How to spot a fake Argy-Rousseau moth paperweight

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Reproduction Argy-Rousseau moth paperweight

A colleague/dealer from California was suspicious about an “Argy-Rousseau” pâte-de-verre moth paperweight he had purchased, so he emailed me photos for authentication.

The signature on the fake paperweight

The easiest way to tell a fake is the signature. Take a look above at the poorly hand-engraved letters of different thicknesses and matte finish. Now take a look at the photo below of an authentic signature. Each letter is shiny, with even width and depth. The signature was in the mold and not hand-engraved.

An authentic Argy-Rousseau signature (from a vase)

An authentic Argy-Rousseau moth paperweight

Now go back to the first photograph and take a look at the rest of the fake paperweight. It has a dull semi-matte finish with a grainy texture to the moths, unlike the shinier, smoother authentic paperweight. If you could hold both of them in your hands, the differences would be even more striking. And now you know the rest of the story. (Spoken slowly and with emphasis by Paul Harvey.)

Monday’s blog will be another lesson on French glass fakes. This time the subject will be a “Gallé” marquetry vase.


It’s almost time to travel to Chicago for our next show, the revived Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. I was quite sad when it folded a few years ago as it was always one of my favorite shows. The new edition will have a new promoter, Dolphin Promotions, headed by Rosemary Krieger. There hasn’t been an antique show in downtown Chicago for several years, so I’m hoping this one will be met with a lot of enthusiasm. The show runs from May 18-21, 2017.

I recently listed over 15 new items on my website and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The results of Christie’s New York sale, FRENCH ART GLASS: AN IMPORTANT NEW YORK PRIVATE COLLECTION, March 23, 2016

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Christie’s New York held a sale of important French glass, entitled FRENCH ART GLASS: AN IMPORTANT NEW YORK PRIVATE COLLECTION, on March 23, 2016. Sales totaled $1,948,375 for the 176 lots offered. Only three lots failed to sell, for an average of $11,262 per sold lot. I expected good results because this was a really fine collection and the market in French glass is buoyant. The collection consisted of mostly pâte-de-verre items, but included some cameo glass by Gallé, Daum Nancy and Muller.

Gallé Calla Lily vase, Christie's lot #29

Gallé Calla Lily vase, Christie’s lot #29

The top lot of the sale was #29, a huge Gallé blownout Calla Lily vase, in a rare color combination of white flowers and green leaves on a blue background. It easily exceeded its high estimate of $70,000, realizing $106,250, including buyer’s premium, even with open bubbles on the interior of the vase.

Argy-Rousseu Bird of Paradise table lamp, Christie's lot #69

Argy-Rousseu Bird of Paradise table lamp, Christie’s lot #69

A beautiful and rare pâte-de-verre table lamp by Argy-Rousseau, lot #69, was second best. Entitled OISEAUX DE PARADIS (Bird of Paradise), circa 1928, it sold for $81,250, against a pre-sale estimate of $35,000 – $55,000.

Argy-Rousseau Singes vase, Christie's lot #111

Argy-Rousseau Singes vase, Christie’s lot #111

I loved lot #111, a very rare Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vase entitled Singes, with monkeys, on a gorgeous blue and purple background. It sold above its high estimate of $20,000, realizing $27,500, including buyer’s premium, but I thought it would sell for even more.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Click on this image to buy tickets

Click on this image to buy tickets

Can you believe our next show is next week! We’ll be in Glencoe, IL, for the Garden, Antique & Design Show, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, starting April 15th. It’s a beautiful show, with both antiques and gardening, that you’ll absolutely enjoy. We only have two remaining shows in the greater Chicago area, so come and say hi!

If you’re selling, please let me know. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Some French cameo glass treasures I’ve owned (and sold) in 2015

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


2015 has been my best year ever in business. It was a very good year. (Think Frank Sinatra singing.) Thanks to all my loyal clients who have supported me. Following are a few of the highlights of the many French cameo glass treasures I bought and sold this past year, in no particular order.

Gallé blownout Rhododendron table lamp

Gallé blownout Rhododendron table lamp

I’ve never owned a Gallé Rhododendron table lamp before this year. It’s big, gorgeous and very rare.

