Glass News from Angela, November 14th 2003


In our newsletter this month we have a some information about Tortoiseshell Glass, about Glass Ashtrays and about Abel's "Charleton" decoration on post-war US art glass; there's more information about glass exhibitions and events over the next couple of months, some newly published books about glass, and links to our glass on eBay. Welcome to all the new readers receiving my Glass Newsletter for the first time, I hope you find it interesting and useful.

If the links don't work in your email copy of this newsletter, you'll find another version with all its links working here:

1: Tortoiseshell Glass: Did you know that real tortoiseshell is not from a tortoise at all, its from the marine based Hawksbill turtle (tortoises are land-based). The Egyptians used to sell tortoiseshell to the Romans for use in decorative items, and it became very popular in France in the 17th century. With the Victorian resurrection of all things Roman or Egyptian, real tortoiseshell was so popular that the little turtle almost became extinct during the 19th century. Imitation tortoiseshell was made first in glass in the 1880s and later in Bakelite and plastic, and probably saved the species from extinction. Today it is illegal to use real tortoiseshell in most parts of the world.

Making tortoiseshell art glass is a very complex process; it has three layers of glass and a silver-based fired-on stain. There's a new article about Tortoiseshell Glass on the Glass Encyclopedia which you can read at

And if you like tortoiseshell glass we have one very nice piece from our Glass Museum collection for sale on eBay just now -

2: Abel's Charleton Decorated Glassware: there is a new website devoted to the handpainted decorations of Abels, Wasserberg & Co. found on Fenton, Cambridge, Heisey, Consolidated, Fostoria, Duncan and Miller, Imperial, Westmoreland and other glassware. From 1942 until the beginning of the 1960s Abel's bought glassware from the leading US glassmakers and decorated it with their Charleton designs. Michael & Lori Palmer's Glass House website is at and has detailed history of the company as well as extensive photographs of these decorated pieces. They have also published a book on the subject - The Charleton Line: Decoration on Glass and Porcelain by Michael and Lori Palmer published last year by Schiffer.

3: Ashtrays: there have been hundreds of glassworks which have made glass ashtrays, so is there anything new to be said about them? Well I didn't know that the Chinese in 1638 decreed tobacco smokers were to be decapitated, or that the Russians deported tobacco smokers to Siberia. It seems that back in the 17th century smokers really had a bad time! In the "Collectors Guide to Ashtrays, 2nd Edition" Nancy Wanvig suggests that as smoking becomes less fashionable and less accepted, ashtrays are going to become more collectible, and maybe we should be taking more notice of those interesting ashtrays you can still buy for a few cents or maybe a dollar or two. The most valuable glass ashtrays are those from the art nouveau and art deco periods, with Lalique, Steuben, and Venetian examples leading the value stakes at prices well over US$100.

4: Bagley Glass: Our CD on Bagley Glass is now available and you can read more about it at

If you don't think you know Bagley Glass, take a look at our page and see if you recognize any of the pieces. Our very first buyer wrote "I have been looking at it every night since I received it, there is so much to see. I have already found the ID to some piece's I have had for sometime, and I know where some other piece's are, that is if they have not sold." This CD incorporates the original Bagley Glass video by Derek and Betty Parsons, along with extensive catalogue views, pictures and information never published before.

5: OUR GLASS on eBay:

Peter Raos - if you collect Raos glass and you do not have one of his tidal rockpool paperweights, then I recommend you to buy this one now, it is the last of our current stock and we may not have them again. It has a green-blue background with a blue starfish and beautifully formed millefiori canes representing sea anemones and rock-pool sea life. #2671208380

Keith Mahy - a beautiful blue and silver pulled feather-striped perfume bottle - on eBay at #2671397508

Ray Ansin - Millefiori Summer Garden in Glass, kiln annealed lampwork focal glass bead pendant, yellow flowers with red stamens, by top artist - on eBay #2670789848

