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:

Lot of 2 Vintage BLENKO Amberina Crackle Glass DECORATIVE PITCHERS Ruby Amber
Lot of 2 Vintage BLENKO Amberina Crackle Glass DECORATIVE PITCHERS Ruby Amber
$49.99
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
$145.00
Fabulous Blenko Amberina Ruby Pinched Decanter No 49 With Stopper
Fabulous Blenko Amberina Ruby Pinched Decanter No 49 With Stopper
$125.00
Mid century Blenko glasses vintage X4 ruby red retro
Mid century Blenko glasses vintage X4 ruby red retro
$45.00
Vintage Blenko Glass Snowman with original sticker BLENKO HANDCRAFT Ruby red hat
Vintage Blenko Glass Snowman with original sticker BLENKO HANDCRAFT Ruby red hat
$50.00
Blenko 3748 PredesignerS Ruby Red Vase Smallest of 3 Sizes 7 Inches Tall
Blenko 3748 PredesignerS Ruby Red Vase Smallest of 3 Sizes 7 Inches Tall
$29.00
2 BLENKO ruby red orange tangerine hiball tumblers crackled pinch thumbprint
2 BLENKO ruby red orange tangerine hiball tumblers crackled pinch thumbprint
$15.99
Rainbow Art Glass Co Mid century Ruby Red Decanter body with a Blenko stopper
Rainbow Art Glass Co Mid century Ruby Red Decanter body with a Blenko stopper
$30.00
Pair Blown Glass Vase Ruby Red Art Bulbous Pigeon Blood Blenko Clear Base LRG
Pair Blown Glass Vase Ruby Red Art Bulbous Pigeon Blood Blenko Clear Base LRG
$65.00
BLENKO GLASS HAND BLOWN RUBY PITCHER 361P
BLENKO GLASS HAND BLOWN RUBY PITCHER 361P
$29.99
Early Blenko Ruby Red Crackle Glass Martini Mixer Pitcher 1945 49
Early Blenko Ruby Red Crackle Glass Martini Mixer Pitcher 1945 49
$49.95
Blenko Crackle Glass Pitcher Ruby Red Strawberry Pontil Mark Amber Handle 75
Blenko Crackle Glass Pitcher Ruby Red Strawberry Pontil Mark Amber Handle 75
$25.00
Early Blenko 445CT Cocktail Glasses in Ruby Tangerine Set of Four
Early Blenko 445CT Cocktail Glasses in Ruby Tangerine Set of Four
$14.99
Blenko Bowl 5 Tall X 8 Diameter Mid 50s Design Tangerine almost Ruby Husted
Blenko Bowl 5 Tall X 8 Diameter Mid 50s Design Tangerine almost Ruby Husted
$34.99
BLENKO AMBERINA CRACKLE GLASS RUBY RED  YELLOW MID CENTURY BOTTLE Case
BLENKO AMBERINA CRACKLE GLASS RUBY RED YELLOW MID CENTURY BOTTLE Case
$65.00
Vintage BLENKO Ruby Red CRACKLE Glass Decanter with Stopper 10 1 2 Tall
Vintage BLENKO Ruby Red CRACKLE Glass Decanter with Stopper 10 1 2 Tall
$74.99
Blenko Ruby Red Heavy Textured Book End w American Eagle Sculpure on Face
Blenko Ruby Red Heavy Textured Book End w American Eagle Sculpure on Face
$34.95
Lovely Blenko Ruby Crackle Glass Large Hurricane Shade New
Lovely Blenko Ruby Crackle Glass Large Hurricane Shade New
$39.99
Beautiful Blenko Beehive Textured 2135S Vase In Ruby
Beautiful Blenko Beehive Textured 2135S Vase In Ruby
$50.99
Blenko 6138 Architectural Ruby Floor Decanter
Blenko 6138 Architectural Ruby Floor Decanter
$450.00