Daum Nancy Weeping Willow vase

Daum Nancy Weeping Willow vase

I just love this vase. It’s very rare, but more importantly it’s killer. The decoration is the best and the shape is rare and fabulous.

Monumental Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vase Libation

Monumental Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vase Libation

Most Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vases are small to medium-sized. At 12¼” Libation is huge, stunning and rare.

Monumental Daum Nancy Swans vase

Monumental Daum Nancy Swans vase

How about a 16½” Daum Nancy vase with three swans? About as rare and beautiful as Daum gets.

I really need to buy more, so if you have something great, please offer it to me for sale. I am paying the highest prices of any dealer. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email me a jpeg.


I’ve been quite busy buying and selling recently, partly because I’ve listed many new items on my website. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.

We’re still very much in business between shows, especially since there are fewer shows nowadays. Please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The market in French glass is excellent. Thank you for asking.

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


We sold this important Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vase in Miami

We sold this important Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vase in Miami

I’ve been dealing in French cameo glass for over 40 years, so I have a pretty good handle on what’s going on. My conclusion is that the market is alive and well. The anecdotal evidence is all around. Let’s start with the first big show of the year, the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show. Here’s a quote from my blog of February 4, 2015. “French cameo glass continued on fiyah! (that’s fire for those who need translation). I cannot think of another show, ever, where more cameo glass was sold, not just by me, but by all the dealers.”

This important Gallé marquetry vase, Sur Socle Grand Iris, sold at Sotheby's in Paris for $476,325

This important Gallé marquetry vase, Sur Socle Grand Iris, sold at Sotheby’s in Paris for $476,325

Auction after auction has resulted in strong sales for good examples of French glass. Just last week a fine Gallé artistic vase sold for almost half a million dollars at Sotheby’s in Paris.

I sold this killer Daum Nancy farm scenic vase recently

I sold this killer Daum Nancy farm scenic vase recently

Personally, business has been wonderful. In fact, it hasn’t been this good since the late 1980s, when Japanese buyers dominated the market. Markets go up and they go down, so it’s refreshing to see the resilience of the French glass market.


No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, at the Denver Mart, EXPO Building, 451 East 58th Avenue, July 24-26, 2015. I’ll always be in touch, even while we’re in Europe, so please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Solid results at Sotheby’s Important 20th Century Design auction, June 12, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Sotheby’s was the first of the major auction houses to hold their 20th Century sale in June (20th Century month). Their Important 20th Century Design auction was held on June 12, 2013, with total sales of $4,738,940 — a strong result for a relatively small 165-lot sale. The top two lots of the sale were beyond my comprehension — a Paul Lobel silver-plated coffee service (lot #89, $449,000) and a François-Xavier Lalanne realistic sheep, Mouton, (lot #148, $341,000).

Rare Tiffany Studios Dragonfly and Waterflowers table lamp, Sotheby's lot #27

Rare Tiffany Studios Dragonfly and Waterflowers table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #27

Top lot of the Tiffany section of the sale (and third overall) went to #27, a rare Dragonfly variation called Dragonfly and Waterflowers, on a rare and desirable mosaic glass Arrowhead base. It sold at the high estimate of $200,000, for a total of $257,000, including the buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Studios 20" Dragonfly table lamp, Sotheby's lot #22

Tiffany Studios 20″ Dragonfly table lamp, Sotheby’s lot #22

My personal favorite Tiffany Studios lamp of the sale was lot #22, a 20″ diameter Dragonfly on a killer Bird Skeleton base, with a fabulous patina. The lamp sold for $161,000, near its high estimate of $150,000. It would have sold for more if the shade had been more exciting. This was one of those rare times when the base was worth more than the shade.

Rare Argy-Rousseau Monkey vase, Sotheby's lot #76

Rare Argy-Rousseau Monkey vase, Sotheby’s lot #76

There was a small, but excellent quality, selection of French glass in the sale, led by lot #76, a very rare Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre Monkey vase. It more than doubled its high estimate of $35,000, to sell for $87,500.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

No shows until July 19-21, when we’ll be in Denver. A fellow dealer convinced me to try the show again. She said the show has new promoters, who filled the hall with buyers the last time. So we’ll give it one more shot. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to call or write if you would like to buy, sell or trade.

