Unlike years past when the Westchester Glass Club’s Collectors Glass Show and Sale had to endure almost biblical bad weather, this year’s 32nd annual show on April 12 and 13 had clear skies and great selling. Visitors filled the Civic Center to enjoy and buy from the 50 or so dealers who came from across the country to this premier glass event.
The club sponsors the show and volunteers run the event with great care and attention to detail. A portion of the admission fee benefits the Bruce Museum of Greenwich, Conn., the Bedford Glass Museum and the Corning Museum of American Glass, among other national glass education centers.
Dazzling shades of cobalt, amethyst, ruby, amber, cranberry and canary yellow glowed from booths featuring Depression, carnival, brilliant cut, contemporary, early American pressed or cut pattern and European art glass.
Indiana dealer Donna Almon is, admittedly, “a regular fixture at the show.” This year she brought several rare glass items and was happy to report that “of three of the miniature lamps I was showing, I sold the two that were most rare.” One was a tiny blown-mold diamond diaper GII-18 lamp and the other, a toy expanded blown mold 16-panel lamp on a child’s toy diamond check plate base.
“I am very appreciative of all the glass enthusiasts and collectors who chose to attend the show this year. It was a good show for me,” she said.
On Sunday, Arthur D. Reed, owner of Sweetwater Glass Studio, gave a special presentation on glass working techniques through the ages. His “Tools of the Trade” talk sparked serious discussions throughout the day, and was, according to Doug Reed, longtime manager of the show, “well worth getting to the show early to hear.”
On display at Elissa and David Goldstein’s booth was a graceful “Diving Lady” by Steuben in the frosted clear glass that was common in the 1920s. The “Diving Lady” is a design of Frederick Carder (1863‱963), who managed Steuben Glass Works between 1903 and 1933, and was one of its chief designers. The “Lady” is a molded figurine set in a flower blossom base.
J. Garrison “Gary” Stradling and his wife Diana had a great deal of interest in some of their most unusual pieces, including an obscure, early Dutch glass plate showing bricklaying. The image was copied from a book published in 1690. It had silver stain on one side, and both sides were etched.
“It’s a curiosity piece,” Stradling said, “but we did sell an amethyst Sandwich glass cologne bottle that was ‘a great rarity’ and paperweights and some early lamps.”
Betsy Hewlett recounted that “collectors saw a New England pineapple tall covered sugar, circa 1860s, that I featured in my ad, and came in to see it, and they bought it.” She added, “in fact, everything that was pictured in the show section [which ran in this newspaper on March 28] sold.”
Other sales for the Yarmouth Port, Mass., dealer included an excellent Boston Sandwich glass star spill holder in electric blue, a rare color; she also sold many flint champagnes and a cream pitcher in bull’s-eye with diamond point, also known as the Owl pattern, from the 1860s, which “was a very nice piece,” she said.
Phil Liverant was showing a glass collection he had purchased in 1975. “It was still wrapped up in newspapers from 1975, and there are some wonderful pieces I had sort of forgotten about.”
There was a rare window pane that was etched so that light could come through but no one could see through it; he also had some very early glass by Durand and a rare, Eighteenth Century chestnut bottle that was sold. “I also sold a J. Richey lacey window pane, and some Eighteenth Century salts,” the Colchester, Conn., dealer said. “This is the best glass show in America. Dealers bring their very best, as collectors, museum people and top dealers are all here.”
Richard Harris brought something special with him from Branchville, N.J. He had a rare form of a Sandwich glass princess feather compote in glowing canary yellow. “If it were perfect, this would be in the $18/20,000 range,” said the veteran dealer.
Other rarities could be found at many booths, including at Knute Peterson’s where he was showing a collection of art glass from Tiffany, Quezal, Loetz, Steuben, Durand and Union Glass Co.’s Kew Blas †all in the hearts and trailing vine patterns developed by each of the manufacturers. The Tiffany vase, circa 1910, roughly 12 inches high in moss green was next to a diminutive Austrian vase by Loetz and a slender Steuben vase. The Bloomfield, Conn., dealer said he loves the Art Nouveau designs and often brings many examples to the Westchester show †”it’s the best event of the year” †he added.
