Glass & Crystal: Appraising your antique glass objet d'art and glassware
To find out how much your antique glass or crystal is worth, contact Florida Antiues Appraisers.
Glass has been created since ancient times and back then, just like today, served both practical uses, as well as being fashioned into luxury objects. Glass can be hand-blown or cast, painted or sandblasted, acid-etched or engraved —amongst other possibilities! Is the piece you own glass or lead crystal? Many of these variations can often be subtle—one reason why you might want to have an expert examine your own glass items. By around the early twentieth century, many glass manufacturers began to mark their products, and often the artists who created the design would sign the glass also---as can be common with contemporary works. However, even with these markers, it may not be obvious what you have on your hands.
There are many big names in the glass and crystal world, some of the most recognized being the French companies of Lalique, Baccarat and Daum, all still in existence, as well as the American art glassmakers of Tiffany, also still extant, and Steuben, which just recently shut down. A particular problem with Lalique is that there are a number of fakes on the market, so it is important to determine whether or not what you have is the real deal. As a Lalique vase sold for almost $500,000 a few years ago, it is no wonder that there is an interest in fakery!
However, it is not just well known art glassmakers that can fetch a large amount of money. There are many avid collectors of the much more mass produced Depression glass, as well as Milk glass, both of which have seen an increase in popularity in recent years. Both are becoming more rare on the open market and the more unique pieces can fetch a tidy sum. Again here is good to be wary, as glassmakers continue to create reproduction of old patterns, so it can be tricky to tell old from new.
The popularity of a various kinds of glass can vary according to region, which is also something to be aware of if you are wondering about what your piece might be worth in a retail market or at auction. Typically auction houses conduct specialized sales that focus on glass alone.
We are lucky to have in the US a number of museums which focus solely on glass pieces, including the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY which exhibits a broad array of glass through the years and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, which focuses on modern and contemporary pieces.
Just recently a woman in Wichita, KS began auctioning off a glass collection started by her husband and herself some 50 years prior. The first half of the auction netted $1.3 million, with the most expensive piece going for $260,000. You just never know when a hobby might reap substantial financial reward!