IS IT REAL?
Dean weighs in on popular tips used to identify Blenko pieces.
TIP: Check for transparency and avoid opaque or translucent—with the exceptions being yellow glass and the Rialto Specialty Line. VERDICT: “Not completely true.” “But for colors in the catalogued lines and during the 1945 to 1970 era this is largely true,” Dean says.
TIP: All glass will have the same rim thickness and be both rounded and smooth. VERDICT: “Not always. Not even close.” “Our glass varies based on the individual team that created it—some are thicker, some are thinner. It is the nature of handmade, mouth blown glass. Water bottles, the most common Blenko item, defy both of those identification tips.”
TIP: Reference against design number in the annual catalog. VERDICT: “Good, but who has access to the catalogs?” “Buy the books of catalog reprints or use online resources,” Dean says. His better tip is to confirm designs against line numbers, as that is what Blenko uses to refer to what others might call design numbers.
TIP: Look for an unfinished or otherwise rough pontil mark. VERDICT: “None should be rough.” "They are all fire polished pontils, and they are left visible by intent so as to indicate the process and the nature of hand formed glass,” Dean says. “Except for the Water Bottle and a few forms, most Blenko will have a fire polished pontil.”