CHICAGO – Hundreds of people hurried under their umbrellas to be the first shoppers through the door at the 2010 20-30-40 Glass Society of Illinois’ Glass-O-Rama Show and Sale, March 13-14. Dealers wrapped customers’ purchases non-stop for hours as the “collectors on a mission” busily wrote checks for their newly acquired treasures.
The March Glass Sale and Show is a nationally known major event to promote the educational goals of The 20-30-40s Glass Society of Illinois, a not-for-profit group. The society’s charge is to gain more knowledge of American glassware of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s and to further the preservation and pleasure of collecting glassware.
Business was brisk throughout the whole weekend. Shoppers flocked to the booths of nationally known dealers such as Laurie Kitchen and Early Fenton Rarities author Thomas K. Smith of Thomas K. Antiques. First time visiting dealers to the 20-30-40s show included The Cat’s Meow and Net-Tiques.
The 20-30-40s Glass Club widened its focus and invited dealers of American glass made earlier than traditionally featured Depression and Elegant Depression glass. New nationally known dealers Danny Cornelius and Don Jones, authors of the books American Pattern Glass Table Sets and Early American Pattern Glass Cake Stands and Serving Pieces brought hard-to-find examples of early American glass.
The show featured the return of noted art glass expert Charles Lotton of Crete, Ill. A long-time favorite at the show, Crete exhibited several pieces of his art glass in celebration of his 40th anniversary in his craft.
Another glass craftsperson was new dealer Retta Hentschel, owner of I Do Windows Art Glass, featuring colored glass panels that were designed around authentic, brightly colored pieces of Depression glass.
Attendance and sales of moderately priced pieces were steady and even big ticket items were selling better than they had in a long time, including a Cambridge Ebony cocktail shaker with silver decoration in the Sportsman’s line that sold at Patty Ann’s Glassware for $1,150. Ann also offered several stems of Tiffin La Fountaine in the rare early Twilight color, which were tagged at $180 each.
Matt Peacock of Double M Antiques and Uniques exhibited several ebony pieces with striking gold encrustation. Peacock reported his most popular pieces were his Cambridge Statuesque line stems. This was easily evidenced by the crowd that one of his nude cocktails glasses attracted because of its rare color combination of a Crown Tuscan foot and a wheel-cut Gold Kystol bowl. Opaque glass was featured in the booth of dealer Don Rogers, who brought several pieces in primrose and opal.
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General glass dealers also reported steady sales. Lorie Kitchen noted that no pattern in particular was “hot,” however, people were eagerly seeking and buying items for established collections. Dealers Depression Classics had a huge collection of Princess pieces in green, including an oval bowl at $25, a dinner plate at $22 and a covered butter at $75. The booth also featured Miss America as their pink pattern.
Kitchen Cupboard’s booth featured a Jeanette Jr. Cherry Blossom 14-piece child’s tea set packaged in the original mint condition box for sale for $310. The dealer also carried a large assortment of carnival pieces including a green carnival Stag and Holly bowl marked $60.
Many dealers expanded their sales base by displaying complementary items such as period linens, dinnerware, and kitchenware. For example, Kitschycat Collectibles displayed a line of assorted Depression era glass rolling pins, priced at $95 for a milk glass example and progressing to a cobalt blue example for $295. Pieces of Homer Laughlin vintage Fiesta and Harlequin were selling well.
Fenton items were also in good supply at several booths. There was a virtual rainbow of “crests” on display, from Silvercrest to Snowcrest and all colors in between. Author Tom Smith gathered a crowd eyeing his gorgeous Fenton Hyacinth Feather vase by Robert Barber. As one of only 450 pieces made, it was sure to appreciate beyond its $695 price tag at the show.
Marge Urbonas has been a member of the 20-30-40s Glass Club since the early 1980s. She also is vice president of the Northern Illinois Heisey Study Group, a member of the National Cambridge Collectors, The Museum of Glass in West Virginia, Questors, The Heisey Collectors of America and the National American Brilliant Cut Glass Club and its local Blackhawk, Ill. study group.
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