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 are some of the terms for pottery that you will run across?

When you start to collect pottery, you will run across quite a few terms that will make your head spin.  Transferware, majolica, stoneware and even salt glaze are a few of the terms that you will hear.  Here are some more that you will run across:

Crackle Glaze—this is a glaze that intentionally contains small cracks in the glaze.

Hollowware—this is also known as hollow ware and is describes vessels of any shape (like jugs or pitchers).  This does not include items known as flatware (such as plates).

Yellowware—also known as yellow ware and it is a type of earthenware that is named after its yellow appearance.  The color comes from the clay that is used when the item is made.  It came about in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century and started in the eastern United States in the 1920’s.

Delftware—This is a light-colored pottery that has a tin glaze and has an overglaze décor that is cobalt in color.  This was developed in Holland to copy the blue and white pottery that was made in China.

This is a tiny amount of what you will run across.  What terms have you heard?

Look at all of the different colors on glassware!

Pink, green, black and even red are only a few colors that you will see on glassware.  There are so many that it will make your head spin!  Here are some of the colors that you may have not heard of:

Jadeite—this is a type of glass for the table made of Jade-green opaque milk glass.  Jadeite was popular in the United States in the mid-20th century and has a blue variety that’s called “Azur-ite”.

MONAX—this is a translucent white glass that has a faint blue hue when held up to the light. This unique colored glass is sometimes mistaken as milk glass (which is whiter in color).

Ruby Flashed glass—this is created by coating a clear glass with one or more thin layers of colored glass (this is also known as flashed glass).  The colored glass can be either partly or completely etched away by using items like acid or sandblasting.  This results in spots where the colored glass has been removed.

This is a ridiculously small portion of all the colors that you will run across.  What have you seen?

What are some different types of joints that you will find in furniture?

When it comes to the construction of furniture, there are many different types of joints that you could use.  Butt joints, pocket-hole joints, lap joints and even mitre joints are commonly used, and here are some more that you will run across:

Dowel joint—this joint is at the end of a piece of wood that is butted up against another piece, and it is reinforced with dowel pins (there are holes drilled on each side of the joint for the dowel pins to be slid into).  This joint is a very common joint when it comes to furniture that is made in a factory.

picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Mortise and tenon—this features a small piece of wood (called the tenon) that fits tightly into a hole that is specifically cut for it (this is called the mortise).  Not only will you find this in furniture, you will also find it in in doors, windows, and even cabinets.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Dovetail—this is a set of right-angle joints that held together by interlocking fan-shaped tenons.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is just some of the types of joints that you will find in furniture.  What kinds of joints have you run across?

More Fenton colors that you will run across

When Fenton was in business, they made many colors of glassware.  Milk glass, amethyst and even marigold carnival glass are only a few colors that Fenton has made—and there are many, many more out there.

Here are a few more colors that you will run across while shopping at your favorite places:

Chocolate Glass—this glass was originally made from 1907 to 1910 and then again in 1976.  This is made in a lighter latte color to a darker brown.  You will also hear it called Carmel slag glass and it was created by glass maker Jacob Rosenthal.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint.com

Blue Marble—this was made from 1970 to 1973, and it is blue with swirls of white.

Independence Blue—this was made from 1975 1976, and it is a cobalt blue carnival glass  made during the Bicentennial.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint.com

This is a small portion of colors that you will be able to find while shopping.  Which colors have you run across?

What are some glassware and pottery pieces that you might run across for the table?

When it comes to finding serving pieces for the table, there are many shapes and patterns that you can find—it could be plates, saucers bowls or vases that you can run across.  Here are some of the others that you can run across:

After-dinner cup—this is also called a demitasse cup and it is smaller than a standard cup.

Console—this is also called a centerpiece.  It is a low oval or round bowl (they are around 12 inches long) and they used on a table with matching candlesticks.

Ivy ball—this is a round glass vase.  You will either find them with or without a stem and a foot.

Tilt jug—this is a pitcher with a ball-shaped body and angled neck.  The angled neck is accomplished by having an offset base.

