Late Period Fenton Stretch Glass, Part 2, Discussed on October 12, 2017
To view the photo album we discussed in this call, click here.
Our October 12, 2017 Stretch Out call on Late Period (1970-2011) overview, Part 2, was most informative. Leading the discussion were Dave Shetlar, Sarah Plummer and Cal Hackeman. 14 people joined the call. Bob Henkel moderated the call, keeping us moving through Sarah’s overview and four of the colors discussed in this time period.
Our last Stretch Out Call was in May of this year. Sarah Plummer gave an informative overview on how to distinguish Early Period from Late Period Fenton stretch, with our other experts adding their comments and leading the discussion of pieces. That call can be found on our website under Events / Discussion / Past Discussion Archive / Late Period Fenton.
Sarah continued her overview at the beginning of this call with five additional points of how we can tell Late Period Fenton stretch glass from Early Period Fenton stretch glass and Dave Shetlar provided additional information.
Fenton Art Glass Company produced stretch glass in two periods. Glass made in the first period, which extended from 1916 to 1932 has been called by a variety of names, which would include vintage, original, old and the preferred term - Early Period. The second production of stretch glass in-line pieces began in 1980 and extended through 2011. Those pieces are called new, contemporary, or the preferred term - Late Period stretch glass.
Molds. Fenton molds can be divided into two separate areas.
There are molds that Fenton made for their own purposes. Some of the molds used during the Early Period production time carried through into the Late Period. The melon rib and the flip (or flared) vase would be good examples of this. You’ll find some shapes that are very similar from one period to the other. Sometimes Fenton reproduced some of their early molds in the Late Period. Dave commented that the Late Period twin dolphin mold appeared to have a thinner foot than those from the Early Period. The foot of the mold had been retooled. The three-dolphin molds were completely different in the Late Period. They had smaller dolphins with a different design to them.
Then there are molds that Fenton bought from other companies. An example of this would be the handkerchief vase. Over a great span of time, as other glass companies went out of business, the Fenton Art Glass Company bought their molds. In many cases Fenton used those molds to produce new glass in their own colors and their glass chemistry, but the original shapes were from the other companies.
With the initial molds in the Early Period, you often saw some repetition. You would find the same shape year after year in the same color or a variety of colors. That doesn’t happen quite as often in the Late Period. What you will find is that Fenton did use certain molds over a greater period of time. You might find a mold which was used for one color of stretch glass and not for another ten years and then it will re-appear again. The best way to identify those molds is to look for the marks.
Marks. From the mid 70’s on, Fenton began marking their art glass.
The mark was an oval, about 3/4 to 7/8” long. The Fenton name, in script, was in the center with a number beneath it. It was typically found on the exterior bottom of the piece. However, Sarah reports seeing ovals as small as 3/8” and in a variety of locations. Examples would be in the interior of a piece, top edge, and in the case of a figurine – along the bottom of a foot or the edge of a wing!
Fenton extended their repertoire with a large amount of figurines, which they did produce in stretch glass colors. Most of them were iridized. Very few of them were given a stretch glass treatment. For instance, with Sunset Stretch, you’ll find an elephant. But he really isn’t a stretch elephant because there is no really stretch treatment. The primary exceptions to that would be the butterfly figurine, which does have stretch along the wings and some of the bird figurines along their wings. You would find very little in the way of figurines in the early production. Nymphs would be one that would fit with most stretch glass collections.
Fenton did decorate their early stretch glass. They etched it, cut it, enhanced it with hand painted and raised enamel, decorations and designs. Decorations were heavily used in Late Period stretch glass. As each color of stretch glass was introduced there was also an accompanied design that went with that stretch glass. A variety of different patterns were used, such as geometric, floral, and scenic decorations. The only exception to this was when Fenton issued their first new release of Celeste Blue. They used a Coralene decoration - more or less a border design. In that raised Coralene, it is definitely not only visible, but you can feel it with your hand if you rub along the edge of the decoration. Dave added that Coralene was an application of little glass beads onto the surface of the glass. He has an Early Period Persian Pearl fan vase with the Coralene application, so there are some early Coralene pieces also. He added that there is a big difference, however, between the Early and Late Period glass. In the Late Period, they had a hard time getting a supplier for the little glass beads. Modern suppliers could not make beads in a consistent manner, thus the Late Period Coralene beads were irregular in size and shape. The early ones are perfect in size and shape.
When Fenton originally produced their stretch glass in the late teens and into the 30’s, it was manufactured in consecutive years and in multiple colors. In any given year you can find perhaps three to five different colors of stretch produced with several different shapes available. That is not the case with the later production of stretch glass. The glass that was produced in the years 1980 to 2011 often had a gap of several years between the production of one color and the next.
As far as the amount of glass that was available, the glass that was made during the Early Period was much more prolific and had a greater variety of colors. This was not true for the glass that was produced in the Late Period. Not only were there less pieces produced, but they were produced in smaller numbers and less frequently. As a result, you may have a little harder time finding later pieces than some of the Early Period pieces.
Fenton only used two colors in the Late Period that were previously used in the Early Period. Those were Velva Rose and Celeste Blue. They used the identical names and were very close to the identical colors.
The following colors were discussed: Stiegel Green Stretch (blue green color), Sunset Stretch (peachy pink), Green Apple Stretch (yellowish, lime green), and Celeste Blue Stretch (original Celeste Blue color). Dave led the discussion of individual pieces.
Stiegel Green Stretch 1994
In describing the Stiegel Green Stretch color, Dave expressed it as being blue / teal / aqua green, rather than the original Fenton Florentine Green. It was made in quite a few different pieces and was pretty obtainable on the market. There are a fair number on eBay right now.