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
$40.00
VINTAGE BLENKO ART GLASS HAND BLOWN RUBY AMBERINA TANGERINE BOTTLE BUD VASE
VINTAGE BLENKO ART GLASS HAND BLOWN RUBY AMBERINA TANGERINE BOTTLE BUD VASE
$16.99
MidCentury Hand Blown Ruby Red Wide Mouth Hour Glass Studio Art Vase
MidCentury Hand Blown Ruby Red Wide Mouth Hour Glass Studio Art Vase
$32.99
Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Gold Tone Rim  Clear Handle Blown Pitcher
Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby Red Gold Tone Rim Clear Handle Blown Pitcher
$12.50
BLENKO DECANTER STOPPER IN RUBY OR TANGERINE
BLENKO DECANTER STOPPER IN RUBY OR TANGERINE
$29.00
1x Vintage BLENKO RUBY RED Art Glass Hat Shaped Cylinder Cone Flower Vase
1x Vintage BLENKO RUBY RED Art Glass Hat Shaped Cylinder Cone Flower Vase
$39.99
EARLY BLENKO HAND BLOWN GLASS PONTIL RUBY RED TWISTED STEM APPLIED FOOT BOWL
EARLY BLENKO HAND BLOWN GLASS PONTIL RUBY RED TWISTED STEM APPLIED FOOT BOWL
$79.00
Blenko Amberina Ruby Spanish red cordials sherberts stemware C 1947
Blenko Amberina Ruby Spanish red cordials sherberts stemware C 1947
$225.00
Blenko Ruby  Amber Centerpiece Compote Ruffled
Blenko Ruby Amber Centerpiece Compote Ruffled
$175.00
RARE Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby red Tall Pitcher half gallon plus
RARE Vintage Blenko Art Glass Ruby red Tall Pitcher half gallon plus
$165.00
BLENKO Handcrafted Amethyst Purple BOWL  hand blown ruby red glass bottle
BLENKO Handcrafted Amethyst Purple BOWL hand blown ruby red glass bottle
$30.00
Blenko Ruby Centerpiece Bowl 95 X 11 Etched Signature
Blenko Ruby Centerpiece Bowl 95 X 11 Etched Signature
$79.99
BLENKO  3  RUBY RED CRACKLE VASE w GOLD TRIM
BLENKO 3 RUBY RED CRACKLE VASE w GOLD TRIM
$18.00
Blenko Glass Pitcher Jug Ruby Red Amberina hand blown Gently Used
Blenko Glass Pitcher Jug Ruby Red Amberina hand blown Gently Used
$50.00
Antique BLENKO Hand Blown Art Glass Round Globe Vase in Ruby Apple Red 1930s
Antique BLENKO Hand Blown Art Glass Round Globe Vase in Ruby Apple Red 1930s
$34.99
Ruby Red Blenko 49 Pinched Decanter and Stopper
Ruby Red Blenko 49 Pinched Decanter and Stopper
$48.99
Vintage BLENKO Crackle Ruby Red Crackled Pinched Glass 11 1 2 Decanter Anderson
Vintage BLENKO Crackle Ruby Red Crackled Pinched Glass 11 1 2 Decanter Anderson
$110.00
VINTAGE BLENKO BOOKENDS MID CENTURY MODERN RUBY RED GLASS TEAR DROP SHAPED PAIR
VINTAGE BLENKO BOOKENDS MID CENTURY MODERN RUBY RED GLASS TEAR DROP SHAPED PAIR
$395.00
Blenko Decanter Hand Blown Glass AMBERINA Ruby Red Amber Rim  Handle
Blenko Decanter Hand Blown Glass AMBERINA Ruby Red Amber Rim Handle
$32.99
Vintage Blenko Handcrafted Ruby Amberina Art Glass Bowl 101 2 Diameters
Vintage Blenko Handcrafted Ruby Amberina Art Glass Bowl 101 2 Diameters
$134.55


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