This is only a small amount of what you will find out on the market.  What have you run across?

What are some of the parts and pieces of vintage furniture?

Slipper feet, veneer and leafs are a small selection of some of the parts of a piece of vintage furniture that you will run across when you are looking at furniture.  You never know what you might find when you are out at an auction, estate sale or even an antique mall.  Here are a couple of pieces that you may run across:

Top rail—this is the horizontal rail at the very top of a chair back.  There are as many designs of a top rail as there are designer.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Manchette—this is an upholstered arm that is found on a wooden-frame chair.  This portion of the arm will be upholstered with the same material that the seat has.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Stretcher—this is a horizontal support piece that is found on a table, chair or other item of furniture.  This piece ties vertical elements of the piece together.  A stretcher can be seen in the bottom of the photo:

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a small portion of what you will run across.  What have you seen?

Vintage furniture pieces that can still be found being made today

There are designs of vintage furniture pieces that are still being made today.  I know this might sound weird, but it could be that the item is an extremely popular form or that it has found a new use.  Here are some of the designs that you might find:

Tuffet—this is a piece of furniture that’s used as a footstool or even as a low seat. It can be distinguished from a stool in that it is completely covered in cloth so that no legs are visible.  It is essentially a large hard cushion that could have been made with an internal wooden frame for rigidity.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Cheval mirror—this is a large full-length mirror that is usually standing on the floor on its own.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Writing desk—this acts as a kind of compact office. Traditionally, a writing desk is for writing letters by hand. It usually has a top that folds to hide current work (it also makes the room containing it look tidy).  The closing top may contain several joints so that it can roll closed or even fold closed.  They often have small drawers that are called “pigeon holes”.  Modern writing desks are designed for laptop computers (they are typically too small for most desktop computers or a printer).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a few of the pieces that you will run across.  What other kinds have you run across?

Enamelware parts and pieces for the beginning collector

When you are beginning to collect items, you will figure out pretty fast that each area has its own terminology for parts of the item and even what each item is called.  Here’s some of the parts and pieces of enamelware that you will run across:

Pie pan—this is a shallow dish that is made of either metal or glass.  The pan has sloping sides in which the pies are baked.

Double Boiler—this is a saucepan that has a detachable upper compartment.  The compartment is heated up by boiling water in the lower compartment.

Riveted handle—this is a handle that is held in place with Rivets (small pieces of metal that are crushed into position).  The resulting rivet holds the metal together, and you will also see rivets on other parts of enamelware (like the main body of a coffee boiler or even a tea pot).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Bail handle—this is a handle that is typically made of metal.  It also consists of an open loop that moves freely within two fixed mounts, points or even ears.  This type of handle is also simply known as a “bail”.

This is only a small portion of what you will see.  What parts and pieces of enamelware have you seen or heard of?

What exactly is opalescent glass?

It doesn’t matter exactly where you are shopping for antiques and collectibles, you will run across a type of glassware called Opalescent glass. What is it exactly?

Opalescent glass is a general term for either a clear or colored glass that has a milky white,opaque or even a translucent effect to a portion of a glass piece.  It could be limited to just the rim of the piece, but you will also see it on the body of the item.

Lalique, Sabino, Jobling (this is from England) and even Fenton are all well known for their opalescent glass production.  This type of glass has also been produced in various other countries like Italy and Czechoslovakia.

One way of creating this glassware is the slow cooling of the thicker areas of the glass.  This results in what’s called crystallization, which is the formation of the milky white layer.  Another method is used in hand blown glass.  When hand blowing the glass, you use two layers of glass—the outer layer will contain chemicals that react to heat to cause the opalescence.

Another way to create Opalescent glass is to reheat certain areas of a piece and apply chemicals to the glass.  When you reheat the piece, the chemicals you use will create the opalescence (the chemicals are heat sensitive).

Over the years, there have been quite a few different colors that have been made that sport this type of effect.  Here are some of the colors that you will run across:

Amber Opalescent


French Opalescent

Pink Opalescent

Blue Opalescent

This is just a few of the colors that have been made.  What colors have you run across?