Many collectors and antique lovers have been developing an interest in custard glass, a relatively unknown type of glass that is a light yellow color, the color of custard. But what do you need to know about Fenton custard glass?
Fenton custard glass was manufactured by the Fenton Art Glass Company from 1940 to 1983. Custard glass is a yellow-green glass that is often opaque, but it can be translucent. Most custard glass glows when exposed to ultra-violet light. Fenton custard glass is easy to clean and maintain.
Fenton custard glass is incredibly interesting, especially because it can glow. Below is more information about Fenton custard glass and when it was made.
What is Fenton Custard Glass?
Fenton custard glass is a type of glass that was made by the Fenton Art Glass company in the 1900s. The company itself went out of business in 2011, but the glass that they made can still be found at antique stores and independent retailers.
Custard glass made by Fenton is relatively well known because of the ruffled edges of the glass on MOST Fenton custard glass pieces. Most glass companies who made custard glass did not make the edges of their glass ruffled as Fenton did on many of theirs.
Custard glass is beloved not for its odd yellow-green color, but for the decorations that are found on the glass. Glass companies, especially Fenton glass, painted things like flowers, birds, leaves, and fruit onto custard glass. Painted roses are often found decorating custard glass. (Source)
Sometimes, custard glass is called ivory glass because, at times, the color is closer in shade to ivory than custard. Custard glass often has a band or two of gold paint on the edges as well. (Source)
When Did Fenton Make Custard Glass?
Fenton made custard glass from 1940 to 1983. Different patterns were made and were extremely popular at different times. Fenton Art Glass was founded in the early 1900s, so by the 1940s, the company had nearly perfected its glass-making techniques.
The Ivory Crest custard glass was made from 1940 to 1941, which is an incredibly short run. These custard glass pieces had edges made of crystal, which was probably one of the reasons why it was only made for one year. After Fenton glass stopped making this type of glass, they took a break from making all forms of custard glass. (Source)
The Bluebirds custard glass pattern was made by Fenton Art Glass from 1977 to 1979. These custard glass pieces had bluebirds painted onto the exterior of the glass.
The Blue Roses pattern was made from 1978 to 1983. This custard glass featured blue roses and an egg. This pattern can be found on custard and blue satin glass made by Fenton Art Glass.
How Old is Fenton Custard Glass?
The oldest Fenton custard glass pieces are over 80 years old. However, the Fenton custard glass pieces that were made in the ’80s are only about 40 years old.
To date your Fenton custard glass pieces, you will have to determine what pattern the glass has. If you can’t figure out the pattern, take it to a custard glass expert and have it dated. Oftentimes, the older a piece of custard glass is, the more valuable it will be.
How Do You Clean Fenton Custard Glass?
It is extremely easy to clean Fenton custard glass. Custard glass is similar to glass made today as it can be cleaned with soap and water without being damaged. (Source)
How to Clean Fenton Custard Glass
- Fill your sink with warm water and soap until your custard glass can be completely submerged. If there is caked on dirt and debris, let it sit in the warm water for a few minutes. If you want to avoid breaking your custard glass by accident, wrap it in a towel before you put it in the sink. When the glass hits the sink, it will hit the towel instead, and the amount of impact will be reduced. Don’t let the painted decorations on the custard glass get wet.
- Use a scrub brush, sponge, or other cleaning tool other than steel wool to clean the dirt and debris off of your custard glass. To clean the crevices of the ruffles, use a soft toothbrush.
- Rinse off soapy water
- Let custard glass air-dry or dry it with a towel.
- Once the custard glass is completely dry, put it away in a cupboard or an area where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight often.
The decorations that are on Fenton custard glass are made of paint. Because of how it was put on the glass, the paint can easily be removed by hot or warm water, so don’t let the decorations get wet. If you don’t like the decorations on your custard glass, use hot water to remove it. Otherwise, don’t get the paint on custard glass wet.
Why Does Fenton Custard Glass Glow?
Fenton custard glass glows because of the uranium oxide that is used in the glass. To make custard glass, companies added a small amount of uranium oxide. That is what gives the glass a slight green tint.
If you expose custard glass to ultra-violet light, it will often glow. The more green the glass is, the more it will glow. (Source)
Does All Fenton Custard Glass Glow?
Most Fenton custard glass glows, but not all. Custard glass that is closer to an ivory color might not glow because it doesn’t have as much uranium oxide mixed in.
Does all Fenton Custard Glass have Uranium?
Almost all Fenton custard glass has uranium in it. That is what gives the glass its greenish-yellow color. However, Fenton custard glass that is lighter in color, closer to ivory, may not have uranium in it. (Source)
Even though Fenton custard glass has uranium in it, it is safe to use and eat off of. The uranium oxide is embedded into the glass, so it likely won’t harm you unless you somehow get extremely small pieces of glass in your food.
Overall, Fenton custard glass is something that you should consider purchasing if you like the appearance of custard glass. Fenton custard glass has beautiful designs painted on the exterior, so various pieces will add beauty to your antique collection. However, it is slightly hard to find Fenton custard glass nowadays.