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Fishscale & Beads
Fishscale and Beads, Honeycomb and Beads, and Scales

Dugan's Fishscale and Beads, the same manufacturer's Honeycomb and Beads, and Westmoreland's Scales are carnival glass patterns which are often misidentified by collectors, sellers, and even authors of books and articles. The patterns are similar in some respects, but are not identical.  

At least some of the confusion can be attributed to pattern names assigned by early writers.  For example, Marion Hartung, in the entry for Fishscale and Beads in the First Book of Carnival Glass (p. 29), pictured and described what is actually Honeycomb and Beads.   

The pattern name problem has not been cleared up in more recent publications, either.  In one particularly convoluted description of (Dugan's) “Scales,” Bill Edwards and Mike Carwile, in The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass (7th ed.), write that Scales is “[o]ften mistaken for the same maker's pattern called Fishscale (I did), [and that] this Dugan design can be found . . . [with] an exterior design of panels and beading or just panels.  The Fishscale and Beads pattern is really more of a honeycombing while Scales is one of overlapping scales” (p. 309). Here the authors picture Fishscale and Beads.  In the entry for Fishscale and Beads (p. 144),  they complicate the issue (and confuse readers) further by picturing Honeycomb and Beads, for which there is no entry in the Encyclopedia.  In the entry for Fishscale and Beads in A Field Guide to Carnival Glass (Updated Prices edition, p. 59) and on his website, Dave Doty pictures Honeycomb and Beads.  His entry for Honeycomb and Beads (p. 102) shows the same pattern.  In Dugan & Diamond Carnival Glass, Carl O. Burns correctly identifies the two Dugan-Diamond patterns but mixes up the shapes and colors available for each.  Even Tom and Sharon Mordinii, in yearly listings of Carnival Glass Auction Prices, include only Fishscale and Beads, suggesting that prices for it and Honeycomb and Beads are combined and that no distinctions are being made in auction brochures. Westmoreland's Scales is different yet.  

In this article, I hope to “get it right” (at least in terms of pattern identification), though am under no illusion this will be the last word on shapes and colors.  Let's look first at the identifying characteristics of these pattern and then at the shapes and colors available in each.

Pattern-defining Characteristics

Fishscale and Beads.  On the interior surface are six rows of “fishscales” of graduated sizes, the largest at the outer edge.  On some pieces, there's a single bead in the center; on most, there's a small (less than the size of a dime) round unpatterned area in the center.  The “beads” associated with the pattern name are found around the outer edge of the exterior.  They wind their way around the piece, forming essentially three large panels.  Near the collar base are 24 wide panels, each about an inch long and - at the widest points - about a half-inch wide. Between the beads and panels is dense stippling.  I call this exterior Panels and Beads.  A 24-point star is pressed into the area inside the collar base.

Honeycomb and Beads.  On most of the interior surface are hexagonal figures which closely resemble honeycomb. There is no pattern in the center, that is, the entire portion of the piece above the collar base is plain.  The exterior is composed of three motifs: (a) beads which wind around the outer edge and which form three large panels, (b) six open flowers connected by vines and leaves, and (c) a “textured” (though not actually stippled) area between the beads and flowers.  This is essentially Dugan's Flowers and Beads pattern, found mostly on especially interestingly-shaped tri-cornered plates.  There is a 24-point star pressed into the area inside the collar base.

Scales (Westmoreland).  On the top surface are several rows of scales (five on small pieces, ten on bigger items). The largest scales are at the outermost point; the smaller, toward the center.  A 20-point star fills the centermost portion.  There is no pattern on the exterior.  Small pieces usually rest on a ground base; large ones, on a collar base.

Shapes and Colors

The Fishscale and Beads pattern is found on shallow and deep small (6-7”) bowls (the former are more abundant in quantity than the latter), ruffled (6.5-7”) plates, flat (7”) plates, and two-piece jelly containers consisting of a deep small (6”) bowl and its metal holder.  Bowls are common in marigold and white, scarce in amethyst/purple, rare in peach opal, and very rare in cobalt blue.  Plates, considerably less available than bowls, are found most often in marigold and white, much less often in amethyst/purple (and oxblood), and very rarely in peach opal.  To my knowledge, no plates are known in cobalt blue.  The very few known bowls in metal holders, probably intended for use as jelly dishes (or for something else which might be served at the dinner table) since the holder comes equipped with a receptacle on which to hang a spoon, have been verified only in marigold, though they have also been reported in peach opal.

The Honeycomb and Beads pattern is found on tightly crimped small bowls and plates and on ruffled banana-shaped bowls.  Bowls are available in deep round, shallow round, and shallow tricornered varieties.  While flat plates may exist, I have not seen any.  The tightly crimped bowls and plates are known for sure in peach opal, amethyst/purple, and oxblood. They have also been reported in marigold and white, though I have not seen them. The banana-shaped pieces are plentiful in peach opal, and may also be available in other colors, although I have yet to see them.

Westmoreland's Scales can be found on small and large bowls and plates and in a two-piece bowl and underplate. Scales pieces are found in several colors often associated with Westmoreland production.  These include blue opal, marigold on milk glass, and teal.  The pattern is also seen in marigold, peach opal, amethyst, and amber.  Not all shapes are available in the full range of colors, however.

I hope this has laid to rest some of the confusion on these patterns.  If you have further information (especially on shapes and colors in Honeycomb and Beads) or corrections, I welcome you to contact me:  Larry Keig, 1614 Merner Ave., Cedar Falls, IA  50613; (319) 266-5044;, with one of the pattern names in the subject line.

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