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Author Topic: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?  (Read 1578 times)

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Offline Glen

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This is a chicken and egg dilemma (which came first?)

I am fascinated by the history of the "Tulips" vase and I would like to know if anyone else can throw any light on it. The piece in question is Barolac pattern number 11282 the "Tulips" vase: the date of issue of the Barolac vase was 1934-1935. 

I have an ad dated two years later (1937) as shown in Weatherman's "Coloured Glassware of the Depression Era 2" which shows an almost identical vase. The ad is for McKee Glass, dated 1937, and it shows three items called "Louvre" "decorative bird and flower motifs in crystal satin and frosted satin". (The use of the word "Louvre" in the McKee ad lends a European "feel" to the ad). One of the items is a bowl that looks very similar to the Lalique and Jobling "Birds" bowls. Another item is a vase that looks very similar to the Barolac "Tulips" vase. I used to suspect that the McKee items were look-alikes, just copies "in the style of".

Fenton currently have a vase in their repertoire that appears to be the "Tulips" vase. I used to think that it was the McKee mould that they were using, but something I saw today made me pause. It's an ad from Fenton that features the "Tulips" vase and the information that goes with it states that the "glass mould is from Indiana Glass circa 1916-1917". Now that would mean that the Indiana Tulip vase came first and was then copied by Barolac / Inwald and McKee.

I have searched through the old Indiana catalogue pages that I have access to ("The Beauty of Albany Glass" Marcelle Bond) and I can't see the vase, but there are only a few pages there.

Can anyone confirm that Indiana was the first to make the Tulips vase in 1916? A catalogue image would be wonderful. If so, that would mean the Barolac / Inwald version was a copy.

Some images for you are given below:

Tulips vase from the Barolac catalogue
Original drawing for the mould of the Barolac vase
Fenton Tulip vase
http://www.fentonartglass.com/shop/item.asp?item=028569E
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Offline Ohio

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Re: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 06:31:41 AM »
Glen I think you lost me.   Albany Glass operated out of Albany, IN & yes it was known in unofficial terms as Indiana Glass, however with a date of 1916-1917 I wonder if it isn't Indiana Glass of Dunkirk, IN which is a different entity. If James Measell drops in he can definately tell you which Indiana Glass Co. had the mold since he is the Fenton historian & he knows the origins of just about every mold Fenton has in inventory. Doesn't help much I know. Ken

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Offline Glen

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Re: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 09:24:41 AM »
Ken, many thanks for your comments. To clarify; Indiana Glass, Dunkirk, IN is the factory I was referring to. You and I are both "singing from the same hymn sheet". I mentioned the name of the book in which the catalogue pages are shown, for reference. Marcelle Bond's "The Beauty of Albany Glass" also contains (and I'll quote from the title page) "Old Catalogue Pictures from Indiana Glass, Dunkirk, Indiana." It was those pages that I have looked at with reference to the "Tulips" vase that Fenton are currently producing, as per the Fenton statement that the "glass mould is from Indiana Glass circa 1916-1917".

My previous belief (before I read the Fenton statement re. Indiana) was that the current Fenton Tulips vase was most likely made using the circa 1937 McKee mould (which I had previously felt was a look-alike / copy of the Barolac design). In other words, I have always felt that the Barolac Tulips vase was most likely the first.

However, if Indiana were first to make the Tulips vase in 1916-1917, imho that would throw a very different light on all the Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald) designs, and by implication, on other wider aspects too. That's why I am so eager to see catalogue evidence of the 1916 -1917 Indiana Tulips vase.
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Offline Ohio

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Re: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 07:08:30 PM »
Glen I have emailed two sources I know, one a WV museum curator who covers everything & one an Indiana Glass reference author to see what they may have. I'll get in touch with you (I have your email) when they respond. Ken

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Offline jsmeasell

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Re: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 10:40:28 PM »
Fenton acquired this mould from Indiana Glass in 2003, and it obviously had been stored at Indiana Glass in Dunkirk for quite some time. We also acquired a number of other blow moulds that originated at Indiana about 1916-17 and were used to make items in crystal that were then given the "goofus" decorative treatment (gold, green and blue paint not fired, etc.). I have seen an example (picture) of this vase in the goofus treatment, but I have not been able to inspect that piece first hand. Our mould shop crew tells me that the construction of this mould (shape of lugs, etc.) is the same as other definite Indiana moulds for items that got the goofus treatment in the mid 'teens. Some of those other moulds have numbers on them that match the Indiana catalog numbers of vases shown on the goofus glass web site. I've been able to link our Fenton pieces to those numbered moulds, such as #24 that is now in the Fenton line in Carnival glass. Alas, the Tulip vase mould now at Fenton doesn't have any numbers on it.

It would be great fun to compare one of the Fenton vases with a known Barolac and a known McKee to see what the detail similarities and differences might be.

My conclusion of "1916-17" is based on the mould construction and the picture of one example in goofus. The McKee moulds were on the market in the early 1980s, but I don't know if their similar vase was among them at that time (Fenton bought other McKee moulds). Perhaps Craig Schenning or someone associated with goofus can take this a step further. 
James Measell, Historian
Fenton Art Glass Co.

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Offline Ohio

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Re: TULIPS vase: Fenton, Barolac (Jenkins / Inwald), McKee or Indiana?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 11:29:37 PM »
Well unfortunately Craig has evidently changed his email addy as I received an error message as no such account. I contacted someone who may know his correct address. Ken

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Offline Glen

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Many thanks for your responses and information, Ken and James - and thanks for emailing/contacting people, Ken. I wonder, do you have the picture of the Tulips vase in Goofus that you saw, James? That would be a great help.

I looked at a Goofus website (www.goofus.org) - is this the same website you mention, James? I can see a vase that has tulips as well as some other floral motif, but it's not "our vase" unfortunately. It's V3G1, on the seventh row down on this page:
http://www.goofus.org/webpage9.html

I don't have any actual examples of either the Barolac or Fenton Tulip vases (nor indeed, the McKee one). I do have catalogue images and original line drawings of the Barolac Tulips vase, as well as proof of the date when the mould was made. However, Steven Bateman has some truly superb photos of the Barolac Tulips vase on his Glass Gallery pages.

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/thumbnails.php?album=144

Glen
Just released—Carnival from Finland & Norway e-book!
Also, Riihimäki e-book and Carnival from Sweden e-book.
Sowerby e-books—three volumes available
For all info see http://www.carnivalglassworldwide.com/
Copyright G&S Thistlewood

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Offline Mosquito

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Just spotted this offered for sale on the US ebay site:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=310219274156

Upper portion looks virtually identical to the Barolac vase but the foot is different. No idea who made it though  :huh:

Steven

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