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Fenton Water Sets - Part 4
FENTON WATER SETS - Part 4
APPLE TREE: Butler Bros. Wholesale catalog ads confirm the long run of production for this lovely water set. The late Frank M. Fenton once told us that the fruit used on this set are actually PLUMS, but after Mrs. Hartung named them apples, Fenton Glass decided not to create a “disturbance” over the error. Actually, upon close examination, structure of a “plum” is quite evident. You may view a very pretty blue set by clicking on ~ ~ in our pattern alphabet.
Three “apple tree vases” are known, (each having a different top opening.) but the “age” is in question. As we have explained in other segments, glassworkers are known to experiment and apply “imagination” during lunch breaks and between shifts. We have seen quite a few such “implements” over the years and listened to the unlikely stories attached. Speaking from close observation, experience and first-hand knowledge, skepticism and caution in such things is the best direction of thought. Glassworkers enjoy displaying their creative talents in today's world, just as in earlier times.
Limited numbers of NEW amethyst water sets with four tumblers were produced by Fenton in 2004. Vintage colors are blue, marigold and white.
BLUEBERRY: This very graceful set was made in blue, marigold and rare white. None are plentiful, with marigold being scarce and white sets should be considered rare! You may view a gorgeous blue set by clicking on ~ ~ in our pattern alphabet.
ORANGE TREE ORCHARD: in white is somewhat unusual. Orange tree designs were used frequently by Fenton, but each pattern has a distinction of its own. The orange trees used here are connected by a scrolled fence. For that reason, it could be confused with Orange Tree Scroll. However, the shape of this pitcher is quite different from the one used in Orange Tree Scroll. This pitcher is more bulbous, while Orange Tree Scroll is a tall tankard shape. In each case, the patterns are unique to the water sets. Blue, marigold and white are the standard colors for this pattern. You may view a blue set by clicking on ~ ~ in our pattern alphabet.
ORANGE TREE Grecian Urn - Old or NO!
ORANGE TREE ORCHARD “vase”: A story surrounding one such oddball piece relates that it had been “found at the bottom of the Ohio River, close to the Fenton factory.” Born in 1929 and 1933, we grew up and lived in Parkersburg, WV (situated along the Ohio River), until 1969, when we moved to San Diego. We can tell you with absolute certainty that should that vase have been in the river for any length of time: “the chemicals and acidic deposits” from Borg - Warner, DuPont, Fenton Glass, Martin - Marietta, Calco, Bakelite, and the several other such polluting giants who dumped waste products into that River from the 1940s time frame, forward to the years when EPA standards were placed into effect in the 1980s; along with the red clay soil in the river bottom, such a hazardous waste accumulation would have built up on this piece of glass that it could NEVER have been cleaned up to look as NEW as this vase!
As collectors, you surely have observed the total absence of iridescence on the bottom portions of MANY vases which were used in cemeteries? Minerals in the soil effectively destroyed the iridescence!
We lived through the time in history when such vases were filled with flowers, set down in a hole at gravesite, and left with only the top few inches of that vase above ground. This should be enough evidence to dispute the validity of said story, leaving sufficient question about the shiny state of this Orange Tree Orchard “vase” or Grecian Urn, as it has been referred to. (smile).
The piece should be recognized for just what it is…………a more recent example of creative ability. You have your opinion, and we reserve the same right!
We should be mindful of the fact that it was a glassworker on the floor who quite recently arrived at a correlation of appropriate ingredients, acceptable by today's standards, to produce the new and current marigold iridescent metallic spray………..in his spare moments. We met him on a tour of the work floor at Fenton Glass Co., while he was performing his “regular job”.
Glassworkers are clever artisans extraordinaire' of long-standing, quite capable of “extra-curricular activities” to further their “talents”.
Dean & Diane Fry - 2/09
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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