FORGERY. A close copy of valuable old glassware, made with the intention to deceive prospective buyers and offered for sale as genuine at a high price [also called “counterfeit glass”]. From AN ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF GLASS (Newman 1977, p. 123)
In 1990 Ian Berke published an excellent investigative article concerning fake American brilliant period cut glass that had begun appearing during the 1980s. The article caused considerable excitement among collectors. It is still relevant today, particularly in light of the fact that some of this faked glass probably appears from time-to-time in today’s marketplace. The article has been reprinted repeatedly, most recently by Warren Biden on his House of Brilliant Glass web site. He has been forced to use the original, newspaper illustrations that accompanied Berke’s article, illustrations that are, understandably of only fair quality. The twenty captions for the original illustrations are as follows. Here the captions are numbered sequentially; in the original article they are unnumbered. (Berke’s article originally appeared in the March 1990 issue of the Maine Antique Digest, pp. 26-A to 29-A).
p. 26-A: 1. Detail of old 9″ round bowl cut in Grand Prize (Libbey Glass Co.). Note cross-hatching in three triangular areas.
2. Detail of fake 9″ x 11″ oval bowl cut in Grand Prize. Note open areas without cutting [acorresponding to the triangular areas in the previous figure].
3. Old 9″ round bowl cut in Grand Prize (Libbey Glass Co.).
4. Fake 9″ x 11″ oval bowl cut in Grand Prize.
5. Detail of old 7″ plate cut in “Rex” (Tuthill Cut Glass Co.)
p. 27-A: 6. Detail of fake 7″ plate cut in “Rex”. Note three-bladed fan [which differs from the fan in the previous illustration].
7. Old 7″ plate cut in “Rex” (Tuthill Cut Glass Co.)
8. Fake 7″ plate cut in “Rex”.
9. Side view of good 7″ plate cut in “Rex”. Note cross section [profile] compared to fake plate.
10. Side view of fake 7″ plate in “Rex”. Note thickness of blank compared to old plate.
p.28-A: 11. Old Hawkes signature (enlarged: actual size 1/4″ high).
12. Fake Hawkes signature (enlarged). Note blurred details.
13. Miter cut in fake piece (enlarged: actual size 3/8″ wide). Note strong parallel striations. With the old acid — or wood — polished pieces you would not see any striations.
14. Old Sinclaire signature (enlarged: actual size 1/4″ high).
15. Fake Sinclaire signature (enlarged). Note blurred details.
p. 29-A: 16. Pair of 7″ plates cut in Trellis (Egginton or Hoare). Old plate is on the right, fake is on the left.
17. Pair of 7″ plates cut in Nautilus (T. G. Hawkes & Co.). Old plate is on the right, fake is on the left.
18. Fake 11″ round bowl cut in “Concentric Circle” [Pueblo].
19. Pair of 7″ round plates in “Rex” (Tuthill Cut Glass Co.). Old plate on the right, fake is on the left.
20. Fake decanter cut in “Wedding Ring” [Crystal City] (14″ high).
NOTE: Berke’s original article, complete with original illustrations and unedited, has been reprinted in the following two issues of the ACGA publication The Hobstar:
May 2007: pp. 4901-04 and
Jun 2007: pp. 4917-22 (includes a reprint of a “response” by the then president of the ACGA, Bill Watterson.
The illustrations appear to have been taken from the original newspaper, not from the original photographs.