The results of the Toomey & Co. Art & Design sale, September 16, 2018

I am now publishing once a week, on Monday.


Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, Oak Park, IL, held an Art & Design sale yesterday, September 16, 2018. Included in the sale were a number of ceramic and glass lots by Newcomb College, Tiffany Studios, Gallé and Daum — the subject of today’s blog.

Newcomb College chocolate set, Toomey lot #214

Lot #214 was a Newcomb College chocolate set. It sold well, exceeding its high estimate of $12,000, realizing $16,250, including buyer’s premium. I’m quite fond of the work of Newcomb College, but I tend to buy only scenic vases, rather than floral items. It’s just personal taste and what sells best for me. I had no interest in this lot.

Tiffany Studios Grapevine carriage clock, Toomey lot #391

I tried to buy a very nice Tiffany Studios Grapevine carriage clock, but couldn’t because the price was too high for a clock with damage. Two glass panels were cracked and the door hinge was broken. It sold below it’s aggressive estimate of $4,000 – $6,000, realizing $3,250, including buyer’s premium.

Daum Prairie vase, Toomey lot #475

The best French cameo glass vase in the sale, a Daum Prairie vase did very well. It sold for $20,000, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 – $7,000. Prairie vases are rare and very desirable, but this example didn’t have the best color and had some minor damage to one of the flowers, apparently from a slight impact somewhere in its history. I would have bid more strongly than I did if the condition were perfect. I was not the buyer.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


No shows until Antiques + Modernism Winnetka (IL), November 1-4, 2018. We always look forward to our twice yearly exhibits in the greater Chicago area. But remember we’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. 

I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

What’s new at Philip Chasen Antiques?

I am now publishing once a week, on Monday.


Important Louis Tiffany Favrile vase

We haven’t exhibited at a show since last May at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. That’s given us plenty of time to search far and wide for the best American and French glass and lamps, with great success.

Here’s a sample of what we’ve recently bought. We’ll bring it all to the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show next week, but it’s all for sale before we get there (hint, hint).

Very rare and beautiful Schneider vase with applied tulip


Rare Gallé vase with a beetle and oak leaves


Very rare Marblehead Pottery vase with herons


One of 15 new Tiffany Grapevine desk set items I recently purchased

I’ve got new items in every category from American glass, pottery, desk sets and lamps to French glass and lamps. Check them out on my website or email me. I’ve got plenty of items I just haven’t had the time to list.

You can print this form or click on it for free tickets for two people

BTW, it’s not too late to make your plans to attend one of the best antique shows in the country. The show opens to the public on Thursday, August 30th, at noon and runs until Sunday, September 2nd, at 6 PM. There are still plenty of high quality, inexpensive rooms. Check out hotwire.com.


We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

Add this new type of Daum Nancy reproduction to your list

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.


In my duties as the paid glass and lamps expert for several major auction houses, I’m regularly asked to review items for potential sale at auction. This past week I reviewed an interesting vase.

Most reproduction vases are low enough quality that it takes me a millisecond to identify them. The example above took a few seconds, as the quality of some reproduction vases is improving.

Let’s take a closer look, as there are no instant giveaways that an untrained eye would notice. The most obvious is the top rim, which rarely has a ring of colored glass and seldom is ground flat (but there are plenty of exceptions to that rule).

This vase is authentic

Next let’s move to the martelé wheel-carving in the background. It’s very uneven and carved too deeply into the background color. Pictured above is an example of martelé carving on authentic Daum vase. It’s more even and more subtle.

Notice the center of the flower is acid-etched and appears hollow. Daum didn’t do that.

The signature is bad, but that would be very tough for an amateur to tell. In this example, notice the A in Daum is modern (and different from the A in Nancy) and the M has a curved trough at the end. They’re just wrong.

Lastly is the color scheme, which is close, but off. That observation would take a trained eye.

I’m curious whether reproductions of this type are coming from Romania. Most of the Gallé and Daum reproduction glass is Romanian. Let me know if you know.

If you still can’t tell if your vase is authentic, I am available for authentications/appraisals. My fee is $125 for the first item and $75 for each additional.


The Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is now only three weeks away, at the end of this month, August 30 – September 2, 2018. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

What was so special about a Daum vase I recently sold?

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.


Daum vase with applied flower

I recently sold a small Daum vase that looked innocuous, but was actually special. Let’s take a look under the hood.

