Some treasures I’ve owned, part VI, art glass shades

This is installment VI of my “Some treasures I’ve owned” series. The topic was suggested to me by several collectors, but first by Matt Long.

I have a long history dealing in art glass shades, which includes one interesting story. I was exhibiting at a show on Long Island about 25 years ago, when I met a lovely older lady who saw I was interested in art glass shades. She told me she had some for sale and invited me to her home. When I walked in, she had about 125 mostly Quezal and Steuben shades displayed on several tables. At the time, she wanted $50 each for the gold ones and $75 each for the decorated ones — good prices even then.

Quezal blue pulled feather shade

Quezal blue pulled feather shade

I bought them all and then she invited me back for more. By the time she was finished with the shades, I had purchased about 500. I asked her how she had accumulated so many. She told me that when she was much younger, she would go to wealthy neighborhoods on trash day and find them for the taking. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that lasted about 10 years. I probably bought 10,000 objects from her, from $1 up, at great prices that she set. She was very knowledgeable but always priced her items so I could make money. She’s gone now, but she left me and my wife with fond memories of her.

One great shade I owned was a blue decorated Quezal, an extreme rarity and a real beauty (pictured above). This may be my favorite shade of all time.

Quezal dark green wave decorated and floral decorated shades

Quezal dark green wave decorated and floral decorated shades

Dark green shades are also rare and floral shades even rarer. Pictured at right are examples of both of them.

The ones that got away are also interesting. About 20 years ago, a dealer told me about a set of Quezal red shades with zipper decoration that was in a house. This is one shade I have never owned and never seen. I tried hard to get them, but the dealer was so low key, he let them get away. I heard they had made their way into some great collections.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. In the last few days I’ve added to the Gallé glass and Icart etchings listings. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link

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.

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