Carnival and Opalescent Vase Twins from Northwood
Twin Blue Opalescent and Green Carnival Tree Trunk Vases
photos by cabrat1961 and sunbear1224
This is Part II in a series of guides on opalescent and carnival glass twins. Part I of this guide focuses on spectacular Northwood pieces found in both opalescent and carnival glass. Part II offers a pictorial guide to Northwood opalescent and carnival vase doubles. Part III and Part IV discuss opalescent-carnival vase twins of the Dugan-Diamond and Fenton Art Glass companies. Part V is dedicated to carnival and opalescent Ripple and Ribbed Spiral vases made by the Imperial and Model Flint glass companies.
To see our other guides on carnival and opalescent glass, click on GUIDE INDEX. These guides are made possible by the many E-Bayers who have contributed photographs to them. Please leave feedback by clicking the button at the bottom of the page.
As noted in Part I of this guide, H. Northwood & Co. of Wheeling, West Virginia, produced opalescent pressed glass from 1902 to 1908. Northwood issued its first carnival glass in 1908; carnival production continued until the company closed its doors in 1925. Seven of Northwood's early opalescent pressed-glass vase patterns resurfaced in twin carnival glass vases: Diamond Point, Drapery, Feathers, Many Ribs (Fine Rib), Four Pillars, Thin Rib and Tree Trunk. These patterns are featured below.
E-Bayers are often baffled by opalescent vase identification: such a vast array of contemporary opalescent vases abounds that identifying the truly old pieces can be difficult. Thus, we hope that this guide helps you identify the names and makers of old opalescent vases that might make up beautiful halves of opalescent-carnival sets of twins. Dates of manufacture for both carnival and opalescent vases are noted here, since manufacture dates are not yet available on David Doty's website. We also have provided information relating to carnival and opalescent vase heights, base sizes, colors and other distinguishing characteristics.
H. NORTHWOOD & COMPANY VASES
Interior of a Blue Opalescent Northwood Tree Trunk Vase
photo courtesy of cabrat1961
Tree Trunk. Opalescent vases: Shown at the very top of the page and directly above, Northwood Tree Trunk vases are distinguished by small knotty protrusions that seem to grow from the vases' sides; the protrusions are bracketed by short, graceful lines. The vases have ruffled, flared mouths and stems that narrow as the vase descends. Tree Trunk vases are especially exquisite in opalescent colors: the pattern brings out well the varying transparence and milky translucence of the best opalescent pressed glass. Issued by Northwood in 1907-1908, opalescent Tree Trunk vases range from 7" to 14" in height, and their bases measure 3 1/4" in diameter. The bases are impressed with a 30-point star and sometimes are marked with the Northwood "N". Opalescent Tree Trunk vases appear, in order of highest value first, in green, blue and white. Tree Trunk vases are referenced on p. 152 of the Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed. The example shown here demonstrates opalescence in vases at its finest: while some opalescent Tree Trunk vases are opaque for nearly their full height, this vase maintains a beautiful lace-like translucence all the way to the top rim.
Carnival vases: Northwood first issued carnival Tree Trunk vases in 1908, and they remained in production throughout the duration of Northwood's operation. The vases come in six sizes, ranging in height from a squat vase as short as 5" to a large funeral size of 21"; base diameters measure from 3 3/8" on squatty and standard-sized vases to an "elephant's foot" vase with a 5 1/4" base. Funeral vases are the most valuable, and David Doty warns buyers not to accept the characterization of any tall vase as a funeral vase, unless it has the 5 1/4" base. Carnival Tree Trunk vases come in an array of colors; the most sought after and valuable are aqua opal, sapphire, electric blue, white, lime green, ice green and ice blue. Aqua opal vases in this pattern are stunning. The less hard-to-find marigold and green vases, however, are quite handsome and make eye-catching collectors' pieces. When purchasing Tree Trunk vases described as "white carnival," buyers should exercise caution and assure that such vases are iridescent, because Northwood also produced Tree Trunk vases in (non-iridized) clear crystal. A transparent green (non-iridized) Tree Trunk vase also surfaced on E-Bay in January, 2008. Northwood issued Tree Trunk vases in custard glass as well.
