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The following story written by Margaret Dickinson, Victoria, Australia, relates a typical experience told by many of the earlier collectors whose enthusiasm for carnival glass, introduced existence of Club association where members have the advantage of sharing the latest glass “finds”, along with seeing those examples found in the interim of meetings by fellow collectors.
Without the dedication and foresight of those who worked to form Club intervention and lasting friendships with those of similar interests, carnival glass would not have developed to the degree we all enjoy today!
The years between my acquaintance with Carnival Glass and the formation of the Australian Carnival Enthusiasts Club were long, frustrating times, as there was no one who seemed to have any information at all, least of all the people at the second hand shops that sold me the odd pieces.
December 1942, my father gave me a Glory Box for my 21st birthday, with a pair of crystal salt cellars. I already had what I now know was a marigold Fenton Fine Rib 9 inch vase, and a marigold Fenton Holly ruffled edge bowl to place in it.
The War interrupted most things for a time, as just about everything was rationed, even leisure time.
May 1945 when Ron and I were married, one of our wedding gifts was a completely round marigold bowl that was always referred to as the Fish bowl. Looking for glass took a back seat for some time, as we reared a family of three children.
The 1950s brought to light some interesting finds when Ron came home from a local auction with three pieces of green Carnival Glass, the one color I do not care for. They were a Horse Head Medallion, Butterfly and Berry spooner, and a Pine Cone round bowl. The contents of one box cost Two Shillings. This was before Australia switched to decimal currency, so it amounted to twenty cents.
These pieces remained on our shelves and admired by friends who visited us over the next twenty years. We still did not find a name for it.
One fine morning, October 1973, we were on our way home from an out of town visit. Ron said, “I want to make an early start. I am taking you to see something.” This journey took us over the mountains to the old mining town of Castlemaine. There was the first display of thirty pieces of Carnival Glass, all colors, that I did not know existed!
A group of the local folk decided to raise the capital to restore the old market building which was becoming a ruin, by running an exhibition of anything of interest in collectables. It never occurred to me at the time to inquire who the owner of the Carnival Glass was. There was just a card stating “Carnival Glass”. GOOD! It had a name!
One Saturday morning, Ron read under the Wanted ad, a request for the American Woman's Day magazine (August 1965), featuring Carnival Glass. The contact phone number was given. Finally, we were on the track of someone else interested in Carnival Glass. Contact was made long before the Woman's Day was found, but this lady did know of someone in the country and had no way of getting there. She did make arrangements to visit a suitable day for all and Ron did the driving.
Now there were three and very soon became five when Muriel and Bill Triplett were found , along with Dorothy Lehman from South Australia.
I still had not located the lady from Castlemaine Display, but by chance one day, I called at the auction rooms near the Melbourne City area and saw a lady collecting her purchases of Carnival Glass. Yes, it was Patricia Cubeta, the Castlemaine lady. She did not get to this auction often as she had young twin sons and an older little girl of school age.
A good friendship had developed. Dorothy Lehman of South Australia came often, to stay with us, as we lived at this time, close to Muriel and Bill Triplett. We all shared our “finds” often.
An evening in May 1975, Dorothy was visiting, when it was arranged to visit the Tripletts. Patricia and Carlo Cubeta were also invited to meet Dorothy.
The subject of a Carnival Club was discussed, and as there was such unity among these friends in seeking others who could have the same interest, it was decided right then to do so. Muriel and Bill set things going as Secretary/Treasurer and President and arranged for the first meeting in June 1975. Founding members were: Muriel and Bill Triplett, Dorothy Lehman, Margaret Dickinson, Patricia and Carlo Cubeta.
At this meeting we requested that Muriel design a Club Logo. The result is the very appropriate A.C.E. of Clubs with the Kangaroo in the center.
“Australian Carnival Enthusiasts, Inc.”
P.S. The one thing that surprises me most is that when I first started looking, Carnival Glass that I found was approximately 35 years old?
Logo for AUSTRALIAN CARNIVAL ENTHUSIASTS
Margaret is in her 80s now, and just as enthusiastic about Carnival Glass as she was in the early years. She is a tower of strength for her emulators and a pillar in the world of Carnival enthusiasts.
With high regard for her accomplishments ~~ we remain!
Dean and Diane Fry - 11/04
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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