back that is broken?

As far as lost packages, I have not had one package lost shipping with USPS or UPS in the 5 years that I have been shipping. Isn’t that amazing? If the situation does arise, I would track the package first to see if it had been delivered (remember, you get a FREE delivery confirmation with Priority Mail!) and where it was delivered to. If it is an insured package, I would file a claim with USPS. They do investigate and will pay for the cost of the merchandise. If you need to check on a lost package with UPS, go to their website, and enter your tracking number. It will give you step by step information on the package progress.


I know that several eBayers do not offer international shipments. I do. Some of my best sales have been to customers in other countries. I have shipped to the UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and several other countries. I have never had a problem with an overseas shipment.

Again, I use USPS to ship. Packages that are smaller (under 36” total measuring length, width and height) are shipped by First Class International which takes approximately 7 to 10 days to arrive. Any larger packages are sent Priority Mail, which can be extremely expensive. Surface mail has been discontinued.

You can print the Priority labels from your computer for these packages, but not for the First Class International. You will need to take them to a Post Office. You can still print an address label through eBay by selecting “print label without postage”.

For the First Class Intl packages, you will need to include a customs form. Now don’t be alarmed!! These are available online in bulk through, so order them when you order your other supplies, or pick up a few when you are at your local Post Office. The Priority Mail International customs forms are printed online with your label.

For packages under 4 pounds, you need to fill out a PS Form 2976. This is a very simple form to fill out. It asks for the shippers name and address, the addressee’s name and address, and a description (gift, documents, commercial sample or other). I always mark other. I have stated in my auctions “Please do not ask me to falsify customs documents by saying they are a gift”. Then you need to write in what the item is and the value (what the customer paid for it), date it, sign it in both places marked, and attach it to the package next to the label.

If you receive an email from your customer saying that they have not received their package, and it has been well past the delivery time, ask them to please check with their customs office. Packages are held up in customs quite often. I have had this happen twice, and both times the customer received the package after checking with customs.

Again, I have never had a package lost when shipped internationally. I am not saying that it can’t happen, but I have not experienced it.

International customers can be some of your best buyers, so I wouldn’t bar them from bidding on your auctions or buying from your online store. You are losing out on a lot of good customers and sales if you do.

These are all of the methods and procedures that I have found that work for me. You may be able to add or change some of the above to suit your self and your type of business. What I have done is just laid out the basics, mostly from my own experiences. I hope you find this guide helpful in some respect.

Sell, sell, sell! And make sure you pack it and ship it for a successful transaction, great feedback, and repeat customers.

Good luck and Happy eBaying!

About the Author
My name is Sandy Faust, and I have an eBay store called “Sandy’s Collectibles and More,” which mainly offers glassware and stemware for sale or at auction.

You can visit my store at http://stores.ebay.sandyscollectiblesandmore.) Glassware is my passion! Nothing is as satisfying as helping a customer find or replace a piece of their collection. When that happens, I want to be sure that they receive it in perfect condition. I want my customers to be HAPPY with their purchase!

I feel I am qualified to write this guide, because not only I am an eBayer and shipper of merchandise, I also worked as a customer service representative for a large mail order catalog for over 12 years. I dealt with shipping, lost packages, broken items and customs daily. I have put that experience to use in my own business, and want to share some of that knowledge with you.

With much encouragement from Danna Crawford, I decided to try my hand at writing an eBook about the one thing that I know best; packing and shipping. I want to help new eBay sellers as well as those who have been selling on eBay for a while learn the secrets of “Packing and Shipping for Success!”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Identifying Reproduction Depression Glass

Depression Glass
(From JustGlass Online)

For many years depression glass has been reproduced by companies all over the world. Some of the patterns and things you may see from those companies are listed below. (We gratefully acknowledge the research work of the Glass Reproduction website, as well as for some of this information).

Butter dish- on the green reproduction you will see that the veins in the leaves on lid do not join or touch in center of leaf, bottom: on the old, large leaves point to center of each side (north, south, east, west) on the reproduction, they point off center (northeast, etc) very poor mold quality will show up on both top and bottom.

