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Fenton Glass - Part 6
FENTON GLASS - Part 6
ELK BELL - Atlantic City 1911: This item, as well as the bowl and plate, was manufactured by Fenton to be sold during the 1911 B.P.O.E Convention. Considered to be in the Commemorative category of lettered pieces.
The bell is widely flared at the bottom, resulting in dimensions of 5 ½” tall x 3 1/8” wide. John Resnik remarked that of all the bells he examined in connection with printing his wonderful book on Lettered Pieces, were remarkably consistent in size characteristics. Coloring is satin smooth, having primarily gold/red highlights. The top ¾” or so of the handle is not iridized, because the bell was held in that area during the spraying process. On some bells, there is a slight indentation where the tool grasped the still-warm glass. This should not detract from the desirability of the bell in any way. No marigold Atlantic City commemoratives are known.
For whatever the reason: wording sequence is different on this bell from that printed on the Parkersburg variety. Atlantic City has; city, year, organization. Parkersburg has; city, organization, year.
ELK BOWL - Parkersburg 1914: That IS correct! Eddie Radcliff phoned us one evening just after purchasing this rarity in late May, 2006. One of his shop dealers had attended a house sale in Lubeck, WV, south of Parkersburg and picked up this “find”. At this writing, we have not heard of another example in the bowl shape. The price to Eddie was on a par with one of the plates, he said. We are grateful to have this photo for our viewers. Dean took the photo while we visited the June 2006 ACGA Convention held in Parkersburg (our hometown).
Note: The plate and bell in this pattern may be seen by clicking on - - in our pattern index. No marigold Parkersburg Elk examples are known.
DORSEY and FUNKENSTEIN Bowl: This ICS bowl appeared in an Ohio auction with no statement as to condition, in 2004. Since we made the mistake of selling our ruffled bowl many years ago, thinking we could “pick up” a plate without too much difficulty, we are still on that “trail”. We thought this example was worth looking at, so we drove for about 4 hrs., only to discover that there were three damaged places. The buyer (over internet bidding), unaware of any damage, paid far beyond the value we placed on such a damaged piece, so we took the photo you see here, and find ourselves continuing the search for a good plate to match the other advertising pieces we have in our collection. Produced by Fenton, having the familiar Wide Panel exterior.
DORSEY and FUNKENSTEIN Hand-Grip Plate: Clicking on - - in our pattern index, will take you for a look at the flat plate in this extremely scarce Advertising piece. We proudly display this beauty of a hand-grip example which speaks for its desirability in a very colorful manner! We sold our bowl in this pattern about 15 years ago to the late Eleanor Hamilton when she and Jack visited us. Our thoughts were that we would be able to “pick up” a “nice” plate before too much time lapsed. (You've heard the outcome of making an “ass-umption?”- smile. It has taken these many years since to locate “the plate”, only to find out that Mickey Reichel had come to the same auction for the same plate!!!!! When I explained (in detail) that this was the last Advertising piece we needed to complete the series, he very kindly allowed us to purchase it during a St. Louis Woody Auction in 2005. It took 23 years to gain a nice example in all of the 22 patterns - six inch size - which are available in plate form. When selecting, rather than just buying whatever comes into view, patience is an admirable trait! This Advertising pattern has been reported to be fairly available. In truth, it is quite difficult to obtain!!
ELK Nutbowl - Detroit 1910: This green nutbowl shape is quite rare. Only two green plates are known, and ruffled or I/C shape in green are very rare. You may see a ruffled green bowl by going to our pattern index and clicking on - -. Amethyst, blue, and green examples in both ruffled and I/C shape are known. Only a couple of ruffled marigold bowls are known. Of Fenton origin.
ILLINOIS SOLDIERS and SAILORS Plate: While marigold is said to be much more difficult to obtain, prices for those and the blue examples do not differ much. This is probably by reason of such exceptional color found on most plates, irregardless of color. A marigold plate is shown in a previously listed segment surrounding Commemoratives. Just click on - - in the pattern index to view it. Of Fenton origin.
Since we are perusing the subject of “antiquity”: History relates that upon reaching their “hundred year mark” certain antiques experience some indifference as a result of soaring prices which inhibit the wider spectrum of buyers. Some china and pottery categories have “peaked” as they approached that milestone. We are seeing this, more and more, as long term collections of carnival glass come to auction, and there are not enough beginning collectors to delve into the lower/midrange selections of carnival glass.
Are we (as a group of dedicated advanced collectors) doing ENOUGH to encourage and develop another generation of interested buyers? There must ALWAYS be “room at the bottom” for beginners who cannot “begin at the TOP!” This is a “soul-searching thought” when one considers that there already do not seem to be enough great rarities to fill the desires of those who collect only for investment!
There remains a quantity of average, SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL Carnival Glass to be valued by beginning collectors, selling at “soft” prices. Individually, we have our work cut out for us, and that INCLUDES REJECTION and pointed action AGAINST the Fenton bowls which continue to be reheated and pressed down into plate forms having the appearance of slight “egg plates”or areas of the surface with “dips”! The exterior of MANY we have handled are quite obviously NOT original FACTORY plates. The overspray used on the exterior splashes over onto the marie, or collar-base; this done in order to cover up the tool and burn marks resulting from direct application of heat and pressure, onto the areas of the bowl where original ruffles require flattening!