First we have to look at the single flower, whose center was molten applied with blue internal coloration during the making of the vase. After cooling, an artist hand-engraved (wheel-carved) a bumpy texture (martelé) onto the flower center and details into all of the leaves. To complete the vase, the artist carved a martelé texture into the background and the foot rim.

Daum vases with wheel-carving often had hand-engraved signatures, as was the case with this vase. It’s fancy, textbook-perfect, and found on the underside.

The vase wasn’t very flashy or colorful, but it was sophisticated because of the number of difficult techniques employed in its manufacture. That and the high-quality workmanship made it special.


The Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is now only six weeks away, at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018. We were forced to give up shows like Denver. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

Mixed results at Morphy Auctions first Lamps, Glass & Jewelry auction, June 20-21, 2018

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.


James D. Julia, Inc., now a division of Morphy Auctions, held a Lamps, Glass & Jewelry auction on June 20-21, 2018 with approximate total sales of $2.8 million. The first day focused on silver and jewelry, with some strong results. The second day was dedicated to glass and lamps, with mixed strong and soft results. Today’s post will only focus on the lamps and glass.

Monumental Gallé Clematis table lamp, Morphy lot #752

The top lot of the entire sale was #752, a magnificent, enormous Emile Gallé Clematis table lamp. It was an example of the largest Gallé lamp known to exist, 31″ tall x 20½” diameter. To make sure the lot sold, the consignor lowered the reserve to half the low estimate of $120,000, or $60,000. I bid $60,000 to open the lot, but then dropped out. The bidding continued long after I was out. The lamp sold for $184,500, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $120,000 – $150,000. It wasn’t too surprising considering another Gallé lamp of the same size and shape, but with Wisteria decoration, sold at Christie’s New York in June of 2017 for $331,500. The consignor at Morphy’s sale was very nervous prior to the sale and ebullient after the sale.

Tiffany Turtleback lantern

The top lot of the Tiffany lamps was a Turtleback lantern, not a table lamp. It sold as lot #802 for $67,650, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $35,000.

Thomas Webb & Sons Alligator perfume bottle, Morphy lot #909

The most unexpected result of the sale was for lot #909, a rare glass alligator perfume bottle in its original box. Bidding started online at $400 and continued for 77 bids until it was finally sold in the auction room for the astonishing price of $67,200, against a pre-sale estimate of $800 – $1,500. Apparently it was a very rare bottle by Thomas Webb & Sons, pictured in some obscure literature, but never seen in person. The sale was winding down after selling over 900 lots when the excitement started. It sold just a few lots short of the end of the sale at lot #926. Nobody in the room was expecting that kind of action so late in the sale. Morphy’s didn’t know what they had, so they just catalogued it as a rare alligator bottle, with no known attribution. At least two bidders knew what it was and that’s all it took for a fantastic result.

For the complete results of both days of the sale, click here.


No shows until the Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018, as we were forced to give up shows like Denver. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

What’s special about this Gallé vase?

For the foreseeable future I will publish once a week on Mondays.


One cabochon is the sun with acid-etched rays and the other is the center of a flower

Occasionally I sell a French cameo vase that is worthy of discussion. Today’s Gallé vase is quite interesting, incorporating a variety of techniques.

Notice the cabochons on this side of the vase are acid-etched

First notice the vase is transparent. That immediately tells you the vase is early Gallé, from the Cristallerie period in the 1880s-1890s. Then look at the giant applied cabochons, four in all, all different. One cabochon represents the sun, with acid-etched rays surrounding it. The others are the centers of flowers.

The “sun” cabochon has internal foil decoration, but no acid-etching

It’s interesting to note the presence of metal foil within the glass. How did they do that? There was only one way. As the molten vase was being formed on a punty (the metal rod  used to hold the vase), the metal foil was applied to the outside of the vase. While still hot, more transparent glass was applied over the entire vase, encasing the foil. Now it was inside.

Wait, there’s more. The vase was then rolled in powdered, colored glass on the marver (usually a flat metal table) several times and heated in the furnace between each application. This added a uniform colored layer of glass to the outside. Finally heated glass discs (the cabochons) were applied to the outside. Then the vase was ready for the annealing oven, where it cooled slowly over the course of a full day or more.

This is a fancy, acid-etched Gallé signature only found on early vases

We’re not finished as there’s no design on the vase yet. So it went to an artist who covered the vase with a resist (a waxy substance or other acid-resistant covering like bituminous paint). The vase then went into a tank of hydrofluoric acid, where the unprotected glass was eaten away. Voila, the vase then had a design, but was still unfinished.

