Above Left to Right, Tails of:
Left: Fenton #5183, 9 inch Hen on smooth rim Nest, YOP: 1953-58; Center: Fenton #5182, 8" Hen on scallop rim Vallerysthal style Nest, YOP:
1967-present; Far Right: Fenton #5186, 5" Hen on the arched Nest, YOP: 1967-present
The colors of Fenton's Chick On Nest dishes
manufactured during the 1950s, and again later in the
early 2000s, often coincided with the color of that year's
Chicken Server and/or #5183 Hen on Nest. Although
infrequently produced, Fenton's Chick On Nest has been
produced as recently as 1999 in Dusty Rose, and was
special ordered by Martha Stewart's Martha by Mail to
match the Hen Egg Plates she'd also special ordered in
Mint Green and Shell Pink.
Over 250 forms of glass hen on nest dishes, produced by more than 100 companies are known
to exist. Each has the potential of being incorrectly listed as Fenton online on Secondary
Market Venues, and of course eBay. Learning to recognize Fenton's hen on nest forms, from
online photos, based on knowledge of their distinguishing characteristics and features can be a
key factor for identifying which hens are Fenton, and which are not.
Over 100 companies are believed to have manufactured the more than 250 forms
(shapes & sizes) of covered glass hen on nest dishes that are known to exist-
thanks in great part to the seemingly tireless, comprehensive research of Mrs.
Shirley Smith, a world renowned glass hen on nest expert, keynote speaker, and
published author on this overall very broad topic. With so many covered glass hen
on nest dishes, in so many forms, known to exist a significant number of them
can almost always be found in the ever expanding online Secondary Marketplace,
Of the more than 250 forms (sizes and shapes) of glass hen on nest dishes known
to exist, only 5 Hen on Nest forms, and 2 forms of covered Rooster Boxes were
produced by the Fenton Art Glass Company, from its start in the early 1900s to
present day. Despite major restructuring within Fenton during the recent tough
economic times just prior to the closing of the company, Fenton's hen on nest
dishes and roosters continue to be made in the USA. Those produced since 2008
are marked as such, with the addition of USA added to the embedded Fenton
logo first quality wares are marked with. (12.03.13).
identifying characteristics and features. Enthusiasts can benefit from observing,
studying and learning to recognize the features of Fenton's hen on nest dishes
and in doing so can learn to identify a hen on nest as Fenton, or not, from online
Fenton's hen on nest dishes, its important to learn to observe the larger details
and via this observation and study and learn to recognize the overall shape of
Fenton's various hen on nest dishes, from their silhouette.
Once familiar with the forms of Fenton's various hen on nest dishes, it should
subsequently become easier and more enjoyable to find and study the finer, less
obvious features of Fenton's hen on nest dishes, which we've addressed below.
|Online listing errors for glass hen on nest dishes are fairly common.
Knowledge is the best way to fight ignorance.
Although the Internet provides a broad marketplace from which collectors can enjoy
their pursuit of Fenton hen on nest collecting, caution and common sense must be
used when trading online with Sellers, many for the most part who are strangers.
Many hen tops in the 7 to 8 inch and 5 inch ranges are somewhat similar to Fenton's
and often mistakenly listed online and on eBay for sale as "Fenton." Per eBay's Selling
Rules for Brand name goods, it is the Seller is responsible for authenticating any item
with a brand name, which Fenton is, used in the title or description of an eBay
auction-prior to launching it. But, don't count on it! Many Sellers have "clauses" in
their listings which try to make determining whether an item is Fenton the Buyer's
responsibility when eBay's rules for listing items clearly say otherwise.
can be used to determine what brand or make the hen is, and whether she was
produced by Fenton-or not. Even the Gibson Overseas copy of the Fenton 8" hen on
nest, which is considered a good copy has differences which can be used tell her
apart from Fenton's 8" hen on nest. Such as her slightly smaller size, the top's rim
design, and her base-for starters. More detailed information and photos of the Gibson
Overseas copy are included at the bottom of this section.
