The lustre of Marigold Glass….
Have you ever come across little glass pieces in antique and second hand shops
in bright, iridescent orange and wondered what they were?
It's a fair chance they are Marigold Glass,
made in the early part of the 20th century.
Known at the time as Iridill Glass,
but now known as Carnival Glass,
the lustre on the glass was made by applying
metallic salts to one surface while the glass was still
hot from the press.
The technique was used by Louis Comfort Tiffany
in the early 20th century,
creating pieces of Lustre Glass of very high quality.
Iridil Glass was inspired by Tiffany's works,
but produced in a much more cost-efficient manner
by the Fenton Art Glass Company of Ohio from 1907.
It became very popular with the new middle classes.
Available in many colours, the orange or Marigold version
became the most purchased variety,
as a simple way to inject a bit of life and light into a dark living room.
For this reason, Marigold Glass is today the least valuable
of all the Lutre Glasses, but of course, that doesn't diminish its
beauty or charm one iota.
As fashions changed, the glass fell out of favour,
and the many leftover pieces were awarded as prizes by showmen
So next time you see a flash of orange glass in a second hand shop,
have a good look,
hold it up to the light and twirl it around
to catch reflections.
It really is a thing of great beauty.