Avocado was originally made in pink, green and crystal: white pitcher & tumbler sets were made by Indiana Glass in the 1950’s. Yellow, red, blue, amethyst and frosted colors are all reproductions which were made by Tiara from 1974 through the 1980’s. Pink and green were also made by Tiara but are different from the original colors as follows: new pink has an orange-ish tint rather than the soft pink of the old color. The newer green is darker than the original one was.

Baltimore pear
Compote, marked with a paper label on the base, made in France.

The Shakers have been made in green, pink and cobalt. On the reproductions the patternis weak, with a little too much glass in the bottom of shaker, and additionally the cobalt was never originally made. Above the foot is filled in with about 1/4-1/2 of glass. Mosser company has made a line of children’s miniature sets (called ‘the Jennifer line’) with the cameo pattern. As children’s dishes were never made, these miniatures don’t present a problem telling reproductions from originals.

Cherry blossom
The following pieces have been reproduced in any or all of these colors: pink, green, light blue, delphite, cobalt, red and iridized colors. The only original colors that were made were the pink, green and delphite, and some of these reproductions are quite good so they may fool you. The round 2 handled tray, footed cake plate, cereal bowl, footed tumbler, butter dish and a divided platter are among those things that have been reproduced. As a general rule you’re going to find that the reproduction pieces are less carefully molded, with the pattern more crudely in place, branches and leaves on the blossom pattern will lack the original serrated texture of the leaves and the bark of the branch. The flowers will not look as detailed to you. The pieces are also somewhat heavier in glass than the originals.

Juice glasses will be marked “France”

Floral Poinsettia
These shakers can be found in colbalt blue, red and deep green, which are all reproductions as none of those colors were made. The pink however was made originally and the pink reproduction is very close to that original color.
The reproduction shakers will give you a continuous threading on the screw on top, while the older one will have a pair of threads that will end prior to the mold seams.

Additionally, you will find that the pattern is on top of the base on the new shakers and under the base on the old ones, so that you have to turn them over to see the base pattern.

Florentine 1
Shakers have been found in pink, red, and cobalt. The pattern is very badly done, red & cobalt are not original colors.

Florentine 2
Pitcher & tumbler sets in red, dark green, cobalt, and two different pinks have been made. None of these colors were originally made.

Iris & Herringbone
The reproduction iris & herringbone, 1960's, crystal, water tumblers, and the originals are both the exact same size. They both have the smooth rays on the foot. Although the repro’s ray edges may be just slightly sharper than on the originals, but it’s probably way too close for the novice collector to tell the difference. The herringbone pattern is one key. It’s not even near as clear, sharp and vivid as on the originals. But still close enough to fool even a good eye.
Now…just like on the 6 1/2? ice tea tumbler, one quick way to tell the difference is, flip your tumbler upside down. Can you see the “mold” line at all on the foot? On the originals, the “mold” line is “very” visible when you look at it from this perspective. However, with the reproduction tumbler, if you have a very good eye and or an magnifying glass, you might could see the “mold” line when looking at it from the bottom side. If you have to look that hard to see it, it’s probably an reproduction.

One other way to tell is, on the original 6? water tumbler, just like on the original 6 1/2? ice tea tumbler, there are (4) sides to each of these tumblers. Let me explain. There are (4) iris flower designs. The two opposite each other should be exactly the same identical design, matching each other perfectly. If there’s any difference at all, then it’s probably an reproduction.

You can’t tell the difference between the two by feeling the hole in the bottom of the tumbler foot. They both have the exact same type and style of hole in them both, with the exact same number of rays on the foot as well.

One sure fire way to tell if your 6? water tumbler is the “real deal” or not is, just to the right of the iris flower design, you have a very long stem, kind of thick one, coming from the bottom of the tumbler to the top edge of the flower on the right side of the flower, curving slightly to the left at the top as it ends. It has been crossed, or x ‘ed towards the top of the stem, with a partial stem. If you turn the tumbler to the exact opposite side it should match exactly. If it doesn’t and it’s only half x’ed, or not x’ed at all, it’s an reproduction. The opposing sides will not match this side, the pattern is different, but should match each other exactly perfectly as well.

