What to know about Fenton glass and why it's such a stunning collectible

Art glass is unique. Nothing else quite captures the interplay between color and light like a piece of art glass. Because glass is malleable, artists can make pieces of every conceivable shape, size and design. One famous maker of art glass is Fenton Art Glass Company. Their unique designs are hand-blown and prized by collectors.
The Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in 1905 by brothers Frank L. Fenton and John W. Fenton. According to Wikipedia, the brothers started out painting glass that others produced. When they couldn’t get the glass that they needed, they started blowing their own. The first type of art glass that the company produced was called carnival glass. According to Wikipedia, Fenton Art Glass was the first company to introduce this type of art glass.
The company, which was originally based in Martins Ferry, Ohio, expanded its offerings soon after and began making other types of art glass such as Burmese, opalescent and hobnail according to Art Glass Collectibles. As the Great Depression neared an end, Fenton began creating one of its most prized types of glass, hobnail glass in 1935. The company began creating the glass en masse for the Wrisley Company, a perfume company, in 1938.
Although a number of glass factories have closed down over the years, Fenton glass is still going strong. The company is now headquartered in Williamson, W.V., and it is still family owned, according to Art Glass Collectibles.
Popular product lines
Some of Fenton’s most popular product lines are as follows according to Ruby Lane:
Carnival Glass--Manufactured dates: 1907-1926 and 1970-present
Stretch Glass--Manufactured dates: 1917-1930s and 1980-present
Acid Etched Satin Patterns --Manufactured dates: 1935-1939
Hobnail--Manufactured dates: 1940-present
Crests--Manufactured dates: Primarily 1939-present
Opalescent Coin Dot--Manufactured dates: 1947-1961, 1982 (for Levay), 1989-present
Overlay Colors--Manufactured dates: 1939-present
About.com has a neat visual guide featuring representative pieces of Fenton glass along with their values. Common pieces of Fenton such as the Rose Crest Cornucopia Candleholder can go for as little as $25 on eBay. More expensive pieces such as the Fenton Black Rose bowl go for about $109 on eBay.

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