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Antiques Considered - August 5, 2009

altThis overlay cut glass vase comes from an estate in the Northern Neck.  The base color is green, and the thickness is about equal for the green and the white layers.   It still bears a worn old handwritten label from an antique shop indicating it once was priced at $40., but there is no original label or identifying hallmark. The enamel and gold leaf decoration is in fine condition, and the owner wonders if it could have been one of a pair.
Overlay cut glass is quite popular, and this is a very good example of it.   Most such pieces have red or blue as their base colors, but certainly green could not be called rare. At the factory the original green base received a white overlay application, after the firing of which the glasscutter made the marks which reveal the green beneath the white.The question of whether it is American or European is difficult to answer.  British, Italian, Austrian and American glassmakers produced such pieces, but from the overall appearance I would consider it to be American, dating from the early twentieth century, at the latest the 1930s.


The enamel painting of the flowers and the way the gold leaf has been applied indicate American, but many times I have seen similar work from European makers, particularly the Italians at the factories on the island of Murano near Venice, the visiting of which I recommend any tourists include on their itineraries.
As to whether it was one of a pair or not, glass factories made many of the same items, thus the purchasers could choose to buy one or two pieces.  That there is only one does not detract in determining its value, but, of course, pairs always are worth more than single items.  By itself this one is worth $150.  The gold leaf decoration is in great shape, but will not do well under constant washing, thus I suggest keeping the vase in a cabinet, when not being used, to retard dust and grime accumulation.

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