Greentown Dolphin Originals and CopiesBy Mark Chervenka
Greentown Dolphin - Originals and Copies
The figural covered dolphin is one of the most famous and widely recognized of Greentown's original designs. It is also one of the most frequently reproduced.
The Indiana Tumbler and Glass Co., commonly referred to as Greentown, made original covered dolphins in three variations. The primary differences are found in the rim of the dolphin's mouth. Original rims can be smooth, sawtooth or beaded. At this point we do not know of the smooth rim being reproduced. Both sawtooth and beaded rim have been reproduced.
John E. Kemple Glass Co. made the first reproduction sawtooth dolphin from a new mold in the 1950s. This mold was later sold to Wheaton Industries of Millville, NJ. A second sawtooth dolphin mold was made in the late 1960s by St. Clair Glass Co. That mold was sold to Summit Art Glass in 1978. In the late 1990s, Summit retooled the St. Clair sawtooth mold to create the beaded rim version.
New beaded rim dolphins can be identified by comparing two key features, the shape of the mouth and the size of the fin on the tail. The mouth of the new beaded rim dolphin has a pronounced flare towards the front (Fig. 3). The original beaded rim is practically flat across the opening of the mouth (Fig. 4). Fins on tails of new beaded rim dolphins (Fig. 5) are about twice the size of fins found on original tails (Fig. 6).
Separating sawtooth originals from sawtooth reproduction is slightly more difficult since there are more reproductions of this style. You should begin by counting the teeth around the sides of the mouth. The authentic sawtooth dolphin has 10 teeth on both sides of the mouth. The Kemple or Wheaton also has 10 teeth per side. The St. Clair/Summit sawtooth reproduction through, has 10 teeth on one side only; the other side of the St. Clair/Summit version has only nine teeth.
You can recognize the 10-tooth Kemple or Wheaton reproductions by examining the inside, or body cavity, of the dolphin. The inside cavity of Kemple or Wheaton sawtooth dolphins is smaller than original cavities and ends in a nearly vertical wall (Fig. 10). The cavity of the original sawtooth dolphin is larger and deeper than the reproduction and ends in a curved bulge at the beginning of the tail area.
No original dolphins in either style are marked. Some St. Clair dolphin reproductions are marked St. Clair down in the body cavity. A few Summit reproductions have been found marked with the letter V in a circle in the cavity (Fig. 14).
The various styles of original Greentown dolphins are known in amber, cobalt blue, emerald green, chocolate, teal blue, canary, opaque white, Nile green and Golden Agate. Reproductions have been made in colors that attempt to imitate original colors as well as many colors never made during original production.
The Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Co. of Greentown, IN was in operation from 1894 to 1903. All original Greentown products date from that period.
The information in this article was adapted from A Guide to Reproductions of Greentown Glass by James Measell, published by the National Greentown Glass Assn. More information at: http://www.greentownglass.org
James Measell is a noted authority on antique glass and the author of many books and articles on the subject.