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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question that is troubling you about Milk Glass?  Let us hear from you and we'll do our best to provide an answer. 

  1. Sometimes, I have found a piece I like, such as an animal covered dish for example, but in clear or colored transparent glass instead of milk glass. Should I buy it anyway? Or is it forbidden in a milk glass collection?

  2. I know the McKee animal covered dishes are rare, high priced, and highly collectible, but have been warned about getting fooled by reproductions. When they are not signed, how can I be sure whether it is an original or a copy?

  3. I've been told it is important to have a reference library of books on milk glass, but I cannot afford to buy all of them. If I am limited to affording only two or three, which ones would you recommend?

  4. This question is in two parts, but they are somewhat related. I am often concerned that I may be paying a high price for a piece which I later find is not an authentic original. On the other hand, I am equally dubious about buying a piece which I am sure is an original (a signed McKee, for example) but which has damage. Can you advise me on these two dilemmas?

  5. What about all the milk glass reproductions that keep appearing not only from American glass companies but from Asia and Europe too? Some of them I don't like because they are of poor quality, but others I find quite attractive and wonder if I would be considered foolish to include them with the authentic pieces in my collection.

  6. I would like to know from some advanced collectors what bits of advice they consider to be near the top of the list to help beginners like me from saying later, Oh, why didn't someone tell me that when I was just starting to collect!

  7. How much importance should one place on patent dates and on signatures or trademarks that are sometimes found on milk glass pieces?

  8. For a beginner with limited means but with a real love of milk glass and a desire to build a collection, how do you suggest I satisfy that desire with very modest financial resources?

  9. Even though I've been collecting for less than a year, I am already running across pieces I already have. If I see one at a bargain price, I'm tempted to buy it, but what's the point of having duplicates when I really don't plan to get involved in the bother of selling them?

  10. In the NMGCS QUESTIONNAIRE included in the December issue of the newsletter, one of the questions concerned why we collect milk glass - as a hobby, an investment, or both. I think the best answer would be "both." What do others think?

  11. I came into the world of Milk Glass when my grandmother left me a set of tableware in the American Sweetheart pattern in 1986. Since then, I've been tying to learn more about it, but people I speak to do not have a high opinion of Milk Glass. Are my plates true Milk Glass? Does it encompass just animal dishes or is tableware included? Someone told me my pieces are MONAX. Is that the name of a company, or a style, or a type of Milk Glass?

  12. I began collecting toothpick holders exclusively - they don't take up much space, there are a lot of them around, and they usually are affordable. Trouble is that lately I find myself tempted to buy plates and platters, compotes and covered dishes. Please help me!

  13. In the June issue (p. 839), you stated that Kemple made no glass in clear or frosted crystal. This came as a surprise to me. A few years ago I purchased a horse on a nest [split rib base] and identified it as Kemple. The rays on the bottom of the dish and the stippling on the under rim of the top appear to be Kemple.

  14. One of the Tips given in the March issue of the newsletter was to check the value of one's collection every year to make sure the insurance coverage is adequate. How exactly does one determine the value?

  15. I am frustrated every time I hear of others making some great find of rare pieces which I have never even seen, except for pictures in the books. How do they do that? What is their secret?

  16. If a piece made of glass is milky opaque white, is it "Milk Glass" and does this apply to white plates and figurines?

  17. Why is some Westmoreland not marked?

  18. Does no marking on glass mean it is lesser quality by unknown company? Lesser value?

  19. Does the size of Hobnails reveal company origin? For example, one of my Westmoreland marked pieces has graduated size of Hobnails, but some other pieces unmarked have uniform Hobnails.

  20. Does color and weight indicate value or manufacturer or origin?

  21. I have several pieces of glassware I plan to keep, but wanted to get a ballpark of what they are worth. I have exhausted local bookstore references and found clues as to how to describe them, but not the actual pieces. Any ideas how to get this info?

Question: Sometimes, I have found a piece I like, such as an animal covered dish for example, but in clear or colored transparent glass instead of milk glass. Should I buy it anyway? Or is it forbidden in a milk glass collection?

Answer: Well, if you are a purist, naturally it doesn't belong. But I myself am not afraid to venture away from milk glass occasionally. If a piece I know to be rare or hard to find in milk glass comes along in clear or colored transparent, I will buy it anyway. Just knowing you have a rarity and can admire it is almost as satisfying as having it in milk glass, at least until a milk glass one comes along. I also find that several such pieces add a bit of colorful contrast and can really enhance your milk glass display. (Dee Sacherich)

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Question: I know the McKee animal covered dishes are rare, high priced, and highly collectible, but have been warned about getting fooled by reproductions. When they are not signed, how can I be sure whether it is an original or a copy?

