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Silver Overlay on Glass


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This is a presentation on Silver overlay on glass including its historical origins in the 19th century and how the process was perfected. It covers European silver overlay, Mexican silver overlay and American silver overlay. It then focuses on the silver overlay down on pieces from Consolidated Lamp & Glass Company in Coraopolis, PA.
It was presented by Jack D. Wilson at the banquet of the Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors Club at their 21st annual convention on July 27, 2013. Location was the Embassy Suites, Pittsburgh Airport in Coraopolis, PA. All contents Copyright Jack D. Wilson – All Rights Reserved.
Jack D. Wilson is the author of Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass 1926-1980 published in 1989 (and out of print since 1999). It was the seminal reference book on this type of art glass. He was an advisor for Schroeder’s Antique Price Guide for ten years on both the Phoenix and Consolidated Glass categories and was also instrumental in the founding of the Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors’ Club, which celebrated it 21st annual convention in 2013.
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Silver Overlay on Glass

  1. 1. SILVER OVERLAY ON GLASS Copyright Jack D. Wilson – All Rights Reserved Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors Club Banquet July 27, 2013
  2. 2. ABOUT JACK WILSON Visit our website
  3. 3. HISTORICAL ORIGINS  This is an electroplating process, first developed by Oscar Pierre Erard in England in 1889. His process was used on clear glass, but the silver attached to the glass turned black, a major problem.  An improved process which solved the “blackening” problem was developed by John H. Scharling from New Jersey in 1893  From 1895 to the late 1920‟s, silver overlay glass was produced in large quantities by the Czechs, Italians. French, English, Austrians (Loetz) and Americans. Silver overlay was also used on art pottery, a prime example is Rookwood Pottery. Visit our website
  4. 4. HISTORICAL ORIGINS  In the United States, Gorham & Alvin (Providence, Rhode Island), made the bulk of the early “heavy” overlay using blanks from the Steuben glass works.  Early (late 19th and early 20th century) uses were typically “heavy” applications of silver and many were hallmarked. Purists call this “heavy” application “silver overlay” as opposed to “lighter” applications called „silver deposit.” Visit our website
  5. 5. ALVIN MFG. BOWL This was sold on eBay in 2012. It was hallmarked with the old Alvin Mfg. mark, circa 1886-1890. Visit our website
  6. 6. 1906 AD This ad appeared in the January 24, 2006 issue of Jewelers Circular Weekly. Note the price, $13.50, this was expensive in 1906. Ad courtesy of The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia. Visit our website
  7. 7. EUROPEAN SILVER OVERLAY Late 19th, early 20th century Loetz vase with heavy silver overlay, hallmarked sterling. This was listed on eBay with a starting bid of $699.00 in 2012. Visit our website
  8. 8. 1 0 " L O E T Z S I L V E R O V E R L A Y PA P I L L I O N A R T N O U V E A U G L A S S VA S E Visit our website
  9. 9. MEXICAN SILVER OVERLAY This is Mexican with excellent heavy silver overlay, hallmarked Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico) 925 sterling. This was listed on eBay in 2013. Visit our website
  10. 10. LOTUS GLASS COMPANY Note the silver overlaid “Rocket” vase in the ad for the Lotus Glass Company. From the October 30, 1930 issue of Pottery, Glass & Brass Salesman. Ad courtesy of The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia. Visit our website
  11. 11. ROCKWELL SILVER COMPANY MERIDEN CONNECTICUT  Founded in 1906 by brothers Curtiss and Lucien Rockwell.  Bought blanks from many companies: Duncan and Miller, Heisey, Jeanette, Federal Glass, Fostoria, Colonial Glass, Imperial, Cambridge, Indiana, Viking, Pairpoint and Consolidated. Did some of the Regent line silver overlay. Visit our website
  12. 12. AMERICAN SILVER OVERLAY Heisey #1425 Cigarette Holder & Ashtray Silver Overlay Rockwell Geese On eBay in 2012 Visit our website
  13. 13. ROCKWELL OVERLAY Visit our website
  14. 14. 1927 DUGAN BARCELONA Sometimes confused with Consolidated Catalonian, Dugan Barcelona was the only one made in black glass. Consolidated did not make a shape like this. Visit our website
  15. 15. CON-CORA Visit our website
