Heart of America Glass Collectors

Kansas City


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Meeting Highlights & Program


March 2012


Helen presented a game of swans and the club was suitably impressed.  She first presented this program to the club in 1984 with fewer swans; the years have been kind and the assemblage has grown.  Helen decided to provide an encore program because 28 years had passed and newer members of the club had not seen it before.  She reiterated something she said in 1984, “I do not collect swans!”  Helen indicated that she does not actively seek them; they find her.
The program covered swans from a variety of well-known American glass manufacturers.  Helen started off with a wonderful group made by Cambridge Glass in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.  Almost all sizes were shown in Cambridge’s catalogs from 1930 to 1934.  The varieties started to taper off and only a few were still made in the early 1950s.  Cambridge swans come in many colors and decorations, with six basic sizes and a punch bowl.  Helen described the intricate variations in feathers, feather directions, and other tells that excite a Cambridge swan connoisseur.  Helen brought examples of the following sizes:  13”, 10”, 8”, 6”, 4 ½”, and 3”.  The colors and design elements are truly beautiful on all.  Though she does not own a 16” punch bowl, she bought the large crystal 13” swan with 12 swan punch cups many years ago.  Helen noted that the Cambridge 8”, 6”, and 4 ½” swan molds were sold to Summit Art Glass Company when Cambridge closed.  Summit poured them in Amberina, Chocolate Slag, and light blue (among other colors).
Helen showed several Duncan Miler swans from the 1940s to early 1950s, most with Duncan Miller’s beautiful opalescent glass.  The centerpiece was a yellow opalescent Sanibel shell console bowl and two 12” yellow opalescent spread-wing Sylvan swans, which she acquired as a set.  They would be impressive on any buffet!  She also shared 8 ½” Viking swans in pink opalescent, yellow opalescent, and crystal, noting that the name refers not to the Viking company (these were definitely made by Duncan Miller) but to the similarity of their shape to a Viking boat.  Also from Duncan Miller come the Pall Mall swans in milk glass with green neck, crystal, teakwood, cinnamon, and carmen.  The Duncan Miller swan molds were used by Tiffin and were made in ruby, green, crystal, yellow, blue, smoke, and plum.
The next group that Helen shared was made by New Martinsville in the early 1940s, primarily as supplemental pieces for their popular Janice dinnerware pattern.  Pieces either have swan handles (such as the 12” centerpiece bowl) or have the distinctive swan shape.  In the latter category, Helen displayed large 11 ½” crystal swans (one with a cobalt head and neck), an 8” crystal swan with cobalt head and neck, a 7 Ό” all crystal swan, and a 7” crystal swan with red neck and head that is a little plainer than its cousins.  Beyond the Janice pattern, Helen shared a few other New Martinsville swans, including an 11” ebony example, a 7 ½” ruby swan, and a 5 ½” ebony with a sweetheart shape.
The swans from the three large companies brought along a few miscellaneous friends to the program, including a 4” milk glass swan by Imperial, a 4” Rosaline swan by Fenton, a Heisey Crystolite pattern master nut swan and individual nut swan (circa 1943 to 1957), a 7 ½” swan with controlled bubbles and a stunning tangerine color (manufacturer unknown), and a 13” spread wind green opalescent example that is frequently attributed to Duncan Miller but has been found with a Czechoslovakian label!
Helen shared the most recent addition, the Drake Bowl made by Tiffin (circa 1959) in their Twilight color (the neodymium coloration that changes from a pinkish lavender under natural light to a pale blue under florescent light).  While technically not a swan, it resides with the others … because Helen does not really collect swans.




Show & Tell

Club members brought the following treasures for Show and Tell!  Here are some highlights from this meeting.  Descriptions of each treasure is found below the pictures using the corresponding number.



Three glass animals:  (1) Kosta Boda rearing horse (block style), (2) Viking flat-back tiger cub, and (3) Kosta Boda flat-back circus elephant.
Imperial Glass blue opalescent Beaded Block sugar and creamer.
Anchor Hocking clear Bubble go-with footed tumbler, flat tumbler, and “Boopie”.


Viking Bluenique #6944 Owl ashtray, circa 1969.


Three carnival glass bowls:  (1) Fenton marigold Waterlily footed bowl, made between 1907 and 1932, (2) Fenton amethyst Grape & Cable ruffled bowl, and (3) marigold bowl from unknown manufacturer.
Ball Jar salt and pepper shakers.