Published: May 15, 2007
From the radiance of sparkling cut glass to the subtle plays of light emanating from an early aqua blown glass bowl with applied lily pad decoration, The Westchester Glass Show once again proved to be a favorite watering hole for those looking to quench their glass collecting thirst. Featuring 60 prominent dealers who specialize in a wide variety of glasswares, ranging from Depression and carnival glass to prized early American hand-blown and pressed examples, the show attracts a diverse crowd †everyone from hardcore collectors to those that just love the forms and colors associated with the medium.
A large crowd lined up for the opening of the show on Saturday morning, April 21, 2007, and as the doors opened, they rushed into the Greenwich Civic Center †some headed to right where predominately early American glass and bottle dealers are known to be; some headed for the main room and yet others took the diversionary path and headed down the aisle to the left where four select dealers routinely set up shop.
Show manager Douglas Reed was at the helm again this year, keeping a careful and admirable eye open for the numerous treasures that appeared on the floor, and also making sure that the large crowd knew where the items were located. Reed was seen at the opening answering rapid-fire questions about where specific dealers were located, where certain types of glasswares were located on the floor, and even which direction collectors of art glass should take when attempting to choose between the three distinctively separate display areas.
While each of the three display areas seems to have a distinct look from the vantage of different periods and types of glass, there is a good mixture everywhere.
Several dealers set up in the foyer of the entrance and hall that connects the three rooms, and it is here that a prime selection of early American glass was offered by New Jersey dealer Ralph Franzese of RGL Antiques. Among the assortment of prime examples was a New York State squat sugar bowl in aqua with a folky overproportioned cover with a large knob finial. A rare Stoddard footed bowl in amber and a large New Jersey footed bowl were capturing the attention of collectors, as was an brilliant peacock blue Sandwich oil lamp.
The meeting room is predominately filled with early American glass and several in the opening crowd flocked immediately to the booth of Indiana dealer Donna Almon. Long known for her selection of early lighting, blown, pressed and lacy glass, Almon always brings along some special rarities to offer to her numerous East Coast clients. The dealer was spotted showing off an unrecorded lacy glass bowl that was made with an unusual selection of different molds.
“The decoration in the center portion is found, but it is always with a different pattern on the rim,” stated the dealer. The central design consisted of a star pattern with gothic arches extending up the sides of the bowl, yet the outside of the rim was uniquely decorated with chevrons and a leaf pattern. “Rare and unusual is what I concentrate on,” she said.
Other items that were catching the collector’s eye included a rare jade green pressed glass hen on a nest covered dish, Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, circa 1850‱870; a dolphin candlestick in a rare green color; and an extremely rare Fort Pitt Glassworks footed compote in an unusual deep purplish-blue color.
Gary and Diana Stradling have become a cornerstone of the Westchester Glass Show with their offering of historically important and highly unusual pieces of American glass. An Eighteenth Century Siegel flask in a “diamond daisy” pattern had been made at the Manheim glassworks, circa 1770, and it was displayed alongside a Redford, N.Y., lily pad pan measuring approximately 8 inches in diameter. Other standouts from the booth included a lyre salt in opaque lavender-blue with a cover topped by a pineapple finial, a blown three-mold half pint that had been flattened into a pocket flask, a sapphire blue 10-rib blown sugar bowl with a lid, and an early whale oil lamp with a clear font and stem attached to a cobalt blue base.
Jim Watson of C&J Antiques was one of two dealers on the floor to offer rare pieces of Mount Washington glass. The dealer had a small cockle shell sugar shaker in a Royal Flemish pattern. “You can find the salts,” commented the dealer, “Sugar shakers, you just can’t find them.”
The other Mount Washington sugar shakers that were attracting attention from everyone in the crowd were displayed in the main display are of the show and they belonged to Elvid Antiques. The large “chick” sugar shaker still retained its original label and it was displayed alongside two chick-form salts.
Bloomfield, Conn., dealer Knute Peterson featured a great selection of art glass that ranged from early cameo glass forms to contemporary Kosta Boda examples. Among the items capturing quick attention from the booth was a large Durand vase in an unusual hooked feather pattern with the coloration going from an golden rim to a cream neck with silver and gold iridescent feathering covering a green body. “It is just gorgeous,” stated Peterson, “The colors and pattern are highly unusual; this was a special piece, not your run of the mill production, but a top shelf example of Durand.”
Lancaster, Penn., dealer John Watson boasted “something for everyone” in his advertisement for the show. The dealer kept his promise, too, with an offering that included everything from glass-labeled bottles, to Tiffany art glass, to blown three-mold decanters, pitchers and bowls, to Sandwich vases and candlesticks in a variety of colors.
The show was complemented with two special presentation talks by Stephen Koob, conservator at the Corning Museum of Glass, on each day of the show with discussions from his book Conservation and the Care of Glass Objects . A portion of the proceeds of the show were donated to the Bruce Museum.
For information, 973-763-4524.
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