Freefold - Imperial
Imperial’s Freefold vase is an interesting pattern in that the exterior of these vases have no pattern. The name of the vase comes from the various shapes of the ruffled tops that the workers at the Imperial factory gave these pieces. There are actually two separate moulds used to make the Freefold vases. One has a 2 7/8 inch base with a 12 point star in the base while the other has a 3 1/4 inch base with a 16 point star. Heights vary depending on the amount the vase was swung and can range from 4 to 14 inches. The two vases on the left have a 16 point star base and the two vases on the right have a 12 point star base.

The inside of these vases do have a pattern. Twenty-four vertical ribs encircle the insides of these vases. The ribs are sets of two wider ribs and sets of two slimmer ribs alternating around. Each rib has an arched top and bottom. While these ribs can be easily seen in vases that are not swung, the ribs are distorted and often not easily seen in the taller vases. All four of these vases have 18 points along the top rim.

Freefold vases typically have wonderful iridescence.

The vases in the photo above are purple, clambroth, smoke and marigold. Other colors found include lavender, helios, white and pastel marigold. The heights of the pictured vases are 11 3/4 inches, 7 1/2 inches, 11 1/4 inches and 4 1/4 inches from left to right.

The shorter marigold vase is often sold as a handkerchief vase and often attributed to Fenton, but it is an Imperial Freefold vase. These short versions are basically unswung but ruffled. It is on these shorter versions where one can see that while there is no pattern on the exterior of the vase, there are raised vertical panels on the interior. These unswung vases are found only in marigold.

The photos to the left and right show the bases of the two distinct moulds used to make the Freefold vases. To the left is a 16 point star on a 3 1/4 inch base and to the right is a 12 point star on a 2 7/8 inch base.