The best restoration work is never noticed, but always appreciated.
— Bruce Johnson, furniture restorer, in Antiques & Collecting Magazine, Jul 1997
Cut Glass Repairs — to repair or not to repair — damaged glass? A timely question with no single — or simple — answer…..
Some collectors insist that cut glass should remain in the state that it is when found; others decry the less-than-perfect condition usually exhibited by such glass and insist that the item be “restored” — that is, made to match a fresh-from-the-factory (“mint”) condition as closely as possible. Each side in this debate has a point or two, but it is the opinion of this writer that the decision to repair or not to repair damaged glass should rest with the individual, be he dealer or collector. Unfortunately, this is often not possible. Much of the glassware offered for purchase today has already been “restored” (for good or ill). This restored cut glass will, of course, always be more expensive than glass that has not been restored. Unrestored glassware, that is glass that is in “as-found” condition, will, as the years pass, always underperform restored glass in monetary appreciation — at least as long as collectors base their acquisitions on the financial value of cut glass, instead of being guided by aesthetic considerations.
The prospective buyer’s choice of cut-glass items in terms of condition is limited: he can either purchase items that probably have already been restored or else he can buy those that are in “as-found” condition.
In this folder the writer recounts his own experience with “as found” glassware, and he also reprints the results of a survey concerning the repair of cut glass that was undertaken many years ago by the then-editor of The Hobstar, an official publication of the American Cut Glass Association. He believes that the editor did an especially fine job in summarizing the various points-of-view that were expressed in the Association’s survey. It is hoped that these two articles will help the reader decide for himself whether or not to purchase cut glass that has already been “worked on,” or to reach a buy-or-pass decision concerning glass that is in less than faultless condition. A pass should always be considered, of course. Tomorrow might bring a much better offer!