This example is a new reproduction hat pin holder made to resemble a well-known Northwood Glass pattern, 'Grape and Cable.' At the beginning of the 20th century, Northwood made hat pin holders shaped the same and with a similar surface pattern, but in iridescent Carnival Glass. It may be that an authentic Northwood piece was used to make the mold from which these items are now taken, but much of the crisp detail found in old originals is absent. This item is made of poor quality glass, which is one of the key indications that it is not old. For instance, when held to the light it looks murky and thick. Even extremely old glass made with early primitive manufacturing methods will have a crystal clarity often missing in new reproductions. New reproduction glass is often made from batches of molten glass containing impurities. Pieces have a tendency to look cheaply made, because they are cheaply made. Surfaces may either be very rough to the touch, or have a greasy feel. And while some genuinely old glass can be expected to contain a few bubbles within, here and there, new reproduction glass is frequently littered with interior air bubbles, because it is made quickly, in large numbers.
When a glass item is said to be 'old' then logically it should show at least some wear. Note how the bottoms of the feet on this item are pristine. There is a complete absence of honest patterns of wear because the item is not actually old, at all. If you don't already know what true surface wear should look like on the bottom or the feet of a piece of glass, a good way to learn is to use a magnifying glass or loupe to examine likely areas on family items you own that you know are of a certain age, beyond any doubt. Then examine the same areas on a similar piece of glass that you know to be brand new. Using familiar items to make comparisons like this can help you to train your eye to more surely identify honest wear on glass that comes with age.
Many companies today are making these types of items in an effort to take advantage of high collector demand for antique glassware. These hatpin holders are being sold new by a wholesale reproduction supplier. They are current production pieces made overseas and were available brand new as of the day of this writing for only a few dollars. Taking a little time to become familiar with old-style glass patterns being made today can help buyers to avoid buying a new piece of glass for an 'antique glass' price.
This example is 6 ¾ inches tall.
Item ID: 2007RP000220
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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