Archive for February, 2011

Cleaning Your Fine Cut Glass & Crystal

February 9th, 2011 by

Image: McKinley Hill Antiques

Contributed by – a membership-based service specializing in providing identification & appraisal advice on antiques & collectibles.

There is as much difference in the color of glass, meaning only transparent colorless glass or crystal, as there is in the color of diamonds. The beauty and value of antique Glass or Crystal, just like in the case of Precious Stones, are measured very largely by its perfection.

Fine antique glass should be of a purity that practically renders it invisible without any trace of yellow or green cast or opacity. Sometimes it will have a slightly bluish white color. Antique Glassware that otherwise seems clear with respect to its color when seen by itself will often appear at a decided disadvantage when placed beside a really fine piece.

Modern detergents and the use of a good bottle brush will generally suffice for removing the usual discoloration caused by the contents of decanters, cruets, perfume bottles, etc. Where cloudiness or stain persists, many remedies have been suggested and tried with varying degrees of success. Among them:

  • The use of Polident (used for cleaning false teeth)
  • Liquid Plumber (used for clearing clogged drains – highly caustic and requires careful handling)
  • Adding uncooked rice to vinegar and shaking vigorously
  • Using a tea bag with vinegar and letting it soak for 24 hours
  • Allowing chopped potato peel with a small amount of water to stand in a bottle overnight

Oiliness may be removed with alcohol left in for about 15 minutes. In each instance, the item should be thoroughly rinsed and dried afterwards. Strips of cloth may be inserted into bottles to dry them and then removed with a heavy wire or hook.

To obtain the best results, polishing was done in three stages. First, it was done with wooden wheels fed with pumice, stone and water; then brush or wool wheels with the same preparation, and lastly cork or felt wheels with finely compounded putty powder. About the turn of the century, the acid bath, quicker and less expensive came into use for polishing. It was hand-burnishing, however, that gave the superb brilliance down to the smallest detail.

Working the lather into the cuttings with a soft brush, or toothbrush will enhance the brilliance of the deeper and more intricate incisions. The glass should then be dried without draining on a soft towel. When perfectly dry, the cut surfaces should be gone over again with a clean dry brush. A soft, lint free cloth should then be used to give it a high polish.

Antique Glass which continues to cloud up after cleaning and rinsing is known as “sick glass.” It is caused by the formation and separation of crystals due to imperfect fusion of the metal or too high an alkaline content in the making. It can be professionally polished off and then “glass wax” applied if the area can be reached. Frequent applications of the wax will be helpful in delaying further deterioration. Unfortunately, this remedy is usually not practical where it is needed most – in the cleansing of bottle type containers.

The use of ammonia or strongly alkaline soaps on antique Glass or Crystal should be avoided. Extreme and sudden changes of temperature may also be harmful. Before using ice-cream platters, punch bowls, sherbet glasses or other pieces designed for frozen foods or chilled beverages, the glass should be allowed to stand for a few minutes in a cold place or held under a jet of cold water.

Cut glass with sterling silver mountings was once very popular. To this very day, many people consider the use of sterling articles with cut glass as the basis for the most elegant table settings. However, each section must be carefully cleaned using a different ‘set of rules’.  In general, in cases of antiques that are made of a mix of different materials, please be careful so as not to have certain chemicals or cleaning agents suitable for one material come in contact with other parts.

For information and useful advice on cleaning Metal items, including Antique Sterling Silver or Antique Silverplate, please see another article on under the “SILVER & JEWELRY” section.

You can also read the article, CARE, CLEANING and CONSERVATION METHODS for ANTIQUE METAL WARE: Useful tips in restoring Antique Lamps, Clocks, Ormolu, Spelter, Bronze etc, right here on the blog!  We’ll be posting this article next so be sure to come back for these useful tips!

What Our Dealers Are Saying About

February 7th, 2011 by

Hi Mark

This is Barbara from I was wondering if I could update my listings on your site with the attached feed in googlebase format. If so, will we lose the ‘order of display’ on our listing page? I have added around 400 or so more items with pictures.

Thank you for your referrals, we have had many sales due to your site.

Hope you are having a great year.

