Dew Drop glass

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dew drop glass
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Hobnail Glass

Dew Drop Glass: A short explanation

Dew Drop glass is the Victorian name sometimes used for hobnail glass, which has a regular pattern of raised knobs like the hobnail studs sometimes used on boot soles. It was developed by an artist at Hobbs Brockunier and Co. in West Virginia in 1886, and was made by first pressing the glass into a mold with hobnails all over it, and then hand-blowing and shaping the piece. In that sense it is just a Victorian name for blown, translucent, Hobnail Glass.

Dew Drop and Hobnail glass were very popular during Victorian times, usually in translucent coloured glass. Lemonade sets with a pitcher and matching glasses, sometimes on a matching glass tray were common. Sometimes the tops of the "dew drops" were made opalescent by reheating the surface of heat-sensitive glass near the furnace or "glory hole".

In 1939 Fenton Art Glass first introduced their hobnail glass and in those early years it was in translucent colours. Milk glass hobnail was introduced by Fenton in 1950, and proved to be one of their most successful products. It kept the company going during the very difficult years when many other glassworks closed down.

Just about every Fenton shape has been produced in hobnail milk glass. Pre-1958 Fenton milk glass is said to be easily distinguishable because it is less dense, less opaque, then their milk glass made from 1958 onwards.

The Fenton logo was introduced on milk glass from 1974 onwards, with a tiny number 8 below the word Fenton for pieces made during the 1980's and a tiny 9 for pieces from the nineties.


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Dew Drop (or hobnail) glass has been made by many USA companies, including Hobbs Brockunier, Fenton, Westmoreland Glass, Kemple Glass, as well as several British companies. Today it is also imported from China and Taiwan.

There is also a tableware pattern called "Dewdrop" produced by the Jeannette Glass Company (USA) in the 1950's. It has vertical panels of tiny hobnails alternating with clear glass panels.




References and Sources:
There is an excellent book on Hobbs Brockunier glass and several good books cover hobnail glass. Click on the book cover or title to read more about that book.

Hobbs Brockunier glass book Fenton Hobnail glass (2005) Westmoreland glass book Fenton hobnail milk glass