Monday, March 24, 2008
Consolidated Glass - Ruba Rombic, Martele and The Valuable Lalique Look-Alike
Have you ever seen something that your mind says you have seen before? This might have happen to you if you ran across a wonderful unmarked Deco glass vase, reasonably priced. You might have even passed it over, thinking the piece was a reproduction of Lalique, or some other Art Deco company’s work.
I am sure that this has happened to me, because I wasn't up to speed on the wares of The Consolidated Glass Company. Now I’m wondering just how much money I have left on the table by not knowing more about this company and some their outstanding patterns of glass.
This Pennsylvania company was formed in 1884, producing lamps, tableware, and art glass. Their earlier pieces don't seem to warrant much collector interest today, but their Art Deco lines produced after 1925 are the most sought after today. The company closed its doors in 1967.
Martele is a line they produced that resembles Lalique, using the same frosted effect Lalique used in their glass production during the same time period. When used along with the Deco designs of the day, the result was a creation that had great eye appeal, and today, has piqued the interest of sophisticated collectors. The geometric designs of Ruba Rombic, designed by Rueben Haley, are as modern today as they were when first manufactured, and is the ultimate in Consolidated Glass.
I have been fortune enough to buy and sell several pieces of this glass, however they have always been the large vases with molded animals or birds. Usually these pieces are decorated in green, blue or tan colors with an ivory background. The pieces I have purchase for under $50 have usually sold in the $150 to $250 range, still making it a very worthwhile purchase within our criteria. Consolidated Glass can easily be confused with Phoenix Glass. Look into these two glass companies. If you're in the early steps of your 31 Steps, you might run across these and it could be a buy for you.
Decades ago, Depression Glass Collectors also collected Consolidated, and what is written in books about Consolidated's Ruba Rombic and other patterns, is mostly found in books geared for Depression Glass Collectors. And by the way, if you ever run across a book at a garage or estate sale called Phoenix and Consolidated Art Glass: 1926-1980 by Jack D. Wilson, I'd buy it cheap. It's out of print, and today on Amazon, there's only 9 used copies starting at $69, while on Abesbooks, there's 5 from $140 to $155.00.
Consolidated’s better pieces bring a whole lot more than their common ones. A decanter set in the Ruba Rombic patters may bring $10,000 today, while a water set made in the same pattern might command $5,000. The Martele patterns might not bring as much as the Ruba Rombic pattern, but I guarantee if you find a large vase in this pattern, you have indeed found a treasure.
This is one time that “look a likes” can bring big money, so keep your eyes sharp.
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