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 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, Fenton
only made 5 Hen on Nest forms-using only 2 hen tops. Later, in the 1990s 2 moulds of covered
Rooster Boxes were bought from other companies, and put into production by the Fenton Art Glass
Company. Despite major restructuring within Fenton during the economic crash that hit America
just prior to the closing of the company, Fenton's hen on nest dishes and roosters continued to be
made in the USA, and a new logo was made stating the same. Hens and Roosters produced after 2008
are marked as usual with the addition of USA added to the embedded Fenton logo first quality
wares are marked with. (12.03.12).
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 photos.
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
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
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 photo.
Base-8-1/2" X 6-7/8"
Overall Measurements: 6.5" in Height, by 8.5" in length, by 7.5" width of the (base)
|Fenton Hen on (smooth rim) Nest, #5183
|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 ware #5199, a copy of the 8" Atterbury Hen on Nest, was
introduced with Fenton's 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 but with some easy to see identifying features. 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 lovely petals on 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.
Knowing what the different Hen on Nest dishes are can help your collecting create a Fenton Curio Coop to be proud of!
|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 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 decorate the circumference the rim of Fenton's 8" hen top's. 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:
Above left: Fenton 8" hen top from ware # 5188 GM, Fenton Chicken Server, YOP 1952, 1953.
Upper right: Fenton 8" hen on the smooth rimmed base, ware # 5183 MY YOP, 1953.
|Above & Below: Close-up of the face and eyes of ware #
5182 CN, Fenton's Carnival 8" Hen on (scallop rimmed
base) & 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 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" Atterbury hen.
|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 smooth rim Nest, one with a scallop rim nest, or a contemporary
Fenton Hen Egg Plate? If so, Fenton's large hen has you covered!
The eyes (& more!) have it!
|Among one of the most readily visible, and interesting characteristics of Fenton's 8" hen
on nest top are her big, bulging eyes, a renowned characteristics of the 8" Fenton Hen
Top, #5199, 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
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, overly simplified
eyes, have become one of the key distinguishing factors for determining which hens in
the 7 to 9 inch size range may actually be the Fenton brand, although this is not by any
means 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
|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
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.
|This cobalt hen with a split
tail and a scalloped affect
along the rear edge of the
tail, as well as molded
details of the feathers
disqualified as being a brand
name Fenton hen on nest.
This can also be seen in the
photo the scalloped cobalt
tail to the right for
comparing to those of
|Quick differences noted between Fenton's
and the Indiana hen on nest which has no
eggs, no split tail, a scalloped tail, no turn
to head or neck, a beaded rim design on
the base...and so much more!
|Below left is a close-up of a non-Fenton Cobalt hen top tail frequently listed as Fenton on the Secondary marketplace. 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 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 11971. Differences that may not
be clearly evident are easier to see when viewed next to each other. 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 on the left side of the photos), and many other hen tops in the 5 to 7 inch
range are well detailed, often complete with pupils and eyelids. However, Fenton's big gals, with their 8" ware #5199
hen tops (shown in many views in the sections below & in above righr 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
although this mould is frequently
seen incorrectly listed in online
selling venues, including on eBay, as
Fenton when clearly it is not.
Note the scalloped appearance to
the rear edge of her tail & the lack
of bulging eyes, egg alignment &
pattern around the hen top's rim all
of which are not as the features
seen on Fenton's hen on nest dishes.
|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.
Okay, that was simple.
|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.
|Features & Distinguishing Characteristics
of Fenton brand Hen on Nest Moulds
made from 1953-2012
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
|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 Egg Plate.
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 Fenton's closing in 2011.
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.
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 cobalt 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.
|Enjoy 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
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 tail. Shown below is Fenton's Rooster Box, with
this one done in Burmese & painted with tiny flowers, ware #4680 Q9,
from 2006. Note the large showy tail, large crown & lack of eggs!
Rooster box=6 1/2" tall, 8 1/2" long, 5 1/2" wide.
|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!
|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 The
Gibson Overseas Copy seems to lack substance and appears "flatter" than the
authentic Fenton hen and lacks the rim design of Fenton's authentic 8" Hen tops,
instead having crude slashes all going in one direction.
