Posted 6 months ago
An interesting thing about collecting early colored and art glass is that experimentation and lack of quality control produced some interesting examples. During my years of collecting, I’ve been able to find some interesting examples that fall into this category.
One of the interesting and fun things for me collecting Victorian era shakers is finding the unusual. One can build a most interesting collection of such pieces even though it may take some time doing so. Odd and unknown colors show up from time to time and many are more beautiful than the production colors that are usually found.
When discussing what qualifies as experimental, an example of poor quality, or just simply an item that a glass worker may have made for themselves, may at times, be a little blurry.
The approach I'm taking here is that experimental pieces may be odd colored items and a few examples known such as a green piece by a company that is not known for making green pieces (Fig. 1). Poor quality may be an obvious off color item such as a piece that may have been an attempt to make in cranberry and its more amber and cranberry mix (Fig. 2). Other examples may be opaque pieces with blotches of other colors in the glass (Fig. 3). I’m sure these are rejects not intended to leave the factory.
Items that may have been made by glass workers for themselves or even special order pieces may fall into the same category as experimental and will never be properly identified for sure.
There are many examples of glass that fall into categories such as marbleized, slag, and heat sensitive glass that may all be different and some may consider as one of a kind pieces but they do not fall into the pieces discussed here. Limited production pieces such as Challinor & Taylor's butterscotch colored pieces (Forget Me Not) do not qualify either but would consider close (Fig. 4).
Even opalescent pieces have some unusual pieces to be found. Previously unknown shapes made from common shapes (Fig. 5) as well as opalescent designs modified from more common examples. (Fig. 6) while not qualifying in the color category, the unusual shapes and pattern altering was worth showing.
Mt Washington made some great art glass shakers and they were not immune from production issues too. During the process of producing Burmese glass shakers, there are examples of the glass being over-fired which produced examples that here a deep opaque blue and green glass. Usually found on the Egg shakers (Fig. 7), it makes for an interesting and beautiful example, and not to say rare shaker!
When it comes to glass produced due to poor quality control, I don't believe that any one manufacturer produced any more of this type of thing than any other manufacturer. I'm sure that everyone had 2nds and/or rejects. The question is how much got out of the factory and into stores of the day. Some of the rejects may have even been excavated at the factory sites, perhaps the glass workers themselves were allowed to take these rejects home, who knows for sure.
When it comes to odd colors, there are some examples that are out there that are believed not to be original. There are some shakers that are in a lavender color that some believe are produced artificially (irradiated). Much like one can color clear glass of the day lavender or purple; some say this can be done to milk glass. The process in which this can be done was never explained to me (for milk glass) but some say this can be done. Others say that this cannot be done and there is a difference of opinion which may not be settled any time soon (Fig. 8)
This is not suggesting that all lavender colored shakers are produced by artificial means. There are many documented examples of lavender being a production color. One of these examples is in the Acorn pattern possibly produced by Hobbs Brockunier or US Glass, Factory C, often found decorated. (Fig. 9)
The last example I would like to point out is an unusually deep butterscotch colored Consolidated Flower Assortment shaker. Typically found in Pink, Blue, and White this color is rare and most unusual. However, butterscotch is not unheard of from Consolidated. There are a few examples known in Cotton bale and I'm sure other patterns. (Fig. 10)
I have chosen to stay away from the many examples of spatter type glass, often called “End of Day” glass. I don’t believe that it was made by accident. I believe it was a production process that was produced by many manufacturers in many patterns.
I am a collector, not a researcher and write my articles from that standpoint. All of my findings and experiences are written from that point of view. Should anyone have any additional comments or information about this subject, I am open for that input.
A rare green Dithridge & Co. Sunset patterned shaker. The interesting thing is that Dithridge is not known for producing this green color. The other two unknown colors are lavender and yellow, most interesting!
A most interesting amber/cranberry opalescent Hobbs? Coinspot shaker. The opalescence is not real strong but it is there. This piece was probably intended to be cranberry opalescent.
The first is Consolidated’s Vine Border and the second is Consolidated’s Flower Assortment. Its interesting that both examples are produced by Consolidated.
Challinor & Taylor produced the limited production color of Butterscotch, a really unusual color, shown in the salt & pepper and sugar shaker.
Both pieces are in the Reverse Swirl category, both produced by Buckeye Glass. The Reverse Swirl, short was elongated with the center being narrow. The opalescent stripes are vertical.
The Reverse swirl Tall has the opalescent stripes going in the same direction as the molded swirls! (Shown next to the normal Reverse Swirl Tall.)
A very rare Mt Washington Egg in an over-fired Burmese color of blue. The blue is a solid color through the shaker, not just on the surface.
Two questionable lavender examples in the Crocus pattern and Greek Key pattered shaker.
Acorn pattern possibly produced by Hobbs Brockunier or US Glass, Factory C, often found decorated.
Unusually deep butterscotch colored Consolidated Flower Assortment shaker. Typically found in Pink, Blue, and White this color is rare and most