Hansen Glass

There are three Hansen brothers; Ronald, Robert and Richard; who all worked with glass. Ronald lived in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Robert (1922 - 2006) lived in Bridgeport, Michigan and San Diego CA. Robert and Ronald were the two brothers involved with iridizing glass.

The third brother, Richard Hansen (1931 - 1983), started the "Glass Twist" in Corning, California. He was a skilled neon sign maker, lampworker, and businessman. Arlene, his wife, operated the shop until 2005.

Ronald graduated from college with a major in chemistry. Ronald's knowledge of chemistry is what gave him most of the ideas and formulas for the great iridescence which he achieved. Ronald and his wife Dorothy started to experiment with iridescence in 1950. Ronald taught Robert how to iridize glass.

In 1960, Ronald started iridizing glass to sell, which was probably the true beginning of new carnival glass. Robert started about the same time. The two brothers never really worked together. Ronald's shop was in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Robert's shop was in Bridgeport, Michigan.

The Hansens did iridize some old glass. One example of a Northwood Grape & Cable tumbler with an N on it is known. Ronald iridized and signed it. There are other pieces of glass iridized by the Hansens made from old glass, but most of the Hansen Carnival was new glass. Most of the Hansen glass does have a pontil mark, but there will be a few that don't. Not all Hansen carnival glass is signed. Signatures were etched into the base of a piece. Robert signed his pieces "Robert Hansen" or "RGH". Ronald signed his pieces "Ron Hansen" or "Ronald E.Hansen".

The Hansens bought the glass which they iridized from companies such as Deganhart, Fenton, Guernsey, Imperial, L.G. Wright, Mosser, Smith, St. Clair, Viking and Westmoreland. To iridize existing glass pieces, the glass was heated almost to its melting point before being sprayed with the chemical salts. Many items completely melted before they could be finished, thus there was a certain amount of loss.

Reported health problems of both Ronald and Robert were said to have been partly due to breathing in of the materials that they sprayed on the glass, even though the fumes were vented outside. It has been said that both brothers moved to California for cleaner air.

Below are photos of many of the pieces that the Hansen brothers produced. Any item would have been produced in limited numbers and some are true "one of a kind".

