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Antiques Newsletter September 19, 2009
NOVA-Antiques was designated as a resource for antiques and collectibles flea markets in an article published in the Weekend Section of the Washington Post on May 6, 2005
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Upcoming Estate Sales


Estate Sale, Thursday – Saturday, September 17-19, 2009, 507 Ayr Hill Avenue, Vienna, Virginia: Antiques, vintage clothes, books and art: MB Estate Sales


Estate Sale, Friday – Saturday, September 18-19, 2009, 10005 Robindale Court, Great Falls, Virginia: American and European Antique Furnishings


Estate Sale, Friday – Saturday, September 18-19, 2009, 49 Davison Lane East, West Islip, New York: Art, antique furniture, wicker, pottery and vintage glass



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NOVA-Antiques.com does not run, manage or operate any of the flea markets, auction houses or estate sale companies advertised on this page.  The NOVA-Antiques Newsletter is published for the exclusive use, enjoyment and convenience of our readers and subscribers.  Any questions regarding the flea markets, auction houses and estate sale companies should be directed to the appropriate owner, promoter or manager.


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A Brief History of Murano Glass


Glass is nothing more than sand which is usually mixed with an alkaline flux to make it easier to melt at lower temperatures.  Since glass can break down over time, depending on quality, a stabilizer, normally lime, is used to make it last longer.  Most glass with no other additives is a greenish color.  However since ancient times, glass makers have been adding different metals and oxides including gold to change the color of glass.  Some of the most prominent and beautiful colored glass is produced by the Venetians and more specifically the island of Murano.


In the 11th Century, glass making in Venice was regulated and the importation of glass was against the law.  Additionally foreign glass makers were not allowed to operate in the city.  In the late 1200’s, because people were afraid that all the furnaces operating in Venice may someday catch the city on fire, a law was passed that banished all glassmaking to the island of Murano.  And another law made it illegal for Venetian glass makers to immigrate out of the country.  It wasn’t until the 1400’s that glassmakers from other countries and influences from different cultures were allowed onto Murano.


As a result of influences from the Middle East and the Far East, Murano glass which was already delicate and beautiful, became even more stunning.  The Venetians were already making colorful glass in many shapes; the Middle East influence gave them the ability to produce enameled glass.  In the 1600’s, an artisan named Angelo Barovier, whose glass today is still much sought after, introduced the world to crystal, which was a very clear and flawless glass and much like today was used to produce high quality items for the well to do.  However, all of the items made were copied and unoriginal pieces and it wasn’t until much later that art glass came to be.


Art glass which was original and unique came in many different shapes and sizes, but did not become popular until much later.  Besides Barovier, many of today Murano glass collectors seek out art glass by other art glass houses including Toso, Cenedese, Barbini and probably the most collectible glass comes from Venini.  Some of the most sought after pieces are mid-century modern art glass with smooth lines and controlled bubbles as well as colorful designs that include aventurine, gold fleck and millifiore. If you were to visit Murano today, you would find most of these art glass manufacturers still plying their trade after hundreds of years.


Where to Buy Murano Art Glass


What better place to spend a beautiful fall weekend than in the foothills of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Bluemont Fair will take place this Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2009 and will feature over 100 antiques, craftsmen and artisans as well as wine tasting, pie contests and live music.  In addition, this is a family oriented event with a children’s fair that includes pony rides and Admission for this event is $5 and free for children under 12.


The Third Annual Hunterdon County Antiques Fair will be held this Sunday, September 20, 2009 at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds in Ringoes, New Jersey.  This antique show features more than ninety dealers and features period furniture, early pottery, antique and vintage collectible art glass, architectural items and fine antique jewelry.  The show is sponsored by the local parks and recreation service and benefits the 4H Leaders Association.


September 19 - 20, 2009, Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, Hemlock Fairgrounds, Hemlock, New York


September 19 - 20, 2009, DC Big Flea, Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia


September 25-27, 2009, Highlands Playhouse Antique Show, Highlands Playhouse, Highlands, North Carolina


September 26, 2009, Lions Club Flea Market, Springfield VRE Commuter Parking Lot, Springfield, Virginia

The Liberty Outdoor Antique Festival in Liberty, North Carolina will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, 2009. This yearly festival which covers more than one hundred acres features more than four hundred dealers from twenty five states selling antique furniture, vintage collectibles, artifacts, architectural items and art pottery as well as art glass, vintage estate jewelry and political memorabilia.


