JANUARY 19, 2016 PRESENTATION:  STRETCH GLASS – Cal's 16 Favorites

Cal here. Here we are -- the 7th of 7 evenings focusing on iridescent stretch glass.  Wow, how the week has flown by.  Thanks to everyone who has commented, sent in photos, asked questions and been interested in learning about stretch glass.  As you can see there were a lot of different items made in stretch glass – and we have just scratched the surface this past week. 

We all have our favorites and I am no exception, especially when it comes to stretch glass.  I’ve been collecting since the mid 1980s.  I started by purchasing a friend’s collection; little did I know that those couple hundred pieces would ignite a passion for collecting and preserving iridescent stretch glass.  Sometimes things just happen.  Since it is 2016, I’m going to share 16 very special pieces that I have had the opportunity to purchase or have received as gifts in the past 20+ years. 

First [right] is an 8 1/2" Topaz cut ovals candlestick.  This was in the original collection I purchased; it was a single then and it is still a single.  I’d love to find a mate for it. 


Second [below] is also a piece from the original collection.  It is a Fenton candy box with a flower top in Aquamarine.  It is tough to find these in good condition because the flower top is very fragile.

Next [below] is a fairly recent purchase, a Velva Rose two handled bowl made by Fenton using a Northwood mold.  Fenton bought this mold when Northwood went out of business and made some of these bowls; how many we don’t know.  This one was for sale on eBay so I bought it.

Another eBay purchase, these candlesticks are #5.  They were made at Fenton but as you can see, they are not a typical “pair” of candlesticks.  My theory is that they were made by a worker for someone special in his life.  The person I purchased them from said they came from an estate sale of a family related to a Fenton employee.

These two Fenton triple dolphin rose bowls [below] are two of my prize possessions.  I acquired them at very different times in very different ways and at very different prices.  There are 5-6 of the red ones known; I don’t know of another green one, but I’m sure more than 1 was made so there must be others tucked away in collections. 

Imperial “Green Ice” is a unique color and I’m happy to be on my way to putting together a water set in Chesterfield. 

Northwood made a lot of fantastic stretch glass, some in unique colors.  #13 on my list is this Topaz water set complete with a topaz base for the pitcher and topaz coasters for the tumblers. 

Only two to go….so many favorites to choose from.  Lancaster painted flowers on a lot of their stretch glass.  I’m not a big fan of painting on stretch glass, but I do like their crystal stretch with blue flowers, so I’ll choose their center handled server [right] as #14. 


Last but not least is this Fenton Tangerine diamond optic bowl.  This is THE bowl pictured in AISG.  It was owned by another collector when it was photographed for the book, then it was owned by another collector and now it is with me. 

#4 is by US Glass which made glass with fabulous reticulated edges.  Their “ribbon” bowls and plates are great, but this comport takes the art of glass making a step further. 

I consider it a privilege to be entrusted with #6, the only known Diamond red bon bon.  It is indeed a beautiful piece of stretch glass and I will forever be grateful to the person who made it available to me.

#9 and #10 [below] are two vintage Fenton punch bowls with vintage ruby bases.  The cups are contemporary, made for the Stretch Glass Society a few years ago by Ann Fenton.  I’m sure I will never have enough vintage ruby punch cups to hang on these bowls, but I am very happy to have these contemporary ones which are a great color match with the bowls.

US Glass made some pretty interesting opaque glass.  They also painted some of their glass and then iridized it.  So, #12 [below] is a sherbet and underplate in “Cumula” – while we don’t know for sure, we surmise that the name might have something to do with the white cumulus ‘clouds’ on this glass.

Central didn’t make a big line of stretch glass – just bowls and candlesticks.  I’m lucky to have this Central bowl in cobalt blue [left] and matching candlesticks which is #15 on the list

I’m sure I could list 116 favorites, but I won’t.  Brian and Galen have been very patient with me this week; they have done a great job posting what I submitted to them.  And you have all been great – it has been a heck of a week for stretch glass and a great way to kick off our “Stretching Over 100 years – A Century of Handmade Stretch Glass in America” Celebration.  Thanks for helping us celebrate stretch glass and stay tuned for more celebrating as the year continues.

