New Glass Chimneys with Molded PatternsBy Mark Chervenka
New Glass Chimneys
with Molded Patterns
New glass chimneys with molded patterns and designs were imported by an American lamp parts wholesaler. The new pieces were mouth blown in China. Wholesale prices for the new chimneys were $8 to $12 each.
Several of the new chimneys are imitations of specific originals which vintage lamp makers sold under the name "chimney shades." The remaining chimneys, while not having specific counterparts, copy vintage patterns found on original bases.
The pattern of the new chimney shade in Fig. 4, for example, is an almost exact duplicate of the vintage Sweetheart pattern found in antique lamp bases. However, no comparably shaped full-size chimney shade in the Sweetheart pattern is known. This Sweetheart chimney is a recent design copyrighted by the lamp supplier importing the new chimneys.
On the other hand, the new floral pattern chimney shade in Fig. 6 is a nearly identical copy of a vintage original. The majority of vintage chimney shades in this pattern were originally painted in the Goofus Glass style.
The best tests to help you identify the new chimney shade are based on construction techniques. On all but two of the new chimneys, for examples, both top and bottom rims are ground (Fig. 10) Virtually no vintage chimneys have both the top and bottom rim ground. Both rims on vintage rims are generally fire polished and remain smooth and shiny. Some vintage chimneys may have the bottom rim ground, but undamaged original chimneys virtually never have both top and bottom rims ground.
Similarly, the great majority of vintage chimneys are almost always the same thickness at the bottom rim as they are at the top rim. New chimneys can vary almost one-quarter inch in thickness from the bottom to the top rim (Figs. 11-12).
Another warning sign is obvious whittle-styled mold marks (Fig. 9) These marks are similar to those found on American bottles and flasks made in hand-carved, or whittled, wood molds. Although these marks are not on all the new chimney shades, they do appear in several of the new pieces. No similar mold marks are found in vintage chimneys with molded patterns.