There are differences in the shapes of Fenton's hen on nest moulds that those who
are familiar with Fenton's glass hen on nest dishes can identify by the quick study of a
solid black silhouette of any of their hen on nest moulds. Once the (silhouetted)
shape of Fenton's hen on nest dishes can be recognized and Fenton hen on nest
moulds easily spotted in online photos, the subsequent study of the smaller, but
equally important, features of Fenton's hen on nest moulds can be more easily
addressed. It takes time and practice to learn to truly observe and then study
anything, especially something as completely designed as an ornate, 2 piece glass hen
on nest, with the study of said hen usually being done from a low resolution online
Still, this is a great first step to take.
|FEATURES TO OBSERVE, STUDY AND LEARN TO RECOGNIZE
We believe it is advantageous for Fenton Hen on Nest collectors to spend some time learning to recognize the features and
characteristics attributed to the hen on nest forms produced by Fenton. However, we also believe it is important to know which
attributes seen on hen on nest dishes listed online for sale are those that would not be found on a Fenton hen on nest. This
"Reverse Engineering" approach to determining which hens listed are authentic brand name Fenton, by identifying those that are
not, is effective and time saving. Although it may not help you find the Fenton hen of your dreams, it may prevent the purchase
nightmares are made of. Determining which hen on nest forms are not Fenton can take collectors closer to finding brand name
Fenton and avoiding a "fowl" purchase.
While looking at photos of hen on nest dishes spend time specifically studying:
In most cases the forms of the bases, or nests differ from brand to brand. Nests that are basketwoven, ribbed, or with the criss-cross
adorned sides of the former Westmoreland hen on nest mould, now Mossers are three of the more commonly seen types of bases used
with hens in the 5 to 7 inch range.
Just as features and details can help identify a hen top's brand, the same is true of the bases, or nests used with glass covered hen
on nest dishes. Again, its all in the details. Learning to recognize these details can help a collector go a long way towards achieving
your collecting goals.
|What better way to learn and
develop skills of observation than by
studying the very items you've
become passionate about? Study the
hens and roosters in your
collection, from as many photos and
angles as you can find!
|Fenton Hen on (smooth rim) Nest, #5183
|Fenton Hen on (scallop rim) Nest, #5182
YOP: 1967-not retired as of 1/09
Shown #5182 MD, YOP, 1971-72
|Fenton Hen Egg Plate, #5188
Shown #5188 YZ, LE to 950 pieces.
YOP: 1995- (not retired as of 1/09)
|Fenton 5" Hen on Nest, #5186
YOP: 1967-not retired as of 1/08
Shown: #5186 RX, Ruby Marble (slag)
|Identifying characteristics can be found on both moulds (sizes and shapes) of hen tops
produced by Fenton, and on the various Fenton bases used with these tops.
Fenton's 8" hen top #5199, copied from the 8" Atterbury hen top , was introduced with their
massive Chicken Server in 1952, and in subsequent years used with two other different base
moulds, or styles. This Fenton 8" hen top probably is best renowned for having the big round
eyes, void of all detail which Fenton used to replace the empty slots filled by the glass eyes of
the Atterbury hen top, however this big gal has other attributes that help complete the image
of the brand name Fenton hen on nest dishes crowned with their large hen top.
At least one other hen top, excluding the Gibson Overseas Copy of Fenton hen on nest #5182,
is known to have bulging eyes, however the remainder of the hen lacks many other features of
Fenton's hen on nest dishes-most notably the tail and base which are very different from
Fenton's 5" hen on nest #5186, is similar in style to other hen on nest forms in the 5" to 7"
size range. Fenton's very detailed 5" hen top sits on a distinctive base, which appears unique
when compared to those of the other hen on nests. This base has sides made from 10 arches
that rise to the upper rim, where they broaden slightly to form the lovely petals of the #5186
nest's rim. Fenton claims as their own, completing a sweep of all Fenton hen on nest forms as
having originated with Fenton. That is not the case with Fenton's roosters since many of them
are produced from moulds bought or leased from other companies.
|Below are representatives of the 6 Fenton Hen on Nest moulds, including their Chick on Nest dish. Fenton's
8" hen top #5199 is used with 3 different bases with each combination forming a new Hen on Nest ware.
Study of the photos below and the differences in the features of the various combinations of Fenton's hen
tops and bases produced and sold inline by Fenton from 1952 to present day may help your collecting
become more rewarding. The more familiar a collector becomes with the overall appearance and distinctive
details of Fenton's hen on nest dishes, the easier and more productive your online browsing for authentic
brand name Fenton hens may become. The Sections in this Site for each Fenton Hen on Nest point out and
illustrate many features and characteristics these hens are known for.
|Fenton Chicken Server, #5188
"Technically," the Gibson Overseas Copy of Fenton's 8" ware # 5182 Hen on the scallop rim Nest appears to possess many features and meet several criteria of Fenton's
8" hen on nest. However, a visible feature of Fenton's large hen on nest dish is lacking on the rim of the Gibson Overseas Copy. Although most eBay photos do not show
the distinctive geometric design which decorates the circumference of the Fenton's 8" hen top's rim. Please see the section below about the Gibson Overseas Copy of
Fenton's 8" Hen on Nest #5182 for photos and more information about them.