Answer: There are some helpful guides to assist you. Read pages 156-157 in Fersons' Yesterday's Milk Glass Today, for an excellent overview. Anne Cook's "A Comparison of Kemple and McKee Rims," in Opaque News (Sept. 1989, p. 514) also is instructive. But be sure to check your general Index of Opaque News, however, because there are other views of possibly variant McKee bases, many of which are not signed. Of course, these written descriptions will make sense only after you have handled the real thing. It was only after I started buying the old and comparing with newer pieces that the differences started to sink in. And here's a bit of general advice you will hear over and over again in answer to all of your questions as a beginner: there is nothing that will help you more than talking with reputable dealers and developing friendships with knowledgeable advanced collectors. (Pat Lewis)

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Question: I've been told it is important to have a reference library of books on milk glass, but I cannot afford to buy all of them. If I am limited to affording only two or three, which ones would you recommend?

Answer: To start with, you really do not have to own all the reference books. Don't overlook the resources of your local library and the library exchange network for books not in your local branch. Your reference librarian will help you. And do not forget our Society's own excellent collection which makes books and periodicals available on loan to members upon request.

But as for a few basic reference books that really are essential to own and have ready at hand at all times, no one will question that the most extensive, reliable, and informative is Regis and Mary Ferson's Yesterday's Milk Glass Today. Published in 1981, it is now out of print and rarely obtainable from most dealers of current books on Collectibles.

Because three earlier books are so frequently cited by the author's initial "B," "M," and "W", you should at least be aware of their existence. E. M. Belknap, Milk Glass (1949); S. T. Millard, Opaque Glass (3rd ed., 1953); and Edwin G. Warman, Milk Glass Addenda (3rd ed., 1966). They are all out of print. Of the three, Belknap's pioneering work with splendid photographs is somewhat easier to find. This book is most beloved by long time collectors because for many years it was almost their only resource.

Among recent publications, Collector Book's Encyclopedia of Milk Glass by Betty and Bill Newbound (1995) is readily available and a welcomed supplement to its predecessors. Beginners will find it especially useful and appealing. (Frank Chiarenza)

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Question: This question is in two parts, but they are somewhat related. I am often concerned that I may be paying a high price for a piece which I later find is not an authentic original. On the other hand, I am equally dubious about buying a piece which I am sure is an original (a signed McKee, for example) but which has damage. Can you advise me on these two dilemmas?

Answer: Your first question is one not only beginners but long-time collectors must struggle with. Those who are daring and who in the past have lost out on a great piece, passing it up only to find later that it was indeed genuine, may tell you it is worth taking a chance when in doubt. My own view is that if you find a piece you are suspicious of as to its age, the correct match of a base and a cover, authentic color, and so forth, a good rule of thumb is, "When in doubt, let it sit." (Unless, of course, it is priced cheap enough to be worth taking the risk.)

Your second question is almost equally open to opposing opinions. There are collectors who insist upon absolutely perfect specimens. Most soon learn, however, that such insistence is likely to prove futile, especially as the older glass has often been put to practical use, not simply set on shelf display, so finding it in 'mint' condition is most difficult. In my opinion, if you find a rare piece that you truly admire but which has some damage, then don't pass it up. Of course, the piece should be priced accordingly. (Helen Storey)

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Question: What about all the milk glass reproductions that keep appearing not only from American glass companies but from Asia and Europe too? Some of them I don't like because they are of poor quality, but others I find quite attractive and wonder if I would be considered foolish to include them with the authentic pieces in my collection.

Answer: This is a decision entirely up to each individual. I myself have never excluded them from my collection. In fact, some of them are among my favorite pieces. Collecting them may also be something to consider if you think of your collection as an investment. Some of the newly made animal dishes I bought when I had a gift shop, from 1954 through 1958, are now selling for almost as much as the old originals - Westmoreland's animal covered dishes are a good example. I hear this expressed so often from friends who go to auctions and are amazed at the high bids on these pieces. This isn't true only of milk glass, of course. Many other types of glass, as well as most other collectibles, like Iron Banks, Tiffany-type lamps, and other desirable old pieces are being reproduced, delighting some collectors and infuriating others. If you want to keep abreast of what's "new" in milk glass, you will find some excellent articles in past issues of Opaque News. As for learning to spot reproductions for yourself, just visit your local Gift Shops, Malls, and major Department Stores that carry new glass. A little effort on your part and you can soon become an expert on the subject. (Faye Crider)

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Question: I would like to know from some advanced collectors what bits of advice they consider to be near the top of the list to help beginners like me from saying later, Oh, why didn't someone tell me that when I was just starting to collect!

