Fun Info

“Fun Info” is our revolving door of interesting facts, stories, and anecdotes surrounding the countless items you may encounter while ambling through a local estate sale. 

Because no estate sale is like another, you never know when you’re going to run across the ‘conversation piece’ of your dreams, the perfect table for that empty corner, or a stunning, one-of-a-kind necklace. The more knowledgeable you are going in, the smarter you’ll be in choosing an item that’s useful, fun, or worth cherishing. 

“Fun Info” aims to provide a glimpse into the history of just a few of those yet to be discovered treasures we hope you find.

From time to time, we’ll also bring you the personal perspectives of collectors, valuable pointers from local experts in particular fields of interest, and helpful articles. If you have some fun info to share about collecting, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Class Glass

Stepping into Tulsa Antiques, tucked away in a small shopping center on 31st Street in midtown, often elicits a gasp, and – sometime during the visit – the comment, “I had no idea there was anything like this in Tulsa.” The shop, owned by Tulsan Marcia Kelley, specializes in 19th and 20th Century art glass, with an emphasis on Tiffany, Steuben, Gallé, and Daum; as well as high-end porcelain, including Dresden, Meissen, Sèvres, and Limoges.

Marcia Kelley of Tulsa Antiques

Marcia Kelley of Tulsa Antiques

It’s rarely a brief shopping experience, as customers linger before the sparkling glass cases, taking in the quality and rarity of the exquisite objects inside. Glass treasures aren’t the only ones offered. The cozy store is also arranged with antique furniture, decorative objects, fine art, lamps, pottery, silver, and other unusual finds, representing all price points. Tulsa Antiques’ customer base includes collectors from around the country, but Marcia hopes her store will become a regular stop for more Oklahomans also.  

After years of studying, collecting, and selling art glass – which takes her to auctions, exhibitions, museums, and galleries around the world – Marcia has acquired immense knowledge she’s happy to share with interested customers. And while her enthusiasm for the art form was born with antique glass, she expresses strong appreciation for works by contemporary glass makers, also represented in her store. It’s located at 4305 East 31st Street.

We asked Marcia to talk about her favorite topic:   

How did you become interested in art glass?

I was introduced to glass as an art medium in the early 90’s by a friend who was (and still is) an enthusiastic collector. Although I was generally familiar with antique glass as a collectible, I was unaware how much the development of artistic glass in the late 19th and early 20th centuries energized the glass industry in Europe and America – and in doing so, influenced the decorative direction of other fields such as ceramics, jewelry, and even architecture.

Who are some of the glass artists you most admire? 

Of course, more people will be familiar with glass maker’s names such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frederick Carder’s Steuben Glass, and in France – Daum and Gallé.  These iconic producers wowed the crowds that visited the Paris exhibitions with fresh designs; some were based in nature – multi-layered and cameo-carved vases that possessed the graceful quality of a watercolor, and others having mesmerizing, iridescent metallic surfaces that imitated the decaying glass exhumed from the deserts in the Middle East. I love the glass of Tiffany, Steuben, Daum and Gallé, but some of the most interesting, (but not necessarily commercial or valuable) examples in my personal collection are those made by not-so-well-known artists who may have worked techniques that the aforementioned glass icons made commercially successful. 

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What do you find most interesting about glass as an art form?

Glass stays interesting because it is a chameleon. What else but glass can appear to be liquid and solid – sometimes in the same work. Glass can be made to appear gossamer like silk, or similar to the hard, reflective surface of metal. It is an art form that requires not only imagination and artistic talent, but also an understanding of chemistry and engineering. It takes such finesse to work, but not without physical strength and endurance. And what other art form requires the very breath from the artist’s lungs? 

What advice do you have for a novice who’s interested in learning about art glass?

Fortunately today, good resource materials and books are easy to find at the library and online. Whenever you can, go see art glass that is displayed at shops, shows, and museums. A trip to The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York is well worth the effort. The more you know about the wonderful art glass made during the late 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th century, the better you will be able to appreciate this art form for its beauty and technical excellence. 

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What's This?

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This is an egg scale from the early 1900s. As chicken and egg production became more systemized, hatcheries began to use “egg graders,” which calculated the weight of a single egg.

The demand for these gadgets grew during World War I, when the price The War Department paid depended on an egg’s size. Chicken growers also learned they could get premium prices at their local grocery for pre-graded eggs. WWII expanded the demand, with most of these devices produced from the early 1920s through 1940s. This particular model is a 1920s Zenith Pedigree Scale, 8 ½ inches tall, made in New York of cast iron and aluminum. Estate sales are a great place to find fun vintage kitchen gadgets like this one.

 
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This is an 1890 EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) pedestal banana stand in the “Crystal Wedding” pattern. The stand looks somewhat like a cake stand, with two sides folded up in a u-shape. EAPG, aka “pressed glass,” was made by American glass companies during the Victorian period, circa 1850-1910.

What about in 2017? Not just for bananas! Great for cutlery, napkins or breadsticks at your next party, hand towels or soaps in your bathroom, or holiday decorations any time of year. It’s entertaining to mix older glass with your contemporary faves. Fun finds such as this are just one of the reasons why it pays in many ways to shop estate sales. Silvey Estate Sales will go bananas if you like our page and sign up for our email list.