Birth and Rebirth in Collectibles Trends

Do you ever wonder about what specifically spawns certain trends in collecting and decorating? What makes a certain type of item suddenly become in demand, or even have a powerful resurgence after being ignored or reviled for decades?

I had often wondered this very thing in relation to the iridescent glass we think of as "carnival glass" today.

I have been fortunate over the years to pick up a number of carnival Indiana Glass Harvest Grape pieces from the 60s and 70s-- all inexpensively at thrift stores and antique malls.

But I was always curious what it was that triggered modern manufacturers to suddenly start remaking the colorful glass that had been so popular 50 years or more before.

Well, would you believe I recently found the answer to this, in casual reading?

Yup, I'd been going through volume three of the Imperial Glass Encyclopedia, when their section on carnival satiated my curiosity once and for all!
In the 1960s, not only did Marion Hartung publish books on the subject, bringing the glass back into the light (so to speak), but an article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper (August 18, 1963) on the topic dubbed old Carnival glass the "Cinderella of Modern Antiques."

In response, Imperial, Fenton Art Glass and other companies began reissuing carnival pieces, many from their original molds. And the revival grew well into the 1970s.

This got me thinking about how it had taken some appreciation from Martha Stewart to get the collectibles community showing renewed enthusiasm in the creamy green glassware known as jadite...
While I've noticed costs for jadite have gone to more reasonable levels in the last year or so, there for a while antiques dealers were offering jadite for princely sums. Where Martha waxed poetic, the market agreed. Everyone wanted beautiful, soothing pieces made of this opaque, aqua glass.

So this got me pondering again: what do you think is a highly underrated collectible today?

As I've always been a fan of the Carnival glass, I notice right now I'm one of the few that finds it magical. Will it have its day again?

And I adore McCoy's art pottery pieces, particularly ones from the 1940s. It always makes me wonder why McCoy pottery ends up being about half the price of Hull, even though their style is very similar...
So my question is open to you folks:

Is there a collectible item out there that you adore and feel hasn't received the attention it's deserved?

What is your "Cinderella Among Collectibles"?


Linda said...

I love the McCoy pottery and its shapes and colors. I must admit I'm not up on collectible trends so didn't realize it wasn't as popular as some others. I found this post very informative. Thanks!

Barbara said...

I remember Carnival glass sitting around my mom and grandmas house, it isn't my favorite but it's still eye catching.
I take care of the books at a thrift store and noticed a few pieces of CG sitting on the desk to make their way to ebay...bblllllecccchhhhhh I hate ebay.
Anyway, I feel better now :)
I'm surprised, even after Martha promoted milkglass that we didn't see a surge in price like jadeite. I have recently begun to appreciate it, especially since my mother passed. I picked up a milk glass lamp at a sale, it's cute for the bedroom and it was not even a full song and a dance.

Love your blog..I'll be back

monah said...

Very interesting post. I thought McCoy was up there--didn't know about Hull. Regarding your McCoy vase, the second from the right...I am looking to buy one like that in yellow. Trevor (my cat) broke mine. So happy to see yours.

Andrea said...

It may not be a Cinderella, but I love pink Depression glass. I suppose that it has always been priced steeply at antique stores, I've never seen it at thrift stores. The pieces that I have were Mom's....I admired hers for my entire life and she finally gave them to me, knowing that I would treasure them.
Great, information Jenn!

Lacey said...

My grandma has a collection of those glass heels :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Linda- McCoy is definitely viewed as collectible, but Hull seems to be WAY expensive in comparision.

Barbara- I think at least because the prices for selling on eBay tend to be so high now, there are somewhat fewer donations than there used to be going straight to eBay. I know I'm starting to see more antique shops again, where when eBay was all-popular and all-consuming, I'd hear antiques dealers complaining that it was really hurting their businesses. PS- Yes, Milk glass is lovely and still very abundant.

Monah- I've been trying to think where I not long ago SAW one in yellow. I remembered noting it because it did look like my green one, and I don't see that style much. It does have a great shape.

Andrea- Occasionally in our area pink depression glass comes into the thrift stores. The thing is, it's usually just a piece or two at a time. So if you want to amass a collection that way, you really need to be patient, and also accept that it probably won't all be the same pattern.

Lacey- Those glass heels seem to have been really popular in the 60s and 70s. Maybe it's that Cinderella again, leaving her shoe behind. :)

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog and am in LOVE! I have the exact McCoy vase (1st one on the left). I found it at a local Salvation Army for $1.99 !!!! I have tried to search its value and have come up with NOTHING. Do you have any ideas on what it could be worth?

Jenn Thorson said...

Anonymous- Wow, what a deal you got! While my McCoy Pricing guides are old and aren't very helpful, I DID just see this very same vase at an antique store for... get ready... $45.

(Yes, I laughed, too. I know I didn't pay $1.99 for mine, but it wasn't any $45, either! :) )

lvroftiques said...

My Cinderella collectible would be the small metal art nouveau jewelry boxes. They're so charming, and the interiors of tufted silk are a really beautiful surprise. I've noticed they've gotten cheaper and cheaper. Which is great for me cuz I'm snapping them up as fast as I can find em in the $15 range *winks* Vanna