The acceptance of the Shape Gallery on our website as a means for referencing pieces of Carder Steuben is both good news and bad news. The good news is that it indicates that collectors and dealers recognize and accept the Shape Gallery as a good reference tool, much like the Gardner and Dimitroff books. The bad news is that dealers and auction houses may act as though the inclusion of a piece in the Shape Gallery is a guarantee of authenticity.
The primary purpose of this Section is to clarify how the Shape Gallery may be used as a reference and what is implied by the inclusion of a picture of a piece in the Shape Gallery. The preferred way to reference the Shape Gallery is to say something like “A similar piece is pictured as Shape XXX in the Shape Gallery on the Carder Steuben Club’s website, www.cardersteubenclub.org.”, or to put a link to the website and the specific piece in the listing.
The inclusion of a picture in the Shape Gallery is no guarantee of its authenticity. The Webmaster and Vetting Committee use their best efforts to avoid including pieces that are not Steuben in the website. The vetting process that we use (which is described on the website) is based on pictures that are submitted to the Webmaster. We do not handle actual pieces so we cannot see the actual color, feel surface texture or weight, examine pontils, verify signatures, or do any of the other things that a good glass appraiser would do to authenticate a piece.
Our basic ground rules are that if we are in doubt as to whether a piece is Steuben, we will not add it to the Shape Gallery.