Why A "General Research Information" Section?

by Craig Orkney

The original intention of this site was actually twofold.

1) One purpose was to provide the obvious: a reference site for some lines of Bohemian glass that are not well documented in one single location on the internet, and in some cases, not really documented at all.

2) A second reason for the site was to provide a resource for buyers and sellers to be able to identify glass being offered on the internet. I feel that the site has had a positive impact in these areas. I am constantly receiving emails from both buyers and sellers thanking me for making the information available.

In the period since this project was started, there has also been a rise in the number of "Collector sites" on the internet. Whilst we see interesting information and glass posted in these venues, we have also unfortunately seen the rise of what I would consider to be inaccurate and misleading information being posted as facts......a proliferation of misinformation and misunderstandings.

As a specific example, I would point to the sudden and prolific appearance of glass attributed to Ruckl in those forums, and also in sales venues. Am I of the belief that Ruckl was not a manufacturer of glass? Absolutely not. There is a large amount of information to support that fact. I am simply not convinced that the sudden influx of attributions we have seen are based in sound research. I will address this specific example to a larger degree in the section of this site being developed to address that manufacturer.

My greatest concern with these types of activities is that in today's world, the internet contributes increasingly to the lightning fast dissemination of information. Unfortunately, it does not discern between accurate and inaccurate facts. In many cases this information can be next to impossible, if not entirely impossible to negate. As an example of an "Internet myth", a piece of false information which has taken on a life of its own, I would point to the widely repeated, but untrue belief that Michael Powolny designed Tango for Loetz.

Having been actively involved in one such “collectors” forum, I became increasingly frustrated with some information being presented as fact, which at least to me, made little sense. Certain attributions and "research" being presented in these forums also appeared to be backed by little to no actual evidence. Erroneous posts were cited as support and documentation for others, thus perpetuating the errors. In many cases the information presented appeared to me to be a twisted interpretation of actual evidence to the contrary.

Attempts at presenting a contrary point of view on these posts were met with the use of a delete button to eliminate questions which could not be answered, or to eliminate the presentation of actual facts which flew in the face of the "newly discovered attributions".

One exception to this is www.glassmessages.com, a venue which is quite diversified, informative, professional in its approach, and factual regarding information presented.

My intended purpose is to create a new section on this site, and "General Research Information" is that section. I have collected and studied this glass for many years, and over the last several years have worked hard at identifying the production of a relatively unknown and undocumented firm by the name of Franz Welz Klostergrab. Recent activities in the marketplace have brought me to the realization that in addition to trying to provide a website to aid in the identification of some of this glass, I need to provide what many people have been emailing me and requesting.

What is that? It is a section that explains how I arrive at the conclusions I do, and how I study and attribute this glass. It would seem that more and more collectors are simply no longer satisfied with being informed what something is. They are just as interested in learning how to approach the problems themselves. This will be my attempt to help with that. I do not profess to know all, and do not say that I am infallible. I am simply a collector who, through a series of circumstances, skills and interests, has ended up as the webmaster for a website about my collecting passion.

I have come to the conclusion that a site such as this should not just present information that says, "Here it is, and this is what it is". Another mission of the site should also be to help educate interested collectors about the methods used to arrive at some of the attributions. My frustration in public forums was fueled by the editing of information in a manner so as to make it appear that some of it was actually factual. It is not my intention to discredit people posting in other venues. It is my intention to provide some information that I hope will equip users to determine for themselves the veracity of claims.

So the purpose of this section of the website will be to present articles and explanations that hopefully will provide those interested, with a resource of methods they can learn and use. I have found these methods to be helpful to me. In this manner I hope that readerswill be provided some of the tools necessary to look at information presented in various sales and information venues on the internet and evaluate the validity (or otherwise) of the information and attributions presented as cold hard fact.

Please feel free to contact me through the webmaster contact with comments, or suggestions.

I sincerely hope that you find your visit to this site to be both educational and fun!

"Thank You" very much for taking the time to visit the site and to read this explanation.

Craig Orkney - Webmaster