The National Glass Collectors Fair
Carnival Glass Society UK
Scroll Embossed Plate: C S&G Thistlewood
The Carnival Glass Society UK (CGS) presented a display of carnival glass at the latest National Glass Fair, which took place on Sunday 22nd of November 2015.
Visitors were able to see various examples of this vibrantly coloured glass: covering more than a century of glass production by a variety of manufacturers from around the globe.
The first carnival glass was made in the winter of 1907 - 1908 by Fenton in the USA. Soon afterwards other glass makers in America began producing it, including Harry Northwood at his factory in Wheeling, West Virginia (Harry was the son of famous Stourbridge glass craftsman John Northwood).
Iridised Tiffany glass, which was popular at this time, was the preserve of the rich and the aim of these Carnival Glass makers was to produce something that was equally sumptuous, but more affordable, to decorate the homes of an aspiring generation. The glass was pressed and then hand finished to obtain different shapes and effects. Finally it was iridised to give an ‘oil on water’ effect so, whatever the base colour of a piece, the surface reflects back a myriad of different tones and hues.
The popularity of carnival glass spread across the world and it began to be produced in Europe (from 1915 or earlier), South America, Australia and India. Each maker had their own particular style, which was fine tuned by the prevailing designs of the era; so the Art Nouveau patterns of early manufacture gave way to the geometric lines of the Art Deco period and on to a more vintage feel by the mid 20th Century (look out for the fabulous retro jewellery), with glass that we would term carnival still being made today. Consequently there is a huge variety of different shapes, colours and patterns to collect.
The Carnival Glass Society UK was set up in 1982 to promote interest in the collecting of carnival glass, encourage research into its history and circulate information through it's publications - in particular the quarterly ‘newsletter’, which is a 36 page journal packed with research, stories and stunning photographs.
For further information on the society please visit www.thecgs.co.uk. Membership fees start from only £14 per year.
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