Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vaseline Glass

You could describe the mix of old and new in our home as eclectic. We have no antique furniture, but we have several precious pieces of glassware that were given to me by my grandmothers. My maternal grandmother passed away Christmas Eve a few years ago at nearly 102 years. More than 30 years ago she gave the following bowl to me.

This beautiful old bowl with an all over hobnail pattern and opalescent edge, possibly made by Fenton, is a color referred to as "Topaz". The uranium content in this old art glass reacts to light and causes it to fluoresce - this can be seen easily under a black light. The ruffled top of this trumpet bowl is doubled crimped and edged in what is most often referred to as "vaseline glass" - this vaseline or opalescent was carried though the first few rows of the hobnails.

How I was given this piece is just as interesting as its origin. My grandmother promised that the next family member to marry would receive the bowl as a wedding gift. My mother claimed to have remarried, but in fact, did not. (I never said I come from a wholesome family.) She had been given the bowl as promised, but was quickly relieved of the bowl when my grandmother learned of this deception. My grandmother took the bowl from my mother's china cabinet and handed it to me, saying "It's yours now".

I love this piece - it sits safely in our china cabinet. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away before I thought to ask how this piece came to be in her possession. Someday it will be passed to my daughter, and eventually our new granddaughter, Ava. I find it extraordinary to pass a piece of history to future generations. It's amazing to think that Ava will have something that once belonged to her great-great-grandmother.

Do you have anything that was passed to you from a cherished family member?


The Weaver of Grass said...

That is one lovely bowl. Things passed down the family are such a joy, aren't they? I have poetry books from my aunt and my father, I have several pieces of pressed glass which were my grandmothers and a piece of crochet from the late nineteenth century done by a great aunt. I also have a chair which belonged to my great grandfather and probably best of all - a tablecloth embroidered by my late mother's brother - think I might put this on my blog one day. Thanks for this thought provoking blog.

~Vanessa~ said...

Gorgeous bowl! I love your story. Your grandmother sounds like a real hoot! :)


Mental P Mama said...

Now that is funny. I have a beautiful cut glass vase that was my grandmother's. I treasure it.

Judyann said...

A depression glass plate was passed down from my maternal grandmother. The piece is no where near as lovely as your bowl. What a nice treasure. Mitch and I do have a little glass pitcher that has this same bubble glass only it's light blue. So fun to learn about these older passed down heirlooms.

Deb said...

Your piece is quite something. And I know you are on a cruise ship right this very moment, I'm wondering if you preposted any other wonderful stories.
Hope you are having a great time cruisin' and scrappin'!

Pam said...

Love the bowl! I have one just like it from my grandmother - it's a Fenton bowl with the same ruffled edge and hobnail effect, but it is solid white - not nearly as lovely as your bowl. What a beautiful piece to pass through the generations!

Country Girl said...

I think the whole story is interesting and that it's wonderful to be able to pass it on in your family.
I have something from my mother but don't know where she got it. It's a cut glass crystal vase that she told me was smuggled out of Poland during the war. We aren't Polish, so how she came to have it, I have no idea!

Starwoodgal said...

I have tons of stuff. I have furniture (writing desk, dresser, mirror) that belonged to my great aunt. Her china and crystal. Antique books. A collection of miniature vases that includes a crystal pitcher that has red glass at the top, with her name etched in gold (and get this) it reads "World's Fair 1909" under her name. My mother's antique baby dish that is shaped like a bunny. My grandfather's bedroom furniture, a little rocker that belonged to my grandmother, my daughter has my grand mother's china. I have what's left of her silver. I have loads of glassware and crockery that belonged to my grandmother. I have a few things that belonged to hubster's side of the family. Small things - antique tin tobacco box, brass rolling pin, and pictures.

I love placing these things around my house.

Nikki (a.k.a hermanmarie) said...

I have a pearl necklace that was my great grandmothers that I wore on my wedding day, my great grandmother's dining table (100+yrs) and my grandmothers wedding china set that I have yet to take out of the box because I don't want it to get broken and have no place to put it yet!