Q: Do you know the history on this piece of glass, which I purchased in a Gainesville museum 14 years ago? What would the ballpark value be on the present market? It is signed on the bottom.
A: In the six pictures that accompany this letter, there is no image of the bottom, so we might have been up the proverbial polluted tributary without the proper means of propulsion if we had not spotted a paper label on the side of the vase.
The label is rectangular, appears to be silver and black and reads “Gozo Glass.” “Gozo” is the name of an island south of Sicily that is often considered to be the sister of the nearby and much more famous island of Malta. Gozo, which is the second largest island in the Malta archipelago, has a population of around 40,000.
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Gozo is sometimes called the Island of Calypso because it is often associated with the nymph Calypso immortalized in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. In classical terms, the island home of Calypso is called Ogygia.
Gozo Glass Ltd was founded in 1989 by Michael Harris, who had previously worked at the Mdina glass factory in Malta, and Rupert Brook (not to be confused with Rupert Brooke, the English poet). Harris died in 1994 and the company was taken over by his business partner Brook, his wife, Carmen, and their three children, Daniel, Andrew and Lisa.
The color schemes found in Gozo glass are based on the indigenous sea shells, the brown and green landscape of the islands and the colors of the Mediterranean Sea and sky. The piece in today’s question seems to fit that description with swirling browns, blacks, pink hues and just a touch of orange.
We found what appear to be fairly recent photographs of glass gaffers crafting glass at Gozo. We also found photographs of the company’s factory store filled with glass similar to the piece belonging to J. B.
So, what all this appears to mean is that the piece in today’s question is probably less than two decades old and was probably bought in the museum’s gift shop. We should also point out that Gozo glass appears to be collectible. But because of its lack of age, its current monetary value is rather low (unless there are special circumstances of which we are unaware).
We do not know the size of this piece but feel it is interesting enough to be valued for insurance purposes in the $50 to $75 range.
Write to Joe Rosson, P.O. Box 27419, Knoxville, TN 37927, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like your question to be considered for the column, please include a high-resolution photo of the subject, which must be in focus.