Sometimes it is easier to prove a hen on nest is not Fenton by studying that hen on nest for a combination of features known to be consistent with Fenton's hen on
nest dishes, and those that are not found on any Fenton hen on nest mould. Again, Buyers Beware pops into my mind! See the site's Section about GIBSON OVERSEAS
COPIES & Marriages for details and photos.
|Fenton 8" hen top Photos:
Fenton 8" hen top from ware # 5188 GM, Fenton Chicken Server,
YOP 1952, 1953.
Atterbury 8" hen top with red glass eyes
Center right & lower photos:
Fenton 9" hen on the smooth rimmed base, ware # 5183 MY YOP,
The hen top used with the Chicken Server, #5183 Hen on smooth rim
Nest, #5182 Hen on scallop rim Nest, & the #5188 Hen Egg Plate.
|The 8" Atterbury hen top with red Glass eyes.
|Fenton's 5" hen on nest dishes are shown below in Cobalt, #5186 KN from 1999, and in Milk Glass with a Blue Royale Head, ware #5186 EU, from 1989, as part of the Elizabeth Collection. This is not a limited
edition, but the Elizabeth Collection was named after Frank Fenton's wife Elizabeth who was reported to favor the combination of Milk Glass and Fenton's Blue Royale. Although similar to cobalt, Blue Royale is
different in appearance with an almost richer blue coloring to it-despite the photos below which don't support that.
Please note how very detailed Fenton's 5" hen top is. She, like her 8" Fenton sisters, also has 6 eggs with two on each side of the front, and one on each side of the tail. Fenton's 5" hen top has very realistic
face, with a well formed beak, comb, and wattle, and very detailed eyes-complete with pupils and eyelids-which Fenton's large 8" hen tops do not have. These are the large hen tops used with Fenton's Chicken
Servers, Hen Egg Plates, and on two versions of basket woven bases-the smooth and scalloped rimmed.
|Fenton revised their slightly larger copy of the 8" Atterbury
Hen top which had slotted eyes for the application of glass
eyes (photo left) with some interesting features, including
molding big, bulging eyes that are void of detail into the glass,
see the other photos above and to the right which show how
Fenton efficiently replaced the slotted eyes of the original 8"
|Fenton Amethyst Body with Milk Glass Head on (smooth rim) Nest,
ware # 5183 MY produced in 1953.
|Searching for a 1950s Fenton Chicken Server, a Fenton
Hen on a basket woven Nest, or a contemporary
Fenton Hen Egg Plate?
The eyes (& more!) have it!
|Among one of the most readily visible, and interesting characteristics of Fenton's 8"
hen on nest are her big, bulging eyes, a renowned character tic of the 8" Fenton Hen
Top, which has been used with 3 Fenton different bases since her debut in 1952. The
big, bulging round eyes Fenton's 8" hen top are void of all detail, including eyelids,
unlike the eyes of many other hen tops in that rough size range, many of which have
detailed eyes and even eyelids.
However, the rather uniquely "styled" eyes of Fenton's 8" hen top can be easily seen
and point towards the hen being Fenton, since not eyes such as these are not often
seen on other covered hen on nest dishes of any size. The shape of the eyes of
Fenton's #5199 Hen top when studied from various views, such as those shown in the
photos of Fenton's 8" hen top included below. Big bulging eyes, although not as
round as Fenton's, can also be found on the Gibson Overseas Copy of Fenton's ware
#5182, their 8" hen on the scallop rim nest. This topic is discussed below on the page,
Gibson Overseas Copy, since Gibson missed their mark on copying the intricate
geometric rim design of Fenton's 8" hen tops, opting instead to use diagonal slashes
that all run in the same direction.
Although this hen top, ware #5199, was first used in 1952 as the crowning glory to
Fenton's Chicken Server when Fenton unveiled her, in subsequent years Fenton used
their 8" hen top with their smooth rimmed Challinor style base from 1953-1958, again
in 1967 with a new, scalloped rim Vallerysthal style base, and in 1995 for the
re-release of their first hen on nest, the Chicken Server, which they renamed the Hen
Egg Plate. To the best of our knowledge, as of January, 2009 the # 5182 Fenton hen
on the scalloped rimmed base, and the #5188 Hen Egg Plate have not been retired.
