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Tips for Smart Collecting of Candlewick Glass

Where do you start with glass collecting?

Where do you start with glass collecting?

Candlewick glass is popular as a collectible item with many people. This specific type of home glasswork was manufactured in the mid-twentieth century so the items aren’t quite “antique” but the official rules but they’re certainly making a comeback as an item to collect and keep at home. But how do you know if you’re really getting Candlewick Glass or if you’re getting one of the knockoffs being created now that the glassware is getting more popular as a collectible item? This article provides some tips to get you started.

Take Collecting Seriously

Any good collector of any item at all treats their hobby like a job. You want to take the time to do your research. You should read books and articles about this glassware to get more familiar with it. (Top authors in this area include Mary Wetzel and Myrna and Bob Garrison). You should meet with major sellers in the field to get insight into the pieces that they have available. You should look at items you could never afford just to see what’s out there. (Glass shows are a great place to go look.) Invest the time necessary to take your collecting seriously if you want to be a Candlewick glass collector. That said, your collecting experience should be fun. You should be collecting this glass because you truly enjoy it and that will make the whole experience valuable even if you make some missteps along the way.

Tip One: The Glass Should be Clear

There are some exceptions to this rule but most Candlewick glass is clear, uncolored glass. Of course, the colored stuff is rarer so if you find a genuine Candlewick glass piece in color then it will be a nice addition to your collection. However, the fact that the colored glass is rare indicates that if you find it, it may not be real. When you’re just getting started out as a collector, look for the clear stuff. Later, when you get more experience, you can start keeping an eye out for the colored glass (which will have a faint silver, grey or blue tint to it), which was typically made earlier, pre-1940 as opposed to the early 1950’s.

Tip Two: Seek out Party Items

Candlewick glass was popular just after The Depression. People were starting to entertain in the home again since money was returning to the household. As a result, many of the glass pieces that were made were designed for parties and dinners. Look for things like candlesticks, ash trays and punch bowls. It’s important to note that Imperial Glass items usually have beads on them and these beads are never touching one another in the horizontal plane. If you see beaded glassware but the beads are touching then you’re looking at a knockoff.

Tip Three: Get to Know Common Knockoffs

There are several major brand names that are known for being similar to Candlewick Glass but aren’t the same thing. If you know these brands and get to know what they offered then you’ll have a better idea of what to avoid when you’re shopping around. The brands include, but are not limited to, Anchor Hocking, Libbey, Hazel Atlas Glass Company and Paden City Glass Company. One key way that many people learn about the knockoffs is to get their hands on a good reference guide such as the books by Myrna and Bob Garrison. These show the real stuff vs. the imposters to give you a better idea of what you’ll be looking for.

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Tip Four: Meet Other Collectors

These days there is a group for almost everything, online if not in person. Find a group that you like of other people who are collecting Candlewick Glass. These are going to be the best resources available to you when you have questions about specific items. One place to start is to join the National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society. They have information on local chapters that may be in your area.

Enjoy your collecting experience! Practice will make perfect so keep learning and keep at it!!


wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on May 24, 2013:

What a great hub! My 90 year old sister-in-law had quite a collection of candlewick ... that was at least 50 years ago. She had such a talent for art and arrangement. I remember one year she served home made cake and ice cream, using the candlewick, with an unusual combination of colors and tablecloth and napkins. It was a beautiful presentation. You chose an excellent (and durable) pattern to collect.

Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on March 25, 2012:

I've heard of candlewick glass. I wish you had a photo with your post cause I forget what it is now. Of course, anyone already collecting it will know.

Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on March 06, 2012:

What is Candlewick glass? What does it look like? You have got me intrigued.

Ruchira from United States on March 02, 2012:

candlewick glasses sure sound antique and look classy...thanks for the tips!

Donna Fairley Huebsch from Clearwater, Florida on March 01, 2012:

Wow, great tips, Kathryn! I have 2 candlewick glasses that my favorite aunt gave me years ago...when I was little, she used to give me drinks in them. When I told her later what fond memories I had of them, she insisted that I take them. I would love to get a few more pieces one day so I will keep your tips in mind :o)

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