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Pastel Side of Blue
THE PASTEL SIDE OF BLUE
Shades of blue found in old Carnival Glass are many. Derivations of the individual names for each of those shades date back into the early 1950's in some cases, when this Glass became fascinating enough to the early collectors that specifics became important enough to emphasize. You will notice the very fine line of distinction between celeste and sapphire! Rather than creating only a statement of color definition; more importantly, the two names define a distinction between Fenton as producer of celeste and Northwood as maker of sapphire. The many shades of blue become a study unto themselves. Diamond introduced their cerulean blue in 1916. A darker shade called Vesuvius blue dates from 1924. Little difference is noted in the two and they have become “celeste blue” to collectors for ease of distinction.
Many of the producers had been making clear pressed glass and cut glass prior to 1900. Westmoreland, Dugan, Imperial, Northwood, Fenton and Millersburg were actually in close proximity to one another in the Ohio Valley.
From 1889 -1984, Westmoreland operated in the Pittsburgh, PA vicinity in a place called Grapeville.
From 1904 -1913, Dugan was producing glass in Indiana, PA.
From 1913 -1931, Diamond produced glass in Indiana, PA.
From 1901 -1984, Imperial Glass was in business in Bellaire, OH.
From 1902 -1925, Northwood made glass in Wheeling, WV.
From inception in 1905, Fenton Art Glass Co. has been in continuous operation in Williamstown, WV. (celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2005.)
From 1908 -1912, Millersburg Glass Co. produced wares in Millersburg, OH
VINTAGE VARIANT by Diamond is a pattern set apart from that same pattern name given to some from Fenton manufacture. You will notice the “break” in the pattern here, not found in the Fenton pieces. Celeste Blue or cerulean blue, is difficult to find. Ruffled 9” bowls are known in amethyst, blue, green, and marigold. 9” plates are very difficult to locate in marigold, amethyst and lavender. There is also a lidded powder jar in marigold, purple and white. Another indication this is of Dugan/Diamond manufacture: the domed base. Many times the patterns found in this celeste color have a rough, rather jagged edge which must have been a manufacturing problem. That never seems to have an affect on the price though. These will run $1000 or more, usually, for one with no damage.
DOUBLE STEMMED ROSE by Dugan is another dome footed piece, found in ice cream shape, ruffled, or having a 3/1 edge. Many times these 8-9” bowls have been flattened considerably toward a “plate” shape. Mindful that collar-based plates must adhere to the “no more than 2” off tabletop” rule, plates from this piece remain supported by the dome foot. It becomes difficult to locate a true plate shape in this pattern because although the inner surface was flattened, the outer edges turn up as much as ¼”, disallowing conformity to plate requirements. While “plates” are referred to in some accounts, such as auction brochures, frankly, we have never seen a true flat plate in this pattern in our more than 25 years of search and handling of hundreds of pieces of Glass. Bowls are known in amethyst/purple: some having electric iridescence, aqua, blue, celeste/cerulean/vesuvius blue, marigold, peach opal, lavender, and white. Celeste bowls are not rare, but very desirable, placing them in the highest price range among the colors.
The example shown in mould shape is from the late Bob Bishop collection. Bob was well-known in carnival glass circles for more than thirty years. We have been collecting for nearly that long without hearing of another example in this shape. It could well be a one-of-a-kind. Should anyone have further knowledge of another in this shape, we would appreciate hearing from you!
MIRRORED LOTUS is an elusive pattern from Fenton. Whether it be the rose bowl shape in marigold, white or blue, or one of these 6”-7” plates, opportunities are few and far between for purchase. How many celeste blue plates there are, is not known; perhaps two or three. White and marigold are also known to exist. The one pictured here was at one time, included in the collection of Smoky and Betty Cloud of MI. It is a delightful rarity to say the least.
We will conclude this portion of information by saying that celeste blue pieces sometimes offer a slightly “rough”, and “stretchy” appearance along the outer edges, as compared to other colors of smoother texture.
THIN RIB by Northwood in the standard size base of 3”- 3 ½” is quite pretty in this squatty size of 7” height. Ice Blue is always desirable to collectors and the pastel colors blend beautifully with all the dark colors. Some squatty vases are found in 5” height. Additional colors are marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, white, ice green , teal, and russet.
