Treasure: Goblets example of Bohemia
Beautiful goblets like the ones Toni Bommarito of Clinton Township brought in to Trash or Treasure recently once graced elegant dining tables throughout the world. Toni's granddaughter Nina Eltringham wrote an email to the column on her grandmother's behalf, hoping to find out more about the cranberry glass goblets with gold embossing that for years have added sparkle to the family's table during holidays and other special events.
"In 1962, my grandmother was given these goblets from her aunt who owned them for several years," she wrote. "Her aunt purchased them around 1932 from an estate sale. Who knows how long the previous owner had them before selling at the estate sale. These cups could be over 100 years old! We would love to find out."
Toni gave appraiser Brian Thomczek more details at a recent session held at Judy Frankel Antiques, part of the Antiques Centre of Troy. "My aunt died 20 years ago but gave me these in the 1960s," she said. "We think her husband bought them at an estate sale." Toni has long loved the color burgundy, prompting her aunt to give them to her for use in her home, she added. "I used to use them all the time," she told the appraiser. "Originally there were 12, but unfortunately through the years one broke."
She has long been curious about them however, which spurred her granddaughter to write to the column seeking additional information. "My grandkids got me out today," she told the appraiser, adding that she was hoping he could shed some light on the maker or manufacturer.
Thomczek said her glasses are a good example of the art glass that came out of Czechoslovakia at the turn of the century. "Like much of the examples coming out of that area at the time, these are hand-painted, with elaborate gilding and other decoration, sometimes florals, sometimes other designs."
The most popular and valuable of this type of glass, he said, was Moser. According to the company's website, moser-glass.com, Moser is still in production near Prague, now in the Czech Republic. A detailed company history sheds additional light on the manufacturer and its beautiful examples of colored luxury glass, made in the area since 1857.
Unfortunately for Toni, her glasses are not Moser, but one of the many imitators who cropped up around the turn of the century. If they were Moser, they'd be worth $200-$300 each. As a lesser known example of Bohemian glass, they'd be worth $50-$75 each. While he couldn't give her a specific manufacturer, he did date them to the turn of the century, probably about 1880-1890. He added that similar high-quality glass is still being made in the area and that it is a popular area of collecting. More information on collecting Bohemian glass can be found at collectorsweekly.com/art-glass/bohemian.
Thomczek also told Bommarito that she may be able to find a replacement for the one that broke online, or even get the broken one fixed if she wanted to restore her complete set for future generations.
Bommarito said she'd consider it, but either way they would stay on the family table, hopefully well into the future. "I have granddaughters," she says. "I'm not going to sell."
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About this object
Item: 11 Czechoslovakian glass goblets
Owner: Toni Bommarito, Clinton Township
Appraised by: Brian Thomczek, independent appraiser
Estimated value: $50-$75 each