Notice the wheel-carving in the background on the left, the internal foil and the acid-etching of the cabochon

The flaws in the background were removed by wheel-carving. (You can see the wheel marks when turning the vase in reflected light.) The very last step was to heat the outside of the vase with a broad flame. This technique is called fire-polishing and gave a shine to the exterior. The vase was finished and I’m tired just thinking about it!

I hope now you have a better understanding and appreciation of all the time and effort that went into this special vase.


Our next show is not until May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

I sold a few French cameo glass treasures in 2017

For the foreseeable future I will publish once a week on Mondays.


As most of you know, I’ve specialized for decades in the finest French cameo glass. I am continually buying and selling. Here are a few of the best items I sold in 2017.

Magnificent Gallé tulip vase

Gallé glass doesn’t get much better than this incredible 14″ wheel-carved Tulip vase. It’s not an understatement to call it killer.

Daum Poppy vase


Daum vases with padded and wheel-carved flowers are very sophisticated and usually beautiful, as evidenced by this gorgeous vase with three differently colored poppies. The white layer below each flower creates more opacity and contrast for a beautiful effect.

Argy-Rousseau Lion vase

I sold many Argy-Rousseau pâte-de-verre vases and lamps in 2017. This Lion example is one of the most beautiful. I’ve sold this model before, but never with such striking color.

I’m always looking to buy quality French cameo glass, so call or email me with your items for sale. 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. And don’t forget to email me with your wants. I may have what you want or know where to find it.


Our next show is not until May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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.

How to clean antique glass including Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and French cameo glass

Monday’s post will be up by noon.

Please note that I am permanently changing Thursday’s post day to Friday.

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


Every once in a while, I will re-post one of my most widely viewed blogs of the last nine years. This is one of the top three, originally written on September 14, 2009.

Having sold many thousands of antique glass vases over the years, I’ve learned a lot about how to clean them from trial and error. It also doesn’t hurt to have a Master’s Degree in Chemistry.

Most people are quite timid about using chemicals on glass. They’re afraid they’ll ruin their vases by removing the decoration or somehow damaging them. There are very few times this would actually be true. Cold-painted decoration on a vase could be ruined by the use of some chemicals but Tiffany Favrile vases and French cameo vases by Daum, Gallé, and others have no cold-painting, so all of the steps I describe below are appropriate. If you suspect that your vase has cold-painting on it, test a small area with one of the cleaners below, using a Q-tip. If any color comes off, stop and use only the mildest cleaners.

Eco-House citrous thinner

Eco-House citrous thinner

The first step is to remove any sticky substances, which will dissolve in organic solvents such as mineral spirits or acetone (nail polish remover). There are also some good  commercial products available, such as Goo Gone, available at stores like Home Depot or Office Depot, or online. Another product I like is citrous thinner, made from orange peels. It smells a lot better than the other solvents and is quite effective. Click here if you’d like to order it.

Start by looking for anything sticky with your eyes and your fingers. Put very little solvent on a Q-tip, rag or paper towel. Rub the affected area until the dirt or stickiness is gone. Mineral spirits is a gentler solvent than acetone, so try it first. Mineral spirits is especially good for removing the gum from old labels. Use acetone second, if you need a stronger solvent. These various solvents will also remove crayon, sap, or any similar substance.

Easy-Off Fume Free

Easy-Off Fume Free

Next we’re ready for aqueous cleaning. I suggest you do this in a sink. Most of the cleaners will make your vase slippery, so be very careful not to lose control and break it. The gentlest cleaners are dishwashing liquid or Windex. I like to use them with an old toothbrush. Scrub the vase with the first cleaner and see if the dirt comes off. If it’s stubborn, you can proceed to the next level of cleaning power with commercial products like Scrubbing Bubbles or Dow Bathroom Cleaner. Repeat the process. Spray the vase, let it sit for a few minutes and clean again with a toothbrush or similar brush. If that’s not strong enough, you can go to the highest level of cleaning power — Easy-Off, of which there are two types available. The blue can, labeled “Fume Free” is the one I recommend. (It’s not really fume free, but it’s not too bad.) It’s powerful and should remove any leftover dirt. Finally, rinse your vase thoroughly in plain water and dry completely with an old towel. If it’s safe, let it dry upside down. It’s a good idea to use gloves to protect your hands, an apron to protect your clothing and glasses to protect your eyes. Easy-Off in the yellow can is lye (sodium hydroxide). It’s very powerful. It will eat through the dirt nicely, but also through your clothes and skin, and can severely damage your eyes. Immediately flush with plain water if you have an accident. You’ll know you’ve gotten it on your skin if it feels slimy.