In the 1950’s, the footed sherbet with an open lace edge was produced in milk glass and avocado for use as a florist bowl – colors never made during the depression. These were probably made by anchor hocking instead of indiana – who produced lorain originally – as some have been found with hocking’s paper labels.

In 1976, federal reissued this pattern for the bicentennial under the name “recollection”. Pieces were made in amber, but marked with a 76 in the design to distinguish old from new. Indiana glass bought the molds when federal closed, removed the 76 and made crystal. Since then, pieces have been made in blue, pink and a light ‘coke bottle green-blue’ color. The new blue is brighter than the original color, the new pink is too light. Many pieces have been made, some by combining two old items into a new one: the candlestick on a 10 inch plate became the pedestal cake stand; a tumbler on the candlestick base is sold as a hurricane lamp/vase, and the butter dish on the candlestick makes the footed candy dish. Reproductions of old pieces tend to be too heavy, the wrong color and sloppily molded. Study your depression glass encyclopedia so you know what’s original and what’s not.

Similar to manhattan, anchor hocking produced ‘park avenue’ from 1987-93 and then again in the late 1990’s in crystal and light ’sapphire blue.’ light blue was never made, and shapes were changed so as to maintain the integrity of the original crystal pieces. If you find something that’s not listed in the depression glass encyclopedias, it’s part of the park avenue line not manhattan.

Mayfair (open rose)
Cookie jars, shot glasses, small juice pitchers and salt/pepper shakers have been reproduced in pink (more orange than the original, green (both too dark and the wrong shade), cobalt, amethyst, red, amberina, and pink slag. The pattern is very weak on all items; pitcher and cookie bottoms lack the circular mold mark on the bottom, the shots have too much glass in the bottom.

Miss America
Reproduced in pink, green( wrong shade) red amberina, cobalt, crystal and ice blue as follows: repro flat tumblers have 2 mold seams instead of 4. Repro pitchers are missing the ice lip and the ‘hump’ in the top edge that old pitchers have by the handle to help grasp when pouring. New shakers are 3 1/4 inch tall and have too much glass on the inside – old are 3 3/8 inch tall and fill all the way to the bottom with salt. New butter dishes have a lump of glass sticking out (convex) under the knob; old are concave (curved in).

Pineapple & floral (no 618)
Indiana reissued the diamond shaped comport and the 7 inch bowl in pink, cobalt, avocado, and crystal with sprayed on colors. Only crystal was originally made so the other colors are no problem. Both items tend to be roughly molded and heavier than the originals. The new 7 inch bowls also have smooth rims instead of the wavy rim that the old bowls have.

Candy jars and shakers have shown up in cobalt, amber, light blue, pink and green. Both are poor quality, badly molded with bubbles and a greasy feel to the glass. The colors are wrong and some are marked ‘china’ with a paper label.

Pyramid (no.610)
In 1974-5, indiana produced the berry bowl, 4 part relish, and tumbler, in blue and black as part of their tiara line. These colors were never made originally.

Royal lace
The cookie jar, juice and water tumbler have been reproduced in cobalt blue. Cookie jar: the mold is very poor, with lots of bubbles in the glass and a very weak pattern. Old lids should have a mod seam running across the knob (divides the lid into 2 halves.) New ones are missing this seam. Tumblers: some are missing the design in the base. Thicker glass and shorter than the originals with too much glass in the bottom of the tumbler.

Reproduction items in pink, dark green, blue, light green, opalescent blue, red and dark amber have shown up. Butter dish, covered candy, cheese dish, sugar & creamer, salt & pepper all have been made and can be found with “made in taiwan” labels. As only amber, pink and light green are original colors, they are the only ones to pose a problem for collectors. New sharon is poorly molded, too thick with a greasy feel and lots of bubbles in the glass. The knobs on the butter, cheese and candy lids are too high – look stretched instead of the squat, hard to grasp older pieces. The pattern on the shakers does not look like roses; instead it looks like a pinwheel. The sugar & creamer are too light and of such bad quality that they are obviously new.

Butter dish, pitcher and tumbler.

Anchor hocking reissued the 8 inch and 4 1/2 inch bowls in ruby. Most are marked with the anchor trademark. Hocking has also produced the ashtray, punch cups and some vases recently – all marked with the anchor trademark.

