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Newsletter 01-15-2010

Happy New Year

We want to wish all of our subscribers and readers a very Happy New Year!!  This is the first edition of the Northern Virginia Antiques Newsletter for 2010 and hope to continue what we started almost six years ago . . . and that is to bring you the best information about antiques and collectibles in the Mid-Atlantic region.  We want to thank our advertisers and sponsors for a great year last year and hope that 2010 will bring you prosperity and joy.  During the month of December, we updated our Antique Show Calendars, added map pages for antique flea markets and farmers markets in the region as well as updated our Estate and Tag Sale Pages.

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Opalescent Glass

Much of the art glass that most people admire and collect today has at least its origins in the Victorian Era. One of the most significant discoveries from the era as far as glass is concerned is the invention of opalescent glass in England and France by companies such as George Davidson, and Sowerby.

The opalescence of the glass is created by the heating and cooling of various layers of glass and sometimes chemical additives to the glass are used.  Opalescent glass is characterized as semi-opaque glass, usually cloudy or milky-looking with soft yet vibrant colors; and it gets its name because of the resemblance to an opal.  The most popular colors for collectors are green, blue and cranberry. 

In the United States, opalescent glass did not become as desirable until the Art Nouveau period, when designers such as LeFarge and Tiffany began using it in their designs.  Today, some of the most popular art glass with collectors comes from manufacturers such as Fenton, Northwood and Kokomo.

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Where might I find Opalescent Glass?

Located at 107 West Washington Street in Middleburg, Virginia, Penny Farthing Antiques is a great place to buy Fine English and European Furniture, Clocks, and Decorative Arts.  Owners Lesley Clark and her husband John strive to keep the best inventory in their antique store and to add that unique personal service for every client.  They have their own antique restoration shop and will work directly with your designer to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.

The Historic Annapolis Antiques Show is scheduled for Friday – Sunday, January 15 – 17, 2010 at the Medford National Guard Armory in Annapolis, Maryland. This show which celebrates the “Faces of History” attracts some of the country’s best antique dealers featuring antique jewelry, furniture and decorative arts.  The Historic Annapolis Antiques Show benefits the Historic Annapolis Foundation.

January 16-17, 2010, New Hope Winter Antiques Show, Eagle Fire Hall, New Hope, Pennsylvania

January 22-24, 2010, Antiques in Charlottesville, Holiday Inn - University Area, Charlottesville, Virginia

January 23-24, 2010, Antiques at the Pier, Pier 94 - 12th Avenue & 55th Street, New York, New York

January 25, 2010, Annual Antiques Marketplace, Huntington Hilton Hotel, Melville, New York

The American Antiques Show will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on Thursday – Sunday, January 21 – 24, 2010. Now in its ninth year, this show attracts some of the foremost dealers in the country featuring 17th – 20th Century American folk art, antique furniture, decorative and fine arts.  The American Antiques Show benefits the American Folk Art Museum.

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Kokomo Opalescent Glass

Kokomo Opalescent Glass first opened its doors in 1888 in Kokomo, Indiana.  It all began with Charles Edward Henry moving his stained glass company from New Rochelle, New York.  Their initial contract was with Edison General Electric to produce glass insulators (which are also highly collectible today), but soon branched out to produce opalescent glass from leftover glass from the production of other products.  The opalescent glass products were then sold to other companies and designers including the Tiffany Glass Company and Decorative Stained Glass, owned by LeFarge.

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After an exhibition at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, Kokomo Opalescent Glass became popular across Europe and orders began to flow from all parts of the world.  However, by all accounts, although Mr. Henry was a great manufacturer, he was a poor businessman and ran into financial difficulty.  In 1891, after being in receivership for a few year, the Kokomo Opalescent Glass was sold and has been in business ever since, selling glass to many of the world’s designers.

Although their claim to fame was the beauty of the opalescent glass they produced, they also produced glass that was used in stained glass windows of churches all over the United States and abroad.  Chances are that if you are in an old church, the stained glass from those windows came from Kokomo.

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Dumb Mikey

Mikey and his two buddies Billy Joe and Bobby Ray were hanging around recently and decided to go for a spin in Billy Joe’s new wheels.  Unfortunately for them, they slid on ice and had a horrendous accident, sending them to meet their maker. When they get to the Pearly Gates, they are told by St. Peter that from there they have to climb 1000 steps to heaven.  At each step he will tell them a joke; if they don’t laugh they can continue up the stairs.  If they laugh, they will not be able to reach heaven.