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 person.
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
This big gal is a combination of Fenton's 8" Hen top ware #5199 & Base #5181
|The very impressive 8" Hen top, such as the one in Red Carnival shown below originated as a copy of the 8" Atterbury Hen Top by
Fenton. This hen top was developed by Fenton and known as Fenton Hen Top ware #5199. This hen top was produced throughout the
1950s- used with Fenton's large, 12" long Chicken Server, a year or so later with Fenton's Challinor Style smooth rimmed Nest, for a
more conventionally styled HON, Fenton Hen on Nest #5183, and nearly a decade after her semi-retirement Fenton Hen top #5199 was
again back in Fenton's line, on a Vallerysthal scallop rim base & finally again in 1995 again paired with the 12" long egg platter, and with
the new name of Fenton Hen Egg Plate, #5188.
Almost a decade after the 8" Hen on the smooth rimmed Nest #5183 was retired, Fenton revised their 8 inch Fenton Hen on Nest by
changing the base to a scallop rimmed Vallerysthal type base, with was released it as Hen on Nest #5182, featuring the familiar 8"
Fenton Hen Top #5199. This hen top, a copy of the 8 inch Atterbury Hen top, underwent some interesting changes before Fenton began
producing her their own. Fenton replaced the empty eye slots of the Atterbury Hen top copy, used by Atterbury for the insertion of glass
eyes with big, bulging eyes in the mould, which later became one of the renowned identifying features of Fenton's large hen tops.
|CLOSEUP OF THE 5" HEN TOP OF WARE #5186 & THE 8"
FENTON HEN TOP MADE FROM THE ATTERBURY COPY
The face and eye details of Fenton's 8" Hen on Nest, ware
#5182 CN, in Carnival from 1970-1974. 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 for Fenton's
large 8" hen tops, and their lack of eyelids and details, is more
than made up for with Fenton's hen top from their 5" hen on nest
#5186 which clearly has detailed eyes, as shown in the photo to
Closeup of the very detailed face of the #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
nest #5182 clearly lack, as shown in these 2
|Big round bulging eyes--->
beak with mouth->
wattle for hen->
|<-thick neck slight turn to
left at head & neck junction
comb-front made up of
rows, back of head
covered with rounded
Fenton's first Hen on Nest form sold as the Fenton Chicken Server, ware #5188 in 1952. A year later the same Hen top to crowned Fenton's more conventional 8" Hen on Nest, ware #5183,
using a Challinor type smooth rimmed base. After nearly a decade long semi-retirement from early 1958 to 1967, the 8" hen top was again added to Fenton's line, this time on a Vallerystahl
base, introduced in Milk Glass in 1967.
Measures: Nest bowl 8 x 11 Hen top 7 ¼ x 4 ¼ in tall. Total height- 7 in tall x 9 ½ across at widest.
Fenton's massive 8" Hen Top #5199 features a slightly turned, fairly large, proportionate head, a rather stout neck, with well defined cowl, fairly for a hen.
Fenton Hen Top #5199, like her smaller 5" sister who tops Hen on Nest #5186, features a total of 6 eggs. 4 front and 2 in the rear.A total of 6 eggs, arranged in two pairs and two singles of
varying sizes are molded to the hen. A pair of eggs consisting of two different sizes is located near the left front of the hen, a smaller pair is on the right front, and 2 single eggs of the same
size are located on either side of the tail.
An intricate geometrical design decorates the circumference of the hen top #5199's rim. As with all Fenton's hen tops, this Hen Top has a split tail which rises at a fairly flat angle from the
back. There are no indentations along either edge of the tail's smooth edges, including the rear. The tail departs the back at a much flatter angle with a broader end to the tail than that of
the smaller 5" Fenton hen top.
The tail of the large Fenton hen leaves the back at a much flatter angle than the 5 " Fenton Hen, who's tail leaves at a much steep angle. As with all of Fenton's hen on nest dishes, the #5182
has a smoothly curved tail, void of any indentations on either edge.
|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.
