|These bowls were commemorative pieces, produced by Millersburg to honor the city in which they were based. The most often seen bowl has the words "Courthouse, Millersburg Ohio" under the building. Much more rare are the versions without the lettering under the building (shown on the right), apparently the first examples, after which the makers decided that the building needed identification. All pieces are extremely desirable, though the lettered versions are relatively easy to find--generally 7 or 8 sell each year.|
Bowls, complete lettering, ruffled or ice cream shape|
Amethyst/purple, 170, 325, 350, 375, 425, 475, 500, 550 (all 2020), 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 600, 750, 950 (all 2021)
Amethyst, 3/1 edge, 2,900 (2016)
Amethyst, with postcard of Millersburg Courthouse, 775 (2012), 850 (2018)
Lavender, 2,300 (2003), 1,600, 2,200 (both 2007), 1,700 (2011), 2,000 (2016), 1,900 (2017)
Lavender, 3/1 edge, 3,700 (2004), 2,600 (2018)
|The unlettered lavender bowl at the left sold in 2003 for $2,300.|
|From The Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass Lettered Pieces, |
by John Resnik, 1989.
"Most of what has been written about the manufacture and distribution of the Courthouse bowl falls on the ears much the same as does Alice in Wonderland. I have always found it exceedingly difficult to accept the premise that John Fenton went to the extraordinary expense of having a special mold made, for such a small run of glass, and then gave the glass away. History has painted John Fenton as a wastrel and prodigious spender, it is difficult for me to accept that he was a fool, too. However, Lucille Lowe of Killbuck, Ohio, a recognized Millerrsburg authority, purports the "give away" story to be fact. Since Mrs. Lowe's grandparents were investors in the Millersburg factory, and she has lived her entire life in the area, I suppose she is in a position to know. Her scenario is that John Fenton already knew of his impending bankruptccy, and manufactured the bowls to placate his investors. Reportedly, 1000-1500 of these items were made for this purpose.
The building shown on this piece was the third in a series of courthouses built in Millersburg, and was completed in 1886. The building is still in daily use. For those of you with an interest in mathematics, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the builing would have occured in 1911, at a time when the Millersburg factory was still in production."
The Millersburg Courthouse as it appears today. Much the same as 100 plus years ago given some differences in detail, especially along the roofline. Some of the minor differences could simply be due to artistic license by the original designer of the glass molds.