This is Part 7 of a twelve-part guide on carnival glass from India. This section of our guide is an expanding photographic gallery of new and remarkable Jain pieces that have appeared on E-Bay in the last year. This guide was made possible by the many E-Bayers who came together to contribute photographs to this project. Please leave feedback by clicking the button at the bottom of the page.
The Carnival Glass of India, Part 7
Jain's Frosted & Etched Carnival Glass:
Newly Documented Indian Carnival Glass Pitchers
An Undocumented Indian Carnival Pitcher
photo by bottleman
International carnival glass authority Glen Thistlewood has written: "Indian Carnival will always surprise and delight -- with its imagery, its beauty and its astonishing variety." Previously undocumented Indian carnival glass patterns are found each year. This is one of the aspects of Indian carnival that makes collecting it so rewarding: it allows us to experience the kind of happy curiosity and excitement Heacock and Hartung must have felt as they uncovered new carnival patterns in the years before American carnival was well-documented.
Occasionally, pieces of Jain glass and other Indian carnival appear on E-Bay that are undocumented in any available resource. This guide attempts to document these pieces here, with the hope that they will find their way into books and become part of the growing literature on carnival glass. Buyers seeking general information on Indian carnival glass should consult Part I of this guide.
Indian Carnival Glass Pitchers
Indian carnival pitchers appear in a variety of forms, with both straight and gently curving sides, and with an array of differing bases, mouths and general shapes. All are found in one principal color: iridescent marigold. According to the Standard Companion to Non-American Carnival Glass (p. 29), a single pitcher pattern known as Beaded Spears also appears in amethyst iridescent glass. Indian carnival glass pitchers as a rule are fairly small, usually ranging from 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" tall.
The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, 11th ed., and the Standard Companion to Non-American Carnival Glass document 19 Indian carnival glass pitcher patterns: Australian Daisy, Banded Grape & Leaf, Beaded Spears, Calcutta Diamonds, Cathedral Windows, Diamond Stud, Drapery Bracelet, Etched Vine & Flowers, Golden Hare, Indian Bangles, Indian Bracelet, Madonna, Monsoon (Georgette), Shalimar, Shazam, Spice Grater, Spice Grater Variant, Starflower & Ribs and Starflower & Rolls. The SECG documents tumblers in all of these patterns as well, with the exception of Golden Hare; however, a Golden Hare tumbler appeared on E-Bay in September, 2008, and thus the existence of both tumblers and pitchers in all of these patterns has now been verified (see Part 9 of this guide).
During 2008, five previously undocumented Indian carnival glass pitchers appeared on E-Bay. These are shown below. All of the pitchers feature an unusual coloring treatment: iridescent marigold over frosted, etched glass. India's etched frosted-marigold carnival glass is generally attributed to the Jain Glass Works of Firozabad, India, which produced carnival glass in the 1930's. According to a direct communication from Bob Smith, who owns the largest carnival tumbler collection in the world, Jain's frosted pieces are unique -- Smith states that nothing similar was made in American carnival until Imperial reproduced its Windmill pattern in marigold and frosted in 1966.
The etched frosted pitchers shown here -- and the matching tumblers featured in this guide's next two sections -- appear to have been made by a process something like the following: the surface of a finished mold-blown glass piece was treated with an acid-resistant resin, wax or oil. Quite possibly this was done by transferring a design stenciled onto paper using acid-resistant ink. Acid was then applied to the glass, giving it a rough and semi-transparent or "frosted" look, but leaving the areas applied with an acid-resistant coating clear. These areas were then iridized through treatment with a hot metal oxide solution.
Buyers should note that Jain's etched marigold pitchers and tumblers like those shown in this guide vary greatly in quality. On some pieces, the iridized marigold patterns are distinct and the iridescence richly colored. On others, the patterns are blurred and the iridescence thin. Thus, before investing in such pitchers and tumblers, buyers should inquire about the quality of the workmanship of individual pieces.