Just got this incredible 8½" Daum blackbird vase (dirty in this photo, but soon to be cleaned)

Just got this incredible 8½” Daum blackbird vase (dirty in this photo, but soon to be cleaned)

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Wonderful A. Walter pate-de-verre vase with lizard, just in

Wonderful A. Walter pate-de-verre vase with lizard, just in

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

Results of the Winnetka Antiques + Modernism Show, October 22-24, 2010

Saturday afternoon in my booth


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I’d like to explain how we arrived at the results for this show, starting with the preview party. Don’t get me started on preview parties, or I’m likely to tell you how they are a waste of a dealer’s time; how I feel used because preview parties are not for selling but for the promoters to have a social occasion; how hot the room was, and what a bad mood I was in during and after the party. But since you didn’t get me started, I won’t mention it.

Friday was the first day of the show. Luckily the room had cooled down, so the temperature was comfortable for most of the day. Our room was in a corner of the building, so I think many of the attendees never even made it to our room. Attendance was light, mostly single older women, who did not seem to be interested in purchasing anything. And guess what? They didn’t. Friday was a long day from noon to 8 PM, with nothing of significance happening the entire day. It’s tough sitting there all day, waiting for something to happen, and trying to relieve the boredom. Someone remarked that this is a weekend show, meaning that attendance and action should get better on Saturday.

The weather was cooperative on Saturday — chilly and raining a little — perfect weather for an indoor activity, like visiting an antique show. Attendance did pick up significantly, with mostly couples. By the middle of Saturday afternoon, I hadn’t sold a single item. I broke the ice with the sale of a book. OK, at least the ice was broken. Next a decent sale, but to a client of mine, not a new one from the Winnetka area. Finally, later in the day, more of our clients showed up and purchased several items. Sooo, a decent day as far as sales, but not a good one for the show, because these were already my clients. As of Saturday afternoon, we weren’t coming back to the show. Not to mention the unnecessarily long day from 10 AM – 6 PM. Six hours would have been plenty for the public and kind to the dealers.

I expected equal attendance on Sunday, but I suspect it was a little lighter than Saturday. Didn’t know what to expect. I thought we could sell from zero to a more substantial number. What did happen was a couple of decent sales to new people — just what the doctor ordered. So now we’ll probably come back to try the show one more time, if they change our booth location to a more central one.

Argy-Rousseau moth paperweight

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Interest and sales were mostly items from the cabinets — no lamps or artwork. The only exception was the fabulous Ernst Wahliss sculpture of three witches on a broom, that I was showing for the first time. My clients were thrilled to get it and I was thrilled to sell it — it’s fragile and very difficult to transport and set up.

If you like my blog, please let your friends know by sending them a link. Then check out my new Daum, Gallé and R. Lalique acquisitions. I’ve listed them all on my website. I’ve listed another ten items in the last couple of days, including art pottery. Here’s the link chasenantiques.com

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The NYC Pier Show is coming this weekend, March 13-14, 2010

The NYC Pier Show, March 13-14, 2010

The NYC Pier Show, March 13-14, 2010

There are only a few shows each year that get people excited. The NYC Pier Show is one of them and it’s coming this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 13-14. Last fall’s show was a resounding success with incredible attendance. I haven’t seen the aisles as packed in years. It appears that the antiques business in general seems to be a leading indicator of the direction of the entire economy, and that’s up. On the New York Stock Exchange, Sotheby’s stock is near a multi-year high.

16 inch Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase

16 inch Tiffany Favrile Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase

What’s so special about the show? Mostly it’s great fun, because there’s an enormously eclectic group of dealers from high end Tiffany glass and lamps (that would be me) to vintage clothing and everything in-between. The expenses for exhibitors at this show are quite reasonable for the level of exposure. It allows many interesting dealers to exhibit, who might not otherwise be able to afford to exhibit at fancier shows. The show is frequented by many decorators who find the most unusual items at the show for their clients. Buyers fly into town from all over the world, including Japan and Europe. It’s a great excuse to come to New York and enjoy the show and the city. You won’t regret it! And wait until you see some of the characters who attend. They’re a hoot!

