Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

May 14, 2013

Fit for a king, priced for the common man

Greensburg — Beautiful and elegant, it was indeed “fit for a king.” The problem for the majority of the American public was that you had to be a king to afford it.

In 1905 the general public was introduced to a beautiful iridescent glass they could afford. By coating press glass with a sodium solution before firing, mass-production factories were able to produce a glass that mimicked the beauty of high luster Tiffany, and they called it “Carnival Glass.”

Women from average income household’s could now purchase a wonderful piece of art glass at their local department store, and purchase it they did. For the next two decades, carnival glass would be the most popular glass in America.

Fenton, Northwood, Dugan, Imperial and Millersburg were the five major manufacturers of carnival glass, but several other factories produced small quantities. Among the plants with limited production were Cambridge Glass, Westmoreland, McKee Glass, and the Jenkins’s Glass Company of Kokomo, Ind.

Jenkins made only a few patterns. Their main color was marigold and most all of their patterns were a combination of flowers and near-cut designs. These pieces, while not of the higher price range on a national level, are often sought after by regional collectors.

One of the most successful of the major producers, was Fenton Glass. Their success, in art glass production, is largely credited to the talents of Frank Fenton. Each piece he designed demonstrated his astute awareness of what the public admired in glass ornamentation. Then, as now, Fenton’s works are considered by many to be the finest examples of early carnival glass.

In all over 1,000 patterns of carnival glass were produced from 1905 to 1925. The availability and selection of the glass has long made it a favorite among collector. Colors most commonly found include purple, dark blue, marigold, and green. In lesser number you will find pieces in clear, white, aqua, red, peach, ice blue, ice green, amber, lavender and smoke.

In the early 1970’s the market was flooded with a reissue of several patterns in both the dark blue and marigold colors. Common examples include a pitcher and glasses and a covered compote. These”new”carnival pieces were offer in discount stores and lower end gift shops and are of no interest to collectors.

The differences in new and old carnival are considerable. If you are uncertain as to the visible differences between the two, stop by your local antique shop and ask to be shown examples of each. Once you have seen the two side by side, you will have no problem telling them apart.

To own a piece of carnival, is to own a small piece of American art glass history. It stands as a tribute to the ingenuity and skill of the American glass makers skills, and is the last form of hand-shaped glass to ever be produced in the United States.

{Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in downsizing for senior and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-429-7887 or lkennett@indy.rr.com}

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Five Decades of 'Progress “Political polarization,” “divided government” and “Washington gridlock” have been on the rise for the last 15 years. Public calls for compromise and de-emphasis on centralized government stand out in public opinion polls; yet, nothing changes, and t

    July 31, 2014

  • Governor Pence addresses President regarding unaccompanied children Dear President Obama,I am writing to express my profound concern about the federal government’s mishandling of the present crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s Southern border by the tens of thousands. The federal government has not

    July 31, 2014

  • Now why didn't I think of that? According to the dictionary definition, repurpose means “ to change or adapt something so it can be used for a purpose other than its original intent.” As one of the many who spend their free time “repurposing,” I like to think of it as bringing new

    July 31, 2014

  • Getting on with the program Now that the fair has been written in the history book, it’s time to get on to more Extension Homemaker News. But first, I would like to extend thanks to Eileen Fisse for the wonderful job she did for the Open Class exhibits. The building looked nice

    July 30, 2014

  • Pat Smith: An actor's life Chances are that Ben Tebbe would have been successful anyhow but it’s refreshing that he remembers who gave him a chance. No doubt, Karen (Clemenson) Hoak would have been proud of what he has accomplished since she gave him a part in a Tree County Pl

    July 30, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014