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Fenton Art Glass

Fenton Art Glass

Brothers Frank L. and John W. Fenton opened The Fenton Art Glass Company as a cutting and decorating shop in July 1905, in Martins Ferry, Ohio. The business began as a decorating shop that used blanks supplied by various glass manufacturing companies. As the firm prospered it became evident to the Fentons that their suppliers either could not or would not meet their increasing demands for more glassware. Therefore, it was an almost inevitable decision that to survive and prosper, they would have to produce their own glass. A decision was made to purchase a site and build a plant in Williamstown, West Virginia. The first glass from the new Fenton Art Glass plant was produced on January, 2, 1907. The first plant manager was Jacob Rosenthal, a seasoned veteran of the glassmaking business. He had learned his skills in over twenty-five years of working at the various glasshouses around the country. He brought with him many secret formulas and his knowledge of color was soon tested by the fledgling Fenton operation. Colored glassware in opalescents, Persian blue, and chocolate was soon pouring from the plant. Upon Jacob's retirement, his son Paul became plant manager and glassware continued to be produced with the same unique formulas. Early glassware included pressed glass pieces in green, crystal, topaz opalescent, blue opalescent, ruby, and amethyst. Iridescent glassware soon became the rage and the Fenton plant produced vast amounts of carnival glass. Patterns were numerous, production expanded, and the company prospered. In 1912, the company was back into the decorating business. By 1918, the volume in the cutting shop peaked and then gradually declined until Fenton finally phased out the cutting operation in the early 1930s. I n 1939, Fenton stepped up production of the No. 289 Hobnail cologne bottle for Wrisley. At times there were as many as 8 to 10 shops making this piece. Production for the regular line of was concentrated on the Spiral patterns in Steigel Blue Opalescent, French Opalescent, Green Opalescent, Blue Ridge and Cranberry. Demand for the patterns and treatments that were popular in the mid-1930's was tapering off. Thus, most of the pieces in the Daisy and Button, Georgian, Lincoln Inn and Plymouth patterns were discontinued. Satin finished patterns were also diminishing in popularity and were phased out. Peach Blo--a cased glass with a gold ruby interior and a milk glass exterior layer--also entered the line for a single year. Although orders for the No. 289 cologne bottle from Wrisley were diminishing by the mid 1940's, Fenton made a major commitment to the future of both opalescent colored glassware and the Hobnail pattern. The 1940 general catalog showcases the introduction of the No. 389 Hobnail line in Blue Opalescent, French Opalescent, Green Opalescent and Cranberry. Crest patterns were also highlighted. Peach Crest spruced up and replaced the original Peach Blo pattern. In 1947, the Coin Dot pattern was added to the regular line in Blue Opalescent, French Opalescent, and Cranberry colors. On the economic front, the boom resulting from the limited competition of the war years was coming to an end. Increased competition from foreign manufacturers resulted in a sharp decrease in orders from domestic retailers. During the early 1950's numerous changes were implemented as the new generation became more familiar with the company's operations. Isaac Willard, a young chemical engineering graduate from the University of Pittsburgh came to Fenton to assume the duties of chief chemist. The sales organization was revamped to eliminate the role of jobbers in the sale of Fenton glassware. From now on only manufacturer's representatives would handle the sales. Manufacturer's representatives are sales specialists who work on sales commissions and usually represent several companies for specialized products. In addition, to spark interest in Fenton glassware, a national advertising campaign was begun. A noteworthy event for 1955 was the production of the first catalog with full color photographs. Milk glass Hobnail became the leading seller as more pieces were added to that line. During the mid 1960's Fenton explored the possibility of entering the lamp business. Previously, Fenton had made lamp parts for many years for numerous companies who then assembled and marketed the finished product. Recently, milk Hobnail lamps had been successfully tested in the Fenton Gift Shop. Also, other test market results indicated a strong possibility that a line of lamps could be successfully marketed. After this short but successful test marketing period, Fenton began production with an initial offering of 18 lamps. Lamp patterns included Rose, Poppy and a large Coin Dot style that Fenton dubbed Thumbprint. Fenton ventured into the 1970's with a brightly iridized new line of wares. This reintroduction of Carnival Glass was the first small step in the development of a major new line of glassware. These new pieces were marked with an embossed Fenton logo and all came complete with a descriptive tag attached. The first in a series of annual Carnival Glass collectible plates in the Craftsman series appeared in the January catalog supplement. Fenton began the process of affixing a molded identifying logo onto the bottom of each piece. Moulds were modified as time permitted and the process of incorporating the logo into all the moulds was completed by 1974. Also, during the mid 1970's with Louise Piper at the helm of the decorating department, lines of hand painted glassware had been steadily expanding and maturing. New decorations were developed and implemented and individual artists also began to include their signatures on their work. Production of popular hand painted glassware continued until the plant closed in the first decade of the 21rst Century.

