Old or New: How to tell if a piece of Carnival
is an example of Classic, old glass or is a contemporary item or a
Craig gave the following advice in answer to the above question. “If a
piece is not marked but there is concern as to whether it is
contemporary or not, and no reference sources (literary or human) are
available, how to ascertain its era (old/new) with relative certainty?
Answer(s): Is the glass noticeably thicker and/or heavier than a piece
of the same or close size that is known to not be contemporary? In
conjunction with the previous, is the iridescence super shiny and/or
gaudy in comparison to known old pieces (even such as super radium
Glen Thistlewood added:
I'd like to add an observation to your answer - and it's one that I
often use to help collectors differentiate between old and new Carnival.
It is a "rule of thumb" and it doesn't always apply, but it certainly
may help. Turn the piece upside down and look at its base. Classic
American Carnival was virtually never iridized on the bottom (because of
the method of manufacture). Contemporary Carnival and much fake (e.g. the
Good Lucks from the Far East) are often (but not always) iridized on the
An excellent case in hand is the Mary Ann vase. The old Dugan
examples are not iridized on the base - the modern repros are iridized
on the base. As I said, there are exceptions - eg. much Fenton is not
iridized on the base, but it is marked with the Fenton logo, so there
should be no problem there.
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