Barbara Dietrich

Sotheby’s – Old Masters Week Sales Results

February 7th, 2011 by

See the sales results for some of Sotheby’s most important auctions:

– Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture – from the Jan 27th 2011 auction

– Property from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp – from the Jan 25th 2011 auction

– Old Master Drawings – from the Jan 26th 2011 auction

– Important Old Master & 19th Century Paintings from the Collection of Jacob Elie Safra – from the Jan 26th 2011 auction

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts

February 7th, 2011 by

Auction: Feb 6th 2011  11:00 am

Auction: Feb 7th 2011  12:00 pm

The Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers specializes in offering an array of property guaranteed to draw both experienced and emerging collectors from around the world.  The auctions are held four times a year and feature fine selections consigned by estates, private individuals, museums and institutions from across the country.  Each encompasses centuries of craftsmanship, design, innovation, and evolution from across the world and includes American, English and Continental Furniture and Decorative Arts; Twentieth Century Decorative Arts; Asian Works of Art; and Rugs, Carpets and Textiles.

Sotheby’s – Important Watches

February 7th, 2011 by

Important Watches Auction: May 15th 2011  Geneva

Sotheby’s will provide a complimentary appointment for a valuation of your watch, or collection, should you require one.

Sotheby’s – Important Jewels

February 7th, 2011 by

Important Jewels Auction: Feb 2nd 2011  New York

Sotheby’s New York is accepting Consignments for their April 14th of Magnificent Jewels.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – The Dick Buckley Jazz Collection

February 7th, 2011 by

Enjoy cognac and beer in honor of Dick Buckley and a private preview of property from The Dick Buckley Jazz Collection:

Wed, Feb 16th 2011, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Phillips de Pury & Company – Contemporary Art

February 3rd, 2011 by

AUCTION: FEBRUARY 17 &18, 2011 7PM, 2PM, 4PM
VIEWING: FEBRUARY 5 – 17, 2011

Happy Birthday To Us!

February 3rd, 2011 by turned a year on Feb 1st 2011!  Thanks to all of our vendors for helping us to build our site into one of the best antiques sites on the web!  We’ve had more than 15oo dealers join in the fun so far, and we’re always looking for more.  We’re excited to offer over 80,000 items for sale on, but that number increases every day as more and more vendors sign up to be a part of our growing family.

To all of the people that visit looking for the perfect gift, trying to spruce up their home with a beautiful antique, or simply out of curiosity, thank you for coming!

And for everyone, vendors and antique aficionados alike, we’ve recently added a few features to our home page that we think you’ll enjoy!

– First, check out the Deal Of The Day – Each day we’ll offer a new deal from a vendor that is eager to give you a beautiful antique for a steal!

– Next, feast your eyes on the Cool Antique Of The Week – Each week we’ll show you something interesting from the site that is available to be purchased and fawned over by it’s new owner!

– And finally, have some fun with What Is This Antique? – Each week we’ll choose a new and interesting, if not a bit obscure, antique to feature for this game.  Take a guess, or several guesses, at what you think it is, and then each Monday we’ll publish the list of guesses submitted by everyone, along with the actual name and description of the antique. strives to offer a wide variety of beautiful and interesting antiques, collectibles, and fine art pieces.  We’re looking forward to another stellar year where we add to our already impressive list of vendors and push our inventory to over 100,000 items!  So Happy Birthday To Us!  We’re looking forward to another fantastic year!

Runway To Green

February 1st, 2011 by

There is no limit to the power of fashion and, this year, the industry is setting its sights on building a brighter, better, and infinitely greener future by participating in a new program, Runway to Green. The program, which funds leading environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has to date called on 24 fashion brands and designers to dedicate an item of their choosing from their Fall 2011 collection or create an item for the effort, and everyone from Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander Wang, and Burberry have jumped on board. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of these items will go directly to Runway to Green. Participating designers will take their environmental efforts a step further by working with NRDC’s educational program Clean by Design to find ways to green their own businesses and create more sustainable practices.

The program, which kicks off on March 29, 2011, in partnership with Christie’s “Bid to Save the Earth” event in New York City, will be launched with a spectacular soiree hosted by FrançoisHenri Pinault, Salma Hayek, Susan and David Rockefeller, Jr., Graydon and Anna Carter, and Vogue. The evening includes a live fantasy auction and a Runway To Green fashion show styled by Vogue Fashion Director Tonne Goodman (who, among many other things, oversees the magazine’s regular Style Ethics column) and stylist and Vogue Contributing Editor Tabitha Simmons. “While we are always happy to be planning a great party, it’s especially gratifying to be working on something that is truly such an important cause,” says Vogue Director of Special Events Sylvana Ward Durrett. “This is an issue that everyone, no matter what you do, needs to stay focused on.”

The collection will be available exclusively on Net-A-Porter before it hits stores in the fall, and there will also be a companion online auction for the event on

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