Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm a Collector of Many Things... What Do You Collect?




I'm a collector of many things and I suppose I always will be. I believe that everyone should collect something, no matter what it is, as long as it's something you have a passion for.




My largest collection is probably my collection of antique American Brilliant Period Cut Glass, which was made between 1875 and 1915.





I received my first piece of American Brilliant Period Cut Glass from my mother when I married, who had inherited the piece from her mother. At 25, I wasn't impressed. However, at age 45 I rediscovered the beauty of ABP when I inherited a number of pieces from my mother-in-law, and I've been collecting it ever since. ABP was highly popular among the wealthy, as it wasn't something the common man could afford. Brilliant Period pieces were hand blown and hand cut, but toward the end of this era, labor-saving steps and the onset of WWII resulted in the death of this incredible art. Basically, the owners of the glass houses (where cut glass was made) discovered that they could eliminate the person who did the hand-polishing, with a machine that did the same thing. However, the glass came out a bit more blurry than it would have, had it been hand-polished, and ultimately, it became too expensive & time consuming. There is no way these could be produced today, to be exactly the same.











Baby-Boomers have rediscovered cut glass with the ultimate realization that not only is it part of our own parents heritage, but it could never be made in these times at the prices we pay for these exquisite pieces of art. Since our parents' generation is slowly leaving us, it seems we are striving to preserve some of the beauty produced during their - and their parents' lifetimes.





The cost to make cut glass comparable to ABP would be astronomical in this day and age. The hundreds of patterns made were intricately detailed with the finest craftsmanship available and a high content of lead, unlike pieces made today. It only takes a quick turn of an ABP piece under a light or the sun, to experience the bedazzling qualities each piece possesses. The American Brilliant Period is a moment in our history that can never be repeated, only appreciated by collectors, new and old.
















Unfortunately, most people cannot tell the difference between cheap pattern glass and ABP cut glass without a fair amount of study. Personally, I collect specific pieces to several different patterns. So, when I come across pieces in other patterns I offer them to my customers at reasonable and affordable prices.



Often, it takes months of research to finally determine a pattern, while other patterns are quickly identified. If you want to know more about collecting ABP cut glass, then you'll need to do your homework. In my opinion, 'Evers' Standard Cut Glass Guide', Warman's 'American Cut Glass', and 'Collecting American Brilliant Cut Glass' by Bill and Louise Boggess are several of the best guides, because they have precise, clear drawings or pictures of various patterns shown in numerous different pieces, as well as detailed explanations about how it was made. However, there are dozens of other very good guides as well.











So, if you don't collect anything, I suggest you give it a try. It's a wonderful way to preserve the past and make yourself feel good, at the same time. I'll tell you about the other things I collect at a later date. So, what do you collect? If your answer is "nothing", then get out there & start collecting!

13 comments:

Rob said...

Hey SP, I've been trying to clear out some of my Mom's stuff from her house since she passed away several weeks ago. There's just only so much that any of us kids have space for. She had a sizable collection of cut glass ware and a number of the pieces didn't go during the estate sale. Most probably isn't technically old enough to be truly considered antique, but some may be. If you'd have any interest in looking over what's there, I'd be glad to let you have a look.

Snooty Primadona said...

Rob, email me. I know what it's like to have too much to keep. I've got a house full of it, lol. When I should be down-sizing. It's just so pretty...

noble pig said...

Wow, this is beautiful! I love cut glass like this. It looks so great and photographed well. Thanks for sharing it!

brneyedgal967 said...

YOur pictures of cut glass is exquisite. And my damn shift key is sticking since MOnkey Girl spilled Sprite on the keyboard. Anyway... my MOm has several pieces of cut glass that she finds at estate sales. And I think most of them are the real thing. I suppose I"ll probably get some of them when she croaks. So I Hope I don't have any for a looooooong time! :-)

OH, by the way, I collect snowmen for Xmas decorations. They make me smile.

Snooty Primadona said...

I love it ~ I collect Santas for Christmas. Well, and angels....

Meg said...

SP...those pictures are beautiful!!! I love this stuff!

I collect...are you ready...????? COWBOY cookbooks!!! I also collect vintage pinups, preferably cowgirl, but they all are so cool I can't limit myself to one style!

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Simply Beautiful.. I don't have the room for large collections otherwise I would be in need of a palace, I collect stained glass and antique perfume bottles.

Janie said...

Okay, that's it. You're gonna sell all of mine for me (please?). And I've been collecting since I was 10.

Snooty Primadona said...

Oh My! It looks like I won't be closing my shop anytime soon, lol. This is good. I've been needing something new to get me revved up again. However, it is a slow process, my friends. Sometimes pieces sell within a day or two and sometimes it takes 6 months to a year. When they sell right away I think "Ooops! I didn't ask enough." and when they take forever to sell I think "I must be asking too much." But actually, it's all about condition, condition, condition.

How weird is it that I've finally found the sisters I've always wanted, through a blog? Wow! I didn't really even understand what a blog was six months ago. I thought it was only for real authors. Don't Laugh! I did.

Snooty Primadona said...

Meg, I might have a cowboy cookbook for you. I inherited a bunch from my husband's gandmother, who ran the ranches for many years. I always loved her hot chow-chow. But let me look, I know I have at least a dozen on wild game. Any interest there?

We're talking clearing out space here. It's kind of the opposite of a garage sale. I pay money to send things to people who want or need it, instead of selling it for a profit @ a garage sale. Oh my! That doesn't make sense at all.

brneyedgal967 said...

Tag - you're it!

Krysta said...

I collect bowls... any kind of bowls... I need help!

theduchessofH said...

I think you may have some idea of what I LOVE to collect? lol
My husband wishes I would have just stuck with Murano glass!

I love your blog! You are so funny, and a heck of a good writer!

Cheers,
Donna

 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs