Red, Red Opal, Red Slag

Article on color red

Red Carnival Glass was introduced in the 1920s, just as Northwood was going out of business and long after Millersburg ended its production. Thus, those two companies made no red glass. Other than in a few pieces of stretch glass, Diamond (successor to Dugan), made no red. Of the major producers, then, only Fenton and Imperial made any red glass and Fenton made almost all of it.

To see a letter from Frank Fenton in 1990 about how red glass was made, scroll down.

The Fenton Dragon and Lotus bowl above shows the most desirable red among collectors, described as cherry red. Note that the bowl LOOKS red. As glass color quality was not consistent in that era, some is quite dark--oftentimes referred to as brick red. The less obvious the red coloring of a piece, the less desireable it is in the eyes of most collectors. This red ice cream-shaped bowl sold for $4,100 in 1996. On the right is a good example of an Imperial red, usually this deep color. Imperial made only a few patterns in red including this Lustre Rose fruit bowl, Double Scroll candlesticks and console bowl, Floral and Optic bowls, Fishnet vases, and some stretch. This Lustre Rose bowl sold for $3,150 in 1994.
As with other opalescent glass, part of the glass has become opalescent through addition of bone ash and reheating. This red opal almost appears orange and has a creamy effect. This Fenton Blackberry Spray ruffled hat brought $700 at a 1996 auction. The Horse Medallion nut bowl is red slag, though the swirl effect is not apparent in the photo. It sold for for $1,500 in 1993. Also see Amberina.

This letter from Frank Fenton about the chemical content of red carnival was included in a handout for the seminar, Red The King of Carnival, presented by Richard Cinclair with Bob Allaire and Joyce Seale at the HOACGA convention April 27, 1990. It is published here with the permission of Richard Cinclair.

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