Found another one! Pattern, that is.
I unpacked this gorgeous bowl from the Janvier Road collection and, as usual, had no idea which search terms to use. By accident I saw a similar bowl labeled as a “petal” shape – and there it was! It’s the Petal Pattern #2829 from Federal Glass Company. It’s easy to recognize by its round shape and pointed, petal-shaped arches, with beveled crosses at the tips of each arch. How old is it, anyway? What surprised me was Petal’s age – it could date as early as the 1940s, but some authorities state that it was made in the 1960s. Others say it was made from the 1950s to 1979. My bowl had to have been made before 1960, because that’s when we closed the Janvier Road bungalow and packed up the glassware and other items.
Featuring primarily serving pieces (plates, bowls and hurricane candle holders), Petal was made in crystal, gold (Sungold), teal, amber, green, pink, yellow and orange. Some of the crystal pieces were also flashed with color, and an iridescent clear was also produced in the 1970s.
Federal Glass Company Federal Glass Company was located in Columbus, Ohio from 1900 to 1980. They began by creating mouth-blown etched glass, but by the 1920s they’d moved into more mass-produced pressed and mold-etched glass.
Identifying Federal patterns isn’t always easy. For one thing, the company didn’t put its distinctive “F” in a shield on every piece (it isn’t on my bowl). In addition, while Federal catalogued the earlier pieces (goblets, tumblers and salt and pepper shakers made in the 1910s), the company didn’t record all of their chipped-mold and paste-mold Depression glass. They were also famous for reissuing items from their own (Avocado and Madrid, 1970s) as well as other company’s molds! Tiara, for instance, used Federal molds to reproduce some Colonial pattern pieces in the 1970s.
Beware of reproductions! Petal has not only been reproduced, but some people claim that they’ve seen it sold in dollar stores! Therefore, you need to know how to distinguish the vintage original, and provenance is critical. Here are some hints:
- Look for a seam. Original plates should have one, reproductions do not. The seam on my bowl runs around the inside rim and is cleverly disguised by the crosses.You can see it in the above picture if you look closely.
- Original pieces should feel heavier than reproductions.
- There should be some utensil wear, since the originals were used to serve food.
- Ask for the history of the item – in writing – from the seller.
Even serious collectors of EAPG and American Brilliant constantly struggle to identify patterns, and many have invested in books and old or reprinted catalogues to help in their search. But for the casual collector or novice (like me), I hope these articles can help you identify items that you’re either interested in selling or buying. Enjoy the hunt!