LEAF COLUMN by Northwood. None of these vases have ever been plentiful. In recent years, they have become downright scarce. They were made during the 1911-1912 period. Most examples turn up in the 9”-12” heights. In the swinging process to those extensions, much of the pattern is lost, so we decided years ago to “wait” for a squatty one to surface. Somehow we never were in the right place at the right time, so quite a few years later, we were attending a large auction of some longtime collectors. The sale was in March 1999 and THERE was this ice blue beauty. As I explained earlier, a squatty Leaf Columns vase in any color is a really nice find. They just don't turn up with any regularity. Marigold and amethyst are the most often seen colors in taller sizes. Green, white, ice blue, ice green, teal and sapphire are the other known colors, but when looking for ice blue in this 6” squat size, allow some time for a search. We believe another of this size did not present itself until 2004.
THIN RIB by Northwood is another of the very collectible vase designs. This particular Sapphire Mid-Size is 12 ½” tall x 4 ¾” base. That base size is one of the determining factors in the mid-size range. Those so-named vases are in the 11”-14” height range. Amber, amethyst-purple, aqua opal, blue, green, ice blue, ice green, marigold, vaseline and white are the other colors available in this type vase. A good sapphire, amber, aqua opal, and lime green in this size and pattern will bring prices of $1600-$1900 generally.
TREE TRUNK - mid-size-Ice Blue by Northwood. This one is 12 7/8”h. x 4 ¾”b. Marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, ice green, aqua opal, lime green, horehound, sapphire blue, marigold on custard are other colors to be alert for in this range of sizes. Funeral size base is 5 ¼”. There is a mid-size variant having a plunger above the foot, unlike the standard mid-size. (By plunger, we mean: a band of undesigned, plain glass which is between the actual base and the beginning of the pattern.) Standard size vases are: 3 3/8”-3 ¾” b. size x 8”-12” h. Some squat vases, 5”-7” are known in marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, and ice blue. Jack-in-the-Pulpit, 6”-7” marigold and amethyst are known, as well, having the small base. Some of the funeral sizes are found to have an elephant's foot. These have been found in marigold, amethyst, green, and cobalt blue.
We enjoy these mid-size vases and own several colors. Nothing quite like a pretty vase to offer a towering dimension to a collection of bowls and plates! True story: We tried for at least ten years to buy one of these ice blue “goodies”. Found a northern Indiana collector who said he had one, but was not ready to sell it. This was nearly five years ago. In tuning in to Ebay two years ago, this one was listed by that same man. When we emailed him, he said his wife wanted to remodel their kitchen with the proceeds!...........In finding what one wants, the price is usually high. Ice blue is one of the very scarce colors in this size Tree Trunk. More than $2000 is required to get one of these “niceties”. After exclaiming victory in obtaining this pride and joy to a very dear Australian friend, Margaret Dickinson, she pronounced the achievement this way: “It's one more you can mark off your list!” How's that for accuracy?
DIAMOND POINT by Northwood in an appealing pattern. 10 3/8”h. x 3 ½”b. becomes this sparkling beauty. Heights of some extend to 12”. There are squatty versions, as well-6-7 ½” in height. The range of colors is extensive: amethyst/purple, aqua opal, blue, green, horehound, ice blue, ice green, lavender, marigold, sapphire blue, smoke, teal blue and white. Take your choice! Sapphire and lavender are the rare ones. White, the ice colors, and blue and aqua opal are considered scarce. Price range extends from $75-more than $1000, depending upon your choice of color. There is something for everyone in this pattern.
SMOOTH PANELS We have all seen examples of the marigold and clambroth Imperial vases in this pattern. Most of the other colors are quite scarce to extremely rare. Smoke is probably the most available of the scarce colors, with purple following closely. Marigold over milk glass examples are very scarce, with the lovely teal examples much harder to find. True red vases come close to winning top honors. It would be a close tie, perhaps with the very few known examples of smoke over a milk glass base. Sizes range from 5” to as much as 12” in height.
PULLED LOOP: Must have been a popular seller. It appeared regularly in the wholesale catalogs for more than 14 years beginning in 1912. This Celeste color appears only in 8”-14” sizes, with only a few examples known. Thus far, no 5”-7” squat vases have been found in this lovely shade of blue. Other colors in the larger size: marigold, amethyst, peach opalescent, cobalt blue, green, aqua, white and lavender.
FOUR PILLARS by Northwood, in Sapphire blue is very rare, although the pattern was first produced in iridized form in 1910. Clear glass, custard, onionskin effect, and finally in a line of opaque glass, the design is documented in Northwood production until their final year of operation-1924-1925. Most examples are found to be in the 9”-12” range, yet there are some squat vases known to be only 5”-7”. These are quite rare when found in amethyst or green.
By Dean & Diane Fry~9/06
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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