Tree Bark water set - courtesy of "The Farmer's Wife".
It was an opportunity to acquire a “golden iridescent crinkled glass” water set, just like the one shown on the right.
It could be yours, for free! All you had to do to receive it was subscribe to "The Farmer's Wife" (a Minnesota based magazine) for four years and get your neighbour to take out a subscription as well. The date was 1926.
It’s fascinating to read the promotional text in the ad - shown above left, “Never before has an offer like this been made”.
The thrust of the message is that the water set illustrated was following in the footsteps of the “master craftsmen of central Europe” and the “beautiful shades of their iridescent glassware”. It goes on: “single pieces imported to this country have been eagerly sought by those who could pay the enormous prices that have been demanded”.
It seems like the copy writers used a fair bit of license in their publicity “blurb”. What is even more surprising is that no mention is made of the vast quantities of fabulous iridescent glass produced in the USA during the previous decade by glassmakers such as the "Big Five" (Fenton, Imperial, Northwood, Millersburg, and Dugan-Diamond)!
As to the maker of this water set which is known as Tree Bark. It is generally attributed to the Jeannette Glass Company of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, and it fits into that loose category of Carnival variously called Depression, Depression Era, or Late Carnival. Collectors may be a little less enthusiastic about Carnival made in this period, but it certainly has its own fascination and its own social context - and in only a few years time some of it will be 100 years old!
Here is the full ad from The Farmer's Wife" magazine from May 1926.
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