Fostoria American Chiffonier

Chiffonier

Miscellaneous

Item Number:  #UR-01
Approximate Size:  4¼” L – 3¼” W – 2¼” H
Production Dates:  1918-1925

Put simply, the Chiffonier is a very difficult piece to find.  These items did not have a long production life; however, there are other items in the 2056 line that had even shorter lives – as short as one year.  Therefore, their limited life should not be viewed as the main reason for them being so rare.  One has to consider other factors as well – how much time has lapsed since production, and the high probability of damage over the years.  The Chiffonier has two glass drawers that slide back and forth (glass on glass), and as one can imagine – breakage often ensued.

Since I started this website, I have had many conversations with collectors over the years.  I continue to be amazed when I hear stories from family members talking about their grandmother’s Fostoria American “box”.  As the original owners passed on, their treasures would be left to various family members.  Today, most of these descendants do not know the value or history of the Chiffonier.  They just remember seeing the box at their ancestor’s house, and knew how much their grandmother loved it.  Some folks have told me that they did not know what finally happened to the box once the estate was settled – or where the Chiffonier ended up.  When they later learned about its history, it usually came as quite a shock.

I visited the Fostoria Glass Museum (located in Moundsville, WV) in 2019, and at that time they had a Chiffonier on display.  It was on loan from a generous collector, and while it did have visible damage, it was still an interesting piece to see in person.  Many people are shocked to see how small the Chiffonier truly is, so please take notice of the measurements I have posted above.  The Chiffonier pictured in this post is without damage, and it is my understanding that it was pieced together from different items (box and drawers) so that the current owner could display a complete and undamaged Chiffonier.

In my lifetime, I have seen two Chiffoniers for sale.  One was from a private collector, and the other was shown at a glass show.  I have read accounts of people that owned not one Chiffonier – but two of them at one time!  How many of these items, beloved by their original owners of the early 1900s, could still be in someone’s family today?  Their ancestors could be totally unaware of its history and origin.  This is a scenario that happens more often than you might think.  While Chiffoniers are considered to be very rare items, there always remains the possibility of finding one that has been hiding in obscurity for decades.

Out of the entire American 2056 line, the Chiffonier remains one of the most expensive items to buy.  Prices have come down in recent years; however, do your own research to determine a value.  Online auction sites don’t usually have this item for sale, and since Chiffoniers are extremely difficult to find, sellers can usually ask whatever they feel the market will bear.

Identification & Reference Books

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