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"Bird on Grape" 9.5" Goofus Glass Vase / Indiana Glass Co. /Circa 1919

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (1145 items)

    I acquired this dark little vase in a trade today from a fellow vendor. It just appealed to me. I really wasn't sure what it was at first. I had been told it was Japanese export ware but somehow I thought that wasn't the case. It's "cold painted" pressed glass so the fact that the paint was still mostly intact was really nice. A bit of research finally pulled up images as a "Goofus Glass" vase made by the Indiana Glass Co. Most people are familiar with their marigold carnival glass but this was their early original version of carnival glass and was given away at movie theaters, carnivals, and as premiums for just about any major purchase. I really like the bird and grape pattern and the dark aged original paint. Still I think it has an Asian vibe about it even if it is "Goofus" glass. -Mike-

    The Indiana Glass Company was "officially born" in 1907
    Courtesy of

    The Indiana Glass Company made pressed and blown glassware. They made lamps and press molded decorative plates and bowls. Indiana Glass is believed to be the longest producer of "Goofus Glass".
    For those of you that are not familiar with Goofus Glass, Goofus Glass was a VERY inexpensive way to make colored, decorative glass. Pressed, patterned glass items were "cold painted" (not fired) and the paint was not permanent. If used or washed, the paint soon flaked off. A bowl or plate was painted gold on the exterior and the pattern on the interior was filled in with paint. Red and gold seemed to be the standard colors and sometimes green.
    In 1919, Indiana Glass added more vases to their line. Indiana Glass did not make it easy for anyone to trace their past. Another pattern that is believed to be made by the Indiana Glass Company is the "Bird and Grape Pattern". This pattern was made in goofus vases, goofus wallpockets and carnival glass wall pockets as well. Their Goofus vases are highly collectible now and much loved among Goofus Glass collectors. Their "Fancy Decorated Lamps" are also highly prized among glass collectors.

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    1. Caperkid, 4 years ago
      Nice history mike
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Thanks Roy...I actually learned a bit myself researching this piece. Now I don't feel so :)
    3. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      That's a VERY impressive looking vase Mike! I'm familiar with Indiana Glass, but have never seen a piece like this. Very nice!!
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Hey Thomas.....Hoosier Glass is in Indianapolis but it's a separate company. Indiana Glass Co. is in Dunkirk. They were originally The National Glass company until 1907. I have a couple pieces of Hoosier glass too. :)
    5. NevadaBlades, 4 years ago
      Seriously, Mike, a GOOFUS vase?!!? Well, I now have a new-found respect and admiration for that name -- I will never call anyone 'Goofus' again! [;>)
    6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Thanks's a pretty piece despite originally being so called "cheap" glass. Amazing the fragile paint survived all these years. :)
    7. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      lol .. yep Nevada Goofus glass. Not really sure about the etymology of the word or why they used it. Goofus glass production continued well into the 1920's and then it was just called Carnival glass. :)
    8. Rick55 Rick55, 4 years ago
      Very nice looking vase Mike! I love the understated colors and the fantastic detail!
    9. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Thanks almost looks like it's made of wood or lacquer. Until you see the clear glass bottom. :)
    10. BHock45 BHock45, 4 years ago
      I saw this exact same piece is a store the other day. ....crazy.
    11. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Once I knew what I was searching for I found a few on Ebay too BH. They ranged in price from $17.00 which is rather low to $200.00 for a pair ! I think 60-70 is a fair price though. Of course I traded for mine so it was a very good deal. :)
    12. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      I had heard of Goofus Glass before but had never seen any. Being uncommon and American I guess that's why.
      I'm with Rick. Really great moulding; it would look good even unpainted.
      It's great the paint is still there. Cold painted anything tends to have losses as the years goes by.
      Nice one Mike!
    13. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Thanks Karen....even my friend who had this in her booth didn't know exactly what it was or how old. My first impression was late Victorian/Art Nouveau European but American Indiana Glass was a surprise. I've seen the bowls with the gold paint and red roses but they are mostly in very sad shape. This actually looks very nice with the painted pair of Tiffin Poppy vases I posted a while back. :)
    14. kivatinitz kivatinitz, 4 years ago
      beautiful and the rough surface with the different colors, the bird so many things together
    15. mikelv85 mikelv85, 4 years ago
      Thanks so much Kivatinitz for the "love" and compliment. :)
    16. OneGoodFind OneGoodFind, 4 years ago
      Very cool find and keen eye Mike. Sometimes you just never know. This is very interesting. :) Love it.

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