That overspray creates a “cloudy” appearance within the marie. NO ORIGINAL FENTON PLATES ever left the factory in that condition! A glassmaking clamp (unavailable to these after-market producers) completely COVERED that marie area so that NO SPRAY appears within the original plate collar base.
This fraudulent action is being conducted by someone with a CLEAR knowledge of the Fenton patterns which are SCARCE in plate form!
If NOT denounced by ALL collectors these miserable intruders will ultimately DESTROY the elevated value which has been placed upon certain scarce to rare plates of factory origin. Our C.G. auctioneers and dealers could be the first line of defense in curbing the further circulation of these “messy frauds”. Their acute senses in spotting such atrocities and their refusal to sell them would go a long way towards “trashing these intruders”.
Why are Fenton patterns being used for this dastardly act? Because the plain or Wide Panel exterior is easier to “re-work” than the ribbed and Basketweave exteriors of Northwood bowl examples, combined with the fact that MANY of Fenton's bowls are flatter in the center than most of those from Northwood! One “plate” we examined displayed flattened exterior berries, resulting from the applied heat necessary to flatten out the original ruffles in the bowl!
What do you say? Let's “CIRCLE THE WAGONS” and launch a personal effort in support of locating One New Collector during the coming year, along with “soundly rejecting” these miserable makeover bowls which we continually see for sale on eBay and those already circulating in collections and seen at Conventions? (While attending a Convention in June 2006, we personally handled and examined FIVE such FORMER BOWLS!) Better personal knowledge of glassmaking before spending money for such unworthy items would help considerably. ALL collectors would do well to visit the Fenton Factory and closely observe the making of a TRUE plate. Better to spend the money for such a trip than for a FALSE PLATE!
Seems a worthy overall challenge! We could call it a Restoration Project. Some new faces seen at Conventions would certainly be a WELCOME sight and putting a STOP to this “bowl into plate transformation” is a “required subject” which needs to be recognized for what it is.
We hear the term “FAKE” loosely tossed about in connection with reproductions. The unfortunate truth is that the true meaning of that word “FAKE” applies quite literally in the face of these “altered originals”.
Knowledge of this nasty activity is being “discussed” quietly among many individuals, and was openly discussed at the business meeting of a recent major Carnival Glass Convention, but a PUBLIC CONDEMNATION announcement should bring an end to the activity.
So long as thousands of dollars can be made by altering a $50 bowl, some unscrupulous person(s) will continue the practice. The outcome is entirely in the hands of those willing to take a “stand” against the perpetrators. If we choose to look the other way, these abominations will completely DESTROY carnival glass as a viable collectable!
Fenton patterns involved in this “makeover”: Concord, Vintage, Dragon & Lotus, Orange Tree, Wild Blackberry, among others!
(You can read more about this creation of FAKES by going to our section on ALERTS.)
Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished,
But he who gathers by labor will increase…..Proverbs13:11
BUTTERFLY and BERRY Bowl: These pretty and very rare white 9” bowls are certainly not found in your average auction. The small berry or sauce is not known in white. Blue and marigold are the “usual colors” found in this Fenton berry set, with green and amethyst quite scarce. A lone Nile Green large bowl, having a slag effect is known. While there are no large red bowls to date, a small berry in red sold in 1997 for $500.
VINTAGE: The Vintage pattern by Fenton is certainly a standard design all collectors know, but so far as Celeste is concerned, whether it be in the 9”-10” (seen by clicking on - - in our pattern index,) or in this 6” size, the Celeste color is rare. Price results over time, indicate $1,000-$4,000 to be the trend, depending upon condition and mold clarity. Not quite in the same class with red examples, this color does arouse much interest.
PEACOCK and GRAPE Bowl: This pattern on the Moonstone base glass is always quite attractive when one is fortunate enough to locate an example for purchase. At first glance, the overall effect is that of Marigold, which is always on the clear glass base. Milk glass base is very intense white in nature and cannot be seen through. Moonstone base glass has an opaque effect which will allow the outline of your fingers to vaguely show through to surface.
PEACOCK and GRAPE Bowl: Vaseline opal has a slight marigold overlay, but the opal edges force our examination of the base glass to determine that the yellowish-green appearance indicates we should use a black light to confirm our suspicion. These 8”-9” ruffled, I/C shape, or 3/1 edge bowls are found in a multitude of colors from A to V, beginning with Amber and ending with Vaseline Opal. In addition to the standard colors associated with Fenton manufacture, Lime green, lime green opal, the moonstone base, peach opal, red and red slag are included. One could fill a six or eight foot shelf with nothing but these bowls……………and some hard cash! (smile)
BLACKBERRY SPRAY: Reverse Amberina is a somewhat controversial resultant affect of too many firings. Red glass will become silvery in appearance with overheating, and reverse amberina is grossly diminished red. In the case of this hat, all that is left of the red is that tiny fringe of color on the outer edge.
Is it desirable? As with all other colors, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Some like it, others do not.
BLACKBERRY SPRAY: This flattened hatshape in marigold is somewhat unusual so far as shape is concerned. Those collectors who build entire collections of hat shapes are always seeking examples with yet another varying appearance. The berry spray pattern is rather obliterated with these tight crimps, but somehow that never inhibits desirability.
Dean & Diane Fry - 7-06
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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