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Rough Pontil Theory
People often assume that if a piece of glass has a rough pontil, then it must be Blenko.  They have also been taught that if it doesn't have a pontil, then it can't be Blenko. Sorry to disappoint the true believers, but this theory is incorrect.
Other American glass companies located in West Virginia left the rough pontils on the majority of their designs.  Bischoff, Pilgrim, Rainbow are always found with a rough pontil.  Ohio's Erickson Glass pieces are mostly polished pontils but are sometimes found with a rough pontil.


 The majority of Blenko designs can be found with rough pontils. Just as with everything else, there are always exceptions to this rule. Some designs were designed to have a polished base. Then some pieces had too large of a pontil that made the piece wobbly. The piece was then taken to the grinding shop to be ground and polished.
Please remember the first thing a Blenko collector looks at is color. Learn your colors, learn rough pontils and polished pontils can come later.
The regular rough pontils
No pontil

Sheared vase.

Polished and ground bases
The oldest item in the Blenko line is the 384 water bottle. Guess what? There is no pontil at all.
Example of a Blenko piece being ground and polished. (Click the pics for a larger view)

From the Illustrated Glass Dictionary

Pontil, Pontil Mark

The pontil, or punty, is a solid metal rod that is usually tipped with a wad of hot glass, then applied to the base of a vessel to hold it during manufacture. It often leaves an irregular or ring-shaped scar on the base when removed. This is called the "pontil mark."


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