How much mon­e­tary bite does 19th cen­tury sand­wich-glass fig­urine have?

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Residences - Anne Gil­bert

Ques­tion: This dark-pur­ple glass bear jar was tucked away in my late grand­mother’s drawer. No one in the fam­ily knows any­thing about it, ex­cept that it is old. A dealer told me it was prob­a­bly “sand­wich glass.” What does that mean, and how old is it? Is it bet­ter than a garage-sale item, and what is the value?

An­swer: Your glass bear is a po­made jar and was made by the Bos­ton & Sand­wich Glass Co. some­time be­tween 1850 and 1870. It is one of the many types of whim­si­cal jars with lids­made in the form of an­i­mal or rep­tile fig­ures.

There was a time when glass pro­duced by the com­pany, in Sand­wich, Mass., was known as the “Bac­carat of Amer­ica” for its lacy, pressed-glass pieces, dat­ing back to 1826.

How­ever, dur­ing its 65 years of op­er­a­tion, many other tech­niques were used, in­clud­ing blown-molded, cut over­lay, ruby-stained and blown-molded opal. Its many forms in­cluded whale-oil lamps, vases, lacy-pat­tern cup plates, and fig­u­ral can­dle sticks. The com­pany also de­signed util­i­tar­ian ob­jects such as jars and drawer knobs.

There were even toy ver­sions made of adult-size pieces, in both col­ored and clear glass. Color al­ways com­mands a higher price. Your bear could sell at auc­tion for $200 or more.

To learn about your an­tique, send a photo, along with its his­tory, size, any sig­na­tures and a self-ad­dressed stamped en­ve­lope and $25, to Anne Gil­bert, P.O. Box 740136, Boyn­ton Beach, FL 33437.

This piece could be worth around $200 to a col­lectibles dealer.

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