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What Is a Fenton Vase?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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A Fenton vase is a vase which was manufactured by the Fenton Art Glass Company, a U.S.-based manufacturer of handmade glass which was founded in 1905 in Ohio. Made from clear or colored glass, a Fenton vase can have many hues. The vase can be adorned with Fenton's signature hand-painted gold or floral accents and may have a smooth or patterned finish. Fenton vases also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the vases can be crafted from pressed or blown glass.

Fenton has been making art glass vases for more than a century and is one of the world's foremost producers of handmade colored art glass. A distinguishing and tell-tale sign of an original Fenton vase is the Fenton logo, typically found on the bottom of the vase, which is the word Fenton with a circle around it. It may also be identified with a sticker bearing the Fenton name. Fenton vases may also bear other specialty Fenton logos, such as a flame, F or star, which identify them as Fenton seconds, which are sold primarily in the Fenton factory's gift shop or to benefit charities.

Stunning color often sets a Fenton vase apart from the pack. Fenton uses deep colors such as cobalt, aubergine and ruby for some of its vases and lighter colors such as blush rose, lavender and robin's egg blue for others. Color combinations are common in a Fenton vase, where the base can be one color and the center and top edge entirely different colors. For example, Fenton's Daffodil vase features the color orange slice on top and a brilliant yellow-colored base.

In addition to the glass quality of Fenton vases, hand-painted flowers and scenes are affiliated with the Fenton name. Vases may be hand-painted with floral designs, outdoor scenes or strategically-placed gold accents. Fenton artists also created limited-edition theme vases, such as a Mother's Day vase in Burmese satin, which is limited to 1,250 pieces and features a hand-painted scene of a mother lion snuggling her club. This Fenton vase also features the signatures of Nancy, Shelley and Lynn Fenton.

A Fenton vase can range dramatically in style. Some Fenton vases are footed, while others are hat- or bowl-shaped. The top edges of a Fenton vase may be smooth, ruffled or flared. The sides can be paneled, ridged or swirled. Embossed vases feature ornate patterns molded into the glass, such as ladies dancing, a floral scene or a Cheshire cat.

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Discussion Comments
By seag47 — On Mar 10, 2012
Can anybody tell me how to tell a genuine Fenton vase from a fake one? I seem to see all kinds of vases with Fenton-like shapes, but they're not all that expensive, so it makes me wonder if they're the real deal.

Is there some sort of mark or pattern that can guarantee that a vase is a real Fenton?

By shell4life — On Mar 09, 2012

I had no idea that Fenton was based in the United States! I figured it was in France or somewhere else exotic and known for its fine art.

I love Fenton vases. Like @cloudel said, they are never simple or basic. I have a shelf lined with nothing but Fenton vases, and I don't ever put flowers in them. They don't need a floral arrangement to be beautiful.

I have yet to find a Fenton vase with scenery painted on it, though. My collection is made up of colored glass vases of various shapes, but if I ever find a painted one, I will snatch it up quickly.

By cloudel — On Mar 09, 2012

My mother loves Fenton glass, and I often search for it in antique shops around the time of her birthday and Christmas. They have so many unique pieces, and it is easy to spot a Fenton in a crowd of other vases and figurines.

While I have bought her Fenton vases in the past, this year, I settled on a Fenton flower figurine. It sits almost flat on a table top, and it is a beautiful mauve color.

The center is made up of round pieces, and the glass petals are very ruffly. Slightly variable shades of mauve run throughout the piece, suggestive of highlights and shadows.

With Fenton, you will never see an ordinary vase. I love that each piece is a work of art, no matter how simple its purpose.

By orangey03 — On Mar 08, 2012

I bought a Fenton daffodil vase like the one mentioned in the article. To me, it looks just like the center portion of a daffodil.

It has some texture to the glass, and it appears that leaf shapes have been etched onto it. Even the yellow base has these shapes. This texture makes it easier to grip the vase, and it won't slip out of my hands when it is wet, like other vases sometimes do.

I love the wavy orange rim. I can fit a bunch of flowers into this vase, because they have a lot of room to spread out, yet the ruffles keep them from falling along the same position all around. The unique shape adds interest to the form the bouquet takes, as well.

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