In 1908, the Fenton Art Glass Company (founded in 1905 in Ohio) began to produce ''Iridill'' glass - a type of decorative glass that would later become known as Carnival glass.

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 14.35.33 Collection of Carnival glass

During the height of its popularity in the early 20th century, over 1 000 patterns were created on glass. What makes this type of decorative art distinctive is its shiny and metallic surface which creates an iridescent appearance on the surface.

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 14.30.12 Marigold Carnival glass

So how did Carnival glass come to be called so? From around the 1950s, collectors began to call glass items made in the iridescent and inexpensive material ''Carnival glass'' as it was sometimes given away as a prize at fairgrounds and carnivals. It is a common misconception that most Carnival glass has come from a fairground, in fact, it was only done so circa 1900, after that it was commonly purchased by households who could not afford electric lighting in an attempt to brighten homes.

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 14.35.44 Cobalt Carnival glass

All pieces featured will be part of Gray's auction next month on October 4, 2017. Carnival glass by makers Fenton, Imperial, Westmoreland, St. Clair. Degenhart, Dugan and Boyd's will be included. Check out the full catalog here.

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