Originally, Fenton produced what is reported to have been about 350 #5182 CN, 8"
Carnival "Gertrude" Hen on Nest dishes with the name "Gertrude" added to the
embedded logo on the underside of the base. The mould was reported to have
broken with less than 300 hens made, and was replaced with the mould not using
the Gertrude name. That's an amazing story, but remember Fenton produced their
first #5182 Hen on Nest dishes in Milkglass, none of which were marked "Gertrude."
Just food for thought...
and we are lucky to have 2 of the Marked "Gertrude" 5182 CN Hens on Nests.
Note-The red logo is marked "Fenton" & USA!
|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.
|Spilt tail from rear.
Larger eggs on either side of tail.
|The design of this hen's crown starts just above the beak,
running down the center of the head. The rows of the front
turn to round "balls" which cover the area from the center of
the head down 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
|tail departs the back
at fairly flat
|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 in memory ofFrank 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 and also appearing to be cased in clear-despite the photos below which don't support the individual beauty-and color of the blue.
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.
|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.
Fenton's revised large, 8" 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
|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.
All Fenton hen tops, large and small,
feature 6 eggs and split tails. Fenton's
hen top tails are also smoothly curved,
and lack any indentations along either
edge of the tail.
Many non-Fenton hens have these
scallops, or indentations along the
edges of their tails, as shown in the
|A single feature may not automatically qualify a
hen as being an authentic Fenton brand hen-or
rooster. Yet, some single features can disqualify
a hen on nest from being Fenton-in record time!
|In 1968 Fenton also introduced their 5 inch Hen on Nest, ware #5186. This
compact beauty was destined to become a long-term favorite. Fenton's 5"
hen on nest featured a very detailed hen top, similar in style to other
area, and other places. The 5" Fenton hen top sits on a beautiful uniquely
styled base featuring 10 distinctive triple outlined arches, which form the
sides, rising from bottom to top, where broad petals form along the upper
rim of the base. Fenton lays claim to the from the Butler Bros dating back
to the late 1880s depict a hen on nest that appears to be Fenton's #5186.
This hen on nest has been made in many colors and decorative treatments,
and remains very popular among today's collectors and remained in
production until Fenton's closing.
|In 1968, after nearly a decade without an inline Hen on Nest, Fenton
unveiled a revised version of their large 8" hen on nest, assigned ware
#5182, which does seem out of order since the previous hen on nest was
assigned #5183. Fenton's new 8" hen on nest featured the familiar hen top
used as the #5183 & #5188 hen top, on a revised, Vallerysthal style, basket
woven base with a double twisted loop "braided" scalloped rim. The ware #
5182 Hen on Nest was in production until Fenton's closing.
|About a year after the Fenton Chicken Server was
introduced, the hen top from it, #5199 was used over a
Challinor style, smooth rimmed base, for the release of
the #5183 Fenton Hen on Nest. The #5183 hen on the
smooth rimmed nest had a fairly short life span, which
began in 1953, and ended early in 1958, when the #5183
mould was retired, coinciding with the retirement of
the original Chicken Server. None of these hens are
marked with embedded logos. (photo far right)
|Ware #5188 YM, Milk Glass body with Amethyst
Head, Chicken Server, YOP: 1953, 1954, retired in
this color, 1955. (rare) Hen top is a copy of the 8"
Atterbury hen top later used on the smooth rimmed
base. Fenton Chicken Server produced: 1952-1958.
|In 1995 Fenton's release of their Chicken Server Hen, with the
new name of the Fenton Hen Egg Plate was done in Mother of
Pearl which was decorated with a hand painted pastel floral
design. This Hen Egg Plate features Fenton's 8" hen top, as does
the Chicken Server of the 1950s, the Hen on smooth rim Nest of
the 1950s, and the Hen on the scallop rimmed Nest, that were
introduced in 1967 and have yet to be retired. (01.04.08)
This Hen Egg Plate, Ware # 5188 YZ was issued as a Limited
Edition of 950 pieces total, with each piece signed and
numbered, and accompanied by a Fenton tent card. Another
Limited Edition of 950 signed and numbered Hand Painted Hen
Egg Plates, done in an Iridized Milk Glass and decorated with the
English Daisy pattern was produced a couple years later in 1997.
