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Bon-Bon Shapes

Text by Diane Fry/Photos by Dean Fry

There is such a gallery of patterns within this category of carnival glass, that complete collections can be accumulated utilizing this single shape. Criteria for establishing just what “IS” a bon-bon, becomes quite simple. There are collar-base and stemmed/footed types. The “key” is two handles!....There are nappies, which have only one handle. These are a different “species” entirely.

Now we need to discuss the various “shapes within the shape”; i.e., round, card-tray, or two-sides up, square, deep oval, and four sides turned up. If that is not confusing enough, we shall continue in saying that each pattern has its own characteristics in shaping. Don’t tell us you have nothing to learn! (smile).

Interesting to note, is that Imperial and Millersburg, among the leading five manufacturers of carnival glass, made few examples in the bon-bon shape. The majority were produced by Fenton and Northwood, with Dugan adding a few to this realm. We have fifteen examples to discuss here, which by no means consititutes the entire spectrum. As you purchase books in your learning process, you will see numerous patterns photographed for your pleasure, and can then decide which ones please your tastes. As with all the other shapes to select from, some patterns are plentiful, while still others are more scarce and not often seen. Listed in no particular order, we merely want to familiarize you with this interesting facet of carnival glass.

(Stippling indicates a series of tiny indentations into the glass itself, as in pinpoints; usually found as part of the background under the pattern.) If none is noted, then the background is smooth (or non-stippled). Stippled versions of bonbons/plates/bowls usually cost more. This is an interesting fact, in that, when discussing the matter with those who should know about such things, we understand that the stippling effect was added to molds as wear was noted i.e., scars, pits, resulting from repeated cleaning of the molds in constant use.
If you enjoy the artistry of design and pattern, then chances are you will be crazy about bon-bons, for MANY of them have patterns unique to the shape. We will note this aspect for you in our descriptions. Indication of red as a given color, determines that pattern to have been produced late in the period of (old) vintage carnival glass—from the late ‘teens into the early twenties, in order to extend the desirability for marketing.

Grape & Cable
Lotus Land
white - collar-base - Northwood:
Also marigold, amethyst, green cobalt, marigold over custard, aqua and vaseline ( Stippled as well.)
marigold - collar-base - Northwood:
Also amethyst (As of 7/4/03, there is only one known in marigold,
and fewer than a dozen in amethyst.) (Unique)
Night Stars
blue - collar-base - Fenton:
Also marigold (Unique)
marigold - stippled - collar-base - Millersburg:
(Fewer than half dozen known in marigold), amethyst, green and olive green. (Unique)
Fruits & Flowers
Rose Bouquet
sapphire - stemmed - footed -
marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt, white, ice blue, ice green, aqua opal, Renninger blue,(called by this name because the first blue piece in this shade was discovered at Renninger’s Antique Market in PA many years ago.) aqua, ice blue opal, clambroth, smoke and lavender. (Stippled as well.)
white - collar-base - Fenton:
One known in blue.
Aqua Lotus & Grape
ice blue - collar-base - Northwood:
This is the threaded version (exterior design). marigold, amethyst, cobalt, green. (Butterfly is also found with a plain exterior.) (Unique)
aqua - collar-base - Fenton:
marigold, amethyst, green, blue, vaseline, teal and red. (as in deep red, not cherry red.)
Basket of Roses
green - collar-base - Millersburg:
This can be found in oval and nearly round shape, as well. Rather a large specimen at 7 ½”x 5 ½”! Also found in amethyst. (Unique)
amethyst - stippled - collar-base - Northwood:
marigold. Also found non-stippled. (Unique)
Embroidered Mums
lime green opal - collar-base - Fenton: marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt, vaseline, vaseline opal, amber, amberina, and red. (Unique). Sometimes found with a strawberry intaglio on the base.
white - stemmed - footed - Northwood:
 no other color known.
Persian Medallion
Roses & Fruits
celeste blue - collar-base - Fenton:
amber, amberina, amethyst, aqua, blue, pastel blue, green, marigold, moonstone, vaseline and red (as in deep red, not cherry )
blue - stemmed - footed - Millersburg: amethyst, green and marigold. (Unique)
Cherry Circles
green - collar base - Fenton:
marigold, blue, powder blue, emerald green, aqua, amethyst and cherry red.

The distinctly Northwood, square Basketweave exterior appears on the Grape & Cable, Fruits and Flowers, Basket of Roses, and Embroidered Mums bon-bons described here

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