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Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ebay listing from blog reader Tim

After browsing on eBay I finally said enough is enough. I am auctioning off several items and I listed the first one already. More will come. What I did do is include a short commentary on Blenko auctions in my ad. I  have already received some interesting feedback. I'd like to know what your readers think.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261316675891?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1586.l2649
-Tim


Vintage Blenko #413L Ruby Giant Goblet 
Pre-designerOkay, so you've been looking on eBay for a nice piece of Blenko Glass, but if you do a thorough search as I often do you will see an alarming trend. 1. Most sellers wouldn't know Blenko Glass if came up and slapped them on the face.  Either they are too lazy or out for a quick buck. DO SOME RESEARCH! There are plenty of resources out there! You should never have to see "Blenko?" on an auction. 2. People who are trying to sell at an exorbitant price. Pulling numbers out of  thin air hoping just to make a quick buck, or worse. If they overpaid for their items, that's their fault not yours. You should not subsidize someone else's ignorance. The vast majority of Blenko Glass can be purchased for less that $400-$500. Of course, rare and hard to find pieces are the exception, but those pieces are few and far between. 3. Lastly there are those who slap "RARE" "HARD To FIND" and "ONE OF A KIND" on everything they have.  Here is a rule I was told by a more experienced collector, when I first started, regarding online auctions: 75% of items listed as Blenko are not, and more that half of what is Blenko is either misidentified or over-priced.  On to the good stuff! A little background info on this design. It is a beautiful Ruby giant goblet made during the pre-designer era at Blenko Glass. Blenko Design No. 413L. Blenko Glass was originally called Eureka Art Glass for their discovery of an elusive ruby formula.  Here is a perfect example of all their labor!  Imagine this item as part of your bar set. Better yet--you may even just enjoy it as a beautiful piece of Blenko Art Glass that stands on its own. If you prefer, you can place it on a shelf or window sill and watch the light pass through it. This Giant Goblet stands almost 13 inches tall! I have photographed it next to a Gold 413L (NOT FOR SALE) so you can see how much more substantial this ruby goblet is next to the yellow one. It is quite heavy and thicker than you average giant goblet. You will not regret getting this lovely piece. If you do, send it back and I will refund all of your moneyThere is no cloudiness, glass sickness, breaks or chips of any kind. Of course, it contains some normal wear and of course the Blenko pontil mark.  This item has a fair opening bid and no reserve. Check out my other auctions. Flat shipping rate of $30.00 for this piece (insurance optional) due to it's weight and size.  No hidden fees or charges.  Good luck!


http://www.ebay.com/itm/261316675891?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1586.l2649







13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right on Tim!!!!

I just got off of bay and just as Tim says there are an incredible amount of fraudulent listings under the "Blenko" name. On one page of Blenko listings I counted over sixty three as falsely identified of the two hundred items listed on that one page! What you need to remember is that most antique dealers are aware that the name Blenko is associated with colorful/ pretty glass that is currently in high demand. I have gone into shops and seen what the dealer knew to be Blenko marked sky high while in the same store pieces that were not common were dirt-cheap. That said there are numerous dealers on ebay that will take advantage of the current market so you will learn quickly which ones to avoid. I have a small list which is comprised of only four sellers that I will not deal with. The other thing you need to remember is most people don’t have a clue as to a piece being Blenko or not. That is why you can go to Blenko on Ebay and see almost half of the listings sometimes not being Blenko at all. Blame it on Blenko not etching their name on their wares or the incredible amount of designs that were produced over the years but this works to our advantage as collectors. But you need to do your research before getting involved in a bidding war.

Tim is giving you some great advice for free. Take advantage!

Bruce Specht

Tim please give me a call some time. We need to catch up.

Anonymous said...

you get what you pay for. same for free advice.

Tim said...

Thanks Bruce! I've heard from both sides of the aisle. A couple of sellers who appreciated my "open letter". They do as much research as possible and price according to their standard nark up. I have also heard from a "eye gouger" (my words) who asked me when I became the "Blenko police" and he wasn't doing anything wrong.

"you get what you pay for. same for free advice"
True, but on eBay you much more likely overpay for what you get or not even get what you think you are getting. I am grateful that a select few more experienced collectors took the time to show me the pitfalls a newbie collector might miss. Agree or disagree, doesn't really matter to me or how I will approach collecting. As for free advice. Haven't you heard? Some of the Best things in life are FREE!

penny said...

I am a new less than 3 years collector.
I disagree, most of the advice I have received has been free
and it has prevented me from making costly mistakes.
I bought my first 7 pieces from an expensive modern glass website. Later I was told to stop buying glass. Buy books and visit glass, thus learning the feel of Blenko and being able to identify the item.
My last purchases have been good and perhaps a bit more than the $300 Tim suggest.
I now have the beginnings of a good collection.
Not a warehouse of glass.