Kevin & April – thanks for sharing your vases with us. The first vase you sent in had me stumped, so I reached out to one of our researchers and experts on stretch glass, Dave Shetlar.  Maybe you know him or have seen his contributions to this communication before.  Dave writes, “The vase also had me stumped until I realized that it has the same base as some of the smooth vases made by Diamond.  The only problem is that all the Diamond vases I’ve seen have a smaller base (usually in the four to five inch diameter range).  This vase also seems to be a definite amber which would not be a normal Diamond color!  The common amber makers were Imperial and Fenton though some is known from U.S. Glass and Vineland.”  So, for now, we would ID it as a Diamond vase and a “newly discovered” piece of stretch glass.  Thanks so much for sharing – great to be seeing something that we have not seen before.   

The Imperial Blue Ice vase is a beauty.  The bases of these swung vases are one of 4 sizes:  2.5”, 3.5”, 4 3/8” or 5 3/8” (or 5 1/2”).  The height varies significantly depending on how much they were swung.  It would take a pretty large collection to have one of every size combination (base + height) and an even larger one to have one of every size combination in every color.  Your vase is a little shorter than what we typically see from this base size which accounts for the extra wide diameter of the opening.  It is a great vase all around.

Tony – this is a stunning Imperial Jewels plate – Imperial really knew how to make their glass “pop.”  We typically use the portion of glass which is NOT iridized to determine the color of the base glass.  In the Imperial Jewels line, we then look at the iridescence to determine the “color” of the piece.  The base in your picture looks purple, so that narrows it down to a couple of choices.  Since the iridescence definitely looks multicolor, I think you may have a piece of “Pearl Amethyst” – this is typically a medium purple glass with multicolor iridescence.  Congrats on having such a colorful piece of stretch glass and thanks for sharing.

Ellen – your 1/2# Fenton Ruby candy jar is indeed a tough piece of stretch glass to find.  I spent many years finding the one I have; I think I finally got it at one of the Fenton Museum auctions.  The larger, 3/4# Fenton Ruby candy jar is more plentiful, but still not “common” by any means.  It is interesting that this would show up for sale by a carnival glass dealer and further confirms that certain colors of stretch glass (Ruby being among them) are also favorites of carnival glass collectors and so often show up when carnival glass collections are being liquidated. 

Steve – thanks for sharing the Fenton Marigold #550, 12-panel, crimped bowl.  It is amazing to be seeing another of these this week – very cool pieces and very difficult to find as far as I know.  It is interesting to note that your bowl has, or appears to have, a nearly clear foot.  Marigold (or Grecian Gold) stretch glass does start out with clear glass, so the foot is “right” and must have escaped the doping process.  Now that two of this shape have surfaced, I sure hope that I can find one in my travels.

Carl B. – thanks for sharing your nut cups and salt dips (you mention butter pats, but I think they are really salt dips).  Both of these pieces were made from the same mold, they just got different treatment once they were out of the mold.  The nut cup with the painted butterfly is interesting.  There are several of these around; I believe a dealer had several (maybe a set of 6) and sold them individually some years ago.  I’ve never seen a master nut with the butterfly painting – sure would be nice to find one.  The Celeste Blue, Topaz and Florentine Green nut cups and salt dips are more easily found than most of the others in your photo.  It took me a long time to get sets of both in Marigold, but eventually I did get 6 of each and a master nut to go with the individual nut cups.

The Persian Pearl pieces are very hard to come by; I’ve seen the salt dip before but I don’t believe I have seen the Persian Pearl nut cup – great to see it and something else for me to be on the lookout for!  You are showing us a Velva Rose salt dip – I don’t think there are many of those around.  The Velva Rose nut cups are also hard to find and sometimes show up with enameled decoration on them [see pic, right].  There are also nut cups in Wisteria – here is a pic of one [below]; I don’t know if anyone has a Wisteria Salt Dip – no reason to believe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t recall seeing one.  I’m also not aware of these items showing up in any of the other Fenton colors like Ruby, Tangerine, Cobalt or Aquamarine – if someone has one or both in these colors, please share them with us.


The Fenton #847 Melon Rib tightly cupped bowls or vases you shared in the second picture are also great pieces.  We see fewer of these which are tightly cupped and Marigold Melon Rib pieces are not as plentiful as some of the other colors (Velva Rose, Celeste Blue, Florentine Green or Tangerine).  The colors you have are all hard to find, so congrats on having some more great pieces of stretch glass. 

