Readers’ Letters: Rare Candlewick glass ring holder was too good to pass up – no matter the cost

I have subscribed to Antique Trader for more years than I can remember. This new style of magazine is by far the best yet. It is excellent.

I am behind in my reading, but I will catch up. I have just finished the Nov. 10, 2010, issue [Favorite Finds]. I loved it. What a great idea. I am currently passing it around for others to enjoy.

candlewick ring holderI have similar stories, as most dealers do. However, I have one story that is just the opposite of all those stories and I’d like to tell you about it. It just happened within the past year.

My name is Mary M. Wetzel-Tomalka, and I am the author of nine books on Candlewick Crystal produced by Imperial Glass Co. of Bellaire, Ohio, now defunct.

Imperial developed Candlewick in 1935. Hundreds of different items were made. Candlewick became the choice of many brides as their wedding crystal. I started collecting and writing in 1978 after discovering this beautiful crystal at garage sales. Eventually I learned that out of all the pieces produced, there was only one piece that had the Imperial logo impressed in the crystal. Researching it was no help. I could not learn how many were produced, when, or why.

It was a ring holder, made from a coaster, with a spike to hold the rings added to the center. Thirty years ago, I began looking for the Candlewick ring holder. During those 30 years I saw two of them: one on display at the yearly convention, and another in a collection, not for sale. I was determined to obtain one. My quest continued to no avail.

In February of this year, I heard there were two of them in an auction in Ohio. Excited wasn’t the word! I contacted Jim Frio, the auctioneer, [Frio Auction Service, Wheeling, W.Va., 304-233-3168 or] to see if the story passed on to me was true. It was! The first ring holder went to two young collectors from Ohio for $150. The second one would be auctioned the following day. My words to Mr. Frio were: “That’s mine!” We arranged for my bid to be made by phone. Shortly before the auction began, Mr. Frio called to tell me that the phone system was having problems. He then asked if several friends of mine, whom he knew, were in front seats at the auction, and asked if they could bid for me. I said, “Yes, and tell them that piece is mine!” Then he told me he received a letter with a bid of $650, which meant that the piece would start auctioning at that amount. I would have to go to $700. I again told Mr. Frio to tell my friends that after searching for 30 years, the ring holder was going to be mine. I did get the ring holder – for $700.

It was just the opposite of all the wonderful stories that appeared in the Antique Trader. I am very happy with my Candlewick ring holder, but I often think of all those letters in the Nov. 10, 2010, issue. It was fascinating reading. I was happy to share the stories with others.

I wish you continued good luck with the Antique Trader. It is super, and I will continue reading it until the day I die.

Mary M. Wetzel-Tomalka
via email

More on Imperial Glass

Dumping parents’ estate ends in heartbreak

I am enclosing this brief note to ask a couple of questions. I had gotten the Antique Trader in the past and I like it very well because you have information and numbers of places if you don’t live in the location you can at least contact someone reputable for different items. I live in Greensburg, Iowa, and I had taken care of my parents till they passed on. I also had the home to take care of; nothing elaborate but they both had items over the years as well as my grandparents. My sisters said toss it to the garbage, which a lot of it went.

I live in a trailer but I’ve got a storage unit, which is more than I can afford, but I know that I have something that was worth my parents keeping. I am 70 years old so I know somewhat of the value. But in our area the only people I have had any contact with say they will give you gas money or the price of whatever you are in need of.

My mother had a 1950 waterfall bedroom set with beveled mirror in perfect condition, a 1930 Lane cedar chest complete with linens, and also a few other pieces that met their demise to the dumpster.
I know that when I am gone that is where everything I have will go as well. My oldest son has done work for people who wanted the family home torn down and property disposed of. It was heartbreaking to see the things destroyed because everyone says it is not collectible – it is junk.

I am hoping to continue with your issue so I can keep in contact with names and numbers that I can rely on. Hopefully they can provide me also with direct contact to by or sell.

This is the main reason I am looking for someone to appraise and/or buy, so I don’t lose everything like I did with my parents.

Phyllis Lakin
Greensburg, Ia.

Estate appraisal resources

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