Fish Bowl Bases|
Posting Number 3439 Date: 08/21/20 Return to Posting List
I really enjoyed Mark Chamovitz's story of the #6468 Florida etched vase in Monday's Gazelle Gazette, and I agree wholeheartedly with the comment in Wednesday's G.G. that he is a very good storyteller.
I'd love to hear other members' stories about finally acquiring a piece they had sought for a long time, or getting an unexpected or out-of-the-blue second chance to buy something they had missed out on before.
At the risk of missing the forest for the trees, I wanted to comment on the black glass base on which the vase was shown in one of the photographs. I don't know whether that was a photo of the base taken in 1985 in the dealer's booth when Mark bought it, or if Mark still has the base. But I thought members might like to know what it is, and who made it.
The base with a motif of three stylized dolphins (as dolphins are often portrayed in early American candlesticks, and later reproductions of the same) is the display base for a fish bowl or aquarium. It was made by the Tiffin Glass Company of Tiffin, Ohio. Tiffin was a division of the U.S. Glass Company, and was responsible for their "nicer" wares like stemware, etched vases, art glass lines, and so on. It can be hard to suss out precisely whether any given piece was made at the Tiffin factory, or at another U.S. Glass Company factory. Some of those were devoted to making more utilitarian items, such as kitchenware.
I browsed 5 of my Tiffin glass reference books, but could not find a company catalog image of a fish bowl on this base. However, I did see one of these two fish bowls, minus the base, in the catalog reprints in one book. I did find photos of two different fish bowls on this base on page 83 of Tiffin Glass 1914-1940 by Leslie Pin~a and Jerry Gallagher. I have attached photos of these items.
Per the comments in the captions, I can attest that the bases are seen more often than the bowls. You can imagine that the bowls had to be cleaned often, and probably got broken because they're large and somewhat unwieldy. But the good news is that these orphaned bases make great display plinths for fine items, such as Mark's Steuben Florida vase.
Click to view image one: 64681.jpeg
Click to view image two: Tiffin.1.jpeg
Click to view image three: Tiffin.2.jpeg
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