An array of brilliant cut glass, 1885‱915, filled the tables at Eric’s Antiques, Newton Upper Falls, Mass. He also had art glass from Loetz, Tiffany and Steuben, as well as an artist-signed Orrefors vase with a nude. Eric Sidman, owner, pointed out a set of sterling and cut glass decanters and a punch set with a sterling ladle.
A collection of cut and pressed glass stoppers was nestled along the aisle at Nosegay Antiques. Lorraine Galinsky said she sold seven of them over the two days. “I sold many to dealers and one was purchased by a customer who had the glass repair man cut it down in the round, no easy task.” The Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., dealer had one particularly good sale, “a huge Bohemian compote about 12 inches high and 14 in diameter, was sold to a client.” She found people were interested in her cranberry glass with deer, with some interest in Venetian glass; she also sold many paperweights.
Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG to aficionados) was at several booths, each dealer showing their specialty. At Kelso Antiques, canary yellow vied with azure blue for top billing, with an etched champagne with a bear design in clear glass on the Pine Bush, N.Y., dealer’s shelves.
A rare three-face medallion non-flint champagne, circa 1880, and a large collection of flint glass was being shown by Andrea and Alan Koppel at their Iris Cottage Interiors. The Canaan, N.Y., dealers had pitchers in clear, ruby and combinations of ruby and clear cut and pressed glass.
Grace Guido also collects and shows EAPG, 1850‱920, as well as American glass with historical and political figures or events shown. This year, the St Augustine, Fla., dealer brought a charming collection of Victorian children’s glass, circa 1880‱910. “It is really an ice cream set,” Guido explained, “a child’s size, from when ice cream came from a churn, not a box.” Each bowl would hold about a tablespoon of ice cream.
Barbara Lessig has spent more than 40 years collecting art glass. At Pleasant Valley Antiques, the Brookeville, Md., dealer had fine green opaque New England Glass Company pieces, such as a green opaque pickle cast, with a silver plated frame; nearby was a cut glass bowl signed Libbey, in the Regis pattern. She was also showing a rare pressed pitcher, Honeycomb pattern, and a rubina verde, blown, clear flute-handled pitcher.
Art and Kathy Green had an array of fine, very old glass, as is their norm. They sold well to established collectors who sought them out. “We had good sales of top quality items to established collectors&⁷e were pleased,” they said.
At KPM Arts & Antiques, Craig Nowak reported that decorated Tiffany glass garnered the most interest and several pieces were sold. Nowak and his partner Kevin McNamara were somewhat surprised when a gentleman came in late Sunday afternoon and, after looking carefully, “bought a scarce Baccarat cobalt cut to clear dish in the shape of a moth and a finely engraved Steven & Williams cobalt cut to clear ‘rock crystal’ bowl. We were both surprised to learn that the man was a first-time glass buyer!”
Coming from Kensington, Conn., the KPM dealers were showing a Moser punch bowl set, circa 1890, that “must have been made for royalty,” McNamara said. It had raised gold decoration on a cranberry glass with paste flowers. It was hand painted in gilt with 12 cups and a ladle. The over-the-top set was marked at $3,800.
From Robert French’s fine collection of antique bottles and Dutch Onion wine bottles, circa 1720‱760, which were very affordable, it was just a step down to the booth of Sandwich Glass specialist Joan E. Kaiser’s booth where she was showing classic pieces, such as a tulip vase in canary to yellow from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The author and publisher of eight volumes to date on the glass industry in Sandwich, Kaiser indicated that her next volume would be available within the next year, hopefully in time for the 2009 edition of the Westchester Glass Club’s show.
Doug Reed promises the show will return to the third weekend in April next year, April 18 and 19. For more information, 973-763-4524 or 203-966-1777.