Documented examples of frosted-marigold Indian carnival pieces of any kind are generally limited; only 17 patterns have been recorded previously in any glass shape. These are listed at the bottom of this page. Prior to 2008, only three frosted-marigold pitchers had been documented -- Golden Hare, Starflower & Ribs and Starflower & Rolls. These three patterns typify the three distinct shapes in which Indian frosted-marigold carnival pitchers have been found: (1) a simple rounded 7 1/4" pitcher shape with four picture panels; (2) pitchers that are 81/4" to 8 1/2", with a body perched on a base of stacked rings; and (3) 8 1/2" pitchers with quartets of spearhead designs that separate four picture panels. The last two of these pitcher types appear below.
Pitchers with Stacked-Ring Bases
The three previously undocumented pitchers shown in this section were unearthed by E-Bayer bottleman and appeared on E-Bay in September, 2008. They were found in the vicinity of Firozabad, India. All three pitchers share a similar design, found on only one other known Indian carnival pitcher -- Starflower & Rolls, which is shown in the Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, 11th ed., (p. 251). Each pitcher consists of a rounded body perched on stacked rings that resemble the threads of a light bulb's base:
8 1/4" Pillars & Rings frosted carnival pitcher
photos by bottleman
Pillars & Rings. This pattern has never been documented in any of the more comprehensive resources on Indian carnival, such as Glen & Stephen Thistlewood's A Century of Carnival or Edwards & Carwile's Standard Companion to Non-American Carnival Glass or their Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass. An identical design, however, does appear on a tumbler featured at the website Tumbler World, which has christened the pattern "Pillars & Rings" (tumblerworld.com/JainNew2.html). Both the 4 1/8" tumbler and the 8 1/4" pitcher sport a design consisting of interlinked rings divided by groups of three short pillars. Around the neck of both the pitcher and tumbler is a circlet that looks like a bracelet made of gold filigree. The bottom of the pitcher's base is iridized marigold. Both tumbler and pitcher perch on a base of stacked rings similar in appearance to the threading on a light bulb's base. This stacked-ring design is found on one previously documented carnival glass tumbler, christened Bombay Bouquet, which appears at the website Tumbler World (tumblerworld.com/JainNew2.html). In addition, in 2008, a number of Indian carnival tumblers bearing the same stacked-ring design appeared on E-Bay -- these are shown in Part 9 of this guide.
A previously undocumented 8 1/4" frosted carnival pitcher
with lettering in Devanāgarī script
photos by bottleman
Devanāgarī Script pitcher: This previously undocumented pitcher is shown above and at page top of this guide. The pitcher is identical in size and shape to the Pillars & Rings pitcher shown previously, and here, too, around the indented neck is a circlet resembling a bracelet made of gold filigree. The tentatively named Devanāgarī Script pitcher is unique in one notable way: it is the only piece of Indian carnival glass we know of that features Devanāgarī script, the lettering used to write Hindi and a variety of other languages spoken in the Indian subcontinent. All other lettering on documented Indian carnival vases is limited to impressed words written in the Roman alphabet, such as maker's marks reading "JAIN" or the initials "AMV" or "CB".
The Devanāgarī script above appears on the front of the pitcher. Underneath the script are three 5-petaled flowers. Above the lettering is an arch made of botanical forms that meet in the center on either side of a Jain svasti, or reverse swastika; this is an ancient Jain symbol and not a reference to the Third Reich. On the vase's sides is an ornate pattern containing flowers and linked svastis set inside garlands of botanical designs. The bottom of the pitcher's base is iridized marigold. We would be interested in hearing from any E-Bayers who can translate the writing on the pitcher; perhaps the pattern's name should be based on the declaration contained in the message.
8 1/2" Lotus Blossoms & Buds frosted-marigold pitcher
photos by bottleman
Lotus Blossoms & Buds pitcher. This pitcher features a repeated design of a giant lotus blossom alternating with a depiction of a bud; hence the tentative name. The pitcher is slightly different in design from the Pillars & Rings and Devanāgarī Script pitcher shown higher above: the Lotus Blossom pitcher is slightly taller; the indentation at the neck appears slightly higher in the pitcher's body, giving the body a more elongated look; and the pitcher lacks the circlet of gold filigree-like designs found on the other two pitchers. Like the other pitchers, the Blossom & Buds pitcher sits on a base of stacked rings, and the bottom of its base is iridized. This pitcher appeared on E-Bay in 2008, and was found by E-Bayer bottleman.