The now renowned bulging eyes of the Fenton's 8" hen top came to be when Fenton
developed their first hen top for the 1952 debut of their first hen on nest, in the
form of a massive Chicken Server. Fenton's first hen top was a copy of the 8"
Atterbury Hen Top in a heavier 9" size. And, the 8" Atterbury hen top had slotted
eyes, for the application of glass eyes, which Fenton replaced simply with big bulging
"blobs" for eyes, void of all detail and eyelids, which are molded into the moulds used
for the production of that Fenton hen top.
Even if a potential buyer is not familiar with all the characteristics of the large
Fenton hen on nest dishes, such as the numbers, sizes and positions of their eggs,
checking for those big, round eyes can provide an especially useful start for those
looking to purchase the large Fenton hen on nest dishes, manufactured prior to 1972
when Fenton began marking wares with logos permanently embedded into the glass.
Many photos, and much more information about the Fenton's hen on nest dishes made
with the 8" Fenton hen top, including measurements, the colors they came in and
when these colors were produced, which should be marked with Fenton's embedded
logo and which should not, are included in separate sections for each form of hen on
nest made by Fenton. Please use the links to go to those pages.
Since Fenton's first hen top was introduced in 1952, her interesting, yet overly
simplified eyes, have become one of the key distinguishing factors for determining
which hens in the 7 to 8 inch size range may actually be the Fenton brand name,
although this is not the sole criteria for identifying Fenton's large hen tops. To
confirm her identity, maker or brand name, one should study the remainder of the
hen top, such as the style and angle of her tail, the number of her eggs and their
positions around the hen, the type of rim and decorative pattern, if any, and of
course the type of base she sits on. The only Fenton hens, as of January 2009, known
to have been used on basket-woven bases are the 8" Fenton hen tops.
|The Atterbury 8" hen top clearly showing her red glass
eyes, which prior to being applied were simply slots in
the glass hen's face. When developing their copy of the
Atterbury Fenton replaced the slots with the now
renowned, big bulging eyes of the 8" Fenton hen top.
|As of January, 2017 factory records show that Fenton's 9" hen top, with the big bulging eyes, is the only hen top Fenton ever used with a basket woven base, with two versions of the basket-woven base
made. The earliest to have been made was in the 1950's, with a smooth rim base, which was changed to the scallop rimmed Vallerysthal style base introduced with the same hen top in 1968, in Milk
Glass. Shown above is Fenton ware #5183, an Amethyst & Milk Glass Hen top and the smooth rim base, also Milk Glass.
Fenton's revised large, 9" hen on nest introduced in 1967 features a basket-woven base with a scallop rimmed top.
The 8" Fenton hen top was used on both the Challinor style smooth rimmed basket woven base of the 1950s (shown above), and the Vallerysthal style scalloped rimmed basket woven base Fenton introduced
in 1967 (shown to the right), as well as on the Chicken Servers of the 1950s (see top of page), and the Hen Egg Plates made from 1995 to present day 2011 had not been retired, when Fenton ceased making
|Although the 5" Fenton hen on nest is similar to those in that size range made by other makers, Fenton has always been produced their 5" hen on nest with a beautiful base, featuring 10 arches forming the
sides, which broaden slightly on the upper rim. The base features a centered starburst with the Fenton logo embedded in the center, when applicable. There were no other contemporary bases used by
other companies of the same form as Fenton's, which Fenton family members have claimed as their own, with various anecdotal stories of how it came to be, furthering this point in print media, published
books, and on TV's QVC Show. The unique nest for the 5" Fenton hen on nest is attributed to Fenton, despite some controversy about it. Fenton Art Glass has openly staked their claim to this base and hen
top combination, and maintained it as their own, despite some controversy surrounding its actual origins.
|Indiana Hen on Nest-front & side
views-perfect shots of a tail that is not a
|Indiana Hen on Nest
|Another important distinguishing characteristic of Fenton's hen on nest forms, which can
be clearly seen in most photos, is the respective designs of the "split tails" of Fenton's 8
inch and 5 inch hen tops. Both of Fenton's hen tops, their 5" and 8" hen tops, feature tails
designed with the split tails. Although there are very notable differences between the tails
of Fenton's 8 and 5 inch hen tops, both have split tails with rounded rear edges, and no
indentations on the tail.
The easiest way to describe a split tail, including those of Fenton's hens, is a tail that's
been designed to create a more dimensional image, by the use of the "split tail." This
type of tail splits from a single point at the top of the tail, into two sides of the tail which
widen as they make their way down to the base of the tail. Fenton's hen tops feature a
pair of prominent eggs, with an egg positioned on each side of the base of the tails of
Fenton's hen tops. The resulting shape resembles an inverted "V" which is easy to see
when the tail is viewed from behind. The photos below illustrate the split tails of the only
moulds used for the hen on nest dishes produced by Fenton as of January 2008.
