Sunday, November 16, 2014

Venturing into the World of Antique Milk Glass

A few years back, I became interested in an opaque, milky looking glass, that was solid color on the body, but the edges were see-through, similar to Opalescent glass of a later date.  This beautiful glass is now called Milk Glass.  Below are three of my oil lamps in milk glass.  The one on the right is a very pretty light aqua blue with a very Victorian raised design.  The smaller one is hand painted with pink, blue & yellow flowers.

The first milk glass or what was referred to as "Opal Glass" at that time, was made in Venice in the 16th century.  Later on in the late 1880's, the glass became very popular with the rich and elite in the US.  This  milk glass was made in dinnerware, barber bottles, oil lamps, covered animal dishes, decorator plates with reticulated edges and many, many more pieces.  Below is a photo of an owl plate, several reticulated plates, a hand painted heart shaped dish & a single salt shaker.

This beautiful glass was made by several different companies in the early years, such as Vallerysthal, Ditheridge, Atterbury & Company, Gillinder and Sons, and Bryce.  Later during the depression years, Fenton, Fostoria & Westmoreland made several pieces of glass very similar to the old opal glass.  In the 1960's through the 80's, Indiana Glass, Colony, Imperial & others made a solid milk glass, that was much heavier, with no opal edges. 
Below are three hand painted barber bottles that were used to hold lotions & colognes in barber shops.

Milk glass was not only made in white opal, but was also made in blue, pink, yellow & black.  Some pieces were decorated with gold paint, and others were hand painted with floral designs.  The gold on these pieces is not the shiny gold that we know today, but more of a flat, brownish color.  Many of the pieces that you will find today, may be missing some or all of the original gold, and parts of the designs.  You will find many designs, like raised cartouches, lions heads, beads, & swirls.  Below is an example of three of the covered animal dishes that I have found in my hunts.  One is a dolphin, the front one is a dog, and the other is a chicken in a sleigh!  The middle is a hand painted syrup pitcher.

I became interested in collecting this beautiful glass, when I found a covered candy dish at a thrift store.  It was in perfect condition, and was a very reasonable price.  From that moment on, I became hooked.  Since then, I have put together a nice little collection, and am always on the lookout for more pieces to add.  Below is the very first piece I purchased.  This is a covered candy dish made by Vallerysthal.  It is in perfect condition!  I paid $5 for it at a thrift store.

So, keep your eyes open for this beautiful glass when you are out browsing thrift stores, or attending auctions.  Maybe you will get hooked on this beautiful glass, just like I did! :-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Addiction! A Confession.

I am an addict.  Yes, I admit it.  I need my fix at least once a week, and sometimes even more than that!  I am hooked.  When I go a long time without, I start to have withdrawal symptoms that you cannot even begin to imagine. Shaking, pacing, mumbling to myself.

Yes, I am AUCTIONS, THRIFT STORES, ESTATE SALES & GARAGE SALES!!!  No one ever warned me that going to these things, hunting for those "treasures" could possibly be so addicting, taking up hours & hours of my time!  It's not that I LOVE selling online......I mean, I do enjoy it, but the real high is the hunt for those goodies that make me shake like a drug addict!!!

I read the auction listings on at least twice a week, for both Iowa & Nebraska.  I live in Nebraska, but I am willing to drive a good ways to get those goodies!!  If there is a listing with photos of glassware or china, cups & saucers, or hand painted anything,  I am making my list, checking my bank account, and planning my attack!!

I have learned one important lesson though.  NEVER tell anyone at an auction, what something is or how old it is.  I was looking at a piece of EAPG, an old Coin Glass square toothpick holder.  This very little, frail old lady, looking so  innocent, asked me what it was, and how old it was.  She didn't look dangerous!!! She would most likely fall asleep before the auction even started!!  So I gave up my secret! Yes, it is old!!! Late 1800's....Coin Glass....I have the salt, pepper & tray that match it at home.....I am so happy to see the toothpick here!! I collect this glass.   Well, guess what!!!  That little old lady stayed awake during the whole 9 hour auction, until that piece of Coin Glass came up, and she proceeded to OUTBID me!!!! And then, turned around and smiled at me!!! Vicious woman, I tell you!!!

From now on, my lips are sealed.  I will give only my name, city & state.  I know NOTHING!!! Shhhhhhhhh! ;-)