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FLOATING in the SWANS Dilemma
Research on these novelty birds is “all over the board”!
According to some:
Northwood Glass Co. produced them from 1896 -1899
National Glass Co. made them from 1899 -1904
Dugan Glass Co. made their share from 1904 -1920
Fenton has made their fair share during their 100 year reign, as well.
Fenton records indicate the Swan mold was purchased from Northwood after Northwood closed. Whether an outright sale or an auction was the source is not clear. The year of purchase was 1925 or 1926.
Since Dugan and Northwood were cousins, perhaps they “borrowed” each other's molds from time to time. So, when Dugan made Swans, it may have been the Northwood mold they used?
Generally speaking, any of the Swan moulds are 4 ¾” in length. Some have elevated wing lift, some have a definitive “floral” appearance amongst the wing feathers , many have the stippled neck area, while others we have seen, clearly display a feather design in place of the stippling.
However we choose to separate rightful producers into present day “newer” versions, and this has kept seriously rising prices at bay, with exception of Peach opalescent examples, accepted as “old”, along with the very scarce genuine marigold examples, which give rise to notice among collectors.
Since toxins and the lead elements, along with many other unhealthful components which comprise the “dope” spray used for iridizing, MARIGOLD is a “thing of the past”! It may be used in foreign Countries, but glass workers in the United States will not subject themselves to such.
Before the advent of precautions taken in the work place, many a glassworker succumbed to the overpowering content of that wonderful iridescent spray we all admire. We cannot ask that of workers today!
A Fenton employee, whom we met while taking a tour of the factory in late March 2005, can take credit for the latest marigold solution being used on several very pretty examples of glassware. This latest mixture is safe for spraying, placing the workers in no health danger. It creates a lovely bright appearance, but definitely does not look the same as vintage marigold!
So, you see, “former opinions of-just marigold”, now should be rectified and re-stated as “treasured” for its lasting beauty and true status: “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”……………..there will be no more!
Dean & Diane Fry - 6-08
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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