Answer: Good question, and a tough one! Perhaps in a future issue we might create such a list, the Ten Commandments for beginning milk glass collectors. If I had to give just one piece of advice, however, it would be Keep a Record! Half the fun for me is remembering the circumstances under which I found a great piece. Ask the seller where it came from, and write it down. Keep that information in your inventory as well. I carry mine with me to avoid buying duplicates. You can not imagine what a problem that can be when your collection has grown into the hundreds of pieces. Simply listing a piece as "dog dish" isn't enough to alert you. If your inventory includes where you bought the dog, what you paid for it, and other details, it will help you visualize what it is that you have and be better able to know if what you're about to buy is something you already have. Beginners cannot anticipate this problem when their collection is still small enough to know by heart, but the time will come when you will regret not building an inventory right from the start. (Judy Lloyd)

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Question: How much importance should one place on patent dates and on signatures or trademarks that are sometimes found on milk glass pieces?

Answer: Unfortunately, most of the older milk glass items were rarely marked in any way. The few that do carry a signature and/or patent date are very important as they serve to identify their maker and the first appearance of the piece. Even those collectors who are mainly interested in the more recent products of Westmoreland, Kemple, L. G. Wright, Degenhart, Fenton, Boyd and other latecomers, should be aware of the Atterbury series of patent dates issued for milk glass items ranging from 1870 through the 1880s, the Hobbs, Brockenier 1870 patented Blackberry pattern, the early McKee script signatures and later McKee logos, and the English diamond registries and trademarks for example. Recognizing these older identifying marks is as important as knowing the newer factory marks, such as the Kemple circle (sometimes with a large K in the center), the Degenhart and Mosser logos, and the various Westmoreland marks. This is especially crucial if one is uncertain whether a piece is an original or a later copy. Just imagine, if every piece of milk glass carried a mark identifying its manufacturer, we would be spared the problem of being deceived by reproductions. Of course, if new pieces are produced bearing the old markings, as is often done with the deliberate intention to defraud, then other features must be examined, such as signs of age, colors at variance with original production, quality of the glass itself, and other clues. (Mary Ferson)

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Question: For a beginner with limited means but with a real love of milk glass and a desire to build a collection, how do you suggest I satisfy that desire with very modest financial resources?

Answer: You are not alone, believe me. One of the problems milk glass collectors have is that so many of the pieces they admire are also admired by others who are not necessarily milk glass collectors at all. I am referring especially to the animal covered dishes - everyone is captivated by them, so they are in great demand and short supply. But there are so many other beautiful pieces to collect. Tableware, for example, usually sells at far, far below their worth. These pieces are gems which fortunately are not appreciated by the casual shopper or dealer who greatly underestimate their value.

I myself am a good example of a person who has benefited from others' ignorance and lack of appreciation. In the late 1980s, I became aware of the many beautifully decorated milk glass Easter Eggs which are generally available and at reasonable cost can be made into a fine collection. Even more remarkable are the concave milk glass plates with a variety of hand painted decorations of florals, landscapes, animals, and human portraits. Today, although my collection includes many other kinds of items, the eggs and the plates are the highlights. And one of the reasons is that "the price was right" and the pieces were available. So why not consider starting with spooners, or sugar bowls, or compotes, or celeries, for example. You can build a wonderful and rewarding collection that is available and affordable - at least until the time comes, and it will, when people recognize their value and they all suddenly become scarce and rare! (Betty Giddens)

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Question: Even though I've been collecting for less than a year, I am already running across pieces I already have. If I see one at a bargain price, I'm tempted to buy it, but what's the point of having duplicates when I really don't plan to get involved in the bother of selling them?

Answer: If you put it that way, I can't argue with you. Buying duplicates you don't intend to sell merely adds needless clutter to your house. Even worse, you deprive other seekers from finding a piece they may not have and would dearly love to add to their collection. So by all means, pass up duplicates, except in those instances when you want to upgrade an existing piece in your collection.