Charm reissue: charm was originally made by anchor hocking from 1950 to 1954. Complete settings – all 11 pieces – could be purchased in jadite(opaque green), azurite(opaque blue), and forest green. A 5 piece luncheon service that included the cup, saucer, 8 3/8 inch plate, 4 3/4 inch bowl and 7 3/8 inch bowl was also produced in royal ruby during this time. Occasionally, a piece of charm will turn up in white or ivory but, as these colors were not part of the normal production, they remain oddities to highlight collections of the other colors.
Charm’s square shape is very popular with today’s collectors. So great is the demand for the original issue, that anchor hocking has brought the charm shape back for the new millennium with the name “union square contemporary glass service.” touted as “an updated version of a design from the 1950’s to bring style to your table,” hocking has brought back this popular pattern. But collectors have no need to fear being taken by repros pretending to be the real thing: union square is only available in crystal(clear glass), a color that was not produced in the 1950’s. Five items are currently being sold: three sizes of bowls(4 3/4?, 6? and 8 3/4?) a 9 inch plate and a 12 inch square platter. These new items are slightly larger than the comparable original issue pieces, and the square platter is an item that is completely new to the ‘charm’ line. In the past, hocking has maintained the integrity of their older glass when they re-introduce patterns from the past. Hopefully, they will continue this practice of ‘responsible reproduction’ with union square and stay away from the original colors if they expand the line.

Early American Presscut
A powder jars with lid in two sizes – 4 inch and 5 inch – have turned up. This item was never made by anchor hocking, and they are marked “italy” in the glass on both top and bottom

English Hobnail
The hexagonal creamer & sugar and the oval pickle dish are being made by brooke glass and marked with a circular westmoreland glass mark. They are of very poor quality when compared to the original. The small footed nut cups are also found in many colors, some marked with an “s”, and are again not the quality of westmoreland originals.

Both the large and small berry bowls have been reproduced for mccrory’s in amber, crystal, and an avocado-ish green. Marked with mc in the center, they are of very poor quality and mold and are easy to spot.

Both martha stewart and cracker barrel stores have their own lines of jadite glass – some marked, some not. Buy from someone you trust and study your books so you know what was originally made!

Laurel (Fireking)
A cup and saucer/plate (no cup ring) have turned up in a translucent green that is supposed to look like jadite. The color is too light and nothing like fire king jadite. Both pieces are marked with a diamond shape, and the numbers 402 and 4 on the bottom.

Paneled Grape
Summit art glass is producing the large canister in an orange slag – never originally made by westmoreland – and milk glass. They do have the wg mark on both top and bottom, but the mold is very poor on the milk glass and easy to spot.
Sandwich – anchor hocking
The cookie jar in crystal has been recently reproduced. These are sold in catalogs with nut/candy assortments, especially around the holidays. The repro jar is larger than the original – 10 1/4 inches tall, 5 1/2 inch opening and 22 inch diameter at the widest part of the jar. The old cookie jar is 9 1/4 inches tall, 4 7/8 inch at the opening and 19 inches in diameter at the widest part. Those extra inches make the new jars seem huge.
Sandwich – Indiana
Indiana reissued their sandwich pattern as part of the tiara line. Tiara exclusives was sold at home parties and touted as ‘tomorrow’s collectible glass – made from original molds.’ this basically means that they made new glass using old molds, not that the glass was old. Amber, crystal, smoky blue, teal, chantilly green, milk, and red were all produced. Most of the crystal and all the amber you find today will have been made since 1970.

Thank you to Just Glass Online for this wonderful guide to identifying reproduction depression glass.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ways to Clear Cloudy Glass

We have all run across that perfect piece of glassware/stemware, but it has a cloudy film and has lost it's crystal clear look. What can you do?

There are several means you can try to restore the original luster to the glassware if it not scratching but rather a build-up of minerals from the water, or years of washing.

Ammonia will very often strip off the cloudiness and clear up your vintage glass.

When ammonia doesn’t work, Vaseline might. Coat the dish, and leave it sit for four or five days before washing it.

Vaseline will also save nearly any dish from mineral build-up if left on for three to five days.

