Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Passion for EAPG

That's Early American Pattern Glass. I love the stuff. I love finding it in odd, out-of-the-way shops, bringing it home and cleaning it up. I love searching for the names of the patterns and reading about the companies that made this intricate, decorative glass. I love looking through books of patterns and pictures of the many, many kinds of pattern glass that others have found and collected.

What I don't do, though, is collect it. I enjoy the hunt, the return to loveliness and the scavenger hunt to identify a particular piece. And then? I list it on eBay for sale, hoping a collector will find the piece that is just what he or she is looking for to add to their collection. You see, I have come to realize that I am not a collector. I love old things and enjoy using them daily in my home. But I am not one to put things in a showcase "for display only." I appreciate those who do--I like looking at their collections and appreciate the effort they made to gather and document their finds. And I also appreciate how important collectors are to maintaining history. I am just not one of them. My role is the hunter/gatherer one and I am perfectly happy with that.

Here are some of the things I've found recently:

This is a compote (originally called a comport) in the Cathedral pattern, made in the 1880's by a company called Bryce, located in Pittsburgh. It's a large dish, standing over 8 inches tall and 8 inches wide. It is such a beauty,and who knew that they made such beautiful colors so long ago?

This creamer is in a pattern called Gaelic and has a lovely flower pattern and gilt trim. It was also made in the late 1800's. I am constantly amazed that glass pieces survive all these years in pretty good condition. The pieces I am listing here are all over 100 years old, and I found them in junk shops, boxes of auction stuff, in yard sales, etc. They often have chips and usually the gold trim is worn but will we look this good at 100 years plus?

I love the color and shape of this pickle dish. The pattern is called Double Fan and Diamond, but I have not been able to identify the maker. It probably dates to the late 1880's. I have brought quite a stack of books to help me with identification, and also found several excellent websites that provide color photos. It takes some detective work sometimes to track down the makers of pattern glass.

I like this goblet because of its name--101! Also called Beaded 101 and One O One, it is also over 100 years old. This one I found in an antique shop. The owner knew it was pattern glass but she wasn't interested in finding out anything about it. Her passion is for other kinds of glass. So it came home with me.

This gorgeous amber tray was made by Adams & Co. in Pittsburgh around 1884. the pattern, which doesn't show very well in my photo, is called Wildflowers. I found this one in a flea market, covered in dirt. It's a good sized piece, about 11x13 inches.

There is a funny story behind this sugar and creamer set made by Tarentum Glass Co. I found the sugar bowl first in a Goodwill store. Several months later I went back to that store which is some miles from my home, and bought the matching creamer, not realizing that I already had the sugar! The gold is mostly worn off of the sugar bowl and it has some chips on the base, but the creamer is almost perfect.

And another piece with a story: I found this one in an antique mall, marked down drastically because it was chipped. Normally that puts me off, but I have learned that with this old glass chips are not unusual. I liked the shape and the bold pattern so I bought it. Research told me that this is in the Dewey (named after the Admiral) or Flower Flange pattern, made by Indiana Glass at their Greentown works around 1898. There are people who collect only "Greentown glass" so this is a very collectible piece, even with its chip.I am hoping a collector sees the listing on eBay and gives this dish a good home.

This is just a sampling of the EAPG pieces I've found recently. Most people see this glass and think it is cheap glass because it looks different from the glass we are used to seeing, but once you get an eye for spotting it, it becomes a quest to seek it out, wash it up and enjoy its antique beauty.


Rowan said...

I've always rather liked pressed glass and have a few pieces mostly inherited from MIL but one brought back from the US on one of my trips. I love that blue compote dish - what a gorgeous colour it is.

Granny Sue said...

Rowan, this glass is so pretty. Pattern glass refers only to glass made during the Victorian era but there were thousands of patterns being made by so many companies it's a puzzle to sort them out. Later pressed glass is called Depression Glass here in the states. Are the same names used in England for this kind of glass?

Linda Miller said...

You are so right on all the pattern names. My mother used to amaze me with all the pattern names she knew. I have fond memories of all the flea markets and antique shows we would go to together. Check out to see the 50 years of collecting we did.

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