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Vintage Fenton Carnival Glass

Carnival Glass has become a popular collectors item in recent years. Contemporary pieces are readily available at cheap prices. However, the vintage Carnival Glass is really what is popular with collectors. To give you some additional information on this American art form, I will discuss the history, manufacture, and values of this beautiful glassware.

Carnival Glass History

Early in the 20th century, Tiffany & Co. and the Steuben Glass Co. produced a hand-blown iridized glass that was very popular with their wealthy clientele. These items, were hand made and commanded extremely high prices. In 1907, the Fenton Art Glass Company began mass-production of a high-quality and low-cost iridized glass, similar to the items crafted by Tiffany and Steuben. The Fenton iridized glass which was available in numerous colors, including a unique red. Fenton was not the only manufacturer of iridized glass, but it was the largest producing the colorful glass in over 150 patterns.

With entry into Great Depression, iridized glass lost its popularity. The inventory of this glassware was subsequently deeply discounted and commonly given away in supermarket and cereal promotions. In addition, the glassware was given away in carnival games, hence, the subsequent name Carnival Glass.

Popularity of iridized glass resurged in the 1950s with dealers and collectors and it was during this period that this glassware gained the name Carnival Glass. Today, the glass is still manufactured by Fenton, and several other companies.

Other Carnival Glass Manufacturers

Fenton, Northwood, Imperial Glass, Westmoreland and Dugan are just a few companies that manufactured carnival glass. Some of these manufacturers stamped their pieces with a distinctive mark. However, most other manufacturers did not mark their goods leaving some vintage pieces impossible to authenticate. Today, because of competition, and high labor costs, few of these manufacturers still remain.

Carnival Glass Values

The vintage Carnival Glass manufactured early in the 20th century is, by far, the most valuable, and sought after pieces. Color and condition play a large role in determining value. Chips, cracks, manufacturing defects and repairs reduce the value. If an item is a rare color like aqua it is of more value than an item in marigold that is common. The Red Carnival Glass manufactured by Fenton is very rare, and popular with collectors. Punch bowl sets, because they consist of multiple items, command high prices if complete with all pieces.

Contemporary Carnival Glass can be acquired at very reasonable prices. Many of these contemporary pieces are reproductions of their vintage counterparts. Because of the low cost, contemporary pieces are more suitable for the wear and tear of everyday use. Traditionally, venues such as antique shops and flea markets have been the primary source for vintage Carnival Glass. Today, take a look at eBay for thousands of listings of both vintage and carnival glass at great prices. Remember, one persons trash is another persons treasure.

It is so ironic that at one point in time Fenton Carnival Glass was so common, it could hardly be given away. Today, some vintage pieces sell for thousands of dollars.

Ross Bassette is an experienced eBay merchant and collector of vintage Carnival Glass. If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to visit our website and find some great deals on Fenton Carnival Glass.
Vintage Fenton Carnival Glass