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Confused Butterfly & Berry Carnival Bowl?

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David555:
Hi

This is just a small bowl, but I thought I’d the question anyway.

Butterfly & Berry by Fenton – 4.5” diam, 2.5” high in marigold.

The feet feel too short and stubby although they are the same ‘ball and claw’ as on the basic pattern.

(http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/1448/buttberry11gs.th.jpg)

(http://img311.imageshack.us/img311/2053/buttberry22kf.th.jpg)

I don’t understand the base where the twelve panels slope down to a circular rim 2.2” diam. It feels like it can’t make its mind up whether to have three feet or a circular base – the base does not touch surface, the feet do by about 4mm.

Adam P

Glen:
It's part of the magic and mystery of Carnival Glass.  It's been a talking point for years, on account of its apparently superflous feet/marie (depending on how you look at it). Quite a quirky little piece and absolutely genuine in that form.

Glen

jsmeasell:
From the side view photo, I'd say this piece has "run down" a bit. This occurs when a piece is a little too hot when turned out or after warming-in and/or when the lehr is too hot. The result is that the feet splay out slightly or push upwards to create a slight bump that can be felt on the interior.

This was one of Frank L. Fenton's early designs. The rather large marie for a piece of this size was probably necessary to use existing snaps (aka "gadgets" in the UK) rather than make new ones. Later Fenton designs of some three-toed pieces have a much smaller marie.

Glen:
I can't see "Butterfly & Berry" in Butler Brothers catalogues until mid spring 1911, which is two and a half years after Fenton's first wholesale ad for their Carnival. Do you have any other information to place its introduction earlier than that, Dr. Measell?

It certainly was one of their latest running patterns. I can see it in Butler Brothers as late as April 1929.

It's interesting to note that a fully illustrated ad for Fenton's Carnival was shown in the British Pottery Gazette in 1923 - and one of the five pieces shown was the little footed berry bowl in the "Butterfly & Berry" pattern.

Glen

jsmeasell:
I'm currently working on a chronology of Frank L. Fenton's work--from the decorations he likely did 1897-1904 for various employers to the designs for Fenton Art Glass Co. decorations and moulds 1905-1948. Thus, my use of the term "early" refers to his entire career, not just the Carnival glass era. In general, a Fenton line or novelty item makes its way into a Butler Brothers catalog several months after it was generally available. The exceptions are "exclusive" assortments just for Butler Brothers. I'll post when this project is complete ... probably near the end of 2006.

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