Sunday, December 13, 2009

The color of

springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. ~Ward Elliot Hour

I am going with the winter white theme this year in the shop. We have had so many gray rainy days that bright and light seemed to be needed. Of course, I am still waiting for my drunken paper whites to do their thing! Chuckle!

So, I thought the opalescent glass was a nice touch, and I have a nice collection of hobnail glass available. According to my research, the term “hobnail” comes from the nails with thick heads that were used to secure and protect the soles of boots. It is funny how such a utilitarian product turned into a decorative art. Hobnail patterns can be seen on dishes, candlesticks, lamps and vases. It is created by blowing the glass into a mold. There are early Victorian pieces, but Fenton is best known for the style.

Fenton Hobnail glass, dating from 1930, is decorated with a pattern of bumps.
Early hobnail pieces such as Fenton brand had a signature look to them. No matter what the piece was made for (soap dish, perfume or even holding fine liquor) it came with a wooden lid or stopper adorned with a round wooden finial. The glass itself is not marked with the manufacturer’s name; rather it is marked on the underside of the lid. In the later years of hobnail glass, the wooden toppers were replaced with matching color glass, but still had the round knobs on top.
Fenton produced many colors of hobnail glass, the most popular being the opaque milk glass. The most rare and sought after color is an opalescent cranberry that was used in some vanity sets and miscellaneous items before it disappeared in the late 1950s. I have some other hobnail colors, but I will save them for another time.

Fenton was not alone in the hobnail manufacturing because Anchor Hocking stepped into production with "Moonstone." Anchor Hocking manufactured the distinctive Moonstone pattern from 1941 through 1946. This pattern is easily identified by the clear hobnails and the milky, or opalescent, edge. It was produced in the first five years of the newly consolidated Anchor Hocking Company, which had begun to manufacture glass for the home in 1937. The opacity, or milkiness, comes from adding ash or tin oxide during the firing process.

So, for those who like snowy whites, Moonstone and Fenton hobnail may be something to look for.


Just a bed of roses said...

Did you mention WINTER WHITE...we have been dealing with it all week, especially today, loads of snow and we have been out in it all day.

Love the Moonstone white dishes, that's beautiful. Everyone loves hobnail, so fun for the white look.

Your drunken paper whites do look a little "tipsy!"

Anonymous said...

Moonstone has been popular at the White Whale. I remember the display at the Newberry's in Wildwood in the 50's. Great history on this type of glass. Thanks.

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