Having said that, I think I should also offer a word of caution, based on my own experience. I once saw a cat on a wide rib base at an antique shop and I passed it by because I already had more than one of these wonderful Westmoreland Specialty pieces. Still. out of curiosity, before leaving the shop I stopped to pick it up and, Boy, what a surprise! It turned out to be a signed McKee cat top married to the wrong base. That experience taught me a lesson: Never assume that what looks like a duplicate is, in fact, a duplicate! (Dee Sacherich)

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Question: In the NMGCS QUESTIONNAIRE included in the December issue of the newsletter, one of the questions concerned why we collect milk glass - as a hobby, an investment, or both. I think the best answer would be "both." What do others think?

Answer: It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks is the "best" - or even the "right" - answer to the question, "Why collect milk glass?" But since you ask, I'll tell you what I think. Collect simply for enjoyment. Enjoy the search and the exhilaration that comes from finding a treasure! Enjoy the satisfaction of putting together a collection to display and admire! Enjoy the new friendships you make with others who appreciate and share your love of milk glass! Enjoy the fun and excitement of traveling to shows, flea markets, and shops, even when you may not have any luck in finding that elusive piece.

Of course, if your main reason is investment, that too may bring you enjoyment, but you should bear in mind that collecting milk glass (or almost anything else in the realm of "collectibles") solely with the desire of financial gain is always risky and you could come to regret it. So keep the fun of collecting first and foremost. If, incidentally, it should also prove to he a good investment - well, that's just icing on the cake. (Helen Storey)

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Question: I came into the world of Milk Glass when my grandmother left me a set of tableware in the American Sweetheart pattern in 1986. Since then, I've been tying to learn more about it, but people I speak to do not have a high opinion of Milk Glass. Are my plates true Milk Glass? Does it encompass just animal dishes or is tableware included? Someone told me my pieces are MONAX. Is that the name of a company, or a style, or a type of Milk Glass?

Answer: For a general overview of Milk Glass - what it is, its history, and the many different kinds of objects it is made in, I recommend your reading two chapters by Ruth Webb Lee in books which I feel fairly confident you will find in your local library Victorian Glass (pages 253-258), and American Pressed Glass (pages 598-623).

This is not a suitable place to debate personal tastes regarding Milk Glass, other than to say what is obvious. Some people like it, others don't. One should bear in mind that Milk Glass is a general term, embracing a wide variety of items and manufacturers. As with all man-made articles, the quality of the products varies greatly from superb to inferior. Both the Mona Lisa on canvas and Elvis on velvet, for example, might be called "Works of Art," but there is obviously a world of difference between them. The same can be said of the vast array of articles all lumped under the heading "Milk Glass." A glut of poorly made milk glass items, like 50ยข vases stuffed with fake flowers found on the tables of greasy spoon diners, and the florist shops' cheap flower containers, have no doubt contributed to the low opinion some people have of Milk Glass. It is regrettable that tons of inferior items such as those have blinded them to the beauty and rarity of our most treasured pieces.

To answer your main question, however, I think most would agree that your American Sweetheart pieces are examples of very fine Milk Glass - highly opalescent, almost translucent, and elegant in design. It was created by the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company of Charleroi, Pennsylvania. The first pieces in the Sweetheart pattern were made in 1930 in pink and represent the most complete line in this pattern. Following that, the company began making pieces in white milk glass, using a special formula they developed in the 1920s, originally used to make light globes. The company called this type of glass MONAX. In subsequent years (1935-36) the American Sweetheart pattern was made in blue, ruby red, and in an ivory cream color which the factory called CREMAX. Also, in 1935, it made some MONAX pieces with the additional decoration of a gold, or platinum, or smoky black trim. According to Hazel Marie Weatherman, Colored Glassware of the Depression Era 2, "The MONAX (salt and pepper) shakers are super rare, and so is the covered sugar (p. 253)." (Frank Chiarenza)

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Question: I began collecting toothpick holders exclusively - they don't take up much space, there are a lot of them around, and they usually are affordable. Trouble is that lately I find myself tempted to buy plates and platters, compotes and covered dishes. Please help me!

Answer: Sorry, but I doubt that even Heaven can help you. You are entering that stage of collecting which very few are able to avoid. Much the same dilemma is faced by those who begin by collecting only white milk glass exclusively. Next comes glorious blue, then it's "go for the green" followed by "just must have black" until finally one becomes color blind and everything goes!

