The Fostoria Glass Company was started in Fostoria, Ohio in 1887, and moved to Moundsville, West Virginia in 1891. The company began producing fine crystal in the early 1900s and eventually produced glassware for several American presidents, including Eisenhower and Reagan. One of the Fostoria Company specialities was etched glass. Collectors can use these techniques to correctly identify genuine Fostoria etched-crystal patterns.
Look for a large bow etched into the glass, surrounded by etched flowers. This was a very popular Fostoria pattern called “June," and was produced in several colours, including pink (rose), blue (azure) and yellow (gold or topaz), as well as crystal (clear).
Examine crystal items for etchings with a shell-like shape in the middle of several curling vines, with a large curling vine on either side of the shell. This is the “Versailles” pattern, and it was produced in yellow, blue, green and pink. It was not produced in crystal. The pattern in green is considered a rare find.
Look for crystal pieces with daisy-like flowers that have 6 petals and a round centre, surrounded by fernlike leaves and lines in bunches of 2, 4 and 5 of varying sizes that can be described as wheat-like. This is the Fostoria “Kashmir” etched pattern, and was produced in yellow, green and blue.
Crystal items with an upside-down-heart shape with a fleur-de-lis, a fern-shaped pattern inside the heart and a small fan underneath it are from Fostoria's “Trojan” pattern. It was produced in pink and yellow. Fewer pink pieces were produced than yellow, making surviving Pink "Trojan" pieces more valued by collectors.
Collectors can identify “Navarre," one of Fostoria’s most popular patterns, by its delicate, lacelike etching with a bunch of flowers inside two arched scrolls next to tendril-like vines. Initially only produced in crystal, Fostoria later introduced "Navarre" stemware in 1973 with blue and pink bowls and clear stems.
A Fostoria crystal pattern etched with a lacelike pattern, similar to “Navarre,” but without any flowers inside the arched scrolls is the “Meadow Rose” pattern. It was produced in crystal and blue until 1943, when the blue was discontinued. Early-production “Meadow Rose” blue items are considered rare.
Examine the crystal piece for a pattern of etched vines and small roses all over the item. This is Fostoria's “Chintz” pattern and can best be identified by the larger leaf sections as well as smaller, more delicate-looking leaves that look like snowflakes. The “Chintz” pattern was produced between 1940 and 1970, and was manufactured only in clear crystal.
An etched pattern with medium- and larger-shaped roses with delicate stems and leaves is Fostoria's “Willowmere” pattern. Note that this pattern is similar to a rose pattern produced by the Heisey Company, but the Fostoria “Willowmere” pattern can be distinguished by the fact that the roses are not moulded onto the stems. They appear on the side and top of the stems, but not as part of the base of the stem.
Look at examples of Fostoria etched-crystal patterns on websites such as Replacements.com (See Resources). Note that most etched-glass items are unmarked, but some pieces will have the word "Fostoria" etched on the bottom or have a horsehoe inside a star (please note: This symbol was used by other companies as well as Fostoria).