ITEM SPOTLIGHT:  Fenton Grape Leaf pattern pink milk glass from the 1950’s

During the 1950’s, the Fenton Glassware company produced many patterns and pieces.  One of the patterns that was produced is called the GRAPE LEAF pattern.  It comes in many colors like white and pink milk glass to name just a few.

The pattern was made for a couple of years, and one of the pieces that was made in this pattern was this footed decorative plate.  You can tell that it was made by Fenton is the fact that some of the pieces were marked on the bottom of the plate.  If it is not marked on the bottom, one of the giveaways that it’s a Fenton piece outside the pattern itself is by the styling of the handle and the edge that is on the plate.

Even though desert, salad or even Buffalo wings are only a small portion of what you can serve on this plate; it was described by Fenton as a decorative plate (so most likely you will see this item displayed on the top of a piano with either candy or potpourri).

What kind of interesting pieces of Fenton Art Glass have you seen?

A little history for the 1925 Broadmoor Polo Association Foxhall Keene Trophy Pitcher

Several years ago, I happened across this wonderful trophy that is in the shape of a pitcher at a local flea market.  When I first saw it on the shelf, I didn’t see the engraving on the side of it.  When I read what it said, I got to wondering about who Foxhall Keene was and what exactly what the Broadmoor was as well.

The first thing to do is to look at the pitcher itself.  It was made by the Wilcox Silverplate Company, and it dates to somewhere between the 1910’s and the 1920’s.  This helps solidify the date that’s on the pitcher, so the next thing to do is to figure out what the Broadmoor was.

Just what was or is the Broadmoor?  The Broadmoor is a hotel and resort that’s located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The original hotel is Broadmoor Main, and it was built in 1918.  The resort has had hockey and golf championships, and there’s even polo that is played there.

There’s only one question left for this trophy—who in the world is Foxhall Keene?

Foxhall Keene was quite the competitor.  He was a golfer who competed in the U.S. Open, an amateur tennis player, and he was also a pioneer race car driver who vied for the Gordon Bennett Cup (this was a racing cup that ran from 1900 to 1905 with several clubs racing for it).

Not only did he do all of this, he was also an American thoroughbred race horse owner and breeder.  To top it off, he was a world and Olympic gold medalist in polo.  Not only that, but he was also rated the best all-around polo player in the United States for eight consecutive years.

And that’s where the trophy comes into play.  When the Broadmoor started to play polo at the resort, they named this trophy after Foxhall Keene because he was so accomplished in polo.

It’s always fun for me to find out what the history of a piece is, just like this trophy.  What kinds of finds have you run across that you have found out the history of?

ITEM HIGHLIGHT: 1920’s Trident Water Meter by the Neptune Water Meter Company

While I was shopping one day, I happened to see this item.  At first, I didn’t even know what it was—it was so cool that I had to check it out. 

I started looking at it and my mind was blown—and then I saw what the lid had to say.  I saw that the lid states it is the Trident Water Meter by the Neptune Meter Company!

The meter has the original folding cover or lid that covers a white gauge with black lettering, and the gauge reads 10 GALLONS at the bottom.

 The meter is made of either cast iron or brass (the meter has been painted a light blue at some point).  It dates to about the 1920’s and it has very little wear.  An interesting point about this is that the meter is pretty tall at 6 ½ inches—I think that it was being used somewhere like a basement of a house at some point.

Not only is it an interesting conversation piece, but it would also be a fun addition to any mancave or desk.

You can see this terrific item in my Etsy shop here, head on over and check it out!

Weeding out the reproductions

Homeowners this time of year begin to get rid of lawn weeds in hopes of having a lush green yard.  Likewise, shoppers need to learn to “weed out” those items which typically show up on flea market and antique shelves this time of the year.

Weeds are what I like to call reproductions, and they can be quite convincing.

It could be an advertising sign that is rusted and looks to be ever so real.  Damage to the corners, fading to the paint, and even dents are all applied to a brand-new sign to help make it look older than it is.

There’s glassware on the market that copies Depression Glass and art glass patterns.  It is so convincing that the pattern and the color are the spitting image of the old items.  There are some manufacturers that have figured out how to make a piece of glass “glow” in a black light like the old stuff without using Uranium.

Brass imports such as spittoons or candle holders already come with tarnishing.  Wooden boxes and furniture furniture that is hammered, faded and well-used are also plentiful without much looking around.

So, buyer beware and do your homework!  You can never have too much information when it comes to antiques—it always comes in handy.

What’s in a maker’s mark on pottery?

There’s a ton of pottery out on the market that you will run across, but how do you know what’s what?  And how do you read the mark on the bottom of the piece to know what you have in your hands?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking at a mark:

A maker’s mark will run a wide variety on how much information it will give you.  It could be just the name of the name of the company, or it could be loaded with information like the Frank Beardmore piece pictured above.  Since 1891, all pottery that is made to be exported (especially into the United States), it must be stamped with a country of origin near the maker’s label.

With artist’s being hired on by the pottery companies to hand paint some items, the artist could sign their name to the piece as well.  I have seen an artist signature to either the bottom of the piece or on the side of the piece (I would look near the bottom of the piece to see if the artist signed there).

