Probably the number one question we get in Vintage Glass Identification is ” is this Fenton Glass ? ” Undeniably the most well known vintage glass, and also the most misidentified. The Fenton Art Glass Company was one of the largest manufacturers of handmade colored glass in the United States. It was founded in 1905 by Frank Fenton and his brother John Fenton, in an old glass factory building in Martins Ferry, Ohio. At first they bought blanks from other companies to decorate, then started making their own glass in Williamstown, West Virginia in 1907. Traditional glassmaking ended in 2011. Today the company continues on by creating handcrafted art glass jewelry using many of the traditional Fenton colors and techniques, such as Milk Glass, Vasa Murrhina and Carnival Glass beads.
We get the craziest pieces posted for ID that the owner thinks is Fenton. So much so, that my fellow Admins and I have made meme’s about it. Sometimes people do not want to hear that is it not Fenton, and can get pretty pissed. DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER ! Others take it as a personal insult and “flounce” after telling us how mean we are. We try to make it fun, explaining that Fenton isn’t the only Glass House to make beautiful and valuable glass. Our mission is to educate people, so that when they are out thrifting or antiquing, they KNOW what to spend their hard earned money on. So many listings we find on online auctions are misidentified. The vase below is a Chinese reproduction, made to look like a vintage piece of glass. Teleflora is making “designed by Fenton” pieces for the florist trade, which have labels on the bottom. 20 yrs from now, that label will be long gone, and I am positive it will be posted to some group asking if it is Fenton.
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