Blue Opalescent and Green Carnival Diamond Point Vases
photos courtesy of asmile4u2001 and dftd
Diamond Point. Opalescent vases: Opalescent Diamond Point vases were issued by the Northwood Company in 1907, and are referenced in the Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed., p. 58. The vase pattern is created by lines that intersect tightly to form diamond shapes. The vase tops have 6 or 12 splayed rounded points called "flame points." Diamond Point opalescent vases appear in blue, green and white and range in size from 8" to 14". Green is the most valuable color in these vases, closely followed by blue and then white. The bases of opalescent Diamond Point vases may be smooth or may bear a many-rayed star. Some vases sport the Northwood "N" on the bottom. Easily confused vases: Diamond Point vases are sometimes confused with Fenton's Diamond Point Columns vases. (For photos comparing the two, see our guide on easily confused vases.)
Carnival vases: Northwood issued carnival Diamond Point vases from 1912 to 1916, in at least sixteen colors. As with the opalescent vases, the carnival vase tops have 6 or 12 splayed rounded flame points. Heights range from 51/2" to 7 1/2" ("squatty") and from 8"-12" ("standard"). Carnival Diamond Point vases tend to fetch higher prices in squatty sizes, and exceptional prices when found in aqua opal, ice blue and ice green, emerald green, sapphire, and spectacular electric blue. The bases of the carnival vases feature a many-rayed star and, according to Carl O. Burns in Northwood Carnival Glass 1908-1925, p. 48, the bases of all true carnival Diamond Point vases measure 3 3/8". Most bear the Northwood "N". Although Northwood issued these vases in white carnival glass, Northwood also produced Diamond Point vases in clear (non-iridescent) crystal; thus, buyers should exercise caution to assure that Diamond Point vases described as "white carnival glass" are iridescent.
White Opalescent and "Alaskan" Carnival Feathers Vases
photos by curculiosglass and mmmost
Feathers. Opalescent vases: Issued by Northwood in 1904, opalescent Feathers vases feature panels of feather patterns separated by plain panels. The feather patterns, upon close inspection, are series of V's tightly knit in a herringbone design. Vase bases are smooth underneath or decorated with an impressed star; many bear the Northwood "N". The vases range from 6" to 12" high. The vase shown above is 8" high, with a 3 1/2" base diameter. Feathers vases are referenced in the Standard Encylopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed., p. 64, which lists them, in order of highest value first, in blue, green and white. Notably, although Feathers vases were not made in the color called "canary" or "vaseline," green Feathers vases occasionally glow green under a black light. Easily confused vases: Opalescent feathers vases are sometimes confused with Fenton's Plume Panels and Jefferson's Inverted Chevron vases, which feature feather-like panels alternating with plain panels. Vases in these two patterns, however, have 8 panels, rather than the 6 found on Feathers vases. To compare photos of these vases, see our guide on easily confused vases with feather patterns.)
Carnival vases: Northwood first issued iridized Feathers vases in 1909. Carnival sizes range from 6" to 11" high, with base diameters of 3 1/2" to 3 3/4". David Doty notes at ddoty.com that the squatty size (under 7") brings the better price, but that carnival Feathers vases are generally scarce. Carnival vases are most often found in marigold or with the Northwood "Alaskan" effect shown above -- a copper-marigold iridescence over green. Amethyst Feathers vases are hard to find. According to Carl O. Burns in Northwood Carnival Glass, 1908-1925, p. 55, ice blue and white examples, introduced by Northwood in 1912, are rare. Like their opalescent counterparts, carnival Feathers vases often bear the Northwood "N". Bases may be smooth or impressed with a many-rayed star. Northwood also issued Feathers vases in transparent (non-iridized) clear, blue and green glass; thus, buyers of white, green and blue vases advertised as "carnival" should assure that they are iridescent. Easily confused vases: Carnival Feathers vases are sometimes confused with Fenton's Plume Panels vases, which in carnival glass also have 6 panels with feather-like designs. To compare feather-patterned vases, click on the above link.
