Saturday, January 14, 2012

Collectors' Favorites 2011 From Stu Farnsworth

Hi Tom,

Here are a few scans of my better floats received during the 2011 season, with brief descriptions:

The Black float is an opaque, grapefruit sized beauty that was found in a dilapidated fisherman's shed in Honshu, Japan, before the Earthquake and Tsunami.

The Double FF Hokuyo is the opaque-yellow vaseline glass float, grapefruit-sized, and came off Ebay.

The Green is a gem. It's a pure kelly green, very bright and a rare color indeed. It's very brightly colored, and a real gem for my color collection.

The Clear Roller is a 6inch Tohoku. Very nice colorless float that has been well used.

The Blue Dot is outstanding because it is not the standard golf ball-sized, it is the size of a baseball. It was found on the Aleutians by Paul Umloff. I was very lucky to get this outstanding float as it is one of the most intensely blue seal buttons that I have seen.

The Purple and Beer Bottle Brown TO in a Diamond floats, were acquired in a trade for my rare Japanese Football Float.

The Robins Egg Blue Baseball-sized gem is just that - a fantastic very beautiful blue, which is the only float in that color in my collection.

Late last winter, Stu sent me the following email, and included photos of his collection of colored Boxed In A Diamond TO Japanese floats. I knew about the rarity of these floats, because I religiously follow the Ebay glass float auctions, and over the years, had seen less than a handful of these floats for sale. Each auction was vigorously bid on by many Japanese glass float collectors, and the final prices paid were always quite high. When I looked at the photos of Stu's collection, I was stupefied. I had no idea that there were so many color variations of the marking, and to find that Stu had been working for 25 years to build this collection, simply amazed me.

Hey Tom;

A happy note: My trade finally went thru. After 6 months of negotiations, I was able to get a solid deep Purple TO, and a killer deeply sandblasted Honey Amber TO. I have enclosed scans of my complete TO collection as of this date. I've been working on this collection for 25 years.

I now have a 2nd Cinnamon and a 2nd Purple. Now, I can trade for another color TO I don't have. I still need a Bright Green and a Blue. I'm hoping that these two traders will come in handy.

The Deep Purple is my trump card. I have to sit back, wait and hope that one comes my way. Anyway, wanted to share these with you because I knew you would appreciate the value of these very rare marks. You are welcome to put any of these on your blog if you would like.

The Grooved Roller, you already know the story. (See the Nov. 1, 2011 post): "Lightening Strikes Stu Twice".

Baseball-sized Japanese Salmon Gill net Float with no visible cracks anywhere to allow so much water in a pure gem.

Korean three-piece molded Anchor. It is a baseball-sized float that was found by Paul Umloff on a Aleutian Island beach.

As many of the readers know, Stu, and his great friend Alan Rammer, are the authors of two editions of the collector's price guide and identification handbook:


While the prices are not as accurate as when the books were first written, the books have been the best source to identify European and Scandinavian float markings, sizes and colors - as well as some of the Japanese and American-made floats. They have been a help to many collectors and sellers over the last 10 years.

Stu is another reason why I am a lucky man. We have been enjoying a fine across the U.S. email friendship for a number of years. My first float trade was done with Stu, and as time has passed, Stu has been a constant source of fun and fellowship. It took many years before I was finally able to return a favor or two to Stu. You see, many times Stu has given great gifts of himself and help to me. For his friendship, I am very thankful.

If you wish to read a nice 3-piece story about Stu, go to:,

and if you would like to see a 2-part video that Stu made of floats from his collection go to Google Search Engine, and type in:

You Tube video-Glass Floats Collection

You may have to do a bit of searching, so if you cannot find it from my hint, still go to Google, and search for: You Tube Video-Japanese Glass Fishing Floats. That's how I originally found Stu's videos, and there are other interesting videos about floats on You Tube.

As soon as I am able to, last year's favorites from the "Float Collector Extraordinaire," Olaf Raabe, will appear.


  1. Love looking at all the lovely glass..... the banana yellow is my fav today....

  2. Anonymous4:29 AM

    Stu, The depth of your collection continues to amaze me, I had no idea the TO floats came in so many variations of color - outstanding. Thanks for sharing the great scans. Its always an education when you share even a small part of your outstanding collection. Also, a big thanks to Tom for the time and effort that is spent throughout the year keeping us all in contact. Bob Buffington