The antiques that will never be sold.

The other day I decided to take the plunge and put some of my EAPG and American Brilliant glassware for sale in my Etsy shop.

Then I unpacked these bowls.

EAPG serving bowls, 1920s - 1930s

EAPG serving bowls. Left rear: McKee “Innovation” (1917-1920). I’m still working on identifying the patterns for the other two.

Suddenly, I could taste Aunt Jen’s famous macaroni salad. Emma’s even more famous German potato salad with bacon and oil. Pretzels and chips and homemade cole slaw…all served at our Janvier Road bungalow.

In these very same pieces.
I’d carted them around with me ever since they were packed away in 1960, then repacked and cataloged in the early 1990s. Now, I started to realize just how much work was ahead of me, as I tried to figure out the patterns, dates, etc.

But then the memories came flooding back, and it occurred to me that perhaps I should simply use them again. I could picture them in all their sparkly glory at summer BBQs, on a formal Thanksgiving table, at Christmas. Or maybe on a special movie night, filled with popcorn.

I ran them by the experts first. (Always a good idea)
I asked some serious collectors if any of the bowls were priceless rarities. They aren’t – so if one breaks it’ll totally freak me out. But it won’t be the end of the world.

But one expert made my decision easy.
She said, “It will mean more to your family if they can attach a family memory to it. That can only be done through use, not display.”

It was because they were used that these pieces were so precious to me. So why not do the same for my family now?

It didn’t take long at all to create a new memory.

"Radiance" by New Martinsville, 1920s - 1930s

“Radiance” by New Martinsville, 1920s – 1930s

As I was photographing the bowls (or trying to – glass is seriously challenging!), my granddaughter chose this one as her favorite. I told her that it’s New Martinsville’s “Radiance” from the 1930s. Her eyes lit up as she realized just how old it is, and that it had a name and a history.

That’s when I knew that these bowls will never be sold.
My family will now share those same lovely pressed glass bowls that I grew up with. One day they, too, will remember the tabbouleh, Greek salad, pita chips and, yes, potato and macaroni salad. And chances are very, very good that some of the bowls will make it, unscathed, to the children’s homes…and their children’s homes, as well.

And why shouldn’t they? After all, they already survived 100 years of family weekends, church picnics — and my cousins, my brother and me.

I’ll still sell some pieces that I simply have no room for.

But I’m going to hold onto many more. Not only to make memories, but to introduce a new generation first-hand, up close and personal, to the treasures of America’s first industry.

About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at
This entry was posted in Antiques, Collectibles, Etsy, Glass, Why Are Antiques Important? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The antiques that will never be sold.

  1. Pingback: The Museum of American Glass: A celebration of America’s first industry. | Janvier Road: Where old becomes exciting and new

  2. Hi Sara!
    This same thing has happened to me….remember the tea set of ours that you put into your blog….well, our daughter (who had NEVER showed any interest in wanting anything to remember us by) suddenly realized that she wanted the tea set (it has been in our family for a long time). I think that she is now old enough to appreciate such items….so anyway….the tea set is no longer on Etsy! It will never be sold!
    I enjoyed your story.

    • sarathurston says:

      I think it’s wonderful that the next generation is learning the value of older things! I’m kind of happy to see that the set will stay in your family – it is gorgeous! (I removed the link to the listing, but not to your shop 🙂
      I’m planning to unpack more stuff next week, and I hope I don’t fall in love with everything in the next box – where will we store it? HAHAHA!

  3. Dottie Wofford says:

    This is a topic that I am sure so many vintage glass collectors struggle with! As the years pass and my collection of Depression Glass & EAPG grows, I keep hoping some young family member shows an interest in having it all after I am gone. Only another “glasser” understands how we feel about our collections!

    • sarathurston says:

      I know what you mean! I have had an Anchor Hocking “Manhattan” vase in my family forever and I love it and use it regularly.
      One day I found the identical vase in a thrift store and I bought it to sell in my Etsy shop. The two vases are exactly the same, but I just can’t part with mine. HAHAHA!

  4. Donna says:

    Yes I too have some nice EAPG, that is always in use, I have passed my memories to my kids along with some pieces…They have the memories of the dishes in use with me…they are the treasures of setting a proper table.

    • sarathurston says:

      Do you ever serve hot foods/vegetables in it? I’m wondering if EAPG was tempered. I suppose if you add it a bit at a time? I only remember cold foods in the bowls…

  5. Cynthia says:

    Lovely…..yes, using them makes them much more special!

    • sarathurston says:

      I’m almost sorry I waited so long! But the kids are starting to get into it and I hope they continue to appreciate these old and wonderful things that will never be made the same way again.

I'd love to hear your thoughts (and corrections)!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s