You are viewing a
very unique vintage art glass pen holder or squat vase that looks like a Blenko Art Glass item. If
it is Blenko (I am not sure), the color looks like Lemon Yellow which was produced in 1968 and
1969. There is no label or signature. It has a ground base (no
pontil mark), which is sometimes present in Blenko, see link below. In addition
to holding a pen this retro item could be used as a paper weight or squat vase.
It would be a fantastic, unusual and useful addition to any retro art glass
For information on
Blenko pontil marks: http://blenkocollectors.com/isitblenkopages/blenkocollisitblenkopontils.htm
Blenko History: Blenko
Glass Company was founded in 1893 by William J. Blenko in Kokomo, Indiana. He
was born in 1853 in London's East End, on 36 Wharf Road. He worked in London
glass houses as early as 13 years and eagerly learned about glass formulation.
In 1893 he came to America with the intention of starting the first glasshouse
that could supply mouth blown (Antique) sheet glass for stained glass windows.
At this time, all antique
glass was produced in Europe (France, England, Germany), which is still the case
today. He arrived in Kokomo, Indiana and set up a small shop. In time, he hired
and trained other glass workers. It was here that he became friends with Eugene
Debs, founder of the American Railway Union, forerunner of the American
Socialist Party. This friendship continued until Debs' death in 1924 and beyond,
when William Blenko directed that his ashes be spread on Debs grave in 1933.
William remained in Kokomo until 1903, when economics in America forced the
factory to close. He also became aware of the prejudice against American-made
glass. Since the studios were owned by former Europeans, they had a natural bias
in favor of European glass. William Blenko faced this prejudice until he died.
Later, in 1909 he again started a factory in Point Marion, Pennsylvania, and
later Clarksburg, WV, both of these ventures failed. A letter indicates he was
working in Bellaire, Ohio in 1919 at an unknown glass factory for $40.00 a week.
He was offered a job at Tiffany's in New York for $50.00 a week and he
apparently took this job. Finally in 1921, he decided to move to Milton, WV,
because of the natural gas price; he was now 67 years old, an age when most
people retire. Working by himself, he blew the glass cylinders, flattened them
into sheets and then went on the road in his Model T car to sell them.
The original name of the
company was Eureka Glass Company. It was called this because William J. Blenko
spent years trying to find a ruby red sheet glass that would not change colors
when painted and fired. When he developed this color, he threw his arms in the
air, and said "Eureka, I've found it!" Hence, the name Eureka. In
1923, his 26-year-old son William H. Blenko Sr., with wife Marion and
two-year-old son William Jr. joined him in Milton. This is when the factory
really took off.
The company has been
passed down from generation to generation and is now run by Richard Deakin
Blenko, son of William Jr. who joined the business in 1976, becoming the fourth
generation to work in the family business. In 1989, he published the book "Blenko
Glass 1930-1953, and founded the Blenko Glass Museum.
good condition, no
cracks or chips, bubbles in glass and one spot inside bottom, looks like a pen
measurements: 2 1/4"
H, 3 1/2" W .
is a truly handsome and unique vintage item