There is no cure for your infidelity. Most of us find that the category we finally "dance" with is not the same as the one we brought to the ball. So my advice is try to stay calm and be flexible, knowing you are not alone. Of course, if you get to the extreme stage of wanting to dance with everyone in sight, just give the keys of the asylum to the inmates and join in the hysteria. (John Vosevich}

[Editorial note: Serious and dedicated as we are or try to be - we still maintain our sense of humor, and when a question such as this tickles our funny bone, we can't resist inviting you to chuckle with us.]

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Question: In the June issue (p. 839), you stated that Kemple made no glass in clear or frosted crystal. This came as a surprise to me. A few years ago I purchased a horse on a nest [split rib base] and identified it as Kemple. The rays on the bottom of the dish and the stippling on the under rim of the top appear to be Kemple.

Answer: Not long after this question came in the mail, Bettie telephoned me from Scottsdale, Arizona, to say she had an answer to her own inquiry. Someone who knows Mrs. Kemple informed Bettie that the Kemple mold for the horse (or pony as it is sometimes called) went to Wheaton and that is the company who produced the horse covered dish in clear crystal.

To that information, we can add some additional comments. Besides the horse, Wheaton acquired the molds for the Kemple Lamb, Turkey, Hen, Rooster, and Cat, as well as the Dolphin with Fish finial CD. These were produced in 1977 both in clear glass and in amber. Occasionally they can be found with a gold sticker that reads: hand-crafted in / the original / antique/molds/WHEATONCRAFT/ MILLEVILLE N.J. (Frank Chiarenza)

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Question: One of the Tips given in the March issue of the newsletter was to check the value of one's collection every year to make sure the insurance coverage is adequate. How exactly does one determine the value?

Answer: I have asked a number of advanced collectors to address this question and can sum up their responses in three words - get it appraised. This requires hiring a professional licensed appraised who might be able to arrive at a figure, acceptable to most insurance companies, by providing them with a complete inventory, receipts of purchases (when available), and photographs or a video tape of the items, together with prices culled from standard published price guides. Prices realized for the same or comparable pieces t auction sales may, I say may, also be included as indication of value. You might start by getting n touch with your insurance company and see what it requires as proof of value and what it would cost to have a rider (be sure it covers breakage) to your homeowners policy.

Now I have no stock or other interest in the Hartford, Connecticut based Aetna Company and no personal knowledge of its various programs, but I do know that it offers protection under "The Glassware & Ceramic Antiques and Collectible" policy which was specifically designed for the collector. The annual cost of the policy is roughly $100 to insure a $10,000 collection, $200 for $20,000, and so on. Even if you decide it isn't for you, I am sure you will be able to get from this company the answer to your question: "How exactly does one determine the value of one's collection?" Want more information on this? Call 1-800-691-1114. Don't bother to mention my name, because I assure you I get no commission. (Frank Chiarenza).

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Question: I am frustrated every time I hear of others making some great find of rare pieces which I have never even seen, except for pictures in the books. How do they do that? What is their secret?

Answer: Easy. You just get in your car, point in the direction of a mall, antique shop, or flea market, and be prepared to keep your eyes open and to walk your legs off. Also, it helps if you do this every day and are willing to travel two or three hundred miles in all directions. Check the HAVE listings in the newsletter, attend local auctions whenever possible, and don't neglect absentee mail-in bids for those that are too far away to attend. An additional tip is to leave your name with shop keepers and dealers, letting them know what you are looking for. Then hope they've paid attention and will make an effort to get in touch with you. Beyond that, it is often purely a matter of luck, and by golly some people are just luckier than others.

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Question: If a piece made of glass is milky opaque white, is it "Milk Glass" and does this apply to white plates and figurines?

Answer: Just what the term "Milk Glass" means has been a hotly debated matter and still is. From a strictly historical point of view, the term "Milk Glass" is relatively recent. The older 19th-century glassmakers used the term "Opal" (pronounced o-PAL) to identify opaque glass with a milky white color. Originally, therefore, the color white was essential for an item to be called "milk glass" since whiteness was implicit in the definition. But later, when other ingredients were added to the batch in order to produce colors other than white -- such as blue, pink, yellow, brown, and even black -- the resulting opaque glass still continued to be called "milk glass" even though it was no longer white. Compare, for example, adding chocolate syrup to milk... the result is still milk, but no longer white. As to whether "plates and figurines" qualify as "milk glass" the answer is indeed they do. Like any other glass, milk glass can be blown or pressed into any form, shape, or size. For a fuller account of how the term "Milk Glass" originated and evolved over time, consult any of the books on milk glass listed elsewhere in this Web site.

