A New Curve to the Learning Curve
inJune 4, 2013 - 9:35am
I am a self professed rookie in this field. With a mere 6 years under my belt, I am at the beginning of my educational quest into the Vintage & Antiques business. I have some strengths but each piece comes with a new opportunity to learn. I believe that historical facts play a huge part in researching an item and they make the research process much more enjoyable.
As I delve more into areas that are not my forte, I look to the professionals for guidance. This whole process is becoming increasingly more complicated with the addition of reproductions and the multitude of true knock offs coming into the playing field. It's not enough just to learn the time period, style or the manufacturers/artisans...you now must know who is knocking off what and how or what is being reproduced and how to tell the difference. This situation affects both buyers and sellers alike.
On a recent trip to my favorite local hunting spot, I picked up my usual mid century glassware and a little pottery but there on the counter was this gorgeous cut to clear cobalt compote. Heavy and beautifully made, it had no identifying marks and almost looked too good to be true. I do have one gorgeous cut to clear decanter set but with that particular item, I personally knew the owners and the style was not that of something that would be reproduced, at least not yet.
Here is my lovely cobalt find. I came home and started my information search by going directly to Ruby Lane's Real or Repro site. I found what I was looking for under "New Cut Glass Looks Old". Armed with this information, I began my Googling. I found a very similar piece on a major site that was described as "New in the box from Poland". Granted, monetarily it is still valuable. Fortunately, I love it... because it will be residing with me for at least 20 years!
The key to this piece were the pictures given on Real Or Repro, explaining the actual cutting process from past to present and where on the glass to find the parallel lines within the cut. These lines are the tell tale sign of a newer piece. Only visible under 10x magnification, had I not researched and done the comparison, I never would have known.
As keepers of the past, I believe that it is our responsibility to research these items beyond a standard Google search and I am thankful that such sites exist to help us do so. Our job has now become two-fold. We must first determine if the item is a reproduction or "fake" and if not, track down its history. Remember that labels and marks are no longer a definitive stamp of approval, they are being copied as well.
I have learned that this business is a matter of rolling with the punches, it's a good thing I don't bruise easily!
Pam of WhimsicalVintage