To clean the inside of your vase, you’ll need various brushes to reach hard-to-get-to areas. Just use one of the sprays above, let sit, and brush away. Justman Brush Company sells hundreds of different brushes.

A sick vase whose glass has been etched on the interior

Vases that have been filled with water can present bigger problems, such as scratches on the interior. The second and more serious problem is sick glass, which includes etching of the glass interior or the depositing of lime or other minerals. Etching will appear as frosting, while depositing will appear as white crust. Cleaners will not effectively fix these problems. The only real way to treat problems of this sort is to go to an expert who can “tumble” the vase to resurface the interior. It’s basically the same as sandpapering the entire interior — great for a transparent vase, but not as good for a vase that has a finish on the interior, like an iridescent vase. Use this link for Paul Nulton, who used to do this kind of work, but may or may not still be in business.

Sometimes vases were kept in homes where the owners smoked or had smoky fireplaces or stoves. The vase will probably appear to have dingy color. With a minimum amount of effort, the results can be quite gratifying, revealing unexpected bright and beautiful colors!

Good luck! (Have a good story to tell me? Please send it to philip@chasenantiques.com)


Our next show is not until May 18-20, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the 2nd edition of the resurrected Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It’s a wonderful venue for a show that deserved to be restored from purgatory.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. 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 the Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show, February 2-4, 2018

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.


There were a few people in our booth on Sunday

The Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show is over. We did quite well, selling across the board including four lamps, French cameo glass and Tiffany lamps, glass and desk pieces. Attendance was fairly decent the first two days, but Sunday was quite slow. Even still we sold every day including two sales on Sunday.

A Tiffany Studios 7-light lily table lamp was one of four lamps we sold

Asking around, I heard about 50/50 good comments vs. complaints. Glass dealers did fairly well while painting dealers I spoke to did not.

Now we’re getting ready for the big Original Miami Antique show at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Center. It opens to the public this Friday at 11 AM and continues until Monday at 5 PM. Got my fingers crossed it will go well. It’s a much bigger show than last week’s Airport Show, so there’s more action. If you can only make one show in Miami, this is the one. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. Stop by and say hello.

Can’t wait to get back into the renovated Miami Beach Convention Center next year. Construction is supposed to be finished by August, 2018, so I’m hopeful it will come true. More on that in a future blog post.


I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items 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.

Strong results for Tiffany Studios’ items at Julia’s Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auction, December 1, 2017

Monday’s post will be up by noon.

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. Now that the weather is colder, I have gone back to publishing twice weekly, as often as possible.


Sorry for the temporary outage on my website and blog yesterday, January 17, 2018. There were some technical problems that were resolved, so everything should be up and running just fine now.

James D. Julia, Inc., held a Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry sale on December 1, 2017, with total sales over $2,500,000. The results were relatively strong for the entire sale, but especially strong for Tiffany Studios’ glass and lamps. 16 of the 17 highest priced lots were Tiffany Studios’ lamps — impressive, considering there were 739 lots in the sale.

Rare Tiffany Butterfly table lamp, Julia’s lot #1473

The top lots of the sale, #s 1428, 1473, and 1516, were all Tiffany Studios’ lamps that each sold for the identical price of $84,700, including buyer’s premium.

Tiffany Treasure Chest inkwell, Julia’s lot #1453

A rare and very desirable Tiffany Treasure Chest inkwell, lot #1453, sold for approximately twice its high estimate of $7,000, realizing $17,545, including buyer’s premium.

Rare Gallé Butterfly vase, Julia’s lot #1115

The top lot of the French cameo glass portion of the sale was #1115, a rare wheel-carved Gallé Butterfly vase. It was an interesting vase, technically very sophisticated, but not as eye-appealing as it could have been with muted colors and no decoration between the butterflies. It sold just below its low estimate of $18,000, realizing $19,360, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here. You will have to sign in (free) to see the prices.


The Miami shows are only two weeks away, with the first on February 2, 2018, when we’ll exhibit at the Miami Airport show. I’ve been beating the bushes finding new treasures and have come up with some beauties. I just listed over 18 new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look.

I will make every effort to actively list new items 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.