questionschallenge: laboratory glassware (decorative)


Astrolabes? Come back and ask here when you get to that. Antiqueing is what I spend the cold months playing at. I've seen some very old ones locally.

Did you have some pain price point that you wouldn't consider going above for your glassware?


@catbertthegreat: Thanks -- that 2000ml distillation apparatus looks great! Although, perhaps, my "old world"-ness is getting to me because, though I did say elaborate, those barnes bottles, crucible, mortar and pestle are calling to me.

@shrdlu: I can definitely use advice -- especially from antinquing wooters! It's something I would like to get into, but, for now, I'm a complete novice. I'm sure I'm a few purchases away from some "overpriced expensive knockoff". :( I need a sensei.

As glassware goes, I'm flexible and am in no rush, which is why I'm interested in sellers rather than specific items. I would probably like some large, focal item, in the range of $150 or less and some misc. items. I'm not averse to assembly. It may be a pretty penny, but I prefer a $150 piece of equipment in aesthetics over a $150 painting any day. Sorry -- it's vague, I know!


This might seem odd, but have you tried the surplus department at your local university? Ours had all sorts of crazy old stuff-- including glassware-- until they finally cleaned house a few years ago. Even if they don't have the right item "in stock," Surplus may help you raid some ancient storage closet at the chem department (if you find the right person and are willing to buy enough stuff).


@arguendo: If you are seriously into antiques and want to know more, the very best thing you can do is to find out if there are auctions for antique items in your area. Then start attending them. You don't have to buy things, but the background chatter, and the sudden interest when items come up, will be educational. In addition, you will meet two very useful kinds of people:

Collectors: I am a collector. I'm not buying things with the idea that I will ever sell them. I do the research, but the intrisic value of an item is far less important to me than the pedigree, and the beauty of it.

Dealers: Many people who start out as collectors end up as dealers. A home is not infinitely large. After a time, either you quit collecting, or you start selling off things that you love less than the new stuff you just bought. If you're very good, it turns into a business. I know several people with spots in antique malls, or storefronts.



@arguendo: The important thing about meeting both of these kinds of people is that if you spend a lot of time listening to them, you'll start to realize how to tell reproductions from genuine antiques (this may not matter to you though; it doesn't always matter to me), and you will certainly get a feel for what the price should be on either.

My pain price point for some of the things I want is infinitely large. For most things, I quit bidding after a certain amount. One of the nice things about being a collector bidding against dealers is that I can buy something for less than it would be in one of their stores, while they have to quit bidding earlier, because they won't be able to make a profit if they bid too high.

Here's a link to my favorite online auction site.

There are other places like this, but it should start you out.


@arguendo: Before I forget, go buy something from Woot. It's creepy that you can't vote. Go.

Look, you could do it for less than ten bucks, and then you'd have this fun password game.

...or this cool shirt.