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Shapes of Orange Tree Bowls

By Barb Chamberlain

Way back, when old carnival glass was made, the powers that be at Fenton Art Glass determined that the Orange Tree pattern would make a great addition to their line. They weren’t shy about making different shapes in this pattern. In fact, the number of shapes in Orange Tree is second only to the shapes Northwood made in the Grape and Cable pattern.

In this article, I am only going to talk about Orange Tree bowls, and their respective shapes.

Life for a standard Orange Tree bowl started with the proof shape, as some people call it. Dave Doty calls it a blank and some people just call it the from the mold shape. Only one true proof shaped bowl is listed as selling, and that one was sold by the Burns’ Auction Service. Seeck Auction and Matthew Wroda Auctions both had similar bowls, but the tops of those bowls flared slightly out at the top. The proof bowl, or one directly from the mold, has the sides going straight to the top. The one that Tom Burns sold was marigold, and the one that we found in an antique mall is also marigold.

Now the other bowl shapes in this Orange Tree pattern (and other patterns, as well) were made from this proof mold. After removing the bowl from the mold the fun began. The finisher would take the proof bowl and would slightly flare the top edge of the bowl, with a wooden paddle, and if this was all he did, you would get what I believe is the nut bowl shape. Seeck Auction listed two vaseline and one marigold deep round bowls with a flare and Wroda Auctions had one marigold round bowl flared a bit.

Above is the true proof marigold bowl with the sides straight up. Below is a vaseline nut bowl shape, that sold at a Seeck auction, with sides that slightly flare from the bottom to the top.

Another time the finisher would use his wooden paddle to flare the bowl a little lower and then would work to make a ruffled top. In the case of the Orange Tree pattern, it could either have six ruffles or eight ruffles. It appears that the eight-ruffled bowls were a bit more common than the six-ruffled bowls, if sales of these pieces are any indication of availability. Perhaps the finisher thought that the eight-ruffled bowls were a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the six-ruffled pieces. I found it interesting that the majority of white bowls in this pattern were made with six ruffles, so…if you run across a white eight-ruffled Orange Tree bowl, it would be less common.

Above is an ice green six-ruffle bowl made from the exact same mold as the proof bowl.

This red eight-ruffle bowl seems to be one of the more common bowl shapes found in Orange Tree.

Do you want to hunt for the least available shape found in this pattern? If you do, you would be looking for the three-in-one shaped bowl. Three-in-one is just what the name implies. The finisher would flare the bowl a bit. Then he would go around the bowl making a pattern by pulling up three small ruffles and lowering a larger ruffle. This would have to be repeated around the edge of the bowl quite rapidly while the glass was still malleable enough to get the ruffles finished, but not so quickly that the ruffles would collapse because the glass was too molten. Sometimes, if you look at a three-in-one edge carefully, you will see that there were only two little stand up ruffles rather than the three, either because of working too quickly, or possibly running out of space to make three. This three-in-one shape has an elegant look when found on any bowl. The more modern-day glass workers had a crimping device that they would set the piece of glass into, apply pressure to close the device, and the ruffling would be made nearly automatically and was quickly finished.

This green three-in-one Orange Tree bowl is a shape that is rarely found in the Orange Tree pattern.

I haven’t located any candy ribbon edge bowls in the Orange Tree pattern. If you have one or find one or have another shape, it will surely be a rare bind. If you have one, please contact me at dbcham@iowatelecom.net or 124 E. Honey Creek Dr., Manchester, IA 52057. Please send a photo if possible. I would like to include it in a future issue of The Carnival Pump.

A comparison of the ice cream shape bowl to the proof bowl is shown above. They are both round, but the ice cream shape bowl was flattened more in the finishing procedure.

Photos courtesy of Seeck Auction and the author.

This article first appeared in the ICGA Pump in the September 2018 issue and is reprinted with permission.