  16. 16. #4021 GINGER JAR Visit our website
  17. 17. MORE CON-CORA Visit our website
  18. 18. RUBA ROMBIC Jungle Green whiskey decanter with silvered panels. This is RARE! Courtesy of the Chuck Kaplan Art Deco collection. Photo credit: Fitz Francois One decanter set known in Smoky Topaz, reportedly broken by a cat. Visit our website
  19. 19. KOPP MODERNISTIC Kopp Modernistic vase, black glass with silver panels. This is extremely rare. Circa 1929. Blue vase shown for comparison. Visit our website
  20. 20. KOPP MODERNISTIC Kopp Modernistic vase. Black glass with silver panels. This shape is rarer than the previous shape, again circa 1929, extremely rare. Visit our website
  21. 21. GREEN FLORENTINE Green Florentine vases with silvered end panels. These are rare. Visit our website
  22. 22. COFFEE FLORENTINE This image was scanned from a photo sent to me in 1997 while I was in Chicago. Extremely rare in the coffee color. Visit our website
  23. 23. REGENT LINE A room sale at the 2012 Convention to a club member in Coraopolis. Shape #4014 in aqua blue cased with silver decoration Visit our website
  24. 24. REGENT LINE Shape #4014 in aqua blue cased with silver decoration Visit our website
  25. 25. REGENT LINE Sold at 2012 Member‟s Only Convention Auction for $375.00. With original label from Rockwell Silver Company. Small ginger jar, 7.5” high, shape #4020 in aqua blue cased with silver decoration Visit our website
  26. 26. REGENT LINE Medium ginger jar, 9.5” high, shape #4021 in aqua blue cased with silver decoration This ginger jar features a very attractive Water Lily design. Visit our website
  27. 27. REGENT LINE Regent aqua blue cased 10” x 4” cylinder vase with a silver overlay of Lilies and butterflies. This shape is not shown in the Regent catalog. Visit our website
  28. 28. REGENT SILVER OVERLAY Visit our website
  29. 29. CONSOLIDATED RED GLASS WITH SILVER OVERLAY Small (4020) and medium (4021) ginger jars in red glass with intricate silver overlay. Visit our website
  30. 30. TARNISH OR NOT?  Some silver overlay pieces tarnish and some do not. Many of the pieces made in the United States in the 1925 to 1935 period had a rhodium treatment when made and these do not tarnish. In 1931 Lotus Glass Company was advertising their non-tarnish process, which they called “Trianon.”.  For Consolidated silver overlay pieces, some tarnish and some do not. So we either have multiple manufactures of the overlay (most likely) or it was done in different periods with different processes. Visit our website
  31. 31. CONCLUSIONS  The height of silver overlay popularity was reached in the late 1920‟s. Silver overlay went out of fashion by 1935, a casualty of the Great Depression (silver deposit work continued until at least 1950).  The Regent cased glass catalog is undated, but given the above and the fact Consolidated shut down in 1931, it is most probable that: • Regent cased glass was made in the late 1920‟s • Silver overlay on Regent cased glass was done in the late 1920‟s Visit our website
  32. 32. CONCLUSIONS  Only a couple of pieces of Ruba Rombic have surfaced with silver overlay. They have to date from 1928 or 1929.  Silver overlay on Kopp Modernistic is extremely rare.  Silver decoration seen on some Con-Cora was done by National Silver Deposit Ware Co. Inc. of New York, NY which closed in 1950. It is distinctively different than the silver overlay seen on cased Regent pieces. It was probably done just before they closed in 1950. Visit our website
  33. 33. CONCLUSIONS  In the 19th and early 20th centuries silver was cheap. So much so that silver overlay “seconds” were broken rather than trying to reclaim the silver plating.  As the price of silver increased, less and less silver was used. We went from very heavy silver overlay on glass to the silver deposit approach we see on some Con-Cora pieces. Visit our website
  34. 34. SOURCES OF INFORMATION  “The Elegance of Silver Overlay,”  The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia  eBay  Chuck Kaplan  Silver on Glass by Roserita Ziegler. Glass Review Feb. 1979  WorthPoint (online) – 2005 sale of Consolidated silver deposit vase with National Silver Deposit Ware label. Visit our website
  35. 35. DID YOU ENJOY THIS?  If you want more information about Phoenix & Consolidated glass please visit our web site where you can learn about our club, its quarterly newsletter and our annual convention.  Visit and like our Facebook Group page Visit our website
  36. 36. STILL AWAKE? Visit our website
  37. 37. QUESTIONS? Visit our website