The Passage of Time|
Posting Number 3512 Date: 02/22/21 Return to Posting List
Several factors, each of which individually had some negative effect, have combined to materially weaken interest, demand and prices for Carder Steuben. Twenty five years ago there were many dealers who specialized in Carder Steuben, including but not limited to Bob Rockwell, Tom Dimitroff, Frank Blake, Donna Fischer, Joan Miller and myself, most of whom have either passed or are inactive. There were also many well-known collectors who had both the eye and the resources to buy the best, and the dealers often knew what their collectors were looking for.
Many of these dealers exhibited at antique shows all over the country, and all of them took the time to educate their clients (and prospective clients) about the glass. Many of the well-known collectors have either passed on or have stopped collecting, and many of the shows have disappeared. There are still some antique shows and dealers who specialize in glass Many of remaining shows are too expensive for dealers selling Carder Steuben, which is not usually that expensive.. The shows have largely been supplanted by auctions and ebay, which provide few if any learning tools or support for the collector. There has also been no significant Carder Steuben scholarship since the publication of Tom Dimitroffs Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass in 1998, 23 years ago.
In light of all of the above, it is no surprise that the market has weakened. The far more difficult question is how to reignite interest in Carder Steuben, and I dont have any panaceas. There are some areas of collecting where there are standards for measuring and evaluating objects (such as stamps and coins) but it would be difficult to do this in an area like Carder Steuben, where there are wide variances in pieces that are nominally the same shape and glass.
A presence on social media would be helpful but, to be useful, social media require regular postings as well as volunteers to monitor the postings for accuracy. The supply of such volunteers is limited, and we have fewer experts than we had in the past. We need some sort of Carder Steuben publication for the beginning collector which focusses on common pieces rather than the rarities. There are literally thousands of pieces of Gold Aurene for every piece of Decorated Aurene but most of the texts focus on the great and rare pieces rather than the more common collectible pieces. We need Carder Steuben for Dummies
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