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Question: Why is some Westmoreland not marked?

Answer: This question has been fully treated in books devoted particularly to the famed Westmoreland Glass Company, and there are several of them. Very briefly, the oldest of the marks (going back to about 1910 when it was called the Westmoreland Specialty Company) is a keystone with the letter "W" inserted. The company's name was changed to Westmoreland Glass Company in the 1920s. Thereafter, few if any of its glass was marked in any way. Around 1949-1950 the company began marking most of its pieces with the letter "W" superimposed over the letter "G." Hence, an unmarked piece could date from the pre-1950 period, but some could be of later production because not all items were necessarily marked even during the period when the logo was being used. When the company passed into new ownership in 1981, another logo was created which consists of the entire word "Westmoreland" spelled out in a circle with three parallel lines (a curious "W" perhaps) in the center. Just as a rule of thumb, it is usually assumed that (1) older products are unsigned; (2) newer ones have W over G marks; and (3) more recent ones the full word Westmoreland spelled out. Because many original Westmoreland moulds continue to be used by new owners, however, you may find either of the marks appearing on glass that is being made today from those same moulds.

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Question: Does no marking on glass mean it is lesser quality by unknown company? Lesser value?

Answer: As a general rule, collectors tend to place added value on glass which bears a mark to identify the company that made it. But that does not mean the presence of a mark or logo on a piece of glass is in and of itself an assurance of quality or of greater value. A modern example is the E.O.Brody company whose common commercial pieces are marked but whose value is minimal. Most early makers of milk glass did not mark their products. A notable exception is the McKee signature that appears in the covers and bases of animal covered dishes which command high prices. One may frequently find two identical pieces made by the same company one of which is marked and the other unmarked. In such instances, the marked piece will usually be preferred over the unmarked and may even command a higher price. The reason for this is in part an assurance that the piece is genuine, and not a reproduction. But of course signatures have been faked, precisely to fool the unwary collector.

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Question: Does the size of Hobnails reveal company origin? For example, one of my Westmoreland marked pieces has graduated size of Hobnails, but some other pieces unmarked have uniform Hobnails.

Answer: "Hobnail" is one of the oldest pressed glass patterns going back to the 1850s. Ruth Webb Lee lists about 15 variations of this pattern in her book Early American Pressed Glass. The plump, fully rounded type is generally called American, and the more pointed variety is often referred to as English. . Westmoreland made pieces in both styles, but so did countless other companies. Most notably the Fenton company produced enormous varieties of item in Hobnail over many, many years. Whether the hobs are uniform in size or graduated may depend sometimes upon the form or shape of the object. A perfectly flat surface, for example, will more easily accommodate uniform hobs while curved or arched shapes often have differing gradations. So, to answer your question directly, the size of the Hobnails can not be used to determine the company origin.

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Question: Does color and weight indicate value or manufacturer or origin?

Answer: In any absolute sense, the answer to your question is no. Earlier milk glass tends to be somewhat lighter, but that is by no means absolutely true of all early milk glass some of which is extremely dense and heavy. Colors, however, may be helpful, especially certain ones that are so distinctive they are associated with specific factories and particular periods of production. Chocolate glass, for example, is virtually synonymous with "Greentown Glass" (the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company), but other companies too, both contemporary with Greentown and subsequently, have made varieties of chocolate glass as well. The well-known glass researcher and historian William Heacock would often use color as a way to determine origins, but this is very risky. It takes a highly skilled and knowledgeable collector to use color as a sole or even prime determinant, and even Heacock was known to be misled on occasion.

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Question: I have several pieces of glassware I plan to keep, but wanted to get a ballpark of what they are worth. I have exhausted local bookstore references and found clues as to how to describe them, but not the actual pieces. Any ideas how to get this info?

Answer: Unlike Consumer Reports that can give us exact costs on cars, televisions, and other merchandise, collectible glass -- like most all other collectibles -- cannot be assigned prices. There are professional appraisers who are able to suggest what a given piece might sell for in the open market or at an auction, but these are usually only educated guesses. Almost every collector book in whatever area of interest published today will contain a Value or a Price "Guide" in which the authors and publishers express every caution not to consider the values given as trustworthy. To answer your question directly, therefore, the "info" you are seeking as to what your glassware is worth depends upon the right seller connecting with the right buyer both of whom agreed upon a price that is mutually acceptable.

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