Janet & Sherry the auction hunters: Day 4
My auction buddy Janet and I picked out five items at auction recently to see how well we’d do against some of the TV auction shows in choosing valuable items.
Each day this week, I’m blogging about each set of items, three so far: a 19th-century gilt Eagle she selected and a Hartmann suitcase for me, a set of 1930s NJ license plates for her and an Edison Cylinder Phonograph for me, and we both chose a Lionel hobo train set.
Here are our fourth set of choices:
Ruby red and Amberina glassware
Janet chose this set because she wanted to buy the glasses. “People tend to bid them higher,” she said. She knows her glassware and can always name pieces I’ve never heard of before. I’m better at old dolls, old cameras and African American art. We’ve educated ourselves on different aspects of items sold at auction, depending on our interests.
The Amberina glass was two-toned with the color red at the top and yellow/gold at the bottom. Janet had seen a couple birds in the lot, and one of them had a silver label with the manufacturer’s name of “Viking” on it. The box lot also contained a small Amberina pitcher in a hobnail pattern, a sugar bowl in a Sandwich pattern, another sugar bowl with lid in a clear cut-glass-and-ruby pattern and two ruby ducks that may have been Viking. She paid $50 for the box lot of 10 pieces.
Amberina glass has been around since 1883, and according to one site, its actual colors are amber at the bottom and red at the top, or reversed. “This colour shading is due to the effects of reheating the top part of the glass before allowing it to cool,” according to glassencyclopedia.com. The glass also contained colloidal gold that turned red at the right temperature.
The most collectible are pieces made by W.L. Libbey or New England Glass Company – if you’re able to identify them, according to artfact.com. Both were among the first manufacturers of the glass. The French company Baccarat also made Amberina.
An Amberina trumpet vase attributed to Libbey sold at auction in May for $125. A similar vase attributed to New England Glass Company sold for $394 on eBay.
Here’s one person’s beautiful collection of Amberina glass, and an eyeball appraisal of some of the pieces, which ranged from $50 to $275. On eBay, the glassware sold for up to $450. Many of the pieces did not sell.
On eBay, Amberina birds were selling for $9.99 to $30 each. Sandwich-patterned sugar bowls were selling for up to $15 each, a clear cut-glass-and-ruby sugar bowl sold for $32, and pitchers sold for $6 to $10. Viking ruby ducks sold for $30 to $35 each.
Estimated value: $200 and up
Haviland Limoges Feu de Four plates
I’m very familiar with both Haviland and Limoges of France, and knew that these were collectible names. When I saw that the stack of what looked to be 11 soup plates were made for a store in Philadelphia called Tyndale and Mitchell, I was immediately curious.
The plates were in the Flower and Seeds pattern, made for a store founded in 1842 as a major importer of fine china and glass. The founder, Hector Tyndale, was a philanthropist, abolitionist (like his mother Sarah) and Union Army general. He volunteered to escort John Brown’s wife to see him while he awaited hanging on charges brought in the raid on Harpers Ferry, WV, in 1859.
The soup plates were being offered on eBay for $75 each but there were no bids. A set of 37 pieces without the Tyndale name sold at auction in May for $1,300. A set of four soup bowls without the Tyndale name were up for sale for $250.
Estimated value: Possible $40 to $50 each x 11= $440 to $550