Saturday, September 22, 2007
Some Things that Shine - Can Really Sparkle Later
When buying good leaded crystal glass, you should have handled a lot of pieces before you invest in this field. You want to be able to recognize the weight and designs on the better pieces you encounter, because it is easy to get fooled today. Also, being acquainted with their marks will come from familiarity. I don’t know of a book that shows the marks, so if anyone does, write and let us know. Often, all clear glass looks alike, but it isn’t. In your search, these differences will become apparent. There has also been an influx of what I call copycat pieces that are coming into the market today.
It would seem easy to say, all that is necessary to recognize this glass is to look at the bottom of each piece, right? Wrong. I often have taken a piece from one room to another trying to get just the right light on it so that I could pick up that faintest piece of a mark, such as Lalique, Steuben, Baccarat, and even cut glass. Did you know that some of the best cut glass that was ever produced is marked? Most people don’t. These companies usually marked their pieces by acid etching the mark or by signing them with an electric marking process. Often these marks are almost invisible to the naked eye with out proper lighting or magnification.
Once, as I was attending an estate sale, and running very late I must add, there, on one of the card tables, was a huge frosted glass frog. I picked it up like probably 100's of other people during the day, but put it back down when I couldn’t find a mark on its bottom. After spending several minutes searching the rest of the sale and finding nothing, my mind wouldn’t let me forget that frog. I re-entered the room where it was located, picked the piece up again and examined it from top to bottom, but came to the same conclusion: Nothing special.
Going to the car and being ready to get out of there, I stopped in my tracks, re-entered the house, picked that darn frog up and said, I am going to find that mark or it's going to kill me. Believe it or not, there it was, as clear as day, and marked Lalique. I pick it up and went to the counter and asked the price. The answer almost made me start laughing right there. They told me $25.00. Paying very quickly and running out the door, I discovered in researching the piece that it was quite valuable. Putting that darn frog on eBay and waiting for the seven days was difficult but worth it, $650.00. Yahoo!
You will find most of this glass will be over-priced, and this is where the discipline comes in. Don’t ever over pay, even if you can make a small profit. We are waiting to make our money work for us, and that means at least doubling the price we pay for each item, if not more. However, there are a lot of people that don’t know the rare pieces made by these companies from the common ones. when you do, it will give you a tremendous advantage over them.
Stay with the best names in the clear glass, because the copycats, as I have called them, have very little value in the secondary markets.
If it sparkles, look at it carefully, because you just might find that special frog yourself.
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