Denture tablets are another possibility. Use warm water to cover the dish and two polident/ efferent tablets; they very successfully eat away the stains and don’t usually harm the dishes.

Krazy Kloth, a supermarket cleaner much vaunted to remove mineral stains of hard water.

Lemon Juice, or Realemon juice, which is concentrate lemon juice and very acidic; soak the lemon juice up on a paper towel and lay the paper towel over the area to be cleaned on your plate or bowl.

Many times if nothing else works there is a chance that toothpaste will help you to take away the cloudiness, and sometimes bathroom tub cleaner such as DOW will help to clear them up.

Never use things such as drain cleaner or CLR, which will actually eat away the base glass of your dish or plate

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Buying the right glass for your drink!!!

If you enjoy fine champagnes and sparkling wines, then having the right glasses is worth the investment!

Whether you are celebrating a wedding, anniversary, New Year’s Eve or other special occasion, champagne or sparkling wine in fine champagne glasses makes the perfect complement to any celebration.

But what are the right shape, size and brand of champagne glasses to buy? Read on and learn the basics of selecting and buying quality champagne glasses into which to pour your bubbly.

What Type of Champagne Glass to Buy?

What should you look for when buying quality Champagne glasses?
Champagne Flutes

A tall tulip-shaped flute is what most experts suggest you use to serve champagne; the small mouth and tall shape of a champagne flute slows the movement of the bubbles, allowing expensive champagne to retain its effervescence longer and concentrating the aroma better than other shapes.

Typically containing six to eight ounces of champagne, the flute’s narrow opening traps and concentrates the aroma and helps preserve the chill of the wine, whereas a glass with a wide bowl allows the aroma to escape and the wine flatten quickly.

Champagne Saucer or Coupe

While coupes may be sensuous (rumors abound that these wide-bowled champagne glasses were originally cast from the breasts of various famous women), they don’t make the best glasses for sipping fine champagne or sparking wines!

For many people, the image of a champagne glass is all wrong; the wide mouth saucer or coupe shape bowl is actually to be avoided! A wide bowl lets all the bubbles escape and your sparkling wine or expensive French champagne goes flat and warms up very quickly with a lot of surface area.

Sparkling Wine Glasses

Over the years, a number of unique shapes and playful designs have evolved in the world of sparkling wine glasses. Some of the more popular styles of sparkling wine glasses enable the stem to be filled as well as the bowl or flute.

Once consumed only on very special occasions, only wines crafted in the champagne region of France qualify as true champagnes, today you can find any number of superior sparkling wines from around the world and sparkling wines have become extremely popular in recent years. Many people prefer a sparkling wine or champagne over other wines these days, even for everyday enjoyment.

If design and appearance are more important to you than pure function, then these designer-oriented sparkling wine glasses can be a nice addition to your stemware collection, but the fact that your hands warm the sparkling wine more quickly when the stem is filled may outweigh the nice look some of these glasses!

Champagne Flutes concentrate the flavor and aroma of a Champagne or sparkling wine, making it the ideal shape.
Crystal or Glass Champagne Glasses?

The question often comes up whether crystal or glass is the better choice when selecting glassware for champagne and sparkling wine. Glass contains a mixture of sand, soda ash, marble, dolomite, potash and borax. These elements are heated to approximately 105ºC (221ºF) to create a molten batch of glass.

Crystal is made by adding lead oxide to the batch (24% or more of the batch will be lead in this case), making it tougher than regular glass. The lead content makes a glass appear to be more ‘sparkly’ since it is more refractive than normal glass. The irony is that since lead crystal glassware costs more, people will tend to treat it with more care than regular glassware, despite the fact that it is actually more durable!

Champagne Glass Storage and Care

First of all, if you do purchase fine crystal champagne or sparkling wine glasses, use them! You don’t have to treat them any differently than other glassware. Wash your glasses soon after using them and hand dry to prevent clouding or water marks.

You can put them in the dishwasher but hand washing is fine; the main thing is to be sure the glasses are rinsed thoroughly and hand dried with a lint-free linen towel to keep them clean and free of streaks or water marks.

