Blenko Ruby

where can i find out about a Blenko ruby red cat paperweight?

i have a Blenko owl and a cat. i found the owl but can't find any info on the cat could anyone help me?

~William Blenko tried to open a glass factory in Kokomo, Indiana in 1893 but went bankrupt and returned to England in 1903. In 1909, he emigrated to Point Marion, Pa., and he tried again. Once again, his venture went belly-up so he tried a third time, now in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Three times was not charmed and Blenko was blanked again. He hooked up with Louis Tiffany for a spell, made a little money and started to make a name in the business.

When he had saved enough, he decided to make a fourth go of it. His wife, Estelle Hotchkiss, great granddaughter Adam Smith, reminded him of a conversation they had had with P.T. Barnum in 1892 when Blenko was organizing the Kokomo operation. Barnum told them that anyone could be an artist, but to be a success, he (Blenko) needed a gimmick (There's a sucker born every minute, remember?) This go 'round, Blenko took Barnum's advice to heart.

Back in March, 1854, Matthew Perry took the fleet of Black Ships to Keelung and extorted a trade agreement with the Kanagawa Shogunate. To commemorate the agreement (and probably to keep Perry's cannons quiet) Kanagawa presented Perry with a jade crane (the emporer's sacred bird) to take back to President Millard Filmore.

On April 29, 1920, Emporer Hirohito turned 20 years of age, the age at which, under Samuri code, Hirohito could rule on his own without "guidance" of the Shogun regency. As a birthday gift (and a publicity stunt) Blenko made a cat from the Schoenklopf Ruby, which he had obtained on the black market after the Bolsheviks had looted Katherine the Great's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg Russia in 1917. The gift was intended to celebrate the opening of Japan, Matthew Perry, and on a more mercenary note, to establish an oriental market for his new business. The yellow journalists of the day, most notably William Randolph Hearst (Estelle Hotchkiss' mother's cousin) picked up the story and Blenko was on the front pages across the country. He then introduced glass paperweight replicas of the Schoenklopf Ruby cat and marketed a few in Tiffany's stores initially, then in greater quantities through other outlets. The Tiffany cats bear Blenko's signature. The cats sold through Saks Fifth Ave bore Blenko's monogram until the merger between Saks and Gimbel's was completed. The cats sold through Bergdorf Goodman bear Japanese characters representing Blenko's name. All others were unmarked and unsigned.

If you have an original, it could be quite valuable, particularly if it includes any of the signatures. The US market is limited, (and ttraditionally undervalued by Western appraisers and insurance adjusters) but the Tiffany cats are particularly rare and there is a huge demand in Japan for these. I don't think I would use it as a paperweight if I were you. I would keep it in a safe deposit box at the very least. Unfortunately, Hirohito didn't value his too much after December 7, 1941, and it was stored in the Imperial Warehouse (something akin to the Smithstonian warehouse outside Washington) in Nagasaki in August 1945. The ruby was presumably melted to glass under the blast of "Fat Man" on the 9th, as it has never been found after the bomb was dropped. My father's uncle was part of the detail assigned by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, under orders of Harry Truman to look for it during the reconstruction and return it to Washington.

Find Blenko Ruby On eBay Below:

