Kittens by Fenton
The Kittens pattern was advertised in the Butler Bros Catalogs in 1919 (a cup and saucer/plate were pictured).
It is not known why some pieces have 2 sets of three kittens and others have 4 sets of three kittens. Although sometimes called a miniature, since there is no larger version of the pattern it is technically just a ‘small’.
The pattern consists of groups of 3 kittens around a dish of milk. As stated, some pieces will have 2 groups on opposite sides while others have 4 groups evenly placed around the center.
The shapes are all made from just 2 molds – the bowl and cup.
Utilizing the mold was necessary, so the bowl mold was used for:
- Round (as from the mold, a round, deeper, cereal bowl shape)
- Square (four sides pulled up)
- Ruffled (6 ruffle)
- Flat (also used as a saucer for the cup)
- 2 Sides up
-Toothpick [aka Vase] (2 ¾”-3 ¼” tall)
- Pulled up, usually pinched in with four sides
-Spittoon (considered a whimsey shape since there are only a handful known)
- Pinched in with a ‘neck’ and a wide top (one spittoon was found with a note in it, supposedly from the mother of the boy who had it put in his lunchbox at the Fenton factory as a practical joke by fellow workers to imply that he was so young he only needed a teeny tiny spittoon)
The cup mold was obviously used to make the cup used with the saucer in the advertisement in the Butler Bros catalog.
There is now a reported nappy (or pin tray) which was created by pushing the front of a cup down almost flat – definitely considered a whimsey.
This pattern is most frequently found in marigold, it is also found in blue, a scarce amethyst, vaseline with a marigold overlay, aqua, powder blue with a marigold overlay and one white/clear iridized piece.