Anonymous said...

Hello, we have been Blenko collectors for a long time. Our parents were collectors. We have bought and sold a lot of Blenko on eBay and elsewhere. I agree with some of what you are saying as we have been frustrated with the flood of glass labeled as Blenko when it is clearly not. However, I disagree with a few of your points. First is price. I realize that to a lot of Blenko collectors much of the allure is to find a great piece at a bargain price. I am a little that way myself. Others may be willing to pay more (sometimes way more) than we might simply because they can't afford the time. I see no harm in this. Still other buyers are not collecting at all but simply buying a nice piece of glass for decorating or as gift for a friend. Again, they may be willing to pay a little more as well. Secondly, I have learned that terms like "rare" or "hard to find" are all relative. We live near Blenko right in the heart of a lot of collectors both large and small. So when I see a piece for the first or second time I feel comfortable calling it rare. However, someone living in Texas or California may have seen that same piece dozens of times. A good example of this is the Gumps decanter. Rare here...not so much in California. The 992 you shared a picture of in an earlier post is almost nonexistent here. I bet a few more found there way to Texas. Lastly, the terms "one of a kind" and "experimental" are generally locally born as well. I know hardcore Blenko collectors loath these terms. Mainly because it is glass not in the catalog. I think this is a little short sided. Because we live near the plant, we see a lot more "one of a kinds" and experimentals sold in the gift shop or made and sold locally by current or past employees. We kind of like this stuff. I agree that it is easy to be duped if you are unsure of your source but much of it is still great glass. Most purists hate that statement but we don't collect glass as an investment or to meet a collector's challenge. We buy because we love it.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

let us know before you post plz.

Anonymous said...

I live in California, and local sellers, on and offline, take advantage of the Blenko name. Rare or not, it doesn't matter since the price is always jacked up to the tenth degree. I avoid stores here for that reason. Forget bargain hunting in California. Shoppers here have the doe and they buy what they find expensive, worthy of displaying. Let's face it, not all Blenko stuff is equally interesting. Buying online among global sellers is the best way to go. Be careful, however, and ask a lot of questions. Unless you know what to ask, they won't tell you anything. You may even end up getting a sick glass, or a scratch-ridden mess. Buy at your own risk, and know your seller. Find reputable vendors. For one thing, Blenko is soft glass, and that means it's easily scratched and damaged. Don't expect your goodies to be like quartz-based products that are scratch resistant. It's one of the reason why the original price of Blenko back in the day is relatively cheap compared to Steuben or Baccarat. Also, vintage Blenko is not borosilicate. Most Blenko collectors buy these masterpieces for their creative designs and colors. In the back of my mind, I never expect to find flawless vintage Blenko objects by the "Fab Four" designers. I have lowered my expectation through the years. All the vintage Blenko products I own have scratches, not to mention the production line flaws. They are handmade, think about that. One seller told me, "Scratches or not, the price is the same; buy it now, or I'll sell it to the next buyer." Blenko sellers are cocky, and collectors are fierce, nowadays. I'm one of your competition, think of it that way. I'm stacking up now. "Antique" is just around the bend, know what I mean? Some of us buy these goodies for investment. It's better than the Stock Market.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Blenko is always a good investment.
My Uncle has four garages filled with Blenko
and I'm betting we can't get a dime on the dollar for what he paid.
Hording glass and believing every NYC or other expert is not a sane way to collect.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Blenko is always a good investment.
My Uncle has four garages filled with Blenko
and I'm betting we can't get a dime on the dollar for what he paid.
Hording glass and believing every NYC or other expert is not a sane way to collect.

major thom said...

Does he own the "right" Blenko, that's another story, a very long story to get into?

dj blenko said...

Have you been following the Stock Market? Original Blenko prices were dirt cheap compared to today's insane prices. You're either lying, don't know what you're talking about, or you're withholding some valuable info regarding your uncle's "four garages filled" Blenko collection. Rare colors and rare designs are automatically costly when they're in very good condition. Give us the link to your uncle's online store and we might believe you.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't have a store, he was / is a blenko collector who got over zealous.
He started in 80 and collected until 2007.
I appreciate your open letter Tim.

dj blenko said...

When it comes to collecting in general, being over zealous can lead to many things but not always bad. There's so much to learn about vintage Blenko, and I say vintage because that's what I collect. To be specific, I mostly collect the Fab 4's high art. I have been following the trend, and prices are only going up and up. Just recently bought a Myer's peacock decanter, close to $400, and that's a bargain. I did the waiting game online, meaning waiting for a specific glass to show up on the auction block. To cut a long story short, to spend that $400 took a very long wait. For some of us, waiting for years is not an option; however, I'm still not about to fork up my wallet for an over 2K Blenko, unless... I'm sure your uncle loves his collection, and that's priceless.