Month: March 2014

The Dream

Twenty-five years ago I fell in love with collectible depression, carnival, and Vaseline glass. After marrying my second husband, Philip, my new family introduced me to the world of collecting. Each week, my sister-in-law, Mary, and I would visit garage sales, estate sales, flea market, and antique shows to hunt for treasures. The dream was for Mary and I to one day open an antique store with these items after we retired from our “real” jobs.

One of the first things we purchased were the Stangl Rooster and Hen, which were picked up at a garage sale in Yonkers. The little Italian lady who was having the sale looked like she couldn’t wait to unload the pair as they didn’t seem to fit her taste. I had a hunch about these two birds, even though at the time I couldn’t get how anyone would want to collect barnyard birds.

Unfortunately, our dream of opening a shop would never become a reality due to Mary’s untimely passing. Then, when I retired last year, I thought back to our dream saddened again by the thought. However, in realizing how e-commerce has changed how businesses sell, it dawned on me that it could happen in a different venue on eBay.

So last month, Lennice Collectibles opened as a new eBay store. EBay permits new businesses to list 150 items to prove themselves. So the Stangl Rooster and Hen were included in the first 150 items. It turned out that they were desirable to Stangl collectors as they were in a rare color and signed by a popular artist. They wound up being the top seller for our first month in business.

For me the Stangl Rooster and Hen are past, present and future. They represent fond memories of time spent with my sister-in-law, Mary; the beginning of the new venture with eBay today, and the hope of one day earning a profit.

Dedicated to Mary Butkowski Esch, 1954 – 2006


My good friend, Bernice, decided that she wants to learn more about antiques and collecting and has decided to accompany me on treasure hunting excursions.  As she is learning, she has become a great second opinion.  This week the weather remains cold and rainy, so we had to cancel our trip to the famous Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut. Instead, we decide to hit a few thrift shops closer to home.

Our first stop is a thrift shop in Mt. Vernon. It is the first time we are here and it will probably be our last.  It is a huge place but it turns out to be colder on the inside of the store than on the outside.  We did not warm up to the place because anything of interest had antique shop pricing. Not good for us as we look for good deals. Disappointed, we started to leave the store when our eyes hit this cast iron cat doorstop, which we decided not to leave behind.

After leaving that chilly store behind, we ventured into the Bronx at one of our usual thrift stops and were lucky to find a couple of small prints by artist Howard Behrens, a landscape and sea scape artist. His work covers art publications and he was the official artist for the 2002 Olympics.  We also found some unusual pink plates that had a silver overlay that we decided to pick up.  The proprietor said they were taken from the estate that was being demolished. Having never heard of silver on Depression glass plates, more research was needed.   Apparently, when this process was first developed in the late 1800’s, the technique had not perfected and the silver turned black on both sides of the plate.  Only the topside could be polished, and the underside remained black.  However, in the early 1900’s a new technique was developed where the underside appears white and never tarnishes.  Applying silver to glass became less popular once the depression hit when glassmakers turned to making cheaper products. Therefore, with this information, I believe these plates are pre-depression plates made in the 1900’s, as the underside appears white.  More research is needed to identify the glass company and pattern. should be able to help with that.

At our last stop for the week, we found two blue and white divided dinner plates that appear to have the same pattern, identified as “Old Willow”.  However, on closer inspection it appears that one plate is by John Steventon & Sons Ltd. Manufacturer of earthenware at Royal Pottery, Burslem from1923 – onwards, but from 1936 the firm mainly concentrated on the production of tiles and sanitary wares. The other plate was by Rowland & Marsellus Company and is part of a mark that appears on historical Staffordshire dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The company worked from 1893 to about 1937. Two great finds, but still want to learn how they were both producing the same Old Willow pattern.

Feeling this week’s treasure hunt was a success; warmer weather will be here soon.  With that come garage sales, estate sales, flea markets and more. Looking forward to more treasure hunting.