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NORTHWOOD BLACKBERRY , BLACKBERRY & RAYS ~ versus ~ RASPBERRY
Along with a look at the Northwood Ribbed Exterior design
Sometimes this distinctive Northwood Blackberry pattern is referred to as Raspberry (in error). Comparing the berries and other design elements in these two scarce compotes will lead to the conclusion that they are definitely “berries of a different nomenclature” than those found in the Raspberry pieces.
Certainly Northwood made a very nice Raspberry pattern, which they placed on water sets, a milk pitcher, and what is called an “Occasional piece”, which could be interpreted as being more on the order of a gravy boat, having a single-handled nappy appearance.
There were no compotes made in the Raspberry pattern.
BLACKBERRY COMPOTE~~As a primary pattern, Blackberry is found exclusively on the compote shape. It also can be found as an interior design for some examples of the Daisy & Plume footed rose bowls and the flared type of 7”-9” bowls, called candy dish. These Blackberry compotes can be found in marigold, amethyst, green, and a very elusive white.
Since we are “comparison makers”, among other adjectives applied to us as collectors; one of the first notable insights, while assessing this pattern, as well as the Blackberry & Rays, is that they resemble two prominent designs from Fenton. The Miniature Blackberry compote, as well as the interior of SOME Open Edge Basket hats and vases carry much the same Blackberry wreath design.
BLACKBERRY COMPOTE EXTERIOR PHOTO~~This compote has the Basketweave exterior, stands 5 3/8” tall and has a bowl width of 7”. The stem has six panels which slope upwards into the bowl.
BLACKBERRY & RAYS compote
BLACKBERRY & RAYS~~This could be termed an extremely overlooked, unappreciated and under-valued Northwood treasure! If you were to see one of these sitting in an obscure location, your first assumption might be that it is a combination of Smooth Rays and Blackberry, and you would be absolutely correct. There are 40 “rays” within this compote. However, should you decide to pass it up, you just might not have the pleasure of seeing another! To date, these have not set any price records, but at last count, there very likely are not more than a dozen (and that is being over-presumptuous) all told in the combined colors of marigold, amethyst and green, with a few less marigold than the other two colors. The Northwood trademark is usually present on the bottom of the foot. Blackberry & Rays has all the earmarks of the 1909-1910 production time frame.
BLACKBERRY & RAYS- S mooth Exterior
BLACKBERRY & RAYS EXTERIOR PHOTO~~These “reasonable rarities” stand 4 ¼” tall and have a bowl width of 6 ½”. The stem is rounded and attaches to the SMOOTH bowl without the gradual outward slope to make the connection. This is definitely one to keep your eyes open for. There are so few of them, and little has been noted about them over the years. To be sure-they are beauties to be treasured!
Spring 1911 Butler Bros. ad
BUTLER BROTHERS SPRING 1911 CATALOG AD~~offering the Raspberry water set in green marigold and amethyst explains the fact that these colors are more easily found today. Apparently this pattern was widely accepted by the public, for production extended into the pastel period of the late `teens and early twenties. Cobalt blue, white, ice blue, and ice green are not so prevalent in your search.
Amethyst RASPBERRY Milk Pitcher
RASPBERRY MILK PITCHER~~in any color is not easily located. They were produced in marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, white, ice blue, and ice green. There is at least one example known to fall into the category of lime green, being lighter than the usual green and darker than ice green. These milk pitchers stand 7 ½” tall.
Ice Blue RASPBERRY water pitcher
RASPBERRY WATER PITCHER~~ Ice blue and ice green are most difficult to locate in this larger pitcher which stands 9” tall. Other available colors are: marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue and white. Tumblers are to be found in matching colors.~~Note: An ice blue water pitcher sold for $3000 at the 2004 HOACGA Convention auction in Kansas City when Seeck Auctions sold the Pritchard collection.
RASPBERRY OCCASIONAL PIECE~~ This gravy boat-like piece having one handle is most commonly found in amethyst. Green, teal, and marigold are also available with more effort. Old ads of the period indicate this to have been given away as a “premium” to be used as a breakfast creamer. These pieces are far less abundant than the watersets.
NORTHWOOD RIBBED EXTERIOR~~ This seems a great place to discuss the gradual change over from their Basketweave to this Ribbed exterior found on bowls, plates, compotes, bonbons, etc. It was begun around 1911-1912. Reason for doing so becomes clear, considering the timeline for their production of iridescent colors. Before 1912, the vivid shades of marigold, amethyst and green, etc., accompanied by the Basketweave exterior was readily acceptable. When the era of pastels began in 1912, Northwood concluded that it was no longer a practical choice. The design showed through and was distracting to the interior patterns. This ribbed design simplified and became more widely used. Therefore, pastel pieces having the Basketweave exterior are much more difficult to find on bowls and plates.
For instance: In the case of Greek Key bowls and plates, there is some mysterious (unwritten) acceptance on the part of buyers to pay more for examples having Ribbed exterior versus Basketweave?? There is also an unwritten rule which states that it is best not to question the motives of a collector. (smile) However, a word of commentary from two “oldtimers” is called for. When comparing our marigold Greek Key plate with Basketweave to the blue Greek Key plate having Ribbed exterior, we find that there is more separation of iridescence on the face of the blue plate, indicating where each of the ribs is placed. Conclusion? We prefer the overall results of having the Basketweave! (for whatever that is worth).
The Old Testament law says,
“You shall have honest scales, honest weights,
…I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:36)
The New Testament teaches that truth and honesty
in all that we say and do should characterize those
who have been redeemed by Christ. (Ephesians 4:25-28)
Honesty is not only the best policy,
it's God's policy for every aspect of our lives.
Living with integrity honors and glorifies Him.
Lord, help me to be honest
In all I do and say,
And grant me grace and power
To live for You each day - Fitzhugh
Honesty is the best policy.-
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