Blenko Art Glass Ruby Amberina Lady Bug Paperweight with Blenko Label
Blenko Art Glass Ruby Amberina Lady Bug Paperweight with Blenko Label
$13.99
Vintage BLENKO Amberina Ruby Crackle Glass Small Candle Bowl Applied Rigaree
Vintage BLENKO Amberina Ruby Crackle Glass Small Candle Bowl Applied Rigaree
$5.99
Vintage BLENKO Ruby Crackle Glass Miniature Pitcher Amber Handle
Vintage BLENKO Ruby Crackle Glass Miniature Pitcher Amber Handle
$6.99
FREE FORM HAND BLOWN 9 1 2 CONTROLLED BUBBLE PINCHED SIDES RUBY VASE BLENKO
FREE FORM HAND BLOWN 9 1 2 CONTROLLED BUBBLE PINCHED SIDES RUBY VASE BLENKO
$124.99
4 Blenko CHIMNEY HIGHBALL Ruby HUGE 3627 L Tumblers Free US Shipping
4 Blenko CHIMNEY HIGHBALL Ruby HUGE 3627 L Tumblers Free US Shipping
$112.50
Elegant Blenko Vase Ruby Yellow 10 tall with sticker dated 2002 with signature
Elegant Blenko Vase Ruby Yellow 10 tall with sticker dated 2002 with signature
$43.00
Blenko Bowl Rare Ruby Red Ruffled edge dated 2002 signed Richard Blenko
Blenko Bowl Rare Ruby Red Ruffled edge dated 2002 signed Richard Blenko
$39.00
Tangerine Ruby Red Vase Blenko Vtg Dot Swirl Hand Blown Glass Amberina Blood E
Tangerine Ruby Red Vase Blenko Vtg Dot Swirl Hand Blown Glass Amberina Blood E
$85.75
RUBY HAND BLOWN 10 1 4 PITCHER w CLEAR APPLIED HANDLE
RUBY HAND BLOWN 10 1 4 PITCHER w CLEAR APPLIED HANDLE
$34.95
BLENKO Ruby Ruffle Vase
BLENKO Ruby Ruffle Vase
$10.00
VTG Mid Century Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Pitcher W Clear Crystal Handle 2 Qts
VTG Mid Century Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Pitcher W Clear Crystal Handle 2 Qts
$46.95
Decanter Crackle Ruby Red Pinch Glass Decanter Probably BLENKO Vintage Heavy
Decanter Crackle Ruby Red Pinch Glass Decanter Probably BLENKO Vintage Heavy
$49.99
Large Ruby Red Crackle Glass Pear Blenko
Large Ruby Red Crackle Glass Pear Blenko
$63.75
BLENKO  629S RUBY CRACKLE GLASS STEMMED COMPOTE 6
BLENKO 629S RUBY CRACKLE GLASS STEMMED COMPOTE 6
$49.95
VTG Blenko Glass Ruby Red Floor Vase 7048 Urn Joel Meyers X Large
VTG Blenko Glass Ruby Red Floor Vase 7048 Urn Joel Meyers X Large
$225.00
Rainbow glass MId Century hand blown Ruby red art glass cruet and stopper
Rainbow glass MId Century hand blown Ruby red art glass cruet and stopper
$18.00
Blenko Art Glass RUBY RED Vase w Clear Glass Foot Item 1852
Blenko Art Glass RUBY RED Vase w Clear Glass Foot Item 1852
$29.99
VINTAGE BLENKO RUBY RED Amberine PITCHER 6 Art Glass
VINTAGE BLENKO RUBY RED Amberine PITCHER 6 Art Glass
$24.99
VINTAGE BLENKO HAND BLOWN RUBY RED ART GLASS 65 BEVERAGE PITCHER
VINTAGE BLENKO HAND BLOWN RUBY RED ART GLASS 65 BEVERAGE PITCHER
$27.00
Lovely Blenko Large Ruby Ruffled Center Bowl New
Lovely Blenko Large Ruby Ruffled Center Bowl New
$42.99
Lovely Blenko Vase with Ruby Swirl New
Lovely Blenko Vase with Ruby Swirl New
$36.99
Blenko Ruby Apple New
Blenko Ruby Apple New
$39.99
Vintage Rainbow Ruby Crackle Decanter with Blenko Stopper
Vintage Rainbow Ruby Crackle Decanter with Blenko Stopper
$44.99
Excellent 6 Crackle Ruby Amberina Wide Mouth Art glass Pitcher BLENKO VTG
Excellent 6 Crackle Ruby Amberina Wide Mouth Art glass Pitcher BLENKO VTG
$29.99
Lovely Blenko Large Ruby Cylindrical Crackle Glass Vase New
Lovely Blenko Large Ruby Cylindrical Crackle Glass Vase New
$42.99
Lovely Blenko Ruby Crackle Glass Large Hurricane Shade New
Lovely Blenko Ruby Crackle Glass Large Hurricane Shade New
$39.99
BLENKO AMBERINA RUBY RED  YELLOW PONTILED HAND BLOWN BOTTLE  STOPPER W LABEL
BLENKO AMBERINA RUBY RED YELLOW PONTILED HAND BLOWN BOTTLE STOPPER W LABEL
$65.00
Blenko Glass MCM Tangerine Ruby Amberina Decanter  Stopper w Foil Label
Blenko Glass MCM Tangerine Ruby Amberina Decanter Stopper w Foil Label
$19.99
Vintage Blenko  Art Glass Royal Ruby Red Decanter Bottle+Stopper Jug Jar
Vintage Blenko Art Glass Royal Ruby Red Decanter Bottle+Stopper Jug Jar
$91.00
11 VINTAGE BLENKO MID CENTURY PINCHED DIMPLED RUBY RED GLASS TUMBLERS 6 418L
11 VINTAGE BLENKO MID CENTURY PINCHED DIMPLED RUBY RED GLASS TUMBLERS 6 418L
$275.00
2 VTG BLENKO ART GLASS RUBY AMBERINA PINCHED APPLIED CYLINDER CANDLESTICK VASES
2 VTG BLENKO ART GLASS RUBY AMBERINA PINCHED APPLIED CYLINDER CANDLESTICK VASES
$49.99
Blenko Crackle Glass Ruby Red Pinch Tumblers Lot of Four
Blenko Crackle Glass Ruby Red Pinch Tumblers Lot of Four
$37.50
3 Pieces 1969 Joel Philip Meyers Blenko Ruby Glass Teardrop Martini Stem
3 Pieces 1969 Joel Philip Meyers Blenko Ruby Glass Teardrop Martini Stem
$295.00
Vintage Blenko Ruby Red Glass Decanter 13 Excellent
Vintage Blenko Ruby Red Glass Decanter 13 Excellent
$64.99
Vintage Blenko stopper Ruby with stamped heart
Vintage Blenko stopper Ruby with stamped heart
$17.99
Fabulous Blenko Amberina Ruby Pinched Decanter No 49 With Stopper
Fabulous Blenko Amberina Ruby Pinched Decanter No 49 With Stopper
$125.00
RARE Blenko Art Glass 3203 Ruby Red DECANTER Large 2000s era 32
RARE Blenko Art Glass 3203 Ruby Red DECANTER Large 2000s era 32
$275.00
Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Water Pitcher Jug Carafe Mint
Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Water Pitcher Jug Carafe Mint
$99.00
BLENKO VINTAGE RUBY RED VASE BOTTLE 7 TALL HAND CRAFTED GLASS
BLENKO VINTAGE RUBY RED VASE BOTTLE 7 TALL HAND CRAFTED GLASS
$17.95
BLENKO VINTAGE RUBY RED DOUBLE PINCHED VASE BOTTLE 5 TALL HAND CRAFTED GLASS
BLENKO VINTAGE RUBY RED DOUBLE PINCHED VASE BOTTLE 5 TALL HAND CRAFTED GLASS
$17.95


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