What Is a Fenton Vase?

Fenton Art Glass has been making glassware for at least 100 years. Iridescent carnival glass from the early 1900s is maybe what the business is famous for, in forms such as vases and ruffled candy dishes. A Fenton vase typically includes markings noting it was created by the producer, although the markings have changed within the past century.

Try to find a Label

A Fenton vase produced from the 1920s onward comprises a sticker or tag of some kind — or it did, at once. Even though the labels vary substantially from era to era, they all contain the Fenton name. Labels from the 1920s state “Fenton Art Glass,” while in the late ’30s to late ’40s, the tag wording changed to “Handmade in America by Fenton.” Labels from the late 1980s onward have a script “F,” and the Fenton name and additional wording, which has changed over time. Even if the vase doesn’t have a tag, it may still be a Fenton.

Molded and Sandblasted Logo Identification

Vases and other Fenton bits made from the 1970s onward were etched with logos embedded in the glass by stamping, molding or sandblasting. These logos typically contain the Fenton name or a script “F,” and may also incorporate a modest number, indicating the decade. An “8” indicates the 1980s, while a “0” indicates the 2000s, as an example. Seconds — vases that are still in great shape but not entirely perfect — feature sandblasted markings on the side or bottom featuring a star, a stylized flame or a fundamental letter “F.”

Colour Clues

Fenton changed its styles, colors and even types of glass several times through the years, much as tastes in glassware changed over the decades. After carnival glass, the business created vases and other household decor pieces from opaque colored glass in colors such as light green and robin’s egg blue. Ginger glass — white glass that looks somewhat like ceramic — accounts for several of Fenton’s vases from the 1950s and ’60s. Newer pieces may be virtually any style or color, including reintroduced carnival glass.

Additional Identification

If your vase doesn’t own a Fenton sticker or emblem and you are not entirely sure the piece is made by Fenton Art Glass, consult a collector’s book dedicated especially to Fenton glass, or to a style of glass such as milk glass or glass. These books comprise numerous images to compare to your own vase. Fenton collector sites with forums may also be able to tell you if the piece is just a Fenton vase. Local antique stores that sell glassware may help you figure out if the vase is a Fenton. Also, Fenton dealers may be knowledgeable about vintage and modern vases.

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