A true story of love and vintage hobnail milk glass
Most obsessions start small, a little bit here, a quickie there, no big deal. But then the scales tip, the fever breaks and your new love is all you can think about:
Where is it? Is this the best one? When can I get more? WHO HAS IT!
And that, dear readers is what brings me to today’s topic of milk glass and hobnail vintage.
Working with vintage and antiques since the 90’s when the up-cycling life kicked in for me, I grew to love “shabby chic.” Not just because it’s a more approachable version of the haute,gilded looks of Hollywood Regency –I’m saving that for next week’s post- but because it’s sweet, romantic, well worn, and above all, attainable. A jaunt through most thrift stores, Goodwill included, and I can find a veritable treasure trove of glassware, one of my favorites is Fenton. So come trek through the streets of New York City and learn a little history too, as we dig out the Finest of Fenton Hobmail Milk Glass.
So what IS “Milk Glass” exactly? Basically, milk glass, also commonly known in vintage circles as Fenton or Hobnail Glass, is a cloudy and opaque glassware which became popular during the end of the 19th century, particularly in regions of France. And according to some historians, it was often considered a product of the ‘fin de siècle’, also known as the end of the century bourgeoisie. In many regions, milk glass went hand in hand with expressionistic French culture and top tier families.
First Hob Stop: Chelsea Goodwill
Now that we know more, we can go shopping! Put down your book and let’s trek to Chelsea in NYC. This store has so much glassware sometimes it hurts! I found a few gems here, including a cake platter and a vintage fenton-esque vase, replete with nobbed lip and curved base. To get them, both would be coming home for under $20! Win-win for my windowsill and my wallet.
Second Hob Stop: Harlem Thrifting
Although this Goodwill store is HUGE and always full of the craziest things, there was no Fenton to be found. I was haphazardly distracted by a few other local hot spots that specialize in your grandma’s kitsch, no dice. We did find a fab pair of leather moccasins to take home though, so not too shabby! See what I did there? ☺
And final hob stop: Goodwill Online, Etsy, Ebay AND your local Churches!
You’d be shocked what gorgeous gems can be unearthed online at your local yard sale or church event. We found more than our fair share recently with an intricately 14K gold nobbed ashtray from the mid-70’s and a handful of heay plated silverware. All in all, more Fenton milk glass AND giving back to those in need at the Goodwill and local spots, feels good to DO good!
So if you’re a fan of simple and sweet, and enjoy Grandma’s treasures, or maybe just love old things, think about holding one to one or two pieces to add to an eclectic bookshelf or empty windowsill. Throw some colorful buds in the mix and the look is modern but romantic!
Score an amazing #Goodwillfind?!
Obsessed with vintage glass?
Trying to keep your vintage closet full of new swag?
To find a Goodwill Store near you, click here.