Did UCAGO Quietly Become UC&GC in 1956?

I will make this quick. I spent too much time researching this Maker's mark, but the results are clear ...to me. I think I have uncovered something that has been mistakenly referred to for a half Century! ...well at least on the Internet. This Detective work was about trying to look up a silly ceramic figurine with a gold foil sticker sporting a poorly conceived logo. I clearly see a tiny "Ampersand" and read this as UC&GC, but only under magnification (remember this is very magnified). It is easy to see the confusion.

     

Here's the rub. Try googling UC&GC and you'll get nothing. No one can see the ampersand and thinks that is a "C" or an "O" ...so try googling UCGC ...B00M, results by the ton. Try finding out who UCGC is (Manufacturer? History?), lots of product Image search results for their Gift Craftware, but no one knows who is UCGC. So I am closing in and trying different queries against the Googlemachine and I think I have uncovered an as-yet-unknown sticker Identity. GSaleHunter the King and Queen of No One Cares!

I looked for entirely too long and could not find this simple sticker linked to a Manufacturer. The same logo presents with "Japan" and "Taiwan". The important part is *everyone* is wrong about who this represents and are usually only described in product listings as a UCGC Maker's mark, so allow me some bragging rights ...even though my assumption is not verified, it will quickly become an obvious "ooooh yeeeah".

So I did this alphabetically and it became clear. Reading the Japanese porcelain Maker's marks on Gotheborg you can scroll down to the "U"s and read the History of Ucagco - United China and Glass Company, which now seems to be a sadly incomplete story. Ucagco sold in 1956 and it's lead Designer and CEO retired in 1962, and the story ends there ...and so did the recognizable gold foil stickers "Ucagco" on their Gift Craft line. I am supposing that newly led company which purchased the 100-year-old (famous!) United China and Glass Company, wanted to come up with a new logo and sticker design for all their new products.

Ok, you get an "F" on your logo design if it forever defeats anyone knowing who you are, which I believe is exactly the case here. A tiny "&" tucked into cramped letters? Maybe it looked good on the Drawing Board. GSaleHunter hereby rectifies the confusion ...although I could be totally wrong. UCGC is actually UC&GC, the 1962 rebranded United China & Glass Co. of Sammons Enterprises. Please share any information below!

Check your stickers people (magnifier or cell phone camera required!) on all those kitchy porcelain figurines. Verification? What happened to Ucagco products after being transitioned to the new owners in 1962? What products did they make, and how were those Sammons Enterprises Imports labeled? I'm saying with the above stickers. More guessing based on historical trends. The "UC&GC Japan" stickers represent products from the 1960's (post-1962?) and stickers with "UC&GC Taiwan" represent products made as Taiwan stole Japan's export crown in the 1970's 

This is an uncovered topic anywhere. Now the conversation is initiated and hopefully you found us when you googled UC&GC  Join the conversation and join our Social Media on InstagramTwitter and Facebook, and sign up with your email to get our newest Tips and Tricks and the next episode of "Before and After"  See our other Blog "Researching Vintage" to learn how we prep and research incoming new treasures. Thanks for stopping by,

The Struggle for Vintage is Real! The struggle for random obscurity? Oh that just comes naturally.

GSaleHunter


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  • M Shuttleworth on

    Well done!!

  • DPN on

    July 13, 2020
    I bought a set of four cups and saucers with the paper label “United China and Glass Co. JAPAN No.72/3532 C” The paper label is a rectangle and not foil. Approx. 1" by 1.75" . The cups and saucers have a ‘catherineholm’ type pattern that is much like “lotus”. Each C&S set is a different color – yellow, deep pink, forest green, or deep orange. White background. Saucers have a ring of the “lotus”-like pattern and cups have the same ringed pattern. Saucers and Cups have a band of color and ring of white lotus on the band. Both cup and saucer are rimed with a thin line of shiny gold. Handles are white with gold teardrop. I put them with my CatherineHolm pieces. Just found out today, from your blog, something about the company. Thank you! Now to find the designer. It may well be the designer S.A. Stolaroff who later became president of UCAGCO when if became Sammos Enterprises in 1956. He retired in 1962. Any thoughts on this being the designer? Do not see where I could post photo(s).

