Overland Park events to be outlets for early American pattern glass

OVERLAND PARK, Kans. – Two events will highlight the enduring beauty and practicality of antique American pattern glass. The Summer Extravaganza of the Overland Park Antique Show, July 11-13 at the Overland Park International Trade Center, will feature several glass specialists among a full lineup of antique dealers. Also open to the public is the 10th annual Central States meeting of the Early American Pattern Glass Society. Activities will take place at the Hyatt Place Kansas City/Overland Park/Convention Center, July 10-12.

Gloria Dobbs is coordinating the Early American Pattern Glass Society meet, which will include an informal gathering at her home to view her glass collection Thursday, July 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. To make reservations, contact Dobbs at 913-681-1452.

The Early American Pattern Glass Society will sponsor a public auction of antique glass at the convention center Friday, July 11, at 8 p.m. Dobbs said that the glass to be offered is from the estate of a prominent local collector. Antique glass will be bought and sold throughout the three-day event. Dobbs expects approximately 70 collectors will attend the event.

Pattern glass is clear or colored glass first made in the United States after the invention of glass pressing machines in the 1820s. Dozens of companies produced hundreds of patterns in complete table settings and/or accessory pieces well into the 20th century.

“It’s a little harder to find here. It seems like the Mississippi (River) was the dividing line,” said Jerry Laitinen, a pattern glass dealer from Davenport, Iowa. “I have a No. 1000 marmalade (covered dish) by Heisey and a clipping of it from a magazine. It says $1 east of the Mississippi; $1.25 west of the Mississippi. That was in 1900.”

While pattern glass was intended for everyday use and surviving pieces are 100 years old or more, Laitinen cautions against placing it in an automatic dishwasher. “It’s not dishwasher safe. You have to wash it by hand,” he said.

Laitinen, a full-time antique dealer since 1984, says much of the enjoyment is finding unusual pieces. “I’m always finding things at shows I have never seen before,” he said.

A choice example of glass that Laitinen plans to present at the antique show will be a Zipper pattern milk pitcher in rare amber color. Richards & Hartley Glass Co., Tarentum, Pa., produced Zipper circa 1888 in clear glass, but seldom in colors.

Lu Dodemont of St. Paul, Minn., said she enjoys discovering scarce pieces of pattern glass for longtime customers. “It’s fun to collect it and to help collectors find pieces they really get excited about.

Dodemont said that Vaseline glass, which got its name from its resemblance in color to petroleum jelly, is currently popular among collectors. Glasshouses often produced this greenish-yellow glassware in patterns from the1870s into the 20th century. Dodemont will offer a Vaseline table set, water set and berry set, all in Alaska pattern, which was manufactured by Northwood Glass Co., Indiana, Pa., in 1897. 
Show hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6.

Overland Park International Trade Center is located at 6800 W. 115th St., south of I-435 (Exit 79) and east of U.S. Route 169 (Metcalf Avenue).

For information about the Overland Park Antique Show contact Gerry Nagel of Willowrush Promotions (260) 925-4689 or e-mail willowrush@sbcglobal.net.