I have been a Fenton art glass collector for several years. One of my collections focused on the early Hobnail design starting with the No. 289 French Opalescent cologne bottles made for Wrisley Perfume of Chicago, IL in 1939. In 1940, Fenton introduced Hobnail into their general line in Blue Opalescent, French Opalescent, Cranberry Opalescent and Green Opalescent. Many of these colors are still found in the secondary market and the homes of many collectors. Most people a familiar with the opaque white Milk Glass Hobnail that came out in the 1950’s and was used by many to decorate their homes and to entertain family and friends.
As a collector, I found myself with various colors and shapes of Fenton Hobnail, but with little information or documentation about my treasures. I was incredibly pleased when I discovered that the Whitmyers had written and published a book solely dedicated to Fenton’s Hobnail Pattern. I was already a fan of the Whitmyer’s books. They are always full of not only great photos and in-depth information about each shape, but also the Fenton Art Glass Company history of each decade in which the items were produced.
Two things that are important and appreciated by collectors in a reference book are the Contents and the Index. In this book the sections are in alphabetical order by the shape name, making it easy to find a particular item. I have found that many collector books do not have an index, but this book not only has an index, but it has headings for each of the groups which pairs up with the Contents page. Each section gives the official item name and product numbers assigned by the Fenton factory. Each section has at least one example color photo, the colors that were issued, when the product was introduced and discontinued and the estimated retail value at the time of publication of the book.
For anyone who wants to learn about Fenton Hobnail glass you won’t be disappointed. For collectors of mid-century vanity items and cologne bottles I highly recommend this book. It is truly a great addition to the Collector Books publication library.
Reviewed by Judy Parker.