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Carnival Glass

Borrowing from the brilliant colors and luminescent finish akin to Tiffany's creations, carnival glass is a type of pressed glass. It originated in the early 20th century and is some of the most highly collectible glass on the auction market today.

The heritage of carnival glass began with Fenton Art Glass Company in Ohio in 1908. Their innovative designers created a line of glass known as Iridill, made from iridized glass that channeled the same lustrous finishes made popular in designs by companies like Tiffany Studios and Steuben Glass Works. Achieving similar luminosity to Tiffany pieces at a lower cost, Fenton's Iridill line grew in popularity and spurred others to join in the field of carnival glass

The major American producers of carnival glass, including Northwood, Dugan, and Millersburg all experienced peak production between 1910 and 1930, halting during the Great Depression. Though Fenton relaunched production in the '60s and '70s, it is these early 20th century examples that are so coveted today.

 

Quick Facts

  • Carnival glass is also known as rainbow glass because of the remarkable range of colors incorporated. It is also known as dope glass, so named because of the doping, or treating, of the surface of the glass with a special substance to encourage luminosity
  • Pieces within the carnival glass family vary widely in price. Some are worth nominal amounts of money; others, like several of those produced by Northwood Company, can achieve prices close to $20,000
  • European producers also jumped on the popularity of carnival glass, including Eda in Sweden and South American Cristalerias Piccardo, whose 8-inch tall Jeweled Peacock Tail vase has sold for more than $1,000 in past auctions

Learn more from the Invaluable Guide to Carnival Glass.

Recommended Items at Auction

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1959 Carnival Lunchbox with Thermos
Nov 07, 6:00 PM EDT
1959 Carnival Lunchbox with Thermos
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Group Carnival & Glass inc Australian Carnival Glass Compote Amethyst Butte
Oct 24, 7:00 PM AEDT
Group Carnival & Glass inc Australian Carnival Glass Compote Amethyst Butte
by The Collector
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD202 Bids
Two Carnival Glass Dishes with Impressed Floral Patterns
Nov 14, 11:00 AM AEDT
Two Carnival Glass Dishes with Impressed Floral Patterns
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD201 Bid
Vintage green carnival glass set incl
Oct 25, 7:00 PM AEDT
Vintage green carnival glass set incl
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD201 Bid
Allan Teger 2002 Photograph of Venice Carnival
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Allan Teger 2002 Photograph of Venice Carnival
by Showplace
Est: $100- $200
$250 Bids
Pablo Picasso "Carnival" Jester Print.
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
Pablo Picasso "Carnival" Jester Print.
by Casco Bay Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Roberto Díaz de Orósia. Carnival
Oct 27, 5:00 PM CEST
Roberto Díaz de Orósia. Carnival
by Duran Arte Y Subastas
Est: €0- €0
€4500 Bids
DIANE ARBUS, HERMAPHRODITE & DOG CARNIVAL TRILER, 1970
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
DIANE ARBUS, HERMAPHRODITE & DOG CARNIVAL TRILER, 1970
by Luxury Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Alexander Calder "Spring Carnival" Color Lithograp
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Alexander Calder "Spring Carnival" Color Lithograp
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids
A Carnival Glass Pitcher and Six Cups
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Pitcher and Six Cups
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
A Carnival Glass Vase
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Carnival Glass Toothpick Holder
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Toothpick Holder
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
An Iridescent Carnival Glass Cup
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
An Iridescent Carnival Glass Cup
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Carnival Glass Bowl
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Bowl
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Sailboat Motif Fenton Carnival Glass Bowl
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Sailboat Motif Fenton Carnival Glass Bowl
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
A Carnival Glass Bowl
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Bowl
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
A Tree Motif Carnival Glass Bowl
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Tree Motif Carnival Glass Bowl
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
Antique Northwood Carnival Glass "Smooth Rays" Green Ruffled Bowl 9.5" Diameter
Oct 25, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Northwood Carnival Glass "Smooth Rays" Green Ruffled Bowl 9.5" Diameter
by One Source Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
A Westmoreland Chicken Candy Dish
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Westmoreland Chicken Candy Dish
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Carnival Glass Ashtray
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Carnival Glass Ashtray
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $10- $100
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Carnival Glass


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

One Source Auctions

One Source Auctions

Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry

Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce