Above Left to Right, Tails of:
Left: Fenton #5183, 8 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, including eBay.
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
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
Fenton's 8" hen top #5199, introduced with their Chicken Server in 1952, and
used with two other different bases in subsequent years, is probably best
renowned for having the big round eyes Fenton used to replace the glass eyes of
the Atterbury hen top Fenton copied their first hen top from. 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.
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.
Fenton 8" hen on the smooth rimmed base, ware # 5183 MY
Center right & lower photos:
Two views of Fenton 8" hen top used on the scalloped
rimmed basket woven nest in Red Carnival, ware # 5182 RN,
|Above: Close-up of the face and eyes of ware # 5182 RN,
a Red Carnival 8" Fenton Hen on (scalloped rimmed,
basket woven) Nest, YOP 1996.
|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 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" Atterbury hen.
|Fenton Shell Pink Hen on (scallop rim) Nest, ware # K 5182
SL, by Special Order for Martha by Mail in 2000.
|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 the big, bulging eyes of the 8" Fenton Hen Top, which has been used
with 3 Fenton different bases since her debut in 1952. The big round eyes Fenton's
8" hen top are void of all detail, including eyelids, unlike the eyes of many other hen
tops in that size range, most of which have detailed eyes and eyelids. The rather
uniquely "styled" eyes of Fenton's 8" hen top can be easily seen and their shapes
studied from various views 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 was first in used in 1952 with the Fenton Chicken Server, 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. However, 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 large Fenton hen on nest dishes, manufactured prior to 1972,
when Fenton began marking all their wares with logos 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, 2012 Fenton's 8" 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. 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 new wares.
|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.
|Below is a cobalt non-Fenton hen with a split tail and a scalloped affect along the
rear edge of the tail, as well as molded details of the feathers. This can also be
seen in the photo the scalloped cobalt tail to the right for comparing to those of
|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 Red
Carnival, ware #5182 RN, from 1996. 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
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
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?
Features & Distinguishing Characteristics of Fenton's Hen on Nest Moulds
On the near 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, also
visible in the photo of the same cobalt hen shown on the 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.
The center photo is of the Fenton tail from the 8" Fenton hen top used on the Limited Edition Hen
Egg Plate from 1995, Ware # 5188 YZ. It was hand painted in one of Robin Spindler's many beautiful,
decorative patterns, called "English Daisy." This 8" Fenton hen top is known for her bulging eyes.
(see top of page)
To the far right is a photo of ware #5186 LR, the 5" Fenton hen on nest, in Misty Blue's tail.
Although the tail of the 5" Fenton hen top rises more steeply from the back, it too is smoothly
curved, and without a scalloped appearance.
|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 lifted
slightly from the 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 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
Because none of L. G. Wright hens were marked, and with several companies including Fenton known
to have produced the custard hen on nest dishes for L. G. Wright, it can be very difficult to convince
a vendor that a hen such as the one pictured here in cobalt is from an L.G. Wright mould, and not a
"pre-logo" or "unmarked" Fenton.
This hen on nest is not a "pre-logo" Fenton, it is an L. G. Wright, made from L.G. Wright's mould, their
choice of glass color and type, with the absolute intention of these wares being marketed by L. G.
Wright as an L. G. Wright hen on nest. The L. G. Wright hen on nest mould lacks many attributes of
Fenton's hens, such as the design and style of the hen top's tail with its scalloped rear edge, its
detailed eyes, and its base which also differs greatly from those used by Fenton.
Although the base/nest used with L. G. Wright's 7" hen on nest mould is a basket-woven style, their
base is very different from Fenton's basket-woven bases. Fenton's basket woven bases have a different
count to the under and over pattern of the basket-weave than the bases used with the 7" L.G. Wright
hen on nest base shown here.
It should be noted that Mosser bought the moulds for the 7" L.G. Wright hen on nest at Wright's going
out of business auction in 1999. Within a few months Mosser put their new mould into production,
which fortunately Mosser marks their logo of the "M in the outline of the state of Ohio" located on
the inside of the 7" hen top. For more information about L.G. Wright's hen on nest dishes, and
somewhat of a controversy about who made them, and whether their actual makers are known, or can
be distinguished, please see the information below.
|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. All
Web site designed, hosted and maintained
by Silver Stirrup Studio at Sweetwater
This page last updated on 8/02/2014 15:48:59
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, copies of Fenton's 8" hen on nest, and their Hen Egg Plate were
manufactured in one color similar to Jade by Gibson Overseas. Many
features found on Fenton's 8" hen tops are present on the Gibson
Overseas copy-yet although close to Fenton's design a close inspection of
both hens reveals obvious differences between the two. The clearly
visible differences between Gibson's copy of Fenton hen on nest #5182
and the Fenton original are not the only differences between the two
hen on nest dishes. The Gibson Overseas Copy seems to lack substance
and appears "flatter" than the authentic Fenton hen.
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 in
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.