Ray Ansin - Millefiori Spring Garden in Glass, kiln annealed lampwork focal glass bead pendant, pale blue daisies with yellow stamens - on eBay #2670791654

Ray Ansin - Millefiori Rose Garden in Glass, kiln annealed lampwork focal glass bead pendant, Clichy-style pink roses with yellow stamens - on eBay #2670824195

Ray Ansin - Millefiori Large size Garden in Glass, kiln annealed lampwork focal glass bead pendant, pale blue daisies and red with yellow spring flowers - on eBay #2670846521

John Deacons - superb millefiori star paperweight with blue background - on eBay at #2671210561

John Deacons - traditional millefiori paperweight with concentric rings of star-shaped millefiori and cartwheel twists, pink background, and a full 3" diameter - on eBay at #2671212319

Greg Smith - green background mythical fish paperweight - on eBay at #2671209169

Vintage tortoiseshell art glass rare vase, full 7" tall, from the Glass Museum collection - on eBay at #3156070796

Garry Nash - blue globe perfume bottle with long stopper - on eBay at #2671411316

They are all put up without reserve and so far most of them do not have any bids. If you would like to see a quick summary with pictures, or keep in touch with the new items I am going to add, please go to


a: Paperweight Collectors Weekend 13th - 14th December at the Broadfield House Glass Museum, near Birmingham, UK. William Manson, renowned Scottish paperweight maker will be demonstrating his skills and displaying his work. There will also be display and trade stands including The Cambridge Paperweight Circle and the Sweetbriar Paperweights Gallery. Visit the Broadfield House website if you want to know more about where Broadfield House is, and when they are open -

b: Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair is the largest fair of this type in Europe, and takes place on 1st - 2nd December 2003 (Monday and Tuesday). The Exhibition Venue is the Newark & Notts Showground. For more information contact Mike Turner at

c: Tiffany Glass - a talk by Jytte Willumstad at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, at 1:00 p.m on November 30th 2003. Read more about forthcoming events at the Met here:

d: Depression Glass Shows in the USA (click here) - a listing of depression glass shows across the USA - really useful. It's amazing how many Depression Glass Shows there are in the USA. You are so lucky!

e: Antique Shows in the UK, France, and the USA - give it plenty of time to load; its a very useful site .

f: Friends of the Broadfield House Glass Museum have an annual series of lectures on glass topics, visits to glass factories and studios, talks on major exhibitions at the Museum, and a Christmas party. These events provide opportunities for fund-raising, learning and, of course, enjoyment. If you are in the area, visiting or resident, you are most welcome to attend.


7: RECENT BOOKS ABOUT GLASS - for your information in case you missed them.

Click on any of these titles to read more about the book.

a: The Legend of Bohemian Glass by Antonin Langhamer published by Tigris October 2003. This is an excellent new book with superb photographs and new information about Bohemian glass from experts in Bohemia.

b: Stained Glass for the Beginner by Dan Alfuth published November 2003. Contains easy-to-understand instructions and full size patterns based on the author's 30 years experience in this field.

c: Mauzy's Depression Glass: A Photographic Reference With Prices by Barbara E. and Jim Mauzy. This is a new edition of this book, due out in January 2004 but it seems to be available now. Make sure you order the latest edition.

d : Ancient Glass: A Guide to the Yale Collection by R. A. Arichard and A. A. Grossmann published November 2003. This 43-page guide is very good value if you are interested in ancient glass.

e: Bagley Glass by Angela Bowey, Derek and Betty Parsons; published September 2003.

f : Italian Glass: Century 20 by Leslie A. Pina published November 2003 by Schiffer Publishing.


I do hope there was something interesting for you this week.
Very best wishes

Useful links:

The Glass Museum at

The Glass Encyclopedia is at

The Glass Links Page is at

The Glass Message Board is at

My glass at auction

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From: Angela Bowey - archive of my Glass Newsletters