Many hens have split tails, but the tails of Fenton's hen tops also have another
distinguishing trait, they are smoothly curved with no feathered indentations, or scalloped
edges on either edge of the Fenton hens' tails. The tails of Fenton's large and small hen
tops all feature what are called "split tails" which are also present in varying forms on the
large and small Fenton Rooster boxes, covered in the Rooster Box section.
|The Indiana Glass hen on nest shown here lacks many visible
features attributed to Fenton's hens including- a turn to the
head and neck, more realistic detail and overall dimension to
the hen, a split tail and eggs present on the hen top. The
Indiana base is also unlike any nest or base produced and/or
used by Fenton. Indiana made their bases in beaded and
non-beaded rims and with different types of sides, stippled,
not stippled, e.g. Even when viewed from the front, the tail of
the Indiana Hen is clearly not a split tail, as it does not split
apart, or widen, from the top down to form an inverted V, as
the tails of all of Fenton's hen on nest forms do.
|Quick differences noted between
Fenton's and the hen on nest to the
right-No eggs, no split tail, scalloped tail,
no turn to head or neck, beaded rim
design...and so much more!
|Below left is a close-up of a non-Fenton Cobalt hen top tail. Notice how the tail of the cobalt hen features a "scalloped" or
"sculpted feather" appearance along the outer edge of her tail. This scallop effect is quite clearly visible in the photo of the same
brand of cobalt hen on nest shown to the far left. The cobalt hen on nest is very different in style from Fenton's, and the shape of
her tail, and the details of her face are unlike any of Fenton's hen on nest dishes. Compare the shape and edges of the cobalt blue
tail of the non-Fenton hen on the far left, to Fenton's hen tops' tails shown to in the center and on the right. A Fenton 8" hen's
tail is pictured below center with the painted Daisies on it. To the far right is the tail of a Fenton 5" hen on nest. Note how the
edges of both of Fenton's hen tails are smooth and without any indentations. Also note how the 5" hen's tail rises more steeply than
the 8" does and has an overall different shape to it, although they are both split tails.
|These close-up photos show the heads and faces of Fenton's
5" Hen on Nest, ware #C 5186 8L* from 1997, in Iridized Dusty
Rose with a Milk Glass Head, and Fenton's 8" Hen on Nest in
Carnival, ware #5182 CN, from 1969. Differences that may not
be clearly evident are easier to see when viewed next to
each other. And these are just some differences between
their heads and faces!
NOTE: Items made for QVC have the letter "C" prefix in front
of the ware #.
The eyes of Fenton's 5" hen top, (shown to the right on the
left side of the photos), and many other hen tops in the 5 to
7 inch range are very well detailed, complete with pupils and
eyelids. Fenton's, big gals, their 8" hen tops (shown in many
views above & to the far right in Red Carnival) do not have
detailed eyes, but instead big, round bulging eyes that are
void of all detail.
|The Cobalt Hen below is not Fenton.
Note the scalloped appearance to the
rear edge of her tail.
|What visual clues can be used to help determine which, if any of these 3 red and white hens are Fenton?
1) The tail of the hen on the top left is not smoothly curved, but instead has indentations, or a scalloped affect, along the rear
edge of the tail, with less obvious longer curves along the front edge of the tail as well.
All Fenton hen tops have smoothly curved tails with no indentations or scallop affects on either edge. Only Fenton's heavy 8" hen
tops with big, round bulging eyes sit on basket woven bases and egg plates.
2) The egg placement, top of tail, wing design, and cowl are also unlike any of the Fenton hen top moulds.
The neck does not have the same degree or angle of turn as either of Fenton's 2 sizes of Hen tops and the cowl is barely visible, if
at all. The beak is not as pointed as the 5" Fenton hen top but too pointed for the 8" Fenton hen top which would be the only
Fenton hen top used on a basket woven style base.
3) Note the details and styling of the "basket woven" base.
Fenton's basket woven bases are different from the style of the basket-woven style of base shown in the top photo/ That base has
a high profile to the relief design, creating a more 3-D, or raised pattern to the under and over design of the basket weave on the
rim and on the sides. The exterior edges of Fenton's basket woven bases have less of a raised profile to the sides and a tighter
twist to the rim design.
4) Proportion of the base to the hen top.
The proportion of the top to the base appear more top heavy than those of Fenton's hen on nest moulds which are fairly well
1) The hen on nest shown below right has an overall size and style that is closer in form to Fenton's 5" hen on nest #5186.
