Q. Black glass fasinates me. I just started collecting it. I would like to know how I could find out more about it, and where I could possibly see examples of this particular type of glass. Are there any other black-glass collectors? A. Black glass was produced in pieces from baskets to bowls, candlesticks to compotes, but unless a piece can be attributed to a certain maker from distinguishing characteristics, or is marked with a trademark, it would be impossible to tell its source. However, the the age of black glass pieces usually can be determined by style and design. Probably the largest collection of this glass to be found anywhere in the country can be seen and studied at the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden, Neb., 132 miles west of Lincoln, on U.S. Hwys. 6 and 34, 12 miles south of Interstate Hwy. 80. You also can find many of the pieces pictured in the museum's book, "A History of Man's Progress -- from 1830 to the Present" available for $8.95 plus $2 postage from the Harold Warp Pioneer Village, Minden, Neb. 68959. This volume contains 508 pages, thousands of photographs, and information about everything you can possibly think of.
Some black glass is decorated with silver deposits and other designs. Other pieces have pressed motifs. Some, when held up to the light, will show red, purple, blue and other colors. Thick pieces often do not.
Yes, many people collect black glass. Q. I have an 18th-century highboy decorated with a chinoiserie lacquered finish. Some of its decoration is chipping off. Who, if anyone, can restore such a piece? A. Restoration work on lacquered pieces with chinoiserie or Chinese style decorations requires very special skills. One fellow who restores such pieces for museums and individuals is H. Lanny Green. He can restore your piece magnificently with his "magic hands." Write him at Antique Restoration Specialties, P.O. Box 223, Bensenville, Ill. 60106 and enclose your phone number. Q. How can I find out the value of old sheet music, and where can I possibly sell it? A. Send a list and description of the pieces you have to Sam DeVincent at WOWO Radio, 203 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, Ind. 46802 and include the title, year published, and condition of each one plus an addressed, stamped envelope for information. Sam has been collecting sheet music for more than 40 years and will be glad to tell you how many "notes" your music is worth, or if it can be picked up for a "song." He'll let you know if he's interested.