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Up the stairs they go and Bobby Ray makes it to the 45th step before he laughs and is banished from heaven.  Billy Ray fairs much better making it to the 200th step before bursting out in laughter of St. Peter’s joke.  Mikey, makes it all the way to stair number 999 and then breaks up and chortles St. Peter tells him the joke.  “Why did you laugh,” St. Peter asks.  To which Mikey replies, “I just got the first joke.”

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When is a Nickel Worth $3.7 Million?

A nickel is worth $3.7 million when it is known as the Mona Lisa of rare coins and is only one of five minted.  The 1913 nickel, which was sold by Heritage Auctions in Orlando, is also known as the Olsen-Hawn piece and was once featured in an episode of the 1970’s television show, Hawaii Five-0.  At that time the coin was worth a mere $100,000 and coin experts predict that because of its rarity, this coin will someday break the $10 million mark.

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Upcoming Auctions

On Saturday, January 16, 2010, Mishler’s Auction of Hollsopple, Pennsylvania will hold an auction featuring firearms, military items, vintage toys and other antiques & collectibles.

Clark’s Auction Service of Bedford, Pennsylvania will hold an estate auction on Saturday January 16, 2010 featuring antique & modern furniture and decorative arts.

Waverly Auctions (Quinn’s Auction Galleries) in Falls Church, Virginia will hold a rare books auction on Thursday, January 21, 2010.

An estate auction will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2010, at Tillett’s Auction Barn in Ashburn, Virginia featuring antique furniture, clocks and watches, Zippos and other collectibles.

Personal property from the estate of William Muller, Charlottesville appraiser & antique dealer will be auctioned Saturday, January 23, 2010 at Harlowe Powell Auction in Charlottesville, VA

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Fake and Stolen Picasso Paintings

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist and sculptor and one of the most famous painters of the 20th Century. So much so, that fake works attributed to him have been sold for record money by unscrupulous dealers.  Most recently, authorities arrested Los Angeles antique dealer Tatiana Khan for commissioning an artist to forge “The Woman in the Blue Hat.”  The painting was being sold for about two million dollars before the purchaser got suspicious and checked with experts of Picasso paintings. Ms. Khan faces more than forty five years in federal prison if convicted of the charges.

Another of his painting was recently discovered after having been stolen more than ten years ago.  During the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 a Picasso painting was taken from the Kuwaiti National Museum.  In August, police recovered the paining in Yebla a town near Baghdad, Iraq.  This painting titled “La Mujer Desnuda” was allegedly stolen by a man who served in the security forces under then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.  This painting was easily identified by authorities because it still had the seal of the Kuwaiti National Museum. 

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Lefton China

George Zolton Lefton was a Hungarian Jew who left his home country for a better life in 1939.  Originally, Mr. Lefton was involved in making sportswear, however his passion and hobby had been collecting fine porcelains.  In 1941 he opened Lefton China in Chicago, Illinois and in 1945 he signed his first agreement with a Japanese company to import products marked “Made in Occupied Japan.”

The Lefton China Company produced many things over the years including cookie jars, figurines, head vases and teapots that are highly prized by collectors.  The quality of the goods that this company has produced over the years has been generally accepted as good.  Lefton China continued to import porcelain products from Japan until the mid-1970’s, after which they started importing from Taiwan and Malaysia.  In 2005, OMT enterprises purchased the company but Lefton products lives on.

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Upcoming Estate Sales

Estate Sale on Saturday & Sunday, January 16 & 17, 2010 at 2229 Double Eagle Court, Reston, Virginia, Antique Furniture, Vintage Collectibles, Waterford, Rosenthal, Meissen

Estate Sale on Saturday & Sunday at 158 Morristown Road, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Furniture, Electronics, Gym Equipment, Outdoor Benches, Bikes

Estate Sale Oon Saturday & Sunday at 120 E. Wilmont Avenue, Somers Point, New Jersey, Antique Furniture, Vintage Collectibles, Tea Pots, Tiffany, Memorabilia, Steuben

Estate Tag Sale on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 430 E G Street, Purcellville, Virginia, Antiques, Shabby Chic, Tableware, Linens, Rugs, most items $1-20:  Pictures Here . . .

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