I unpacked a pretty hand painted globe vase the other day. It found its way to our house when we closed up the Janvier Road bungalow, and somehow I ended up with it.
As I examined it, I noticed a tiny, semi-faded “WH” on the bottom right.
If it’s signed, it could be a find!
It’s wise to pay attention to antique and vintage items that are signed.
You need to try to find out who signed it, because artists didn’t always get to put their mark on a piece they created or painted (usually, only the company got the credit). Therefore, an artist’s signature can elevate an item from yard sale junk to something that’s highly collectible.
Turns out this vase was made by the Consolidated Glass Company.
It took me forever to discover that this vase was painted by Wally Hindle, and is part of the company’s later milk glass line of the 1940s and 1950s. I’ve just discovered that Wally was a woman!
(Helen Mixter is another company artist whose initials can be found on similar pieces.)
Phoenix and Consolidated Glass is highly collectible.
Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company was founded in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania in 1894 and quickly became known for quality glass lamps and shades, vases, tableware and more.
Inspired by Renee Lalique, the company launched the Martele line of glassware in 1926.
The Catalonian line followed in 1927, and Ruba Rombic was called “an epic in modern art.” Sadly, the Great Depression affected sales, and the Martele molds, which were owned by designer Reuben Haley, were moved to the Phoenix Glass Company. They were returned to Consolidated when it reopened.
In the 1940s, Consolidated introduced its line of pearlized milk glass vases under the Con Cora name (“Consolidated” and “Coraopolis”), and production continued until 1967, when the factory closed for good.
I’m guessing that my vase was created in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and is part of the “Cone” or “Pine Cone” line of milk glass.
The earlier pieces, especially the Martele and other lines, have significantly appreciated in price. But the milk glass items are still affordable, and a great way to begin or add to your collection.
If Wally hadn’t signed her vase, I might have put it out on a table in the front yard. But she did – and now she’ll be remembered because he created more than a vase.
She created a legacy.