Fenton Factory Seconds
by Ann Fenton - President, Fenton Finders of the Ozarks

   Are you aware that Fenton Art Glass second quality pieces are available and being sold in all our favorite marketplaces? Have you purchased a piece you are not sure about? Fenton began sandblasting a "star" on the bottom of all second quality pieces in the late 1990's. In 1998, they began using a sandblasted "F". They also sandblast the signatures and limited edition numbers off the bottom of any limited or signature pieces that are rejected for quality reasons. So beware of shiny pieces with the bottoms sandblasted, or "satinized".
   Why is this important to us? Because many of us collect Fenton for it's investment value. We purchase a nice piece, enjoy it for many years, and hope it will increase in value. The Signature Pieces and Limited Edition pieces will do just that for us. The "seconds" really are not limited pieces, now are they?
   I am not saying that you should never buy a second quality piece. I am saying you should be aware of what you are purchasing, so you can make an informed decision. It is fairly easy to remove, disguise, or simply not mention the sandblasted "F" for an unscrupulous dealer. I have seen many seconds sell on the internet auction sites, as well as many Antique Malls and shops. No mention of the "F". I have seen dealers say that the "star" meant that it was a "special" piece! My best advice is: know your dealer, and be armed with the knowledge of an informed collector. Below are photo's of the "Star" and the "F". The piece on the left is the "F" on a gold cat, and the piece on the right is a Limited Edition numbered Plum Carnival clown figurine, with the numbers and signatures sandblasted off and the "star" applied.

Editors Note: Another mark Ann didn't mention in her original article is the script "S" mark that looks like a dancing flame. Some people have thought that the mark meant "sample" when in actuality, it means a second.