There are times that the name of the pattern is written on the bottom of the piece as well.  The Frank Beardmore creamer’s pattern is called “A Sussex Homeland” and the name of the pattern is listed at the top of the mark on this piece.

A good tip to remember is that the marks on pottery are not that hard to decipher; it just takes about a minute to figure out how the maker laid out the mark.

What kinds of pottery have you found something out by looking at the mark?

Item Highlight: multi color slag glass gear shifter knob from the 1920’s to 1930’s

Ever since cars have been made, people have been adding their own personal touches to them somehow some way.  It has been known to be a wide variety of items from a fancy hood ornament or even a different radio.

One of the items that people have changed over the years is the gear shifter knob.  This has also been found on the cars from the 1920’s to the 1930’s, and one of the knobs that has been used is this really cool glass gear shifter knob.

As you can see, it was made out of slag glass that has a swirl pattern to it, and it has multiple colors to it.  With cream, tan, yellow, brown and even white colors, it also has a flat top and tapered sides to it.

You know what is great about it?  All you need to do is to unscrew the old gear shifter knob and screw this one on (you may need to rethread the threads on this example—they don’t look very straight to me).

This great Art Deco knob would look terrific in someone’s rat rod or Ford Model A Roadster, and it would be a fun paperweight either in a garage or on a desk.

You will be able to see the slag glass gear shifter knob in my shop on Etsy here.  Head on over and check it out!

What are some glass pieces that you may not use anymore?

Whenever you sit down at the table, you will run across items like saucers, plates and even serving bowls that are made of glass.  What are some of the glass pieces that you may not run across on a modern table?

Epergne—this is a centerpiece that is ornamental, and you will find it on a dining table.  This item is used for holding flowers or fruit.  The horns in the center of it are detachable, and there are examples with as many as 5 horns.

Finger bowl—this is a bowl that has water in it for you to wash off your fingers during a meal.

Cream soup bowl—this is a two-handled bowl.  The reason for the two handles is so you can hold them while you drink the soup instead of using a spoon.

This is a small handful of the pieces of glassware that you may not see on a modern kitchen table.  What are some of the other items like this that you have run across?

A little history of Fiesta Pottery

The pottery line known as Fiesta dinnerware was started by the Homer Laughlin company, and it made its debut in January of 1936 at the Pottery and Glass Show that was being held in Pittsburgh.  Fiesta dinnerware has been produced since then, with a small hiatus from 1972 to 1985.

The reason for the hiatus was the fact that Homer Laughlin actually retired the set.  Collectors started to get interested in the retired pottery, and in 1985 Homer Laughlin was approached by the Bloomingdale’s Department Store to bring it back.  The pottery was indeed brought back, and a new line of Fiesta dinnerware and a new color palate was introduced in 1986 in Bloomingdale’s.

Homer Laughlin originally produced this pattern in Red, Blue, light green, original green, yellow and Old Ivory (Turquoise did not hit the store shelves until 1937).  In the history of the Fiesta dinnerware, there have been a total of 52 different colors in the line.

The great thing about Fiesta is that Homer Laughlin has been known to retire colors along the way.  This gives collectors a totally new way to collect Fiesta—they can now collect their favorite pieces in a retired color.  Homer Laughlin also introduces a new color every year, and it is always fun to me to see what the new color is.

When you start to collect Fiesta pottery, you will see how diverse the set is.  You will see that you can use different pieces in different parts of the house.  Not only that, you can also use one color in the kitchen, one color in the living room and a totally different color in a bedroom.  This gives you a great way to match the colors in the room or to even add a splash of color if you want.

This is a small look at the history of the Fiesta Dinnerware.  What have you heard about the pattern?

Does that dresser box look like a . . . duck?!?

Occasionally, you will run across an item that will make you do a double take.  That is what I did when I ran across this dresser box.

When I first saw this dresser box, I didn’t think it was in fact a dresser box.  Being in the shape of a duck, I thought that it was just a sculpture for someone to put on a bookshelf or even their desk.

I quickly realized that it was a dresser box when I picked it up.  When I did, the duck also surprised me that it was made of pewter—I thought that it was pottery with a silver glaze.

The duck was made in about the 1950’s in Hong Kong and has a really cool stamped motif on the body of it.  Not only that, but the eyes of the duck are also made of brass.

You can see this cool duck in my shop on Etsy here.  Head on over and check it out!

What are some fun facts on Auctions?

I have been attending auctions since I was 8, and I know that they have been around since the times of ancient Rome.  What are some fun facts when it comes to auctions?

Some of the first auctions were held in ancient Rome.  Like modern times, the people of ancient Rome would sell off household goods like furniture to pay off debts.  These auctions could last for months.

When the items that were seized by the Army during the American Civil War, they would be sold by the Colonel of the Division.  That’s why you see some auctioneers carry the title of “Colonel”.

With the invention of the internet, it is now very possible to find and attend any auction that you could ever want.  This is a great way to help you find that piece that can help you complete your collection.

This is just a handful of fun facts about auctions.  What fun facts have you heard?