Message from the President March 2022

Promote, But Responsibly

Happy Spring, everyone! I hope this issue of The Carnival Pump finds you ready for a season change, hopefully one full of hearts and flowers and a desire to enjoy your life and your collection as much as possible. And just think, only a few short months until our convention in St. Louis and the auction of some fantastic pieces of carnival glass from the Don Clark collection. I can’t wait!

So recently, I have found myself reading several new carnival glass articles from various publications and websites online. I am really excited that carnival glass has become a subject being covered by so many magazines and such. Even Martha Stewart’s site ran an updated look at carnival glass recently that had some fun and good information in it. With so much promotion on carnival glass, it has to be a great thing for our hobby, right?

One thing I noticed, though, is that several of the articles have information that, well, isn’t entirely accurate. The one that really hit me was where it said “carnival glass is very affordable and can add instant glamour to your home, but be aware that some of the most rare, sought after carnival glass can sell for up to $1200.”

Uh, what?? I realize many of these articles are written for a new generation that may not have a lot of disposable cash, but I have to think that many of us have pieces in our collections valued higher than $1200 that don’t necessarily appreciate the thought that limiting value in an entire generation’s minds is a bad thing. It really had me trying to consider the values of promoting carnival glass widely when compared to the damage that misinformation can cause.

Which leads me to Dr. Lori. Now let me begin by saying I have never met Lori Verderame, an antiques appraiser with a Ph.D. and who has appeared on a million television shows (Auction Kings, The Curse of Oak Island, all of the late night shows on every network, etc.) But I think she comes across as fun (and funny) and feel I would enjoy meeting her. She has books, she does a ton of educational videos for all sorts of antiques and collectibles, and she has a big website where she offers her appraisal services.

Right now, you can have her appraise as many items as you want for 7 days for $499, and for an entire month for $999. And when it comes to a wide variety of items and a bunch to appraise, those prices aren’t crazy. But….

One of her most popular videos on carnival glass titled How to Identify Valuable Carnival Glass by Dr. Lori with 67,000+ (and growing!) views commits a few cardinal sins. First, the piece she is holding and showing as an example is NOT CARNIVAL GLASS! (I am not kidding). She also said carnival glass is usually purple or orange. She talks about the types of patterns to look for (which isn’t relevant to the real world). She said most carnival glass makers were out of Pittsburgh. And then she pitches her appraisal services at the end to give you an appraisal of your piece.

In a different video (53,000 views and counting), she is very accurate about a Grape and Gothic Arches tumbler in many ways, but when talking about the Northwood mark, she has some of it incorrect (stuff we have all heard before in determining whether a piece is a repro or not). And she continues to self promote and say the details she gives are only going to be found with her appraisal services (her self promotion is expected and okay, but is also pretty in your face).

I know that Dr. Lori has been discussed in the carnival world before and some conventions have even shown some of her videos for a moment of humor. And as I said, I am pretty torn between the clear value she provides in promoting carnival glass and the harm that can be caused by incorrect information. And I haven’t seen a post or video from her that mentions the many carnival glass organizations out there who can very clearly help with identification and education, usually with no charge. Hmmm…

So, I feel like we need to accept the momentum in carnival she provides, but then we need to add in our information and opportunity as much as possible. There are others in carnival glass who blatantly refuse to promote carnival glass clubs (and will even remove posts about them from their groups), but without providing the most amount of information possible from many sources, the person who loses the most is the new collector.

Invite everyone you can to our convention in July, most especially new collectors. It’s the only way to be sure. 🙂 See you in July!