Blue Opalescent and Electric Blue Carnival Thin Rib Vases
photos courtesy of payrollgal and rebarb
Thin Rib. Opalescent vases: Thin Rib vases sport rod-like ribs separated by wider smooth panels, and usually have splayed, flame-like tips as shown on the two vases above. Northwood first issued opalescent Thin Rib vases between 1902 and 1908. The vases are referenced on p. 147 of the Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed., which calls them "Thin & Wide Rib". Opalescent Thin Rib vases appear, in order of highest-to-lowest value, in "canary" (vaseline), blue, green and white. The opalescent blue vase depicted above has nine ribs and is 11” tall with a 3 ½” base. Opalescent Thin Rib vases are sometimes confused with Jefferson Glass Company ribbed vases, and with Northwood's Many Ribs vase. To compare various ribbed opalescent vases, see our guide on easily confused ribbed vases.
Carnival vases: Northwood issued these vases in carnival glass from 1909 through 1925. Although the Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass calls the carnival vases "Thin & Wide Rib," they appear under the name “Thin Rib” in both Warman's Carnival Glass and in David Doty's field guide. Whichever term you prefer, the carnival vase, like its opalescent predecessor, has rod-like ribs dividing wider smooth panels. Burns writes in Northwood Carnival Glass 1908-1925 (where he laments that the pattern isn’t just called “Wide Rib”), that the carnival vases were produced in three sizes, including a funeral size of 16” to 21.” Doty, however, records carnival Thin Rib vase in two sizes only: standard vases with 9 ribs, base diameters between 3 3/8” and 3 ¾” and heights ranging from 6 ½ to 11 "; and mid-size vases with 8 ribs, base diameters of 4 ¾” and heights ranging from 12” to 15”. Thin Rib vases come in at least 18 recorded colors. The vases are common in marigold, green, russet (olive green), amethyst and blue, and are considered rare in amber, lime green, vaseline, ice blue, ice green, sapphire, aqua opal, blue opal and ice green opal. Sapphire with pastel iridescence and with gold trim are also known; these fetch high prices. A rare Thin Rib jardinière is available in purple. Transparent glass: Northwood also issued this pattern in transparent (non-iridescent) clear, blue and green glass.
photos by askcopperfish (left) and rstreasures (right)
Four Pillars. Opalescent vases: As shown below, Four Pillars vases have four gracefully arching rods that extend from the top to the base, separated by panels. The rods overlap the base, dividing it into quarters and forming rounded toes. The vases range in size from 9" to 14" and sometimes bear advertising lettering on the base. Opalescent Four Pillars was issued in canary, blue, green and white. Canary and blue are the most valuable, followed by green and then white. Like the Drapery vases shown farther below, Four Pillars vases are prone to breakage in the toes, and thus a vase without any damage to its feet is a very good find. Four Pillars vases are referenced at p. 71 of the Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed. This resource does not list dates of manufacture, but the vases presumably were issued between 1902 and 1908, the period of Northwood's opalescent glass production. As noted below, the Four Pillars pattern occasionally is confused with Drapery, but is easy to distinguish, because the wide panels of Four Pillars vases lack Drapery's draped-cloth design, and opalescent Drapery vases have three rods dividing the panels, instead of four.
