Vintage Northwood Carnival glass
Vintage Northwood Carnival glass is iridescent glassware produced by the American company H. Northwood, from 1908 up until 1925.
The company was established in 1902 by the English glassmaker Harry Northwood, who had learned his trade from his father before moving to the United States in 1880. After a brief visit to England, he opened the factory on his return to America in 1902.
The factory was based in Wheeling, West Virginia, and had previously been used by his former employer Hobbs, Brockunier and Company. The company soon earned a reputation for high quality glass in a number of styles and finishes, and success quickly followed.
In 1905 the company began to trademark every piece with its logo, a circle featuring an underlined letter ‘N’, and in 1908 they followed the lead of the Fenton carnival glass by producing their own line of iridescent glass (which would later come to be known as carnival glass).
Their first style was known as ‘Golden Iris’, and was soon followed by a wide range of different colours and patterns. The most popular of these patterns was ‘Grape and Cable’, which was released in January 1910 and is today one of the most popular patterns in American glass collecting.
During this period the company produced a number of innovative colours and patterns, including a line of signature colours which separated it from a number of its competitors. Northwood died in 1919 at the age of 58, and the company continued to produce carnival glass until 1925 when it finally ceased production and closed down.
Northwood carnival glass patterns
Northwood produced a large number of different patterns, using a variety of colours. Some of the most popular patterns for modern collectors include:
- Acorn Burr – a pattern of chestnuts and leaves, available in amethyst/purple, green, lime green, marigold, aqua opal, ice blue and ice green.
- Embroidered Mums – a pattern of six chrysanthemums in a ring, available in amethyst/purple, aqua, aqua-opal, blue, electric blue, green, lime green, ice green, marigold and white
- Good Luck – a pattern of flowers surrounding a horseshoe featuring the words ‘good luck’, available in all colours
- Grape & Cable – a varying pattern of grape clusters, small and large leaves, available in every colour
Main article: List of Northwood carnival glass patterns
Main article: List of notable Northwood carnival glassware
Collecting Northwood carnival glass
All carnival glass produced by Northwood will feature their trademark circled ‘N’. Many of their designs were copied by other manufacturers, and are reproduced to this day by some companies, but reproductions rarely feature the copied trademark. There are no red Northwood designs, as the company closed before red iridescent glass came into production. A recognisable Northwood pattern in red is a fake or a modern reproduction.
By far the most sought after colours for Northwood carnival glass are items in the aqua opalescent range including ice blue, ice green and white.
The most popular pattern for collectors is ‘Grape and Cable’, as more than 50 different items were produced in this pattern. Combined with the wide range of colours, this offers hundreds of possible combinations for collectors.
Prices can range from around $50 to close to $100,000 depending on the item, condition, pattern and colour.
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