Hobnail Patterns

by Joyce Nichols
Volume 25 No. 9 - May 1999

Hobnail patterns of glass were made by dozens of companies. This pattern also spans many years of production because it was a very popular pattern.

I will begin with Anchor Hocking Glass Company because this Hobnail is the most easily recognized. Most Hobnail pieces made by Hocking have Hocking bowl shapes similar to those found in Moonstone. (Moonstone bowl at left) Hobnail serving pieces are very difficult to find. Only four pieces were made in pink, five if you count the sherbet plate and the saucer as two pieces. These are identical and serve the dual purpose. Sherbets, cups, and an 8½ inch luncheon plate complete the set. Other pieces were made in crystal and crystal with red trim. The pieces with red trim are not easily found, not in the circles that I travel.

Hocking's Moonstone is made from the Hobnail molds, but it has an added white highlight on the hobs.

There are other companies that make Hobnail patterns that are compatible with the pink set. One such company is Macbeth-Evans Glass Company. They made a water or beverage set with a pitcher and various sized tumblers. This was made in pink and crystal.

Duncan perfume Hobnail by the Duncan & Miller Glass Company was made in many different table pieces, stemware baskets, bowls and hats. This was one of Duncan's best selling patterns. Hobnail was one of the company's earlier lines and was produced in crystal, blue, pink, amber, red, rose, and opalescent blue. Many pieces have ground bottoms. Duncan made boudoir items in hobnail particularly in opalescent colors. At right is an example of Duncan's Hobnail in an amber perfume.

Hobnail is most associated with the Fenton name. Many Fenton Hobnail pieces remained in production for twenty years or more. Some stayed for a while and then were reintroduced later in another color. Pattern 389, a beautiful Hobnail pattern, was made in blue opalescent (at left) and French Fenton vase opalescent. There are many different pieces, complete dinner sets, baskets, lamps, boudoir items and knick-knacks.

You could probably spend a fortune if you tried to get an example of everything that has been made in the Hobnail pattern. So, either get ready to invest your life's earnings or do as I did and chose one tiny area in which to concentrate.

The way I got started on my Hobnail collection is a little different.

I have a china pattern that has tiny Victorian roses around the outside edge. I had collected for a while, and I thought that it would Hocking sherbet be nice to have a pink pattern that would coordinate with my china. So I started to discuss this with my husband. He suggested that if I was going to start a pink pattern, I should find the cheapest pattern that had the fewest pieces available, and I could collect that pattern. So Anchor Hocking Hobnail in pink (sherbet, shown at right) was the pattern that fits that bill.

This pattern does not show up much at the shows because it is so inexpensive that dealers think that it is not the best choice to take up the space, but I have found that it commands much higher prices than I see in the price guides.

I still believe that this is an excellent choice of a small pattern for a luncheon set or to complement a coordinating china pattern.