Q. I own an antique deep-red glass goblet with lid. The lid has been broken in several places over the years and glued back together. Is there some way or someone who can make it look like new again?
A. Yes. The “someone” is Giovanni Nason, owner of Giovanni Nason Glass and Crystal Restoration Center in Potomac (301-340-2624, firstname.lastname@example.org). A member of a family that’s been making glass on the Venetian island of Murano since the 1600s, he learned glassblowing there before immigrating to the United States. He now repairs all sorts of objects made of glass, ivory, porcelain and ceramic, including mirrors, vases and glass sculptures.
After looking at a picture of your goblet, Nason declared it “a beautiful piece, probably from the 1800s.” To repair it, he would first disassemble the parts and remove the glue, which he guesses is epoxy. Then he’d glue the pieces back together using a more appropriate adhesive. Epoxy holds well but yellows and becomes noticeable with time; the kind he’d use is more stable. To make it bond well, Nason has to heat the glass, but not enough to melt the parts.
To take apart the goblet and put it back together again, he would charge about $120. “If you want it to be perfect, though, that’s another story,” he says. A basic repair produces an attractive piece with mends that aren’t noticeable to a casual viewer, but if a piece has great historical value, he can be more meticulous.
This is a “how to control the clutter” question: I have inherited a good number of small items, such as Wedgwood ashtrays, that are perhaps too valuable to just donate but that I no longer wish to keep. Do you know of any consignment shops in the Washington area that accept such pieces for resale?
Here are a couple of ideas.
Not Too Shabby Antiques & Consignments in Alexandria (703-519-3555, www.nottooshabbyconsignments.
com) accepts up to 15 small items at a time and turns over 40 percent of any sales price to consignors.
Treasure Trove shops, located in McLean, Annandale and Springfield, also accept consignments of small items. But there are more restrictions, which vary by shop. For example, the McLean store accepts up to 16 items at a time but limits these to one item in each category. These stores, which support programs and services at Inova Fairfax Hospital, return half of the consigned price to consignors, but they charge a $20 annual fee to participate. A handling fee is also worked into sales prices, which means the actual sales price is higher than the “consigned price” that’s used to calculate how much sellers get. Consignment policies and shop phone numbers are listed at www.treasuretrovemclean.com, www.treasuretroveannandale.com and www.treasuretrovespringfield.com.
Wherever you take your treasures, Annyce Ferrogari, a manager at Not Too Shabby, recommends researching the value of the items beforehand. “We’re not appraisers,” she says. “We can just say what we think an item would sell for in our store. That is not necessarily the same as its value somewhere else.”
When consignors aren’t sure whether her estimate of the sales price reflects actual value, she suggests getting a professional appraisal. She recommends Sarah McCullom at Hidden Treasure Appraisals (703-370-2887, www.hiddentreasureappraisals.com).
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