  • GSaleHunter on

    Mandy!

    As more people post to this topic it tells me this company bought and sold Giftware items from other manufacturers all over the world. I do know this buying practice is an annual event for Importers like United China and Glass (Trade Shows). The number of actual manufacturers and Artists whose creations ended up with UCAGO or UC&GC stickers could easily be in the hundreds! While that little gold sticker gives you a clue, it really does not give any information about the actual Maker.

    I can’t offer any appraisals and I don’t have any information about these source companies. One of the points I made in this Blog was how this has actually been somewhat lost to the modern Internet. In fact lost so thoroughly, there is almost no information on “UC&GC”!. One thing to know is these items were typically affordable gifts when new, sold in Dept Stores and Dime Stores (are there still any Woolworths open?) While those Asian imports may have been low cost, they were not necessarily low quality. I resell these items myself because they offer a definitely Mid-Century appeal.

    Mandy read my advice just above and see if you can find similar “Sold” items in search. It may help you have a 2020 understanding what you items are currently valued. I guess you find them appealing and there is nothing more important than that! If you are thinking about selling them online I also bet someone else would too. Best of luck in your treasure hunt!

    -GSH

  • GSaleHunter on

    Cindy,

    Your pink Italian UCAGO vase is 70+ years old so approaching “antique” status adds to the value, but craftsmanship and artistry are always key. Any prized piece offers that something special, and in the end, “value” really means what someone will pay you. Online Selling is the opportunity to offer your item to the entire world and that can mean getting top dollar …eventually. At a Garage Sale things commonly go for ten cents on the dollar. Finding that one lady in Italy who knows the real story/value of your piece may pay top dollar, but you set the selling price in advance (Auctions are not for the faint of heart ..Live or on eBay). Your question tells me you understand this struggle.

    Commenters above have already added several Countries-of-origin for United China and Glass items ..now you have added Italy. So what’s it worth? The trick is finding one similar that has already sold. “Sold” listings create a record which online Sellers follow as a Market trend…always some range. Success selling online is knowing those price trends and that means improving your Search skills …you have to find those “Solds” and more than just one to best determine a real price range.

    This whole blog post was about nearly impossible that can be …especially with this manufacturer, or more precisely “Importer”. If quality is important to “Value” (it is) then you must understand the difference between being a manufacturer with a reputation (Tiffany?) and being an Importer (like UC&GC) whose only skill is finding other Makers with products to put their UGCG stickers on. There is no automatic “Oh that’s from Tiffany, so it’s quality!” It also is not an automatic thumbs down either! Who knows who the actual glass blower was sold UCAGO 1,000 vases in 1952 (?) It truly could have been a famous Glassblower.

    Best advice? You already know about Fenton. Capture some of those similar keywords for your search like “ruffled” and end your search string with -fenton …so type this into Google →
    UCAGO pink ruffled glass vase italy -fenton -murano
    the minus sign without a space says “show me results WITHOUT fenton or murano” (you want to use “Italy” in your search but that will trigger an avalanche of Murano glass results")
    Hey! I just tried it and it worked pretty good! Using the “minus” can really trim those “too many!” Search Results and get you success.

    Read the original blog post and make note how I said you could search for UCGC (which is wrong) and get a ton of results because no one can read the sticker. In that case a million wrong searches actually built a huge database of wrongness. The struggle for Vintage is real! …but I see you feel the Treasure Hunt! I hope this helped,
    -GSH

  • Mandy on

    Hi, I am wanting to know some information on Two Thia lady porcelain dancers please…
    Can you help me or direct me too someone please?



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