Wright Molds Bought by Repro Wholesales Now in ProductionBy Mark Chervenka
Wright Molds Bought by Repro Wholesalers in Production
Pieces made in molds bought by reproduction wholesalers at the liquidation auction of L G Wright Glass in 1999 have appeared on the internet and other venues.
AA Imports and Castle Antiques & Reproductions–the two largest American reproduction wholesalers–bought 147 of the 700 molds at the auction of LG Wright molds, May 27, 1999. The two firms spent approximately $40,000 to acquire the molds.
Confirmed new pieces from the wholesalers' molds include the 9-inch cabbage covered compote, 8-inch daisy and button three-wheel cart, Westward Ho 8½-inch covered compote, 9½-inch crescent planter, 6½-inch hand vase, and 8-inch cherry water pitcher with matching tumbler.
New pieces, except the cabbage compote, are in a transparent electric blue or ice blue. The new blue is similar to a color called light blue used by LG Wright for the same molds, ca. 1940-1990.
The cabbage compote is a cloudy, almost opaque blue. According to WC "Red" Roetteis, longtime L G Wright sales representative, this piece was never made in cobalt by Wright. "Wright only made the original cabbage compote in crystal (colorless), amber, light blue and green," said Roetteis. "The outside of all Wright pieces in this pattern had satin finishes."
Marks are of little help in separating pre-1990s Wright glass from the current production. At least one of Wright's molded marks, the letter W, appears in pieces made in the wholesalers' molds just as it does in pre-1990s Wright glass.
LG Wright glass company made no glass, it only owned the molds. Most of Wright's glass was made from new molds that imitated the general appearance of antique 19th century patterns. Actual production was jobbed out to various American glass factories including Fenton, Fostoria, Imperial and others.
AA and Castle were the only reproduction wholesalers who bought Wright molds at the auction. The majority of molds were purchased by American glass companies. Fenton Glass bought the most molds, 202; Mosser Glass, 124; Weishar Enterprises, 53; Aladdin Mantle Lamp Co., 31; Gibson Glass, 29; Rosso Glass, 11.
Rosso Glass was one of the first companies to put Wright molds back in production. The Wright rose and mirror pattern pickle castor insert and a daisy and button spooner have been made since early 2000. Both of these pieces are marked in the mold with the Rosso trademark, the letter R in a keystone.
Fenton has had at least some Wright molds back in production since early 2001. Among the first pieces from Wright molds made by Fenton were cylindrical pickle castor inserts in a variety of opalescent patterns. So far, the Fenton molded mark has been included on pieces made from their Wright molds.
Although many Rosso and Fenton marks in new pieces made from Wright molds are very faint and often blurred, those companies are making a serious attempt to help collector's avoid confusing new production from vintage Wright pieces.
Separating pre-1990s Wright glass from current production in Wright's original molds is going to be a challenge. The situation will be further confused if some of the molds new owners continue to make pieces with original Wright marks.