The Fenton Hen Egg Plate has also been special ordered by
Martha Stewart in other colors, and by Rosso in Topaz
Opalescent (Vaseline) and most recently in the early summer of
2008, in Chameleon Green.
Ware #5188 Hen Egg Plate, 1995--present day. (02.03.12)
|Fenton entered the covered hen on nest market relatively
late, in 1952 with the debut of their first hen on nest, in
the form of their massive Chicken Server, ware #5188. A
copy of the hefty 8 inch Atterbury hen, Fenton ware #5199,
was used for the hen top nesting on a suitably sized, 12"
long platter made with depressions for deviled eggs placed
all around it. The slotted eyes of the Atterbury Hen were
replaced with big, round bulging eyes that are void of detail,
and have since become a renowned identifying factor for
Fenton's large hens on nests dishes. Pieces from the 1950s
are not marked. (photo to immediate left)
8" Ruby Headed Milk Glass Hen on a (Smooth
rimmed Challinor style) Nest.
8" Hen on Smooth rimmed base, Ware #5183
produced 1952-January 1958.
A rare Plum Slag Fenton Hen on Nest, #5183 was
made in very limited numbers in 1961.
|Fenton's Chick on Nest, ware # 5185, was released in
1953. Only 7 colors/glass combinations were produced
inline since the 1950s. The colors of Fenton's Chick On
Nest dishes 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.
|Ware #5188 YZ, Hen Egg Plate released in 1997 as a
Limited Edition of 950 hand painted pieces done in the
English Daisy Pattern. Ware #5188 Hen Egg Plate
1995--present day. (01.05.08)
|Ware #5186 RX, 5" Fenton Ruby Marble (red
slag) Hen on Nest, special ordered by Levay in
1984. (HTF) Ware #5186 produced:
1968-2012-close of Fenton Art Glass Factory.
|Ware #5185 GM, Chick on Nest, released in 1953.
Only 7 Fenton Chick on Nest color/glass
combinations have been produced inline or by
special order since the Chick On Nest debuted in
the 1950s. Colors of the chick and its nest often
coincided with the color of that year's Chicken
Servers and/or #5183 Hen on (smooth rim) Nest.
|Ware #5182 MD, 8" HP Milk Glass Hen on inline Hand
Painted or decorated 8" Fenton hen on nest, excluding
the Hen Egg Plates) produced to date. Ware #5182
produced: 1967-2012-close of Fenton Art Glass
|In 1961, the Fenton's final Hen on the Smooth rim base, ware # 5183,
was produced in very small test numbers in beautiful plum slag
coloring. That mould was not used again and it was about 7 years
later before Fenton added their 8" Hen on Nest again as an inline
item. The next Fenton Hen on Nest mould featured the same hen
top the earlier Fenton Hen on Nest & Chicken Servers used, Fenton
#5199, was used over a Challinor style, smooth rimmed base, for the
release of the #5183 Fenton Hen on Nest.
The #5183 hen on the smooth rimmed nest had a fairly short life
span, which began in 1953, and ended early in 1958, when the #5183
mould was retired, coinciding with the retirement of the original
Chicken Server. None of these hens are marked with embedded
logos. (photo far right)
|The overall shape and size* or "mould" of the Hen on Nest with the top on the base.|
|Once details of the complete 2 piece hen on nest have been studied, other features to that requiring a|
|good look are:|
|What is the shape and details of the tail-is it a split tail?|
|Is it smoothly curved on its front and rear edges, or does it have a scalloped look to the edge(s)?|
|Note the angle the tail departs the back-does the tail rise steeply, or is the angle of the tail flatter and|
|closer to the back?|
|check the number and placement of eggs around the hen-or the lack of any eggs on the hen top.|
|Note the degree and turn of the head & neck, and the shape and proportionate size of the beak, wattle,|
|Study the types of faces and their details, including that of the hen's eyes|
|The details, style and design of the hen top's rim provides clues as to whether a hen is Fenton, with each|
|of Fenton's hen tops having a distinctive design around the rim. Other brands have plain edges to the |
rim, diagonal slashes, stippling, or other decorative designs around the rim, etc. Those used by Fenton
|The nest or base can also provide many clues as to whether a hen on nest is Fenton, or not.|
|The 5" Fenton hen on nest, ware #5186 sits on a unique base with 10 arches forming the sides, which|
|rise to form broad petals along the upper rim|
|Fenton's 8" hen tops #5199 was used on 2 types of basket woven nests with rims that were not the same.|
|Fenton used a smooth rimmed, Challinor style nest with Fenton's ware #5199 8" hen top known for its|
|massive size & big, bulging eyes, in the 1950s, until the base was retired in 1958, or late in 1957 as some |
|The second style of nest also used with Fenton's large 8" hen is their scallop rimmed, basket-woven|
|base, which was in production until Fenton's closing.|
|The 20 scallops along the upper rim of the second nest used are formed by the upper bytes of double|
|strands that cross under and over each other but is not a true braid.|
|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, and compare what you see with
as many photos and angles as you can find!
