Fantastic Figurines - Reuben Haley Designs

by Mary Van Pelt
Rainbow Review Glass Journal - November 1977

As was popular in the 20s, the raised sculptured style of decoration made so famous by Lalique and others, led Reuben Haley to name his creations MARTELE after the famous French artist.

Madonna vase Many of the deigns and motifs created by Reuben were taken to Phoenix Glass Company by Kenneth, who added his own designs to them and in honor of his father called them the REUBEN line. Many trade Journals have referred to them as the "Selden" line. This was erroneous, as Howard Selden was a top salesman for Phoenix, his selling ability so highly developed, few could come close to him in sales. He sold only the finest and most reputable lines. Mr. Selden, had no participation in the design or creation, but made the items outstanding in popularity Cosmos vase due to his tremendous selling ability and knowledge of what he was selling, He was the first to pioneer this line when it became available.

To the chagrin of the French glass masters, Reuben was commissioned to do the lighting panels for the French transatlantic liner, (the largest of its kind afloat) "Ile de France." How can any man's talent be more honored? Among his greatest designs was a pendant type of cameo of a Grecian Goddess profile, made in 1923. It was moulded in green, crystal, blue and frosted black. It was hung on a silken cord and called "La Lavilliere." It was given as a souvenir to the buyer's wives at the old original, one and only Pittsburgh China and Glass show. It was never sold on the market, and if you have this in your possession, you can be sure you do indeed have a very rare and highly treasured item! Hit contribution to U.S. Glass and their 13 factories in the capacity of vice-president and general manager in 1912, was a period of Fern vase tireless creativity for the collectors of today. Another of his many contributions was his first bubble line in Spanish style so popular in California, which was named "Catalonian" after the Spanish Island which was a hangout for glass makers.

Reuben died in 1933, but left a legacy of beauty for the world to enjoy for perhaps hundreds of years, and a highly talented son to follow in his footsteps. The National Glass Budget of Pittsburgh, when Bluebell vase paying homage to this gifted artist began by saying: "Reuben Haley, if living, could walk into thousands of homes today and see glassware he designed when employed by various flint glass manufacturing firms in this country." The designs Kenneth has added to those of his father will always hold a special place in the collections of all who appreciate the fine arts. Some of Reuben's designs are shown here. Photo No. 1 is the 10" high Madonna Vase, circa 1926. Consolidated produced it in gold and light cocoa. It was revived at Phoenix in 1932 and 1948 and has been off the market since around 1952 Photo No. 2, the 7½" high Cosmos Vase, circa 1921. Produced by Consolidated in green and light blue. Phoenix reproduced it around 1932 and 1948. This also has been off the market since 1952. Photo No. 3, 7" high Fern Vase, circa 1927. Originally by Consolidated, then by Phoenix in 1932 and 1948. Photo No.4 is the Bluebell Vase, 7" high, circa 1924 or 1925. Produced by Consolidated in green, lilac and cocoa. Phoenix brought it out later in 1932 and 1948, and off the market about 1952. These molds were acquired by Kenneth from Consolidated when he was employed by Phoenix, and these too were added to the REUBEN line.