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile 12 inch decorated vase

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile 12 inch decorated vase

I’m bringing lots of new acquisitions that are special. How about a 12″ blue decorated Tiffany Favrile vase of the finest quality? A Tiffany Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase? Or an Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase? This is just a taste of the wonderful items I’m bringing.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding pottery by Newcomb College, Marblehead and Rookwood. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Pate-de-verre French glass by A. Walter and Argy-Rousseau, part II

The same Argy-Rousseau Cicada pendant in two color variations, Catalogue Raisonné No. 23.30

The same Argy-Rousseau Cicada pendant in two color variations, Catalogue Raisonné No. 23.30

French pâte-de-verre (pronounced pot, as in pot of stew) glass is amongst the most highly collectible of all French glass. Joseph-Gabriel Argy-Rousseau was one of the early proponents of this style of glass. He designed the original models from which the molds were made for the actual production of the glassware. Once the mold was made, it was possible to produce multiple examples of the same item. However, no two items were identical, as the mold was refilled with glass powders by hand, producing color variations. Many times, totally different colors were intentionally used, so the same model item can be found in completely different colors.

1924 Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Catalogue Raisonné No. 24.05

1924 Argy-Rousseau Poppy vase, Catalogue Raisonné No. 24.05

Argy-Rousseau produced many more vases than Almeric Walter, one of the other important French pâte-de-verre artists. Walter preferred to work with three-dimensional models of animals and flowers. He is most famous for his creatures, including lizards, butterflies, and bees, to name a few.

A. Walter butterfly paperweight

A. Walter butterfly paperweight

G. Argy-Rousseau book cover by Janine Bloch-Dermant

G. Argy-Rousseau book cover by Janine Bloch-Dermant

A wonderful book on the glass of Argy-Rousseau was published in 1991 by Janine Bloch-Dermant, entitled G. Argy-Rousseau, Glassware as Art. Included at the end of the book is a complete listing (Catalogue Raisonné) of all of the work by Argy-Rousseau. Each item was given a number, like 24.05, which meant the item was the fifth design from 1924. I checked on Amazon and there are a few copies of the book available, new and used, starting at $56.46.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding pottery by Newcomb College, Marblehead and Rookwood. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Pate-de-verre French glass by A. Walter and Argy-Rousseau

A. Walter pâte-de-verre tray with lizard

A. Walter pâte-de-verre tray with lizard

I buy and sell a lot of French cameo glass, mostly from the Art Nouveau period, 1890-1920, and the Art Deco period, 1920-1940. Some of the highest quality glass from these periods is not cameo glass, but rather pâte-de-verre (pronounced pot, as in pot of stew). It was formed in molds from colored glass powders and heated in kilns until the glass solidified, a process called vitrification. Upon removal from the molds, the items were cleaned with hydroflouric acid, washed, polished and finished for sale. Decorators such as Henri Bergé and Joseph-Gabriel Argy-Rousseau created the original models from which the molds were made. Multiple copies of the same model can be produced with a mold, so the differences that are seen are in the colors. Depending on the choice of colors or the firing temperature, each example of the same model will differ in color, but not design. Collectors value some colors more than others, so the price will vary for the same model. Muted colors tend to be less desirable and therefore lower in price.

Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre wolf vase

Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre wolf vase

Argy-Rousseau’s production included vases, sculptures, boxes, and pendants, whereas Walter produced very few vases. Argy-Rousseau’s most desirable models include animals like wolves or lions, or women, like ballerinas.

A. Walter pâte-de-verre paperweight with snail

A. Walter pâte-de-verre paperweight with snail

Almeric Walter produced his best work after the end of WWI into the 1920s. He is most famous for his 3-dimensional sculptures, especially with animals like lizards or insects like bees. He preferred to use opaque glass, whereas Argy-Rousseau used both translucent and opaque glass.

The start of the Depression in 1929 impacted the production of pâte-de-verre glass dramatically. Interest and production waned significantly in the 1930s. The glassware was mostly forgotten for decades and rediscovered later. By the 1970s, it had become highly collectible and has been ever since.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com