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Honeycomb & Hobstar

When the first of these amethyst vases sold in early May 1987 at the annual HOACGA Convention auction in Lenexa, KS, the late Don Moore paid $6500 for the privilege of taking it home. Extremely rare, and attributed to Millersburg following its initial portrayal as Cambridge Glass;  it was secured from the Cambridge Museum in Cambridge, OH for its first journey out of Ohio.

Our photo of the vase is taken from the cover of that auction brochure.

Marie McGee compiled her Millersburg Glass As I Know It in 1995. The photograph of the vase found in this book is said to have been taken while such  vase was in the collection of the late Don Doyle.
Another such print can be found  on the David Doty site, also attributed to the Doyle collection.

Marie notes that a blue example has been confirmed and another reported.
HONEYCOMB & HOBSTAR Vases-sold as a pair
HONEYCOMB & HOBSTAR Vases-sold as a pair

The week of Aug. 23, 2004 provided notice of a Live Ebay auction of the pair of amethyst vases shown here. Apple Tree Auction Center in Newark, Ohio would be selling the pair on Aug. 28 from their facility. Since we had not examined the vase in 1987, we decided to drive over and have a look at this pair.
Perfectly well-matched for iridescent color, they show no signs of wear. The iridescence has the distinct appearance of Northwood!  Thickness of the glass is about the same as found on the Hobstar and Feather Millersburg pieces. However, the base glass color is more like that found on many Imperial purple examples.

Base of the HONECOMB & HOBSTAR vase
Base of OCTAGON Pitcher
Base of the
Base of OCTAGON Pitcher

Another questionable trait is the design on the bottom. If this is actually a Millersburg mold, there are no other pieces having such extensive incising. As you can see from the cuts showing through the base,  compared to that of the Octagon pitcher base which we show, there is a similarity, right down to the Hobstar center design. We know that Hobstars were used extensively by Imperial, and perhaps a “copycat” approach exists with this vase design from another manufacturer? The vase has been  seen in crystal. Is it possible that the original Millersburg mold had never gone into production   before the decline of business began? Perhaps the mold was secured by another company following the Millersburg demise? We are mindful of the fact that the base mold is a separate piece, and could have been interchanged from some other vase design.

Questions without answers remain.

This 8 ½” vase (a four part mold) of an estimated 3/8” thickness may well be of Millersburg origin, or possibly attribution has yet to be truly determined. Listed on the auction brochure as #7165. PR AMETHYST CARNIVAL HOBSTAR FTD. VASES, ATTRIBUTED TO MILLERSBURG, we were told by the clerk that several others had felt they were not Millersburg.

Bidding began shortly after 11:00 AM. Three Millersburg collectors in the back of the room where we were, bid into the $14,000-$16,000 range rather quickly. There were a couple of absentee bids executed, as well. A well-known carnival glass dealer of long standing, sitting in the front row, finalized the purchase at $20,000 for the pair. Any of at least a half dozen prospective purchasers would very likely take them off his hands for substantially more.

With the possibility of a half dozen examples now in existence, we can only imagine that before long, following this latest notoriety, more of these vases will surface. We have heard many collectors say that when six of anything exist, scarce is the descriptive word to use, rather than rare.  Meanwhile those of you who are inclined to purchase “investment” pieces, rather than simply collect for the pleasure and beauty of the Glass,  can decide for yourselves just how much one of these would be worth to you.

Dean & Diane Fry~~Aug. 30, 2004
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,…
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-20

The day will come when we will stand Before our Judge, God's Son;
Have we so lived that He will say,“Well done, My child, well done”?-Sper

The crowns we wear in heaven must be won on earth.


Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:

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