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Monday, October 5, 2009

Vintage Voice: Milk-Glass Pedestal Cake Stand

Here is my other fabulous find during my "retail therapy"; a milk-glass cake stand. I've been wanting one of these forever!
Milk glass was first made in Venice in the 16th century, but it came in other colors besides white. 19th-century glassmakers called it opal glass.
The name "milk glass" is  fairly recent. The white color is achieved by adding tin dioxide, or bone ash, to the glass, which is either blown or pressed ( pressed glass is often referred to as Depression glass.)
Some of the more well-known makers of art glass, like milk-glass, include Fenton, Westmoreland, Imperial and Mosser.
Milk glass was very popular in the Victorian era, with a resurgence of popularity and reproductions of many old designs in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Though unmarked, mine is a Fenton Hobnail Pedestal Cake Stand. It seems that Fenton did not mark their pieces until 1970, and even then, it was only on certain items. It wasn't until 1974 that all of their pieces bore a logo on the bottom, which tells me that my cake stand was made before 1970. The color and weight, and the density, tell me that my cake stand is probably older than the 1960s, more than likely it was made in the 1950s. Hobnail patterns on milk glass was introduced by Fenton in 1939 and became their top-selling line.
Fenton Art Glass Company, which was founded by two brothers, also was the first to introduce carnival glass, which is also a very popular collector item.

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