Despite some similarities between hen tops, the base for this 5" hen on nest is very different from any used by Fenton. This base
features a beaded rim with a criss-cross design along the sides clearly indicating this hen on nest is also not Fenton. The
criss-cross design shown has been used by Westmoreland on several of their hen on nest bases, and Mosser, who bought many
WMG moulds when they went out of business continue using them.
This hen top is also different from Fenton's 5" hen top. The tip of the tail is more rounded, the degree of turn to the neck, and
the overall shape of the head, beak, and cowl differ from Fenton's hen on nest dishes.
Fenton hen on nest, ware #5186 MD, produced 1971-72. Milk glass hen on nest with hand painted face, comb and beak. Note
the angle of the tail and the type of base used.
|The L. G. Wright 7" Hen on Nest
|The Westmoreland 5" Hen on Nest
|Hen on Nest marriages are not as uncommon as one might think, since many hen
tops do "appear" to fit on bases of different brands. Although occasionally useful
for parting out, to replace a broken top or base, as a rule these "marriages" are not
made in Heaven-or by Fenton. These mismatched hen and nests and can be difficult
to resell unless the unfortunate buyer of such a creature can locate an appropriate
top or bottom to divorce the "marriage." Trying to resell a mismatched top and base
with honesty will more than likely not earn back funds spent to buy it.
However, if a mismatched item such as this is purchased on eBay and paid for via
PayPal the Buyer has some recourse and can take action to return the item for a
refund-especially if the title and description did not reveal that the hen and nest
were mismatched, and not of the same brand. In a case such as that the buyer
must contact the seller immediately to explain the situation and request a refund. If
the Seller is not cooperative about permitting the buyer to return the mismatched
item for a refund the Buyer can begin proceedings with eBay and PayPal by
registering a complaint against the Seller- since it is the Seller's responsibility to
verify the authenticity of any item they elect to list by a brand name.
|Hen on Nest "Marriage." This is a Westmoreland hen top on
base from Fenton's 5" hen on nest. Note the more sloping
angle of the tail of this hen top, when compared to the tail of
Fenton's hen top shown to the right in milk glass. Other
differences can be seen in the way this hen top's tail meets the
bottom of the hen top.
|Hen on Nest "Marriage." This is a Boyd hen top on base
from Fenton's 5" hen on nest. Note the many
differences of this hen top compared to the Fenton hen
top shown to the left. Other differences can be seen in
the way this hen top's tail meets the bottom of the hen
Fenton 5" Hen on Nest, #5186 MI, Note the refined face, neck,
flatter back, and how the tail of the Fenton 5" hen top rises nearly
straight up on the rear edge, forming more pointed tip, before
turning down to meet the back with a slight curved bow to the top
edge of the tail. 6 eggs are grouped in 2 pairs, and 2 singles on the
hen top. The sides of this distinctive base are formed by 10 arches,
triple outlined, and rise from the foot of the base to the upper rim
where they flatten slightly creating a lovely, decorative rim. Please
see the section about Hen on Nest #5186 for details.
|Pssst... True or False?
|All hens are chickens.
But not all chickens are hens.
|Its true! Roosters are chickens too. Hens
are female chickens and roosters are
males. Yep, its that simple.
|Fenton's Chick on Nest, # 5185.
YOP: 1953-still in production. (1.09)
Shown: #5185 MY, YOP 1954
Amethyst Chick, Milk Glass Egg/Nest
Fenton's 8"Milk Glass Hen on Nest #5182 MD is the only
Fenton 8" hen on nest painted in any way. The comb,
cluck, face and eyes of this hen have been painted, with a
5" Hen on Nest #5186 MD done to match. Only painted 8:
hen on nest by Fenton to date. (4.09)
This especially gorgeous slag combination of Fenton's
5" Hen on Nest was special ordered by Levay during
1984. Of interest is that this was the same year Levay
special ordered their large Rooster Box in the same,
brilliant coloring from Westmoreland. At that time
Fenton did not have any viable Rooster moulds.
|What is a glass hen on nest "Marriage?" Why do some people want them?
|Although Fenton retired their wonderfully impressive Chicken Server
after a fairy short run in from 1952-1957, this was more of a lengthy
lay-off than a permanent retirement.
In 1995 Fenton re-issued their Chicken Server as a signed and numbered
Limited Edition of 950 hand decorated pieces, and the new name of Hen
Just a few years later Fenton again issued a Hen Egg Plate as a Limited
Edition, again decorated with a beautiful painted design.
