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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.

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  1. Czechoslovakian Ruby Red Satin and Lead Crystal Nude Perfume / Cologne

    Czechoslovakian Ruby Red Satin and Lead Crystal Nude Perfume / Cologne

    NEW Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The bottom is ground and polished. The bottle is crystal and the stopper is Ruby satin. This cologne bottle is one of the most beautiful ones we have ever owned. It was produced in the Czech Republic and is an early 2000 reissue of an original old bottle. It is sold with its original box which we show. Learn More
    $399.99
  2. 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
  3. Fenton Aqua Crest 1923-6" Hat Vase with Unusual Tulip Crimp

    Fenton Aqua Crest 1923-6" Hat Vase with Unusual Tulip Crimp

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company Pattern: Aqua Crest Item: 1923 - 6" Hat Vase with Unusual Tulip Crimp Circa: 1941 - 1943 Measurements: 5” H. - 6 1/4" W. Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The color is beautiful. The crimping is nice and evenly done. This vase came in a 5 inch and a 6 inch size. This is the larger one and is not as easily found as the 5" vase. Learn More
    $59.99
  4. Fenton French Opalescent Hobnail #389 - 5 inch Covered Ginger Jar

    Fenton French Opalescent Hobnail #389 - 5 inch Covered Ginger Jar

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Owner / Distributor: Wrisley of Chicago - Pattern: Hobnail - Item: #389 - 5" Covered Bath Salts or Ginger Jar - Color: French Opalescent - Production Dates: 1930s - Description / About: #389 - Covered Jar: 4 1/2 H.- 3 3/4" W. - Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. All the hobs on the jar have been checked. The opalescence is beautiful and the shape of the jar is nicely formed. The white opal lid is perfect. The clear spot on the right side of the rim is a small bubble encased in the glass. A great find for a French Opalescent Hobnail collector. Learn More
    $54.99
  5. Fenton Diamond Optic / Dolphin Rose #1502 Cupped Bowl

    Fenton Diamond Optic / Dolphin Rose #1502 Cupped Bowl

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern: Diamond Optic - Pattern Shape: Dolphin - Item: #1502 - 8" Flared Cupped Console Bowl - Color: Rose (pink) - Circa: 1927 - 1938 - Measurement: #1502 - 8" Flared Cupped Console Bowl: 3" H. - 8 1/2" W. - Item Condition: We are pleased to offer for sale a pretty #1502 Rose (pink) 8 1/2" Flared Cupped Console Bowl on the Diamond Optic blank with a handled Dolphin decoration. This beautiful bowl is in Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The bowl has fantastic color and the Dolphins have all been double checked to assure that they are damage free. The Fenton Art Glass Company produced the Diamond Optic Pattern from 1927 until 1938 when it was discontinued. This bowl was made during this time period. Learn More
    $59.99
  6. Fenton Ruby Marble  #8680  Regency Covered Butter

    Fenton Ruby Marble #8680 Regency Covered Butter

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern: Regency - Item: #8680 Butter Dish - Color: Ruby Marble - Production Dates: 1985 - Description / About: #8680 Regency Butter Dish : 5 5/8" H. - 7 1/4 W. - Marks / Signatures: The butter is marked with a script "F" on the inside of the base and also inside the lid. - Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. This piece is in outstanding condition. Beautiful Form. Beautiful Color! This stunning butter is very hard to obtain. The marbling is vivid. A great addition to a Fenton collection. Learn More
    $139.99
  7. Fenton Celeste Blue Stretch #401 Tumble Up / Night Set

    Fenton Celeste Blue Stretch #401 Tumble Up / Night Set

    Company Maker: Fenton Art Glass Company - Pattern / Color: Celeste Blue Stretch - Item: #401 Night Set / Tumble Up - Production Dates: 1917 - 1920s - Description /About: #401 Night Set / Tumble Up: 6 1/2" H. -3 1/2" W. - Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. This pretty Celeste Blue Stretch Glass nght set has fantastic color. It is two pieces, the night set bottle and the tumbler that sits on top. These night sets used to be used in the bedroom to keep water handy if you needed a drink at night. Learn More
    $99.99
  8. Fenton Columbus Skyline RARE 22" Student Lamp

    Fenton Columbus Skyline RARE 22" Student Lamp

    This 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 one of Fenton's well known artists, Dane Fredrick. The metal is in excellent condition with only a few minor black specks in the brass finish. The cord is in nice shape. It has a 3 way switch for different light strengths. Learn More
    $429.99
  9.  Fenton Cased Lilac Shell Bowl #9020 LC

    Fenton Cased Lilac Shell Bowl #9020 LC

    Company Maker: Fenton Art Glass - Pattern: Cased Lilac - Item: #9020 Cased Lilac Shell Bowl - Color: Turquoise with Lilac Edge - - Production Dates: July 1955 - July 1956 - Description / About: #9020 Cased Lilac Shell Bowl-- 9 1/4" W. - 10 1/4" L. - Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The color on this shell bowl is outstanding as you can see from our photo. Learn More
    $159.99
  10. Fenton Hobnail Topaz Opalescent #3753 Footed Swung Vase

    Fenton Hobnail Topaz Opalescent #3753 Footed Swung Vase

    Company Maker: The Fenton Art Glass Company Pattern: Hobnail Item: #3753 Footed Swung Vase Color: Topaz Opalescent Marks: UNSIGNED - Fenton items made prior to 1970 were unmarked - Production Dates: July 1941 - 1943 Description / About: #3753 Footed Swung Vase: 12 1/2" H. -- 3 1/4" W. US POSTAGE AND INSURANCE ON THIS PRETTY PIECE IS CALCULATED. PLEASE SEE THE SHIPPING TAB FOR MORE INFORMATION. Item Condition: Undamaged Condition without chips, cracks, or mold damage. The vase is well formed. All the hobs on this beautiful hard to find footed vase have been checked. The color is beautiful. This elusive vase would be a great addition to your topaz Hobnail collection. Learn More
    $99.99

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