This covered turtle bowl sold on an online auction in 2021 for $4,500. It is amberina and has a chip on the edge as well as a crack in the tail. Signed by Robert Hansen. Photo courtesy of Seeck Auctions. 4 1/2 inch long signed Robert Hansen figural turtle paperweight in teal and a 3 3/4 inch figural frog in amethyst. Frogs are also found in blue. Etched onto the side of this Michigan toothpick holder are the words "Souvenir St. Louis 1969 Ronald E. Hansen". This places the Hansen brothers production into the 1960s and the 1970s.
Banjo and Violin bottles
The teal banjo is signed by Robert. Teal violins are also signed Robert.
Baseball, marigold
This one-of-a-kind paperweight, signed by Robert, sold for $550 in 1996.
Fairy Lamp, red
These 5 1/2 inch tall fairy lamps are found in red and are signed by Robert.
"Queen Mary"
These 4 3/8 inch tall double candlesticks, signed by Robert, come in red and the marigold shown.
"Three Faces"
These 3 inch tall salt and pepper shakers, signed by Robert, are an LG Wright blank and are in ice blue.
This is a large swan in amber. Signed by Robert.
The celeste blue owl on the left is 5 inches tall and made from a blank blown by Pilgrim. The teal bottle is 7 1/2 inches tall and is also available in red. The 4-inch solid paperweight owl is in cobalt.
Owl Vase
This 8 1/2 inch tall figural owl flared top vase is the same mold as the bottle to the left. It is signed Robert Hansen and in teal.
Owl on Books
This paperweight is 3 1/2 inches tall and may be signed "RGH" or "Robert Hansen". They come in amber, aqua, blue and red and are from a Degenhart blank.
Owl on Stump
The Owl on Stump paper weight is 5 1/2 inches tall and signed by Robert Hansen. In teal.
Daisy and Button and Princess rosebowls
This first rosebowl is in cobalt and is from an L.G. Wright blank. Also found in marigold. The Princess rosebowl is in red. Both are signed Robert.
Bird on Nest covered jar
This teal candy dish is signed by Robert.
Rabbit with Basket, Moon and Star and George Washington This red rabbit toothpick is by Robert. Amethyst can be found signed by Ron. This Moon and Star sugar shaker is signed by Robert and in red. The blue George Washington bottle is only 3 3/4 inches tall and is unsigned.
Hobnail pitcher
This one-of-a-kind pitcher in amethyst with marigold overlay sold for $425 in 1996.
Polar Bear
The teal polar bear paperweight is 4 inches tall. Signed by Robert.
Dr Chandlers Jamaican Ginger Root Bitters
Bottle is 7 1/2 inches tall and in red. Signed by Robert Hansen.
Dr. Fisch's Bitters, Bicentennial Eagle, Bird in Rushes
7 1/2 inch tall bottle in red and signed by Robert Hansen.
The eagle paperweight is 5 inches tall. It's in amethyst with electric blue iridescence. Blue and red are also known.
Bird in Rushes vase is 6 1/4 inches tall and in black amethyst. Signed by Robert Hansen.
Tomahawk and Vase
The tomahawk, with an Indian warrior image on the blade, is from a Dagenhart blank. In cobalt and iridized by Robert. Also by Robert is the art glass style vase from a Pilgrim blank. Five inches tall and in teal
Robert iridized a number of similar vases. This one is in teal and they are known in red.
Loganberry vase
Imperial made this pattern, so it was made from their blank. In red.
Inverted Strawberry
This handled basket is 5 1/2 inches tall and in amethyst.
Daisy and Button
This handled basket is 7 1/2 inches tall, unsigned and in amethyst. Also found in amber.
Hobnail items
These three Hobnail pieces were all iridized by Robert. A red rosebowl, teal spittoon shape and a fairy lamp in teal.
Hobnail Bell
Dinner bell in teal, signed by Robert Hansen.
Hobnail shakers
Salt and pepper shakers in blue, signed by Robert Hansen.
Hobnail ruffled vase
This unsigned 3 1/2 inch tall six ruffled crimped edge vase is in teal.
Tumblers: S-Repeat, Maple Leaf, Hobstar and Fine Cut, Inverted Strawberry
This amethyst S-Repeat is by Robert.
The Maple Leaf is signed Robert Hansen and in blue.
The Hobstar and Fine Cut is signed Robert Hansen. Amethyst glass.
The Inverted Strawberries have the Near Cut mark so they were from a Cambridge blank. In teal and signed by Robert.
Tumblers: Fluer de Lis, Eyewinker, Hobnail, Moon and Star
The Fluer de Lis tumbler is signed by Ronald.
The Eyewinker tumber in red signed by Robert.
The Hobnail tumbler in amethyst signed by Ron. 3 1/2 inches tall.
The Moon and Star tumbler is signed Robert Hansen in red. 4 1/2 inches tall.
Toothpick Holders: Gypsy Pot, Daisy and Button, Vermont and Heart Toothpick Holders: Michigan, Paneled, Inverted Thumbprint, Swag with Brackets
Toothpick Holders: Bird, Turkey, Owl, Bird with Cherry Toothpick Holders: Majestic, Cherry Wreath, S-Repeat and Eyewinker