Carnival Four Pillar Vases. When found in carnival glass, this vase pattern is called both Four Pillars and Four Columns. Four Pillars carnival glass vases usually are credited to Northwood; however, examples exist that bear the Dugan-Diamond mark, and some Four Pillars vases are attributed to Millersburg Glass Co. According to Carl Burns in Northwood Carnival Glass, p. 60, Northwood produced its first Four Pillars carnival vases in 1910; vases with an "onionskin" effect of stretch iridescence were also issued from 1916 to 1920. Northwood's carnival Four Pillars vases are usually found in 9" to 12" sizes, but rare 5" to 7" squatty vases also exist. The list of colors in which Four Pillars carnival vases was issued is quite long. The vase most often appears in russet (olive green), citrine (yellowish green), amethyst, marigold, green and aqua opal. Burns writes that cobalt blue, white, ice blue and ice green carnival Four Pillars vases are scarce, and that sapphire, teal and Renninger blue are "quite rare, while examples in vaseline with marigold overlay, ice green opalescent and lime green opalescent would be classed as very rare." Ddoty.com also records that Four Pillars vases have appeared rarely in blue opal, powder blue opal, kelly green opal and custard with marigold overlay -- all are very valuable. Doty also documents Four Pillars vases in emerald green, aqua and black amethyst. Squat Four Pillars carnival vases are found only in marigold, amethyst, green, blue and ice green opal. Vases occasionally appear with the advertising lettering, "Howard's Furniture," on the base. The bases of Northwood's carnival Four Pillars vases are otherwise smooth. Notably, however, variations of the vases exist that have a many-rayed star on their bases; these are attributed to the Millersburg. Millersburg's Four Pillars vases have a radium finish and have appeared on E-Bay in green. Four Pillars vases are also found in transparent (non-iridescent) green and colorless crystal and custard glass.
Blue Opalescent and Marigold Carnival Drapery Vases
photos by jkantiques2 (left) and curculiosglass
Drapery. Opalescent vases: Drapery vases are among the most difficult to find and valuable of Northwood's old opalescent vases. This pattern is elegant and striking. As noted above, Drapery vases are similar in form to Four Pillars vases: Drapery vases feature wide panels divided by rods; the rods descend from the top of the vase to the bottom, overlap the base and terminate in rounded toes. Opalescent Drapery vases, however (such as the blue one shown above) have three supporting rods instead of four. In addition, unlike Four Pillars vases, Drapery vases have a distinctive design on the panels, which resembles folds of draped cloth. Opalescent Drapery vases were manufactured in blue, green, canary (vaseline) and white. Green vases are the most valuable, followed by canary and blue, which are equally valuable, and then white. The vases are an excellent find in any opalescent color. Opalescent Drapery vases are referenced on p. 55 of the Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 6th ed. This source gives no specific information on vase heights, but Drapery vases typically are under 10" in height; the above example is 7 5/8" tall and has a 3 1/8" base. Unlike Northwood's other vase patterns, Drapery was not restricted to vases: the pattern also appeared on rose bowls and table, water and berry sets. According to William Heacock in Opalescent Glass from A to Z, Northood issued the Drapery pattern in opalescent glass circa 1905. Opalescent Drapery vases often bear the Northwood "N".
Carnival vases: This is not a rare pattern in carnival glass, but it is one of the most beautiful. According to Schroy in Warman's Carnival Glass, Northwood produced the Drapery pattern in carnival from 1914 to 1916. Vases range in height from 7" to 9"; a limited number of rare 5" vases also were issued. Like the blue opalescent Drapery vase shown above, carnival Drapery vases generally have three rods dividing panels. A "Footed Variant" with four rods and four toes also exists; so does a Drapery vase without feet, called simply "Drapery Variant". Burns notes in Northwood Carnival Glass 1908-1925 that on the footed Drapery vases, "the little protruding 'nub' feet on the bases are highly prone to nicks, chips and slivers. Precious few are examples with absolutely perfect foot protrusions" (p. 50). Thus, Drapery vases without foot damage are an excellent find. According to Burns (p. 50) the most frequently seen colors in carnival Drapery vases are marigold, white and ice green, closely followed by ice blue. Aqua opal is a more common color in Drapery vases than in most carnival patterns, but aqua opal Drapery vases still fetch high prices and are very popular -- for good reason -- the color sets off the Drapery vase's stunning design very well. Amethyst Drapery vases are less common than marigold, white and ice green (see SECG, 11th ed., p. 327), while, according to Burns, cobalt blue and green vases are hard to find. Burns writes that other colors, such as sapphire, lime green, aqua and teal, "could all be classified as rare". Ddoty.com also records that carnival Drapery vases exist in vaseline, Renninger blue and powder blue opal -- all of these fetch high prices. Northwood's production of the Drapery pattern was far more limited in carnival than in opalescent: the company issued, in white carnival only, vases, rose bowls, berry dishes, tumblers, and a triangular candy dish shaped from the vase mould. A note about reproductions: Fenton reproduced the Drapery pattern in 3-footed rose bowls, but carnival Drapery vases have not been reproduced. Some caution should be exercised, however, in purchasing white carnival vases to assure that they'e iridescent; Northwood also issued a scarce Drapery vase in (non-iridized) clear crystal.
