Q: I found this bowl in my grandmother's attic, but she does not remember anything about its origins. I believe it is carnival glass. Is there any significant value to this bowl?
A: While some carnival glass was distributed at carnivals, it was also available from other sources such as mail order catalogs and the corner store. While it has a less than glamorous name, there are pieces of "carnival glass" that will sell in today's world above the $10,000 mark.
The pattern on the inside of this piece is called "Butterfly and Tulip" and on the outside it is "Inverted Fan and Feather." The color is a deep rich amethyst, which was one of the two most noteworthy hues made by the manufacturer of this piece — the Dugan Glass Co. of Indiana, Pa.
Unfortunately, the amethyst examples are somewhat more common and less valuable — but that value is still significant according to our working definition.
This piece was certainly made after 1908 (the year that the Fenton Glass Co. produced the first carnival glass) but probably before 1920, and we think a circa 1915 date is about right.
We think this bowl, which should be about 13 inches at its widest diameter and 4 inches tall, is rather spectacular. At auction, we find prices for this piece to be around $2,200 for those with a bit of wear. If the bowl is in pristine condition, we think the auction value would be $2,500 or better, with an insurance replacement value nearly twice that.
Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson have written a number of books on antiques.