|Each Fenton hen, rooster and turkey tops and the bases used with them have their
own mould & 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.
REAR OF TAIL
TO MEASURE SIZE-
TOP- Outside rim to outside rim
BASE-Outside rim to outside rim-length X width
LOGOS- DECADE INDICATORS-SECOND QUALITY MARKS
|Indiana Hen on Nest-front & side
views-perfect shots of a tail that is not a
|Indiana Hen on Nest
|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.
8" Rare Plum Slag Glass Hen on a
(Smooth rimmed Challinor style) Nest. The very
rare Plum Slag Fenton Hen on Nest, #5183 was
made in very limited numbers in 1961 only.
|Fenton Hen on (scallop rim) Nest, #5182
YOP: 1967-not retired as of 1/09
Shown #5182 MD, YOP, 1971-72
|Fenton's Chick on Nest, # 5185.
YOP: 1953-still in production. (1.09)
Shown: #5185 MY, YOP 1954
Amethyst Chick, Milk Glass Egg/Nest
|Closeup of the very detailed face
of the #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 nest #5182 clearly lack,
as shown in these 2
|Copyright © Silver Stirrup Studio at Sweetwater
Farms, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,
2019, 2020. All rights reserved.
Web site designed, hosted and maintained by
Silver Stirrup Studio at Sweetwater Farms.
This page last revision on 04/21/2020 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
|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.
|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.
|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! :)
|Rear edge of
curved without any
|Hen's Comb made up
of round "balls" in the
back with a more
upright combed look
to the front.
|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 under
both sides of the
Hen Top's tail,
resting on the
part of the rim
under that part
|A copy of the 8" Atterbury Hen Top was developed by Fenton in the a year or so
later with Fenton's Challinor Style smooth rimmed Nest, for a more conventionally
styled HON, Fenton Hen on Nest #5183.
Almost a decade after the 9" Hen on the smooth rimmed Nest #5183 was retired,
Fenton revised their 8 inch Fenton Hen on Nest by changing the base to a scallop
rimmed Vallerysthal type base, with was released it as Hen on Nest #5182,
featuring the familiar 8" Fenton Hen Top #5199. This hen top, a copy of the 8 inch
Atterbury Hen top, underwent some interesting changes before Fenton began
producing her their own. Fenton replaced the empty eye slots of the Atterbury
Hen top copy, used by Atterbury for the insertion of glass eyes with big, bulging
eyes in the mould, which later became one of the renowned identifying features of
Fenton's large hen tops.
|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
|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
|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.----------->
|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
|Fenton Hen Egg Plate, #5188
Shown #5188 YZ, LE to 950 pieces.
YOP: 1995- (not retired as of 1/09)
|2 eggs are on both sides
of the front of the
|<---2 eggs larger than those
in pairs with one on each
side under tail.
Note: All 6 eggs are molded
into the hen top.
|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
|Base #5181 is used with
ware #5182 & sits on rim,
with design of underside
|<----larger egg on either side of tail
|<--------------- geometric design on hen top's rim ----------------->
|top has 20 scallops
<---portion of the base--->