You are, of course quite right that the GMB exists to answers questions, however for me, when I'm confronted with so many within a group of entries, giving little time for replies in between, I just glaze over. All the questions created the necessity for a very long time consuming reply - hence my use of the word 'complex'. You know what your queries are all about, we on the other hand, are confronted with an array of them to pick out the ones we wish to, or can, answer. Sadly, without a photo of the one that you don't wish to put on the board - your perogative
- it also becomes a bit of difficult conversation.
Your comments about not being able to go and do research "...at the drop of a hat...", frankly apply to all of us, for one reason or another. My major committment is to try and earn a living, particularly in these very difficult financial times! Time, distance and the necessary accompanying costs apply to all of us. For instance, it's three and a half hours (on a quick run) to go to BHGM for me, so a days travel including the return, and the better part of a tank of petrol.
As for being able to buy things that are known, it is not always a matter of large amounts of money, but knowledge that has been built up through the confidence created by buying, selling, discussing (as here on the GMB), having your own library/borrowing from the local library, and visiting museums that have glass collections (not only BHGM). The other way is to handle items at auction, something that cannot be done at museums. In fact confidence is very often the key come to think of it
There are always discrepancies between books and publications, the trick, if there is one, is to decide which are the consistantly reliable ones. Yes, books are expensive, but IMHO necessary for anyone with a deep interest in any subject.
Don't think that I'm assuming we can all buy glass and books to our heart's desire, in fact I always struggle to justify keeping an item or buy yet another book or sometimes even an archive, but without them there is no 'edge' for either the dealer or the collector. Books always pay for themselves. The first time you buy something (and save money) as a result of a book you've bought you are being paid back for the outlay.
The keeping of glass to learn from is something that a number of people do in order to understand a subject, including major collectors like Graham Cooley. It need not be vast numbers. It allows you to get a greater understanding of a subject, something that I learnt many years ago when there were no books on Powell/Whitefriars and the exhibitions weren't even a glint in the eye, I began buying the Arts & Crafts drinking glasses. Keeping and comparing the odd one to create a small collection allowed me to gain knowledge that few others had available at the time.
Personally, I think I'm driven by gaining the knowledge about something I know little about, finding the item is a buzz, but finding the information is just as much a buzz - hmmm, might be why I've never made a fortune out of the antiques business
Kind wishes, Nigel