Toothpick Holders: Elephant's Head in amethyst, Tree Stump in red and Tree Stump in green all signed by Robert Hansen. Toothpick Holders: These four toothpicks are all in marigold and were all made by Ronald Hansen. The first two and the last are signed "Ron H" while the third toothpick is signed "Ron Hansen".
Inverted Strawberry toothpick holder
A red Bennett blank with a Near Cut mark is signed Robert.
Daisy and Button toothpick holder
This pinched toothpick is in amethyst and signed by Robert.
Owl on Stump toothpick holder
Blue, signed by Robert Hansen.
Cigars and Band toothpick holder
Teal, souvenir of Wheeling WV, Robert.
Thumbprint Mini Pitcher Cobalt, Degenhart blank with a "D" on the inside bottom and signed Robert on the bottom; and Oneida Toothpick Red and signed Robert Hansen .
Antique Swirl lamp
This miniature oil lamp in marigold, signed by Robert, is thought to be a one-of-a-kind.
Octagon cruet
This cruet, is in marigold and signed by Robert.
This S Repeat cruet is signed by Ron Hansen but also found signed by Robert. This red cruet is from an L.G. Wright blank and is 7 1/2 inches tall. This Cape Cod cruet is signed by Robert, is a light amber and is 5 inches tall. Daisy and Button cruet
Signed by Robert, this cruet is in amethyst but also found in amber.
Moon and Star cruet
Signed by Robert, this cruet is in red. LG Wright blank.
Swan candy dish
This dish, in teal, is 4 1/2 inches tall. Signed by Robert.
Dolphin candy dish
In marigold, this 8-inch dish is signed by Robert.
This Daisy and Button canoe is 6 inches long and in red. Signed by Robert Hansen.
Small Hen on Nest
Red, signed by Robert Hansen. Also known in blue and teal.
Mirror and Roses pickle caster
In red with silverplate holder.
Daisy and Button pickle caster
11 inches tall with silver plate frame and fork. In violet blue.
Corn Vase
7 inch tall, signed Robert Hansen, crimped edge corn vase in cased marigold. Only one known, said to have been made for Mrs. Hansen.
Moon and Star epergne
A teal 2-piece epergne is from an L.G. Wright blank and signed by Robert.
Eyewinker Vase
5 1/2 inch tall, signed "Robert Hansen", Eyewinker vase made from spooner in red.
Pump and Trough
These green sets typically have a four sided top to the pump. The pump is 6 1/2 inches tall.
Argonaut Shell
7 inches across by 4 inches tall, this argonaut shell footed candy dish is in red and signed by Robert.
Moon and Star celery
5 inches across by 5 inches tall, this flared celery is in red and signed by Robert.
Moon and Star spooner
Signed by Robert, this spooner is in red.
Daisy and Buttons Cat, Hobnail Cat, Daisy and Buttons w/Bow, Scroll and Bow (from left to right)
1) Signed Robert Hansen, this novelty shoe is in amethyst.
2) Signed by Robert Hansen, this novelty shoe is in red.
3) Signed "RGH", this novelty shoe is in blue.
4) Signed by Robert Hansen, this novelty shoe is in red.
Fine Cut High Top Shoe
In red, is signed by Robert Hansen.
Art Glass Vase
4 1/4 by 4 1/4 art glass vase in green and signed by Robert Hansen.
Art Glass
3 1/4 by 2 3/8 art glass in gold aurene and signed by Robert Hansen.
Art Glass vase
3 1/2 tall art glass in amberina and signed by Robert Hansen.
Art Glass Cuspidor
Art glass in amethyst and signed "RGH".
Art Glass vase
Art glass vase in teal and signed Robert Hansen.
Art Glass vase
Art glass vase in green and signed Robert Hansen.
Art Glass Vases
These art vases range in height from 3 inches to 4 3/8 inches tall. From left to right, they are signed "RGH", "Robert Hansen", "Robert Hansen" and "Robert Hansen". From left to right, the colors are amethyst, teal, teal and amethyst.
Real versus fake Hansen signatures
The signature on this red turkey toothpick holder, shown on the left, is typical of Robert Hansen's signatures. It is a fluid and neat script done with an etching pen. The signature on this light amethyst turkey toothpick holder, shown on the right, is not the same. It looks scratched in the surface in a more haphazard way. While the piece on the right is a genuine Hansen item, the signature is probably not real.
The vase pictured above sold in May 2022 for $5,000 at a Burns Auction Services auction. It is six inches tall and red with beautiful iridescence. The bottom of the vase is inscribed "A rose for Rose." It is thought that Robert Hansen made this vase as a gift for Rose Preszncik and is thus considered a one of a kind piece.
For more information on Hansen Glass,

see Lloyd Reichel's book entitled "Modern Carnival Glass Collectors Book I".

see Lloyd Reichel's book entitled "Modern Carnival Glass Collectors Book II".

see Rose Presznick's article on Hansen Glass.

see Collectible Carnival Glass Association (CCGA) 9/1993 article on Hansen Glass.

see Collectible Carnival Glass Association (CCGA) 6/1996 article on the auction results of Mrs Robert Hansen's personal collection.