Blue opalescent Many Ribs and amethyst carnival Fine Ribs
photos by curculiosglass
Many Ribs. Opalescent Vases. Made between 1902 and 1908, Northwood's Many Ribs vase features a flared mouth and narrow parallel ribs that run from the vase's top rim to the bottom edge of its base. The ribs are visible and raised on the exterior of the vase, but often cannot be detected by touch on the interior. Vases may show a pronounced fiery opalescence. Northwood's Many Ribs vases are found in sizes ranging from 9" to 13"; the above vase is 11" tall. The diameters of the bases measure 3 3/4" and bear a rayed star with 32 points. The vases appear in blue, canary, green and white opalescent. Northwood's Many Ribs vases are featured in The Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass, 5th ed., at p. 109. (They do not appear in the SEOG's most recent 6th editon.)
Carnival Fine Rib Vases. First issued in 1909, the carnival version of Northwood's Many Ribs vase is called a Fine Rib. These vases, like their opalescent predecessors, have narrow ribs and a flared mouth. All carnival Fine Rib vases have bases that measure 3 1/2", and almost all bear the Northwood "N". Vases appear in squatty and standard sizes and range from 6" to 8" tall. Fine Rib vases are common in green, marigold and amethyst, and with Northwood's "Alaskan" treatment (bronze-marigold fading into green). They also appear infrequently in blue, ice blue, ice green, teal, white, sapphire and aqua opal. Easily confused vases: Many Ribs vases and Fine Ribs vases are often confused with Northwood's Thin Rib and Fenton's Fine Rib. For photographs comparing patterns, see our guide on easily confused ribbed vases.
Other Northwood Opalescent / Carnival Vase Twins
In 1908, Northwood issued opalescent vases in the pattern known as Jewels and Drapery. Recently, one carnival specimen of the pattern was found (see SECG, 10th ed., at p. 149. ) The carnival vase is 16" tall and is made of emerald-green glass with radium iridescence. Photos of Jewels & Drapery opalescent vases appear in our guide titled Miscellaneous Opalescent Vases (1898-1912). Northwood's well-known carnival novelty vase pattern, Daisy & Drape, also has an extremely rare opalescent counterpart, and is shown in our guide on Northwood's Daisy & Drape vases.
To read on about other opalescent-carnival vase doubles, click one of the links below.
Guide Table of Contents
Many thanks to E-Bayers askcopperfish, asmile4u2001, cabrat1961, dftd, jkantiques2, jpthings, payrollgal, rebarb, rstreasures and sunbear1224 and to Elegant Touch Collectibles at rubylane dot com, for generously contributing photographs to this part of our guide. Rights to all photos belong to the photographers, and pictures should not be used without their permission. Text is (c) 2008, 2009 curculiosglass, all rights reserved. To locate any E-Bayer mentioned here, or to visit his or her store, simply click on "SITE MAP" on the bottom of your screen, and then click on "Feedback Forum" on the right top corner of the screen that next appears. Type or copy the E-Bayer's name into the search blank.