CORRECTION: Dean Six will be identifying glass pieces, not appraising them as a previous version of this story stated. This story was updated at 6:34 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, with more information.
If you go
› What: Houston Museum Antiques Show & Sale.
› When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24.
› Where: Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St.
› Admission: $10 (good all three days).
› Phone: 423-267-7176.
› Online: www.Eventbrite.com, www.thehoustonmuseum.org.
› Note: A preview party is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Tickets are $75; reserve by phone or online.
Here's a reality check for baby boomers: The furniture, accent pieces and glassware that filled your childhood home in the 1950s and '60s are some of today's most collectible antiques.
"The elements of the desired items are size/scale (large, architectural floor vases, such as those pioneered by Blenko Glass), bold or distinct period colors (orange glass) and the very organic shapes of the 1950s to early 1970s. Think of the oversized ashtrays that once graced kidney-bean-shaped coffee tables as great period pieces," says Dean Six, a nationally known expert in midcentury modern glass and American glass.
Six will be the featured guest speaker at the 45th annual Houston Museum Antiques Show & Sale, which opens Friday, Feb. 22, in Stratton Hall and continues through Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24.
His visit is one of only two appearances the renowned glass expert will make this year, he says. His last appearance at the Houston show was in 2014.
"Dean is such an expert, he's like glass royalty in this country. He is probably one of the most knowledgeable people there is, and his lectures are very entertaining and educational, but he makes them fun. He's so full of life and so excited to talk about glass," says Houston Museum Executive Director Amy Autenreith.
Autenreith says about two dozen vendors from across the country will take part in this 45th show and sale, a fundraiser for the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts. They will display a varied selection of vintage jewelry, Victorian hand-painted porcelain, furniture, primitives, prints, oil paintings, silverware and silver pieces, rugs, military memorabilia, African beads and masks and glass from some of the country's top antiques dealers and glass specialists.
"This event is like a 'gathering of the tribe' or a family reunion, because it draws art glass lovers, glass professionals and both experienced and novice antique collectors from all over the Southeast," says Amy Autenreith, the museum's executive director. "The Houston Museum has held an antique show uninterrupted for 45 years. We see old friends we've known for years and fresh faces that are just beginning to explore this field that we love. It's a very special time."
Marilyn Hoke, show chairwoman, says this year's vendors hail from 12 states. Three of them are local: Clements Antique Gallery, Mostly French and Proshkin Fine Art in Flintstone, Georgia.
Among returning favorites are Sharon and Robert Kurschner, owners of Sterling Treasures in South Carolina.
"They always bring some beautiful chandeliers that are very popular, along with porcelain and glassware," Hoke says.
Other returning favorites include JoAnn Hathcock of Germantown, Tennessee, with Heritage Jewelry; James Kent of Michigan, who brings art glass and pottery to his Vine of Time booth; and Saed Boroujerdi of Atlanta's ABN Rug Gallery with fine Asian rugs.
The seven new dealers include Olga King Jewelry from Memphis, Sylvia Rowell from Isle of Palms, South Carolina, with Windsor House Antiques; and Donald Bethune Antiques from Macon, Georgia, showing Georgian furniture, silver and accessories.
"Overwhelming is the single best word to describe the Houston collection," Six says. "The glass in the collection is stellar in diversity, rich in quality, engaging in its presentation and a true joy for students of antique glass. I suggest it is a must-see for those wanting to acquire a strong working knowledge of American decorative arts."
Show attendees are welcome to bring glass pieces for identification by Six from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. There is a charge of $5 per piece and limit of three pieces per person.
A preview party for the show will be held Thursday, Feb. 21. That $75 ticket also includes admission to the show.
About Dean Six
Considered a leading expert on American-made glass, Six is the founder and former executive director of the Museum of American Glass in Weston, West Virginia, and vice president/general manager of Blenko Glass. He has written dozens of books, scholarly monographs and special-topic booklets about art glass.
A glass collector since age 9, he has literally thousands of pieces in his personal collection. He says that after relocating to be nearer the glass museum he founded 25 years ago, he donated glass to several museums and collectors.
Six is a friend of the Houston Museum who knows its collection well. Accumulated over a lifetime by Anna Safley Houston (1876-1951), the original collection numbered some 15,000 pieces of antique glass and ceramics, as well as antique furniture and music boxes.
Over the last several decades, Six has collected and written about many types of glass and once had over 7,000 pieces on display in the large loft living room where he lived. His current passion — and focus of one of his two presentations at the Show & Sale — is American and international midcentury-modern glass.
"There are, to this day, many boxes of glass that remain packed at the current residence," he says. "We are currently opening the third floor of our old house to display and store glass."
Six will speak on the defining characteristics of midcentury modern glass on Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon, he will give an overview of the history of Blenko Glass, which began in 1893 and is one of very few glass companies still making art glass today.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
Dean Six’s schedule
Friday, Feb. 22
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Glass identification (not appraisals), $5 per item, limit is three pieces per person. This is for glass only, no ceramics or porcelain accepted.
Saturday, Feb. 23
1 p.m. “What Was Midcentury Modern Glass?” followed by glass identification from 2 to 4 p.m., $5 per piece, limit is three pieces per person.
Sunday, Feb. 24
1 p.m. “Blenko Glass: A Quick History of America’s Iconic Handmade Glass”