In the years since the Hen Egg Plate's revival she has been produced in
some especially appealing colors, many by special orders by companies
such as Rosso such as Topaz Opalescent-(aka Vaseline) and most
recently in Fenton's hit of 2008, Chameleon. Martha Stewart's Martha by
Mail also ordered Hen Egg Plates from Fenton in Jade and Pastel Pink.
Below are photos from the rear of the "split tails" from each form of Fenton's hen tops. Note how each tail has an appearance similar to an inverted "V" as
opposed to tails made of a single, solid piece of glass. These differences can be seen when compared to the Indiana hen on nest shown to the left in blue
carnival, and below in white.
The 8" Fenton hen top used for ware # 5183 and # 5812 was first used with Fenton's Chicken Server, produced from 1952-58, and the more contemporary
Fenton Hen Egg Plate, produced from 1995 to present day. Although a bit difficult to see in these photos, note the eggs located on either side of these
Fenton hen's tails. Please refer to the separate Sections about each Fenton hen on nest form, as well as those regarding Fenton's Rooster Boxes, for more
details, and lists with photos of the colors they are known to have been produced in.
|Glass Hen on Nest enthusiasts consider a hen on nest "marriage" to be a mismatched
hen on nest consisting of a marriage between a hen top of one brand, color or size
and a base /nest of different brand, color or size.
|These 2 photos are examples of marriages-both on the arched base of Fenton's 5" Hen on Nest #5186. At first glance they both appear to
be Fenton, especially the red slag combo with the Fenton sticker clearly visible on the right. Look closely. These hen on nest dishes
are both marriages. The photo on the left is a blue and white Westmoreland hen top on an arched base from a 5" Fenton #5186 hen on
nest. This combo, or marriage was listed on eBay and marked Fenton, with no mention of it being a marriage, even after the seller was
notified of such.
Although similar to Fenton's 5" hen top, the Westmoreland hen top has a rounder tip to her tail, different egg sizes and placement, and
other noticeable differences, including the overall design of her feathering and the rim of the hen top. The base she's been paired with
is one of Fenton's from their 5" Milk Glass hen on nest # 5186 MI, which is shown to the right. When compared to the Fenton hen on nest
in milk glass shown below the others these differences are easier to see.
|Fenton 5" Hen on Nest #5186
|Above is a sketch of a Fenton hen on nest #5182 with the hen top, #5199 lifted
slightly from the #5181 base so the rim's design of the hen top is more easily
seen. (please pardon the artwork! :)
|Each of Fenton's hen, rooster and turkey tops and the bases used with them have their own mould
or ware numbers. To keep this site simple, for the most part we refer to the ware/mould numbers
used for the complete 2 part hen top and base/nest combination, such as using Ware # 5186 for
Fenton's 5" hen on nest. Ware numbers can be an invaluable tool for collectors, helping to prevent
duplicate purchases of similar colored hens, and for record keeping.
|Fenton 5" Hen on Nest, #5186 MD
|Enjoying the Art of Online Collecting~
For Collectors, by Collectors.
|Fenton followed Mother Nature's lead on this and
Fenton hens and roosters, while both correctly called
chickens, do have their visible differences.
The Fenton hen tops feature 6 eggs molded around
the hen on the top, while the boys that top Fenton's
Rooster boxes, (or covered roosters dishes) do not
have any eggs present, but do have the typical,
showy "rooster tails" which is proportionately larger
and more curved than the hen top's plainer style of
|This brief introduction is to help familiarize fellow enthusiasts with the appearance of Fenton's various
hen on nest forms, while also providing general information about Fenton's hens, and other issues
relative to collecting them via the Internet when many other hen on nest, and glass covered chicken
dishes are listed as Fenton, while being anything but. Large photos, with close-ups of details,
measurements, and information about the interesting features and characteristics of each mould
shown here can be found in the separate Section designated for each of Fenton's hen on nest dishes
and rooster forms. Because all Fenton roosters should be marked, its Ladies First!
|Copyright © Silver Stirrup Studio at
Sweetwater Farms, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,
2015, 2016, 2017. All rights reserved.
Web site designed, hosted and maintained
by Silver Stirrup Studio at Sweetwater
This page last updated on 01/21/2017
This site is not affiliated with Fenton Art
Glass, eBay or any other organization. The
opinions expressed here are those of the
author's and do not necessarily reflect
those of the Fenton Art Glass Company,
eBay or any individual, named or unnamed.