Items 1 to 10 of 59 total

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  1. Fenton French Opalescent #950 -11" Oval Bowl and Cornucopia Candlesticks - SCARCE

    Fenton French Opalescent #950 -11" Oval Bowl and Cornucopia Candlesticks - SCARCE

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Item: #950 -11" Oval Bowl and Cornucopia Candlesticks - Color: French Opalescent - Marks: Not Marked- Fenton did not mark their glassware until 1970 - Production Date: Mid 1930s - 1939 - Condition: This lovely console set was produce from the mid 1930s until the early 1940s. It is a scarce set to find in French Opalescent. This lovely #950 oval bowl and candlesticks are in UNDAMAGED CONDITION without chips or cracks. The set is free of disfiguring mold imperfections. The color is really fabulous --- lots of opalescence, which you can see from our photo. Learn More
    $189.99
  2. Fenton Hobnail Blue Opalescent #389 - 5" Covered Jar / Candy - Extremely RARE

    Fenton Hobnail Blue Opalescent #389 - 5" Covered Jar / Candy - Extremely RARE

    Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The opalescence is good and strong. The jar is a good medium blue color. The lid fits correctly. It is nice and clean inside, and we have checked all the hobs and have found them to be damage free. Learn More
    $329.99
  3.  Fenton Butterflies & Bamboo 19"  Princess Lamp with 3 Way Switch - SCARCE

    Fenton Butterflies & Bamboo 19" Princess Lamp with 3 Way Switch - SCARCE

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company Item: #7504YB 19" Butterfly and Bamboo Princess Lamp Color: Custard Satin with Green, Brown, and Yellow Bamboo and Butterflies, outlined with Orange Red Trim. Signature: "Fenton Hand Painted by George Schlicher" Circa: 1981 Description / About: Butterflies and Bamboo Lamp: 18 1/2" H. - 6" W. Condition: Our striking Butterflies and Bamboo Lamp was only made for one year which makes it difficult to find. This fantastic lamp has a stunning hand painted design that combines butterflies and bamboo to create a dramatic effect on Fenton's cream satin colored base. The lamp is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The hand painting is excellent--very delicate and precise. The lamp is artist signed by Fenton artist, George Schlicher. The burnished brass looks like new. The cord is in nice shape. It has a 3 way switch for different light combinations paired with a night light in the base. The lamp is in good working condition. The lamp even has its original tag still attached to the cord. It would be difficult to find a lamp in nicer condition than this one. We show an original 1981 catalog page. This is for informational use only and is not for sale with the lamp. Learn More
    $229.99
  4.  Fenton Hobnail Blue Opalescent #3923 -12" Ftd DC Bowl / Compote

    Fenton Hobnail Blue Opalescent #3923 -12" Ftd DC Bowl / Compote

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company Pattern: Hobnail Item: #3923-12" Footed DC Bowl / Compote Color: Blue Opalescent Marks: Unsigned--items made prior to 1970 were unmarked Production Dates: 1948 - 1955 Description / About: #3923-12" Footed DC Bowl / Compote: 7 1/4" H. - 11 3/4" W. Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. This lovely footed bowl / compote is in perfect shape. It is well formed and has a beautiful deep blue color. The opalesence is fabulous and the crimping is nicely done. POSTAGE AND INSURANCE ON THIS PRETTY ITEM IS CALCULATED. Learn More
    $149.99
  5. Fenton Frosted Asters on Blue Satin #1760FA  Petite Bell- ARTIST SIGNED

