What a truly odd bird!

Goofus glass was made in the early 1900’s and was the first type of carnival glass giveaway because it was relatively cheap to make.  Plates, bowls, vases (like the one above), and even oil lamps were made in mass quantities.

The glassware was also made with highly decorative patterns like the one on the vase above.  The pattern on the vase featured here is called, “Odd Bird Sitting On A Grape Vine.”  The bird on the vase looks like it could have come out of a comic book!

The great thing about goofus glass is that it comes in a wide variety of colors form what’s on the vase to red, gold and even green.  With a wide variety of colors and shapes, you could find the perfect piece and color combination for any room.

One thing that you need to keep an eye on is the paint itself.  Since the paint was not fired on, it tends to flake off.  So if you are patient, you will find a piece of Goofus Glass with all of its original paint intact.

Another thing that’s great is that goofus glass can be seen from flea markets to swap meets to even antique stores and shows.  You never know what you’ll find where!

What kinds of patterns and pieces of goofus glass have you found or run across?

A little research can go a long way!

Several years ago, I was shopping at one of the local antique malls that is in the area that I live.  I happened onto something that could be worth some money.  The item that I ran across happened to be a large shaker or even a hat pin holder by R. S. Suhl.

With the price being right (and there being a little wear present on the bottom of the shaker), I went ahead and bought it.  When I went to find out what I could about the mark so that I could list it online, there was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying something was not right.

After a few minutes of searching online, I found a shaker just like the one that I just bought.  I was so thrilled to find it!  I started to read what was posted online about it, and sure enough that little voice was right—the shaker was indeed a fake.

What was the lesson I learned?  A little research and knowledge can go a long way in life.

Have you found something like this that turned out to be a fake after you bought it?

What are some glass terms that you will run across?

Whenever you go out to an antique mall, flea market or even an auction, you will hear some terminology that describes areas of collecting.

Here are a few words that you will run across when you hear people talk about glass:

Frosting—this is a matte finish that is produced by exposing the glass item to fumes of hydrofluoric acid.  This is also a small patch of surface cracks by weathering.

Ice glass—this is a decorative effect that causes the surface of the glass to resemble cracked ice.  This is accomplished by plunging a piece of hot glass into cold water as quick as possible.  This process creates a finish to the glass that resembles cracks.

Luster—this shiny metallic effect is made by painting the surface of the glass item with metallic oxides that is dissolved in acid and mixed with an oily medium.  The item is fired in oxygen free conditions which cause the metal to deposit a distinctive shiny surface after it is cleaned.

Opal glass—this is a glass item that looks like an opal being translucent and white, and it has a grayish or bluish tinge to it.

This is a small look at some of the words that you will hear about glassware.  What are some of the words you ran across?

A buying lesson for the beginning shopper—make sure to check for damage!

When I was at an estate sale not too long ago, I managed to find some really cool items.  One of the items was a Lefton salad plate made for the Order of The Eastern Star.

I had purchased it under the notion that the plate was in good shape.  When I got the plate home, I found the plate had a chip on the edge of it.

Today when we shop, we have the ability to use our cell phone to check out the worth and rarity of a piece that we are interested in.  To a great extent, it has diminished the need to go with your gut, but not completely.

You still have to be able to judge if in item is fake or real—and frankly to discover the flaws on an item.  You need to use your fingers and the light that is around you to discover chips and even cracks.

Fortunately for me, the purchase price of the plate was inexpensive, it was less than 5 dollars.

What kinds of mistakes have you made when you purchased an item?

Searching The World Wide Web

With a book out on the market on just about any antiques and collectibles area that you could imagine, it would be a safe bet that you could find any item fairly fast, right?

Sometimes it does not work out that way.  The internet can be a great resource for information on the item that you are looking for like this head vase for example.

When I look for something, I start with a broad search by typing in “head vase” in the search bar.  If that does not get me what I need this is when I start typing in specifics.  If the piece has a stamp or a sticker with the makers name on it, I use that.

With you narrowing down the search, you get to the point where you can find the item you have pretty quickly.  It can even get to the point where you can find several listings of the same item as yours so you have a great price range on it.

What kinds of tricks and tips do you use when you search for an item on the internet?

Sometimes directions can help you out in collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in life, including when you collect paper money from the early 1800’s. During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money. The banks would file for a charter with the United States government—this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.

Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections—and going a certain direction will often help them out. They will look for a certain bank, city or even the state the money was produced in. I have even heard of collectors looking for anything that is west of the Mississippi. You could even look for something in the southern states like Alabama or even Louisiana.

The east coast area has quite a few different banks that offered paper money. This was true up to the Mississippi (the father west you went there were fewer banks to run into). The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States Mint in San Francisco) that far west.

If there was a major metropolitan area, the more banks were likely to be there. One way to keep things interesting is to only look for banks that were on the east side of town.

Even up north in places like North Dakota, Washington state and even Alaska have very few banks at all. There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) to turn up for a few banks in these states. For obvious reasons, these are highly sought after.

What cities and states have you seen on this type of paper money?

A little history of a Victorian red tomato server

During the Victorian era, you could find a serving piece for just about anything.  Olive forks? Got it.  Cake servers?  Yep, got that too.  But have you ever run across a red tomato server?

These items are great.  Tomato servers come in two different variations, one for red tomatoes and one for green.  Why in the world would you have a different one for each type of tomatoes?  Its simple really when you think about it.  The red tomato servers have the openings built in for all of the juice from the tomato to drain through the server and not onto your tablecloth.

The server for the green tomatoes does not have the openings for the fact that the green tomatoes are not as messy and don’t need the openings.  You could even use the green tomato server for fried green tomatoes.

Currently in my Etsy shop, there is a red tomato server that was made by the William Rogers Company.  Its made of silverplate and sports the LA FRANCE pattern.  You can see the piece here.

The Victorian era truly did make a ide variety of serving pieces for the table.  What items have you run across while shopping?

What are some of the different types of finishes that you will see on glassware?

When you dive into the world of antiques and collectibles—especially glassware—you will find many different types of finishes applied to the item.  Frosted glass, satin glass and even pearlescent glass are a few of the finishes that you will run across.  Here are a few more that you will see:

Matte finish—this type of glassware has a non-shiny finish that was made by sandblasting or even applying an acid to dull the finish of the glass.

Luster—this has a shiny (almost a metallic effect) that was made by applying the glass with metallic oxides that were dissolved in acid and fired in a kiln.  After cleaning, the glass has a distinctive shiny surface.

Acid etched—this is glassware that has been treated with an acid to produce a finish that has a frosted appearance.

This is a few of the different types of finished that you will run across.  What types of finishes have you seen?

What exactly is the Hobby Protection Act?


The dime in the picture is from the website of Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation

One of the areas that I love to collect is coins.  Not too long after diving into coins, I heard of something called the Hobby Protection Act.  This had me baffled—what exactly is the Hobby Protection Act and how does it apply to coins?

The Hobby Protection Act was passed in 1973 by the United States Congress.  This act covers imitation political items (like buttons and posters) and even imitation Numismatic items (like coins, tokens and even paper money).

The Hobby Protection Act states that any imitation (or reproduction) political or numismatic item is made, it must be marked a certain way.  When it comes to political items, it must have the year it was made on it with all 4 digits on it.  With coins, it must have the word COPY somewhere on the design.

What is the reason for this act to get created?  The main reason is that it’s to help protect collectors from deceptive reproductions.

So, it pays to look at the design so you don’t over pay for an item.  Have you ever run across a political or numismatic item marked like this?

What are some different types Of Sports Cards?

Think a sports card is a sports card?  Far from it.  There are a ton of different types of cards that you could find.  Here’s a few:

Retail Card—these are cards that are sold to major retailers like Kmart.  The cards will often have the name of the store printed on the card as well.  You might even find a card from a now-defunct retailer.

Insert Card—these are cards that are inserted into packs at a staggered rate (like one card being inserted into every 24th pack).  There is also a number on the back of every sports card.  The number on the back of the insert card will be different than the normal set numbers.  The normal set numbers will appear as 1-400 (or however many cards are in the set), the insert cards will have a number like ST1, or PL1.  When you buy a pack, you never know what kind of insert card could be in there.  There even could be a player who became much more famous later on.

Sell Sheets—these are not cards at all.  They are ads that are sent to distributors for cards that are for sale to the public.  This would show what cards you could get in the set and would show the players that are featured in the set.  You could get these ads from a sports cards dealer for pretty cheap, or even free if the retailer is going to throw them away (it never hurts to ask them if it’s possible for you to have it).  They’re also great to display along with a complete team collection!

So, what’s the rarest card that you’ve ever found?