The facts are stated to the best of our
knowledge, based on information obtained
from the Official site of the Fenton Art
Glass Company, and other sites and printed
media listed in this site's Bibliography.
|Although Fenton's hen on nest moulds are claimed by Fenton as their own, Fenton's 8" hen
on nest, and their Hen Egg Plate, were manufactured in one color very similar to Jade by
Gibson Overseas. Although some believe the copy turned out better than expected, those
we bought to inspected failed to pass as what we consider quality. Although many obvious
features found on Fenton's 8" #5182 hen on nest & Fenton's #5188 Hen Egg Plate are present
on the Gibson Overseas copy-a close inspection of both hens & egg platters together
revealed obvious differences between the original and the Gibson Overseas Copy.
Clearly visible differences between Fenton's #5188 Hen Egg Plate and their #5182 Hen on
(scallop rim) Nest and the Gibson Overseas Copy are not the only differences between these
copies and the originals. The Gibson Overseas Copy lack substance to the thickness of the
glass and appear "flatter" than the authentic Fenton hen on nest dishes, with the hen top
seeming to sink into the base more.
Although the deflated appearance of the Gibson Overseas Copy of the Fenton 8" hen on nest
could be argued as being simply a subjective difference, that is not true. There are many
differences between the copy and the original that become immediately apparent when seen
One of the most apparent differences that is clearly visible between the two is the lack of
the geometric design Fenton incorporated into the outside rim of their 8" hen top. Unlike,
Fenton's fairly intricate design, with lines evenly spaced and placed in a pattern, there are
randomly space diagonal slashes on the Gibson Overseas hen top.
|Fenton on (scallop rim) Nest, ware # 5182
Hen top #5199, Base #5181
|Rear edge of
rim of Hen Top.
|Hen's Comb made up of
round "balls" in the back
with a more upright
combed look to the
|Sizeable wattle & a
most of the neck.
|A pair of Eggs,
with each egg
in size, sits on
each side of the
Hen Top's breast,
resting on the rim.
|An Egg sits
sides of the
Hen Top's tail,
resting on the
part of the rim
under that part
|<---- Face and eye detail of Fenton's 8" Hen on
Nest ware #5182 CN, in Carnival from
1970-1974. Many are marked with Fenton's
logo. Some early carnival & milk glass 8" hen on
were put into production before Fenton began
marking with embedded logos.
The original Atterbury Hen top Fenton copied for
the development of Fenton's first Hen top,
featured empty eye slots which Fenton solved
by making big, bulging eyes. The big bulging
eyes of Fenton's large Hen Tops have since
become a renowned identifying trait.lack of
eyelids and details, which Fenton's hen top
from their 5" hen on nest #5186 clearly have,
as shown below.
|Big round bulging eyes--->
beak with mouth->
wattle for hen->
slight turn to
left at head
|A pair of eggs of two
different sizes are located
on both sides of the front of
comb-front made up of
rows, back of head
covered with rounded
|Different logos were used by Fenton, with each having its own
meaning, or reason, for its use. The center of the underside of the
base shown on the left is where the logo shown in the photo on
the right is placed.the right is placed.
tail-no indentations on
|<-space under tail before rim's edge
|<---2 eggs larger than those in the
front are place with one either side of
Note: All 6 eggs are partially molded
into the hen top, allowing only about
1/2 of the egg's sizes show.
|Fenton 8" Hen on Nest #5182 RN, Red Carnival, YOP:1996.
A total of 6 Eggs are on the hen top.
An intricate geometric design is on the circumference of the hen top's rim.
Cowl has rounded feathers overlaid on the breast.
This tail departs back at fairly flat angle & is broad with slightly rounded tip.
|20 scallops along the upper rim of--->>
the base are formed by the repeated
up & down of the twisted double
strands that band the basket-woven
portion of the base
|<--tail is broad with a slightly
rounded tip, smoothly curved
|<----- geometric design on hen top's rim ------>
|20 scallops along the upper rim of
the base are formed by the repeated
twisting of double strands that band
<---portion of the base's
|Base #5181 sits on rim, with design of
underside shown below.----------->
|<----larger egg on either side of tail
|Spilt tail from rear.
Larger eggs on either side of tail.
|This design of this hen's crown begins with rows from her beak to about the center of
the head. Then, the rows of the front turn to round "balls" covering the area from the
center to the rear of the head, with a more linear start from of the comb at the font of
the head. The rear of the neck, or cowl area, which finishes the crown.
overlaid on the
|A pair of eggs,
of 2 sizes per
pair, are on
either side the
back at fairly
|Recognizing the Features of Fenton Hen on Nest Dishes
|<--------#5186 5" Fenton hen on
nest. Note the detailed almond
shaped eyes with eyelids,
pupils and other details, which
Fenton's hen top from their 8"
hen on lack as seen in the
photos of them------------>
|of Fenton brand Hen on Nest Moulds
made from 1953-2012