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Fine Art/RE:Carnival Glass



I recently purchased this purple/amethyst carnival glass at an antique shop. I got a pitcher and six tumblers. I was trying to see what the value of the set was, however, I can't find a reference to it anywhere. At first I thought It was inverted thistle by Cambridge, but now I believe it to be made by Mosser. I'm stumped because Mosser only made the inverted thistle pattern in purple (not iridized like mine), green, clear, red, and I can't seem to find it anywhere so I was thinking that it might be one of a kind. Any insight into this would be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your help.

Hello Chris, and thank you for your very interesting question.
Regarding the  >>Thistle Emblem<<, today  it is not confined to any particular product, or country.
In fact, there are numerous manufactures of glass products worldwide, also who use a >> Thistle<< symbol.

With regard to the Cambridge Carnival glass, as indeed with much of the  American products that are  most commonly referred to -  as belonging to the category  called “Pressed, or “Depression Glass”.

Original Ohio Carnival  Glass, it  dates way back to the mid 19th century, and  was  widely  produced, and  being a relatively  inexpensive   decorative item.
Carnival glass reached  its peak back in the 1920’s and many other manufacturers such as  Aurora, Heisey, Jeanette,  and  much later – Moser,they often  closely copied/imitated each
other’s styles.

Of course, although  Moser  is a relatively new business, it has acquired some older moulds belonging to  previous makers and has also started  its own production of these designs.
On the whole, this type of >> glass<<  has a relatively high sodium content, which tends to lower the working temperature of the material.

Indeed this category of glass is still used  quite extensively in the majority of more  modern   reproduction glassware’s  and also the many kinds of patterned and also some kinds  kinds of   >>art<< glass use this material.

Iridescent glass can be produced both by accident and  also deliberately -  by both;  time, temperature, metallic oxides in combination with  a reduction in the oxygen levels of the  molten material inside the  glass kiln.

I have a small Roman  perfume bottle, which is  about 2.300 years old – and  due to being in contact with the damp  soil  and the decomposition of various organic materialfor many centuries - and the action of hydrogen sulphides, it has now  become iridescent.
It was at the time of its production in Anatolia, it was however  - made of a clear glass.

Loetz, Moser and many others during the 19th century, have all  deliberately made – Iridescent glass as a means of utilising to a maximum both, candle,  oil and  gas lighting on the household materials.
Like the majority of Greek Iconostasis items, iridescent glass it has been made somewhat more bland and redundant; by the advent of modern electric lighting.  

There are  however   two main possibilities, concerning you own item;
1. It is a fake,  which is probably  made in the  Far East
2.  It is either a much earlier experiment, or perhaps a production mistake –  or it is made  by a modern  producer, but using an old production mould.

There are a few  more steps needed in order to achieve more clarity as to, if they are really a genuine original object, rather than a  fake reproduction from the Far East
A real time inspection by a reputable auction house, can make a very good assessment; as to condition and value, etc.

The average prices for those works all depends on; size,  quality, provenance, subject matter and condition- which are all highly important -  and also do also vary a great deal.
Howerver, this type of glass is at present fetching some average figures, of around $120-200,00.

The internet, should point you in the direction of the auction houses in your own location,
I would strongly advise, in taking it along to at least 2 different auction houses for a valuation.
Second opinions, are always very beneficial indeed.

Furthermore; should you desire to take it to auction - then I would also advise on selling it with a fixed bottom end reserve - but perhaps with a 10% auctioneers discretion, which is quite reasonable.

Selling without a fixed reserve, is definitely not to recommended.

Very good luck indeed, at the auction house.
I  am quite  sure that they will be able to help you over the few  last steps before take off, so to speak!
Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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