And now, the mail...

To:  Cal

From:  Barb C.

Here are a few of our Smooth Panels vases. Some are not stretching, but several are. We have more now, but this photo was taken a while ago.

To:  Brian, Galen, Cal

From:  Carl B. (Indiana)

Re:  Stretch Glass

Attached are some more pictures of our stretch glass.  One is a ten ruffled ice green Pony bowl.  One shows our two coin spot compotes in ice green and a vivid blue.  The last is a picture of our Chesterfield red creamer.  We also have the sugar.  Cal, the more you write the more we realize that we have quite a number of stretch glass pieces in our collection.  We like them as much as we do our regular carnival glass pieces.

To:  Cal

From:  Bob Patterson

Here are some stretch photos for your viewing pleasure.  First are a large and small Imperial Jewels with iron cross plates in amethyst.  Next is another Imperial Jewels square bowl also in amethyst, followed by a Imperial wide panel plate in red.  Then there is an Imperial Floral and Optic in red.  Last some Carnival Glass stretch featuring a Fenton blue Holly plate and a Northwood amethyst Grape and Cable plate.

To:  Brian, Galen, Cal

From:  Russell & Kitty Umbraco

First of all, we would like to say that Cal is doing a terrific job.

Here are a few pictures of patterned pieces of carnival/stretch glass:

1.  Back side of a Field Thistle Sauce

4.  Celeste Peacock at the Fountain Bowl

7. Fenton celeste blue Diamond optic fan vase & perfume

2. Two marigold Heavy Grape Plates –left side is a stretched finish where as the one on the right is carnival glass with a glossy finish.

5.  Dugan’s Cobalt Coin Spot Compote

8. Diamond Egyptian Lustre #501 Square Vase

3. Smoke Homestead Plate with a crinkly “stretch” finish.  Notice how the pattern has melted down with the reheating to make a stretch finish from the Don Moore collection.

6. Nice topaz sauce with an arched design – maybe someone can help us with the pattern name?

9.  Celeste Blue Plaid Bowl from the Don Moore collection

Thank you to Brian, Galen, and Cal as well all of the other guest commentators who keep the carnival glass ‘Flame’ going every day.

Russell & Kitty Umbraco

From: Phil in Phoenix

To: Cal 

Thank you for a wonderful week of stretch glass. I have a few pieces and also some crossover pieces. I will try to send in pictures someday soon. hope you will be there to identify them then.


From:  Ellen in UK

You seem to have missed off my Ruby Stretch Candy Jar.  Here is the photo again.  Wonderful early Fenton Stretch piece.


To:  Dugan Carnival Collectors

From:  Larry (in Iowa)

Subject:  Quill Water Set in Amethyst

Anyone have a Quill water set—pitchers with four or six tumblers—in amethyst he/she/they would be willing to photograph?  I’d like to include it in an article I’m writing.  Thanks.

To:  Steve G, Cal & Everyone

From:  Lance

Steve G.,

What you have is a Fenton’s # 550 rose bowl in marigold and a nice find indeed. I would love to put it with my Topaz piece if you’re ever interested in selling it.

Cal, I have attached photos of some stretch glass bud vases that I have accumulated over the years. These were all made by Fenton during the stretch glass era. I wouldn’t consider any of them rare. But some are quite scarce. The most common color is celeste blue followed by Florentine green and topaz. The tops are basically shaped in an oval with one side being slightly higher and gradually lowered on the other side. they range in size from 8 to 12+ inches. There is the scarcer jack in the pulpit edge treatment and these seem to draw more interest from collectors. The Persian Pearl is not seen as often as the other colors. Wisteria is always in demand and doesn’t come up for sale very often. The Tangerine is the hardest color to find in these vases. I had owned another in tangerine but it broke while I was cleaning it. It took several years to find a replacement which I am grateful for. For some reason the Velva Rose example shown with the Wisteria vases is the only one I’ve ever come across. These are all probably in a lot of collections but I just don’t see them come up for sale.

The bud vases with the flat tops are hard to find. The bases on these are less than an eighth of an inch larger than the other type and are all the same size, approx. 7” tall.  I have two in Grecian Gold and one in Florentine Green.  The ice blue one is two shades lighter than the celeste blue but not light enough to be called aquamarine.  At least that is interesting to me.  Attached are photos of all the bud vases I have.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.