Phoenix glass vase

above: Fern vase,
Phoenix Glass

below: Phoenix glass
label used 1933-1936

Phoenix glass label

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Phoenix Glass Company - from The Glass Encyclopedia

A short discussion of Phoenix Glass:
The Phoenix Glass Company was formed in 1880 in Monaca, Pennsylvania and like many other glass companies at that time, they initially thrived on the market for oil and gas lamp chimneys. Moving on to making
lamps, globes, shades and electric light bulbs, they formed alliances with a number of glassworks and individuals who could bring specialist glass-making skills to Phoenix. During the 1880's and 1890's they produced a large volume of coloured cut glass, etched glass, hand decorated glass, and fancy coloured art glass, such as mother-of-pearl satin glass which they patented in 1885.

However, the name Phoenix today is primarily associated with the Sculptured Art Glass which they produced from 1933 to 1958. This glass was hand blown into special molds which had mold joints following the pattern in the glass to avoid obvious mold lines. These patterns had bold designs raised up very prominently from the background. Contrasting colours were applied either to the background or the relief designs, and then fired or baked onto the glass at temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

For a time during the 1930's Phoenix had the molds for making this kind of glass on loan from the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company, which had closed down temporarily to avoid running at a loss. From 1933 to 1936 Phoenix produced Consolidated's Martele designs under the name Phoenix Reuben line. There were differences in the glass quality and the colours used, which are recorded in specialist books on Phoenix glass. On the whole, Phoenix used only one colour and the contrasting colour of the glass; they did not use multi-colouring (apart from some experimental pieces produced in the 1970's by Jeanette Shade and Novelty Company for Phoenix).

In 1936 the Martele molds were returned to Consolidated. But Phoenix was already marketing its own designs in Sculptured glass, which used very similar techniques. Their Wild Rose vase was virtually identical to the Consolidated vase called Dogwood, but the colouring and finish were usually different. Phoenix produced an extensive range of Sculptured glass designs which were different from those produced by Consolidated; and apart from the period 1933 to 1936, the Consolidated designs were not produced by Phoenix. Because there seems to be so much confusion between the two companies, it is worth stating very clearly that Phoenix Glass and the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company were quite separate companies at all stages.

Phoenix stopped making their Sculptured Art Glass in 1958, but there were some later products made from the Phoenix molds. The Davis-Lynch Company borrowed some molds and made a few hundred vases in plain colours (no contrasting colouring) in the late 1960's. Anchor Hocking took over Phoenix Glass in 1970, and in 1976 they also had some Sculptured pieces produced in solid plain colours without any contrasting colouring. Their have been special pieces made for Phoenix workers and for special commemorative occasions, in small numbers. Phoenix is now part of Anchor Hocking Industrial Glass, and no longer makes art glass.

If you are looking for Phoenix glass, you can usually find items on offer on ebay (click here to see Phoenix glass listings on ebay).

These items are for sale right now on - we thought you would like to see these examples.

Sources and references:

1. Jack D Wilson Phoenix & consolidated art glass 1926-1980 Antique Publications 1989
2. William Heacock Phoenix/Consolidated copies & look-alikes pages 29-40 in Collecting Glass Volume 2, Antique Publications 1985.
3. Kathy Kelly An Identity Crisis: Phoenix or Consolidated pages 78 to 82 in Glass Collectors Digest volume III number 2, Aug/Sept 1989.
4. Carolus Hartmann Glasmarken Lexicon 1600-1945 Europa und Nordamerika Arnoldsche Art Publishers 1998 pages 549 & 756

Most books on American art glass include information about Phoenix Glass. Here are some that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover to read more about that book, including price and any available discounts for buying on-line.

Lamps book American glass book Warman's Glass book American Art Glass Book

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