Never expose your fine champagne glasses to rapid changes in temperature as this could damage them; for instance if you just took them out of the hot dishwasher and put them into the freezer you’d be asking for trouble. Champagne glasses should be used at room temperature and not chilled in a freezer or ice bucket anyway!

Chilling and Pouring Champagne

A good sparkling wine or champagne is best enjoyed well chilled; ideally, you want to pour from the bottle at 7 ºC (43 to 48 ºF). Any colder and you’ll miss out on the complex aroma and taste, much warmer and you’ll be really disappointed.

Don’t chill the glasses though; just the bottle before you uncork it; don’t leave it in the freezer … an ice bucket is the best way to chill champagne to get the right balance of the alcohol.

Tilt your champagne flute when you pour to prevent building up a ‘head’; unlike good beer, the sugars and alcohol in a fine sparkling wine is best appreciated with the bubbles in the liquid not let to escape by pouring too quickly from bottle into glass.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cambridge Glass Company

Cambridge Glass company began its life as the National Glass Company. They made press glass in the early part of the nineteen hundreds.

Cambridge is well known for its glass mark, which is a triangle with a C inside of it. Oddly enough, not all Cambridge pieces get marked with that mark, which makes it difficult to decipher which pieces are actually Cambridge.

Some of the best and most exciting pieces and the better received patterns that were collected were made in the early 30’s and sold amazingly well into the later part of the 1940’s.

It hasn’t been all that many years since any well laid table or perfectly appointed buffet would include very elegant glassware, perfectly etched pieces of stemware or Cambridge glassware accessories. Although the day to day elegance that many people wanted from their lives seems to have passed by the wayside, Cambridge glass is still widely collected and lovingly used by those who desire a return to the elegance of the past.

Do take care to watch what you buy. Cambridge has in fact been produced and reproduced over the years. Largely it was the lady flower frogs which have been brought into reproduction, but wide reproduction of the Caprice glassware pattern also took place. The quality of course is quite inferior so you’re going to be able to recognize one that isn’t genuine by studying those which are.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Makers Marks on Glassware

I found this great site for looking up maker's marks on glassware. It not only has the old marks like Westmoreland, Imperial Glass and others that are recognizable. It has marks of makers I have never heard of before, or didn't realize marked their glassware.

I am a real stickler on knowing what maker and what pattern a piece of glassware is before I will list it on ebay. Those keywords are what brings the buyers to your items that they are looking for. The more relevant keywords you can get into your title, the faster your items will be found.

Check out this site!! When you join, you get 10 free "lookups".

Friday, January 1, 2010

Caring for your Crystal Stemware Purchase

Purchasing good crystal can be very expensive, in which case, it is a good idea to know exactly how to care for your purchase. Below are some great tips that will keep your stemware last for a long time while still looking like new!

1. Wash your crystal stemware with warm water, a soft sponge and mild dish soap. Avoid extreme water temperatures and soaps containing ammonia. Wash your stemware as soon as possible after using it: This is especially important after serving potentially staining liquids, such as red wine. Never put your crystal stemware in the dishwasher, where the glasses are likely to shatter.
2. Dry your stemware immediately after washing it. Use a linen or lint-free cloth to dry your stemware. The weakest part of your stemware is the place where the bowl joins the stem; for this reason, avoid holding the glass by the stem and twisting while drying. Instead, hold the bowl of the glass gently in your palm while drying the inside of the glass.
3. Store your crystal wine glasses, toasting flutes and other crystal barware in a safe, dust-free area, such as a china hutch, or inside special stemware storage containers. Do not store your crystal glasses upside-down in the cupboard: The lip of the glass is very delicate and will begin to crack under the weight of the glass.
4. Special care: If you have left your stemware out too long and dust, grime or stains have built up, try holding the pieces over a home steamer or a pot of boiling water until the build-up loosens, and then gently wash them with a soft sponge and very mild soap. Be careful not to burn your hands while holding your stemware over the hot steam. You may want to wear an oven mitt to protect your hand from potential burns.


1. Crystal frequently contains lead. Try not to let wine or other liquids sit for extended periods of time in crystal glasses and decanters. Liquids left sitting in crystal vessels will begin to leach lead out of the crystal, making the liquid unsafe to drink.