The tulip bowl has more petals than the original tulip bowl and external rays. It is actually a Westmoreland mold.
Looking at the five piece water set, we notice that the set only includes four goblets. It was typical for this Late Period to have sets that included four goblets or tumblers, not the six normally associated with sets from the Early Period.
The 5 1/2” comport is actually made from one of the goblet molds that you see in the water set. They just flared it out and gave it a crimp.
The question was raised as to where Fenton might have come up with their Late Period color names. One possibility is that they could have come from the International Color Selection Committee’s in-colors for that season.
Sunset Stretch 2002
Sunset Stretch is a light pink, almost like a marigold iridescent surface to it. You can really tell the difference when you have a Sunset Stretch and a Velva Rose piece side by side. Fenton had been trying for some time to make a non-striking pink. Non-striking means consistently making the color. The problem with the true Velva Rose’s striking color was that it varied considerably, depending on how much heat and oxygen during the heating process it had been subjected to. Sunset Stretch was much more consistent in color.
Many of the plain surface pieces were decorated and signed by the artists. There are many collectors who really favor particular artists in the Fenton decorating department.
The punch set was not cheap to begin with. In the Factory Shop, it was running about $350. There have not been enough of these out on the market to obtain a realistic market price. The question was asked if Dave knew if the mold was an old Fenton carnival glass mold. He felt it was not and that it may be a completely new piece.
Green Apple Stretch 2004
The Green Apple Stretch color is a much brighter green than the Fenton Florentine Green. The basket on the far right was initially a parfait dish, then flared out and crimped and given a handle. The marks on these pieces are an oval with a script Fenton inside the oval. This was usually put only on the pieces that were Fenton’s original molds.
The little rose bowl at the left bottom, is a US Glass mold. It has a tiny oval with a script ‘F’ inside the oval. That indicates it was not a Fenton mold, but somebody else’s. Unfortunately they did not do that consistently! They stuck those marks in some of the strangest places.
The handkerchief vase in the middle is a swung piece. That is not an easy top to make. When you swing it, it will elongate. But when you swing it, you also have to rotate the snap and twirl it, which then flares out the top. Then you let it drop down once more and that gives you the flared and crimped look to the top, which looks like a handkerchief.
Celeste Blue Stretch 1995 / 2004
The Coralene pieces on the left are actually fairly obtainable in shops and malls, for they made a fair amount of these. Almost all have the same floral design. They had to paint the enamel on first. Then they applied the little glass beads and stuck them onto the glass. It was then fired. There shouldn’t be any problem in washing the beads off, but do use care.
Notice the bases under the Coralene vase and the 4 piece centerpiece. Fenton started making bases in different colors. This is an example of their cobalt blue. There is cross- hatching on the top surface of the base in this Late Period. The Early Period bases were smooth on the top surface.
We don’t know where they got the mold for the candy jar in the center. It may be a new one, for as far as I know, it does not match any of the other cathedral style candy jars that anybody else made in Carnival or Stretch. It is fairly obtainable on eBay. It may be listed as Vintage, for it only has to be twenty-five years old to be considered ‘vintage’.
The water set at the bottom right is a Fenton Lincoln Inn mold. Notice that there are only four tumblers in the set, rather than the six that would be included in the Early Period.
The tulip bowl with the nymph in the upper right corner has a frog on the inside. There are some original early nymphs, but they are extremely difficult to find and very expensive. The later ones are marked.
The catalog pages afforded a glimpse of further offerings of the aforementioned colors during the Late Period.
Stiegel Green Stretch - 1994 Catalog page
The Historical Collection on the left shows an epergne. The bowl of the epergne is different from the epergnes of the 1980’s. This later bowl has crimps with very sharp points on the lobes. The 80’s bowl had more rounded lobes. The horns are the same on both the Early and the Late Period epergnes.
The very large covered jar in the middle of the page is not very well stretched. You cannot change the shape of the base and the lid, because the lid will not fit.
The bird is small and does not have a very good stretch effect. It was in the line, so technically is considered stretch.
Sunset Stretch - 2002 Catalog page
The lamp shade, Wavecrest jar, decorated vase, and pitcher on the left side of the page are actually Sunset Overlay. They took the Sunset color and layered that over Opal glass. What you are actually seeing is the white coming through the light pink. It is not believed that they were ever iridized.
Green Apple Stretch - 2004 Catalog page (Green Apple is the official name)
The smaller items will not have much of a stretch effect. All are iridized.
Celeste Blue Stretch - 1995 Catalog page
The candlesticks on the left side of the page are a new mold. There is a little tiny ring between the stem and the base. These were made in other colors also. Notice the hat vase with the Coralene effect. They made a number of these and they are fairly obtainable.
The right side of the page shows another of the later epergnes in which the bowl has crimps with very sharp points on the lobes.
Celeste Blue Stretch - 2004 Catalog page
In the upper right portion of the page are smaller pieces that are iridized, but have little stretch effect.
Cal summarized the call by indicating how effectively this Late Period glass can be used by mixing and matching the colors. Examples would be Green Apple Stretch with Celeste Blue Stretch (as seen on the last Catalogue page) and Green Apple Stretch with Sunset Stretch.
Some of the pieces in the catalogue pages are very hard to find, for they were not produced in large quantities. Since there is no factory anymore, whatever we are going to find will be in the aftermarket (secondary market). This means that it was previously owned and is coming into the market for the second or third time. If you can find them, you have really found something you can be proud of.