    Fenton Frosted Asters on Blue Satin #1760FA Petite Bell- ARTIST SIGNED

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Item: #1760FA Petite Bell - Pattern: Frosted Asters Color: Blue Satin with Pink and Blue Hand Painted Flowers with Green Stems and White Highlights. - Marks / Artist Signature: Signed "D.Miller" - Circa: 1983 - 1984 - Measurement: #1760FA Petite Bell: 3 3/8" H. - 2 1/8" W. - Item Condition: The Fenton Art Glass Company produced this beautiful Blue Satin #1760FA Petite Bell. There were two bells made in this pattern. The bell shown here is the smaller of the two. This pretty bell is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The color is beautiful. The flowers were created with a tiny brush strokes to achieve a spidery appearance. The bell clapper is original. Learn More
    $29.99
  6. Fenton Hobnail Cranberry Opal #3965 Squat Jug / Pitcher

    Fenton Hobnail Cranberry Opal #3965 Squat Jug / Pitcher

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company Pattern: Hobnail Item: #3965 32 oz. Squat Jug / Pitcher - Color: Cranberry Opalescent Marks: Unmarked Fenton did not use the embossed mark until 1970 Production Dates: 1940 - 1950 Measurement: 5" H. - 6 3/4" W. Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. All the hobs on this piece have been checked. Beautiful Coloring! It has a perfectly applied handle. There are a couple of tiny pinpoint dark spots on the rim. Really nothing, but we want to make sure that we report everything. A perfect example of Fenton's hand made glassware. Learn More
    $99.99
  7. Fenton Spanish Lace / Silver Crest #3508 Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

    Fenton Spanish Lace / Silver Crest #3508 Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern: Spanish Lace - Item: #3508 Salt and Pepper Shakers - Production Dates: 1965 - 1970 - Color: White with Crystal Crest - Mark: Unsigned -- Fenton items made prior to the 1970s were not marked. - Description / About: Salt and Pepper Shakers: 4 1/2" H. - 2" W. - Condition: This shaker set is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The plated lids are in super nice shape as well. Learn More
    $89.99
  8. Fenton Spiral Optic Blue #1353 RARE Jug / Pitcher

    Fenton Spiral Optic Blue #1353 RARE Jug / Pitcher

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern: Spiral Optic - Item: Spiral Optic Blue Opalescent Jug / Pitcher with Blue Handle (#1353) - Color: Blue with White Opal Swirls - Production Dates: 1939 (scarce) - Description /About: Spiral Optic #1353 Pitcher / Jug - 9 3/4" H. - 7 1/2" W. - Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The color is beautiful. The Spiral Optic jug is usually found with a crystal applied handle. Our stunning jug has a blue glass handle. This is an early 1939 jug / pitcher and is very hard to find. WE GUARANTEE THIS PITCHER TO BE AN EARLY 1939 PITCHER made by The Fenton Art Glass Company. Learn More
    $289.99
  9. Fenton Florentine Green Stretch Glass #9 3/4 LB. Grape Wheel Cut Candy Dish

    Fenton Florentine Green Stretch Glass #9 3/4 LB. Grape Wheel Cut Candy Dish

    Company Maker: Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern / Color: Florentine Green Stretch - Item: #9 - 3/4 LB. Grape Wheel Cut Candy Dish - Production Dates: 1921 - 1928 - Description /About: 9" H.- 4 1/4" W. - Item Condition: Our lovely candy dish is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. This candy jar with a wheel cut grape decoration is not easily found. This Florentine Green Stretch footed candy came in two sizes. This one is the larger of the two. The iridescent stretch finish is outstanding. The candy is free of use marks and is nice and clean inside. Learn More
    $89.99
  10. Fenton Blue Opalescent Coin Dot" #1925-6" Large Hard to Find Basket

    Fenton Blue Opalescent Coin Dot" #1925-6" Large Hard to Find Basket

    Company Maker: Fenton Art Glass Pattern: Coin Dot Item: #1925-6" basket Color: Blue Opalescent Production Dates: 1948 - 1951 Measurement: 10" H. - 7" W. Condition: We are very pleased to offer for sale this beautiful hard to find Blue Opalescent Coin Dot #1925-6" basket. The Fenton Art Glass Company produced this lovely piece beginning in 1948. The basket was only made for three years. It was discontinued in 1951. This stunning piece is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. This basket has great opalescence and a beautiful blue color. The handle has been applied flawlessly. If you love Blue Opalescent Coin Dot you are going to love this piece. Learn More
    $229.99

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