Spear Quartet Pitchers
The two pitchers shown in this section both feature panels separated by four spearhead-like designs comprised of lines that run upward from the base and converge just above the pitcher's mid-section. Only one previously documented Indian carnival pitcher bears a similar design -- Starflower & Ribs, which is shown in the Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, 11th ed., p. 251. Several Indian carnival tumblers feature an identical spearhead pattern -- these are shown in Part 8 of this guide. Both of the pitchers shown below were found in the Firozabad area.
8 1/2" Grapevine & Spear Quartet pitcher
photos by ponypainter
Grapevine & Spear Quartet pitcher. Among the most remarkable Indian carnival pieces appearing on E-Bay in 2007 is the stunning pitcher shown above, found by E-Bayer ponypainter. The pitcher, tentatively christened "Grapevine and Spear Quartet" here, is 8 1/2" tall with an applied handle. The beautiful iridescent marigold design depicts four panels of elaborate grapevine-like plants with jagged leaves. The panels are separated by a quartet of spearhead-shaped designs formed by converging lines. The Grapevine & Spear Quartet pitcher shown above is frosted, with a circlet of clear glass at the juncture where the pitcher's body indents below the mouth. The pitcher's handle is applied, and the bottom of the pitcher's base is iridized marigold.
8 1/2" Roosting Bird & Spear Quartet
photo by bottleman
Roosting Bird & Spear Quartet. This somewhat indistinct photograph is the only one we have of this pitcher, which appeared on E-Bay in September, 2008. Like the Grapevine & Spear Quartet pitcher shown father above, this pitcher is 8 1/2" tall and features panels separated by four spearheads comprised of converging lines. On the front and back of the pitcher are panels depicting a heavy-bodied bird perched on a branch amid leaves. On each side of the pitcher is a thick-stemmed six-petaled flower. The pitcher has an applied handle, and the underside of the base is iridized marigold.
List of Previously Documented
Indian Carnival Patterns in Etched Frosted-Marigold
Previously documented frosted marigold Indian carnival is limited to a list of 17 patterns. The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, 11th ed. documents three frosted-marigold pitchers in the patterns Golden Hare, Starflower & Ribs and Starflower & Rolls. Eight marigold-over-frosted tumblers can be viewed at the website Tumbler World (tumblerworld.com/JainNew2.html). These include: Bombay Bouquet, Canary Tree, Flower & Spear Quartet, Pillars and Rings, Star Flower Garden, Swans & Flowers, and Swan & Shell. Seven Indian carnival vases also can be found in frosted marigold. One example is Jain's Fish vase, which is shown in both Part 3 of this E-Bay guide. The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, 11th ed., provides photographs of three marigold-frosted vases in the patterns Frosted Indian, Frosted Lotus, and Misty Morn. The Standard Companion to Non-American Carnival Glass documents two additional frosted vase patterns, Indian Cameo and Flying Geese. A seventh marigold-over-frosted vase in a pattern called Feeding Bird can be seen at the website of the Carnival Glass Collectors Association of Australia website (carnivalglass.org.au/Gallery 6.htm). Part 5 of this guide provides information on and photographs of Indian carnival frosted marigold vase patterns, including one new pattern previously undocumented in carnival glass literature.
* * *
To continue to another part of this guide, click one of the links below:
2. Goa-style Vases
3. Hand & Animal Vases
4. Bulbous (Tear-shaped) Vases
5. Etched and Other Vases
6. Cobalt-blue Fish Vase Fakes
7. New Pitcher Patterns
8. New Tumbler Patterns: A
9. New Tumbler Patterns: B
11. Rare and notable Jain pitchers, with tumblers
12. Other Indian carnival glass finds (in progress)
--- 0 ---
Many thanks to E-Bayers bottleman and ponypainter, for generously contributing photographs to this guide. Rights to all photos belong to the photographers, and pictures should not be used without their permission. Text is (c) 2008 curculiosglass, all rights reserved. To locate any E-Bayer whose name is mentioned here, or to visit his or her store, simply click on "SITE MAP" on the bottom of your screen, and then click on "Feedback Forum" on the right top corner of the screen that next appears. Type or copy the E-Bayer's name into the search blank. To see our other guides on glass, click on GUIDE INDEX. If you found this guide helpful, please leave feedback by clicking the button below. This makes the guide easier for other E-Bayers to find. Thanks.