Published: October 11, 2016
Review and Photos by Jackie Sideli
WEST BARNSTABLE, MASS. — The annual Cape Cod Glass Show and Sale took place this year at the Cape Cod Community College September 17–18, and a healthy contingent of glass devotees turned out.
Unlike most antiques shows where selling is the chief goal, education is key here. Both the Cape Cod Glass Club and the Westchester Glass Club, which was also on hand here, are affiliated with the National American Glass Club; this was a scholarly and serious show, with plenty to buy for the collector.
Author Joan E. Kaiser gave a lecture Saturday on “The Glass Industry in South Boston” from her book of the same name. After painstaking research, Kaiser has created an accurate narrative to the glass factories of South Boston. According to notes from a brochure about this book, “The furnaces in Boston far exceeded in number those of the well-researched Sandwich glass factories.” Kaiser is also the author of a five-volume set of The Glass Industry in Sandwich.
With 24 exhibitors showing various periods and styles of American glass, there was plenty to choose from for the collectors attending. Dealer Scott Roland of Glimmerglass Antiques, Schenevus, N.Y., had a pair of opalescent pitchers from Hobbs Brockunier, Wheeling, W.Va. The glassworks produced Victorian colored art glass. The pitchers, vaseline and cranberry, were Rubina Verde opalescent, and were priced $695 each. One was 8 inches tall and the other stood 7 inches high.
Diantiques’s dealer Diane C. Lytwyn, the author of Pictorial Guide to Silvered Mercury Glass, came to the show from Southport, Conn. She had quite a selection of mercury glass for sale in her booth. “Several companies made the glass, and there were different processes — flocking for Bohemian glass and engraved for the American pieces,” she said. “I bought lots of it on Cape Cod years ago. I like the American engraved pieces, made of blown flint glass. A lot of people like the Bohemian; it wasn’t heavy enough to endure the cutter’s wheel.”
The nearby New Bedford (Mass.) Museum of Glass had a booth at the show. Executive director Kirk Nelson was in attendance, as was assistant director Laura Coffin. The New Bedford Glass Museum’s collection encompasses Pairpoint, Mount Washington, Tiffany and Steuben, as well as Sandwich glass.
The four officers of the Cape Cod Glass Club who were present for the show were Betsy Hewlett Lessig, president; Brenda Hayes, vice president; James Lessig, treasurer; and Joan Kaiser, corresponding secretary.
Dealer Matt King, Marshfield, Mass., was selling a cathedral ink dating from 1900 (inks came in three sizes) for $145, and in the Cape Cod Glass Club’s dealers booth, Edmund Beard, a senior advisor at the University of Massachusetts, was offering, among other things, a pair of Sandwich electric blue petal and loop candlesticks for $1,150. “Everything here is rare,” said Beard. Exhibitor Bruce Maxwell from Orange, Conn., offered a late Nineteenth-early Twentieth Century ruby glass bowl. The ruby glass was cut to clear and was priced at $350.
The Cape Cod Glass Club Show had exhibitors from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and New Jersey, and a list of patrons as well. The show program invites attendees to become members of the Cape Cod Glass Club. There are monthly meetings on the first Tuesday, with programs by nationally known glass experts and club members.
Among the upcoming educational programs: On December 7, Jeffrey Evans will present the lecture “Canary Yellow Glass, the History and Evolution of a Color,” and March 7 features Maria Martell’s “Winter Finds — What and Why.” On April 4 Dorothy Hogan Schofield will discuss Boston and Sandwich glassmaking techniques and on May 2 Gay LeClair Taylor lectures on the history of paperweights.
Club publications include The Glass Club Bulletin of the NAGC (published two times a year) and Glass Shards, a quarterly newsletter of the National American Glass Club.
For additional information, www.capecodglassclub.org or membership chairperson Brenda Hayes at 508-385-4893, or Betsy Hewlett Lessing at 508-776-9098.
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