The following is an ‘Editorial Comment’ column that appeared in the March 1997 ACGA ‘Hobstar‘ (monthly publication of the American Cut Glass Association).
In reply to inquiry and comments of ACGA members, we feel obligated to present to the entire membership an overview of the Yasemin Cut Glass company. This is neither an affirmation nor condemnation of the company and its practices. It is rather an article of information for the membership’s contemplation.
The Yasemin Glass company, located at 5257 Grimes Lane, Larkspur, CO 80118, has become a major marketer and distributor of new cut glass produced at their factory located in the Black Sea region on the border of Russia and Turkey. They advertise in Antique oriented newspapers; the advertisement we are most familiar with is one in the Antiques and Arts Weekly (The Newton Bee). This ad piqued our annoyance meter in two areas: the statement of: ….“Previously found only in high-quality antique auctions, now available in limited quantities direct to you,” and ….Proudly brings you the finest in 20th-century cut glass,” etc. This advertisement also bears an illustration of a Yasemin cut glass vase in a mixture of motifs, typical of Yasemin work. With respect to the fact that Yasemin Cut Glass is a fairly new product, to associate this glass with a high-quality antique auction seems a gross impropriety. To state that this recently-made glass is the finest of the 20th century seems a highly imaginative stretch in time definition as the 20th century began in 1900 — or 1901 to those purist — therefore intoning the product has been around for a long time.
The ad recommended calling for their photo collection and pricing, which we did. The catalog is, by printing standards, quite good, being done on good gloss paper and containing complete information and 35 photos of Yasemin cut glass. The photo bordering is a bit heavy — but that’s just an artistic opinion.
Also received with catalog #0197 were three pages of prices in retail, wholesale and distributorship categories. These lists were divided into four price groups: Unsigned, Signed, Slow Stone Signed, and Slow Stone and Polished Signed. The pricing ranged from Unsigned being the lowest to Slow Stoned Hand Polished Signed being their highest-priced. Definitions as to quality, process and signing accompanied the four price groups. Of the higher-priced items, signing was stated as consisting of a signature by the cutting artist plus a star following the signature, and of the most expensive items, the cutting artist’s signature stated as being followed by two stars after the name. We have yet to see an item of signed Yasemin cut glass.
We had earlier received a Yasemin Cut Glass company distributor brochure from an interested ACGA member (which was passed on to the ACGA Authenticity Committee for their review) that illustrated a much greater variety of available glassware products.
The introductory information in the Yasemin catalog conveys the virtues of the company’s care and concern in production of their glass products. However, from the statements, one does gather the lamentable impression that uniformity is not one of their highest priorities in production or in patterns. There is more than one disenchanting statement to that effect.
Most regrettable to ACGA members and other interested parties in antiques, is that freshly-made Yasemin cut glass is being mistaken for Brilliant Period American cut glass. A notable national magazine devoted to Victorian Homes most embarrassingly exhibited a Christmas edition cover photo of a punchbowl and cups in a Victorian table setting, intoning to the viewer that this was an antique cut glass set when it was really a Yasemin product. The Antiques & Collectors Reproduction News (which has contributed to the Hobstar — see January 1995 edition), in a succinctly admonishing article in their January, 1997 issue, summed up the situation concerning this huge faux pas quite well: “You can be sure unethical sellers will be quick to use this national exposure to “authenticate” the new punchbowls they have in stock. Remind your collector friends and customers that a photograph in a national magazine is not proof of age or quality. It’s just another sad case proving many antique authors and publications don’t recognize reproductions or warn against them.”
Interested members, especially our most recent ones, would be recommended to obtain a copy of a Yasemin Cut Glass catalog to view and recognize the differences between these recently-made items of cut glass and the superb craftsmanship of American cut glass produced around the turn of this century.
House of Brilliant Glass does not believe that a Yasemin catalog is currently available. A copy of one of their earlier catalogs has been copied and is shown on our website as Yasemin Cut Glass – 1