Forty-five prominent exhibitors from throughout the Northeast participated in the Seventeenth Annual Cape Cod Glass Show and Sale over the weekend of September 18-19. The show, a benefit for the Sandwich Glass Museum, was attended by a large and enthusiastic crowd of serious collectors and dealers.
This show long ago established a solid reputation for presenting fine examples of glass and the exhibitors seem to go out of their way to bring a superior selection of wares. This year was no exception with several of the dealers commenting that they had raided the shelves of their homes and brought along outstanding examples from their private collections.
The torrential rains associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan slowed many getting to the show on Saturday morning; however, a good-sized crowd was on hand for opening and sales were recorded across the floor by many of the dealers. Bluebird weather on Sunday brought out a large contingent of local glass enthusiasts, many of whom also did some buying.
Several sales were recorded in the booth of Applebee and Lyon as the show opened to the public including a rare tumbler and a large fish bowl. According to Corning Fellow Ken Lyon, he and his wife Sylvia always do well at the Sandwich show.
Donna Almon offered up a nice selection of Sandwich glass including a blue columnar candlestick with pedal socket and intricate underfins that the dealer emphasized was a “beautiful example of the difficulties the makers experienced with the early pressing of glass.” Other sticks in rare colors included a light blue-green flint hex candlestick with loop pattern base, sticks in sapphire, translucent blue and clam broth.
Art and Kathy Green offered one of the best candlesticks seen on the floor from the Sandwich factory, a rare Caryatid figural stick in a brilliant canary color. “It is one of the most famous and most desirable forms,” stated the dealer.
Phil Liverant had a good selection of glass from various periods including everything from hand blown bottles to pressed glass compotes. Among his offering were two shelves filled with snuff jars, blown three-mold bowls, pitchers and creamers and a selection of flip glasses. He also offered the only two leaded glass lamps in the entire show, a couple of Handel pieces that he had gotten during a house call just the week before.
A superb selection of cup plates was offered from the booth of Chris McKnezie including a Victoria 1838 coronation plate that was one of two known examples. He also offered a different version of the Victoria plate, also an extreme rarity due to its virtually unknown peacock blue coloring. Other top pieces offered from the booth included a Chancellor steamboat plate in electric blue and an opalescent plate with a spread winged eagle.
Robert French of Portland, Maine, was on hand with a good selection of black glass and also a huge assortment of whale oil lamps. The black glass bottles, many with seals, had been deaccessioned from Colonial Williamsburg’s collection and sold at Northeast Auctions sale last year. “I have done quite well with them,” commented the dealer.
French also had a large assortment of whale oil lamps, mostly of Sandwich origin although there were a “few from Pittsburgh and New England.” One of his better lamps was a classic “harp” lamp complete with the original burner. Another standout from his booth was a Thomas Cains pint sized pitcher with chain decoration. “The pint-size pitchers are pretty rare,” said the dealer, “you see about 100 of the quart sizes for every pint.
Moon and Star brought a varied selection of pressed glass with a selection of candlesticks including a pair of hex examples in canary, an assortment of cup plates in amber, orange, amethyst and blue, and a large arrangement of clear pressed glass bowls, sweetmeat dishes, platters and compotes in a variety of patterns including waffle and thumbprint, horn-o-plenty and bull’s-eye.
Michael Rackis of Dottie and Cuto’s offered an extremely rare “set screw” lamp that was made in limited numbers by the Sandwich factory. “It is one of only two I have ever seen,” stated the dealer, “a classic example of good old American ingenuity,” also one that didn’t quite work as well as it was envisioned.
The dealer explained that by using a small latch on the base of the chimney, it could be tilted back without being removed from the lamp. This facilitated the trimming of the wick without removing the chimney every time. The flaw, however, came with the flattened chimney not always being lined up correctly when closed, resulting in the flame lapping at it and ultimately breaking it.