An American original
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|Written by Alfredo Villanueva-Collado, Ph.D.||
Photos © Abersio Núñez
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Alfredo Villanueva's Dugan collection
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|V.2 corresponds to the pieces from the Passau Museum. Two are violet and one is "dark pink." All three show the same manufacturing process. The rose bowl, IV.400, is shown in the Fall 1906 Butler brothers "Japanese Vase and Rose Bowl Asst." (HMW 51). The larger piece, IV.401, is illustrated in a 1906 Butler Brothers catalogue featuring a "25c Venetian Vase Asst." ( HMW 50; see also photo 10 ).|
In the PMC, the rose bowl is described as "light violet glass, pre-blown in a ribbed mold, colorless and silver yellow glass speckles. Mold blown and free formed, three deep indentations, rim pinched three times. Reduced and brilliantly iridized" ( translation by Eddy Scheepers ). The "glass speckles" correspond to "frit" and give the glass what has been described as a crushed ice" effect. "Reduced" refers to a technique whereby glass threads containing metal are coaxed back to their original metallic proto-type. I find the dark quality of purple glass tends to absorb light and not allow the ribbing to show through; on the other hand, it maximizes the iridescent effect ( photo 8 ).
|Variant 2: purple glass 08|
|Variant 3: pink glass 09|
|Variant 3: blue green glass 10||
Variant 3: large "canary-yellow" 11
|Same mold, different decorations and colors 12|
|For V.4, "opal" frit (coarsely crushed white glass) is used in conjunction with finer amber frit "glitter". The opal frit is randomly distributed on the surface of the vessel; the amber frit marks the vertical ribbing (Photo 13; the two taller pieces are also illustrated in HMW 82: 172D.172E). Therefore, pieces in this V.4, which so far I have found only in sky-blue (as opposed to blue-green) glass, are related to Northwoods "Granite Ware" (see photo 1; also, HMW 82: 172A, 172B, 172 C). V.5, usually appearing in cobalt blue, has opal frit as well, but the golden amber frit is applied over it in "sunbursts" or "stars" (Photo 14), following a "thumbprint" optic mold pattern in the glass (see photo 2)|
|Variant 4 in sky blue, gold and opal frit 13||
Variant 5: "Starburst pattern, usually named "Japanese" 14
|Dugan iridescent glass was produced in
a limited variety of shapes, decorative patterns, colors and sizes. Thus, the collector
may find same-shaped vessels with differ-ent decorative treatments. Variants 2 through 5
were created simply by altering the treatment of the "frit" or changing the
optic mold. Rarity of shape, color and decoration affects value. It may be possible to
find "unique" pieces or even shapes, colors and decorative combinations
However, it is still quite affordable to budget-conscious collectors-the rarest pieces going for under $150 on E-Bay-- though maybe not for too long. It is unfair to compare it to Loetz, since there is no similarity either in manufacturing process or quality. When judged on its own, its intrinsic charm makes it quite endearing. Ultimately, distinguishing between "Venetian," "Pompeian" and "Japanese" becomes less important than giving these small Indiana, Pennsylvania, beauties the place they deserve in the history of American iridescent art glass.
Note. I want to thank Eddy Scheepers for his online translations and steadfast encouragement of my research; Norma Brown and Jeff Weller for their support and advice; and all those E-Bayers who sold reasonably, answered promptly, mailed quickly and responded cheerfully to my queries.
Adlerová, Alena, et.al. Das Böhmishe Glass 1750-1900. Band IV, Jugendstil in Böhmen. Passau: Passauer Glasmuseum, 1995. [PMC]
Burns, Carl O. Dugan & Diamond Carnival Glass: Identification and Value Guide.
Paduckah, Ky.: Collector Books, 1999.
Heacock, William, James Measell and Berry Wiggins. Dugan/Diamond: The Story of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Glass. Marietta, Ohio: Antique Publications, 1993 [HMW].
Truitt, Robert. Collectible Bohemian Glass 1880-1940. Kensington, Md.: B&D Glass, 1995.
|Early years Paris 1900 1900-1905 The Masters Art Deco Identifying Publications Museums|