Collecting Venini Art Glass from Murano


Although many of the art glass manufacturers on the island of Murano have been around for hundreds of years, one stands out among others and it has only been around since 1921, Venini.  Started by an attorney named Paolo Venini along with an antiques dealer, Giacomo Cappellin, Venini Glass quickly became one of the leading producers of cutting edge, tastefully decorated and artistically pleasing art glass.  Arguably, their success can be attributed to the hiring of great artistic glass blowers and talented designers that included names such as Andrea Rioda, Ettore Stottsass and Fulvio Bianconi. And these are just some of the names that Murano Glass collectors look for today.


The best place to start a Venini art glass collection is with some research.  Keep in mind that there are thousands of Murano art glass pieces and a lot of them look very similar, so you have to familiarize yourself with the shapes and sizes of Venini. Secondly, you have to make a decision as to what type of art glass to collect.  Although, bowls and ashtrays are probably abundant and can be easily found, you may want to instead collect the colorful vases, paperweights or art glass figurines.  Beware of fakes.  Many art glass manufacturers who are not remotely associated with Venini or even the island of Murano will try to sell glass  that is marked “Murano Style.”  If you can afford it, buy the best possible pieces because they are more likely to appreciate in value.



Dumb Mikey Helps the Boss


Mikey gets a job at a local office and at towards the end of his first day he sees his boss staring at the office shredder.  Eager to help and make himself known he decides to go over and help the boss.  The boss says to Mikey, “How do I make this thing work?  This paper has all of our profit and loss information on it.”  Mikey says, “Here, let me help you sir.”  He proceeds to switch the machine on, it warms up and he feeds the paper into the slot.  “Thanks for the help.”  The boss says to Mikey, “Now I’ll need one more copy of that.”


Recent Auction of American Brilliant Cut Glass


American Brilliant Cut Glass (ABCG) was first introduced in the United States during the Victorian era to compete with glass that was being imported from Europe.  Early pieces of ABCG were cut by using rotating iron or stone wheels and the better designs include glass that has been blown into a mold for an even more artistic and brilliant cut.  In the early 1900’s, producers of this glass started to cut corners and the glass became less desirable.  Today, collectors of American Brilliant Cut Glass look for and pay top prices for earlier pieces that were handmade.


A recent auction at Woody Auction in Douglas, Kansas saw a piece of American Brilliant Cut Glass go for $27,000.  The oval shaped tray was made by T. G. Hawkes Glass Company of Corning, New York.  The tray, which measured 15 inches long by 10.5 inches was in the Coronet pattern.  Sales at this auction also included a two part ABCG punch bowl in the Anona pattern that brought in more than $11,000 and a deeply engraved fruit plate that brought more than $9,000.  Woody Auction specializes in estate auctions and bids are accepted online thru Proxibid.



Upcoming Auctions in the Mid-Atlantic Area


Saturday, September 19, 2009, Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia: 700 lots of Period Furniture & Antiques


Friday – Sunday, September 25-27, 2009, Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers, Chevy Chase, Maryland:  Estate Catalogue Auction


Thursday – Saturday, October 8-10, 2009, Dan Morphy’s Auctions, Denver, Pennsylvania: 500 lots including antique advertising signs, salesmen’s samples and hand-carved folk art


Moorcroft Pottery


William Moorcroft (1872 to 1945) was born in Burslem, Staffordshire and studied art in both London and Paris. He designed his first pieces of pottery while working at the James Macintyre Company in 1897 but was highly successful after opening his own studio in 1913 in Cobridge, England. Moorcroft created pottery with an Asian feel and developed high luster glazes to create dramatic, eye catching designs. Most of his products sold through Liberty of London and Tiffany in New York. After his passing in 1945, the company passed on to his son Walter.

Walter’s vision and designs helped the company continue its long standing tradition of using brilliant colors and translucent glazes to produce some of the best quality mid-century art pottery. However, later in the 60’s the company was purchased by the Roper Brothers and they unsuccessfully tried to mass produce merchandise and failed. In 1987, Walter resigned from Moorcroft and the design duties turned to Sally Dennis and now to Rachel Bishop. Under these new designers, Moorcroft saw resurgence in both the quality of their product and interest by collectors.


Reward for Stolen Warhol Collection 


Authorities in Los Angeles California are looking for the thieves that stole a multimillion dollar collection of Andy Warhol paintings.  The paintings, which are owned by LA businessman Richard Weisman, were hanging in his home where they were taken from.  The collection includes portraits of Chris Everett, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Pele as well as a portrait of the owner of the collection.  A $1 million reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of the collection.


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