This Northwood stippled Strawberry ruffled bowl with a ribbed back in lime green sold for $1050.
A standout at the sale was this rare Northwood stippled Three Fruits 9" plate in lime green. Only a few are known, and it sold for $8000.
This Northwood marigold Rose Show 9" plate had nice pink and yellow irid. It sold for $1700.
There are only a few intact Millersburg pipe humidors out there. This one, in amethyst, sold for $12,000, a mid-range price for these rare humidors.
This Rose Show plate in emerald green, a very pretty and rare pastel, had a minor nick on a rose. Nonetheless, it sold for $2300.
Seeck Auctions, Ontario, California
Photos courtesy Seeck Auctions
The Southern California Carnival Glass Convention auction on March 16 had plenty of what makes carnival glass so special.
Exceptional iridescence (usually referred to as “irid”) and a wide variety of rare colors in the 292-lot sale propelled what would be common pieces in familiar patterns to something more, auctioneer Jim Seeck of Seeck Auctions said. “That was the talk at this auction. The irid was very outstanding,” Seeck said. “The marigold was just extremely good quality. Every piece had super pinks and yellows or pastel or very dark pumpkin color. When you have great irid, you have a good sale. [Without it], you have a tough sale.”
The auction was a good illustration of why it’s hard to judge carnival at a glance. Flipping through a catalog and its list of patterns tells very little. It is the notation of colors and the quality of irid that catches the attention of bidders. In this sale, rare colors and irid got by on their own merits.
Take, for example, five Northwood 9" plates in the stippled Three Fruits pattern—equal in pattern, but not in color. There isn’t a lot of carnival in blue, so it is no surprise that the top-selling piece of the design was in that color. That it had a bright “electric” blue irid didn’t hurt either; it sold for $1400 (no buyer’s premium charged). Aqua opalescent also is rarely encountered, and even less so with nice butterscotch irid; the plate with both sold for $1200. The string of plates finished out with an example in sapphire going for $1000, and a marigold plate with a dark pumpkin irid that went for $525.
A string of Northwood master ice cream bowls in the Peacock and Urn pattern took a similar course across the auction block. The first, in blue with electric irid, went for $725; the next, in amethyst with nice irid, went for $475; the third, in ice green, got $600. The next, in marigold with pumpkin irid, sold for $300. The final bowl was white and brought $200. White sometimes has a frosty irid that is appreciated by collectors, but it tends to sell at the lower end of pastels. Couple white with the right piece where both are rare, and you have something, Seeck said, citing a rare Northwood Feathers vase, 7" high, that realized $350.
Pink irid on marigold has seldom looked better than in the Northwood Peacocks on the Fence bowl with a piecrust edge and ribbed back that sold for $2100. The hot pinks and golds fired strongly off the bowl, radiating from the center out to its edge.
“This is what your good collector is looking for,” Seeck said of the bowl. “It’s a common bowl, not very valuable. The quality of the irid is outstanding. The glassmaker hit it right that day.”
Two pieces of Renninger blue, named after the eponymous flea market in Pennsylvania where many of the first pieces were found and identified, fetched good prices as well. A Rose Show variant 9" plate with Renninger’s signature mix of cobalt blue with just a hint of green or smoke—depending on who you talk to—sold for $1400, and a Northwood stippled Peacocks on the Fence 9" plate with a ribbed back brought $1600.
Of course, several pieces at the sale simply had rare written all over them. A Northwood stippled Three Fruits plate came in lime green; only a few are known in that color. In keeping with the rest of the sale, the irid was outstanding. It sold for $8000.
A six-piece Fenton water set in Paneled Dandelion with a flattened spot where the handle was attached went for $475. A rare variant, the water set, in amethyst, also had an excellent pressing. A Fenton Persian Medallion bonbon dish in Celeste blue—a rare pastel—sold for $700.
For more information, call (641) 424-1116 or check the Web site (www.seeckauction.com).
This Northwood stippled Three Fruits 9" plate in ice blue with electric irid sold for $1400.
This Imperial 9" plate in the Shell pattern was the sale’s top seller in “smoke,” realizing $275.
This Northwood Feathers vase, 7" high, is a rare piece and rarely found in white. It sold for $350.
This square Millersburg Trout and Fly bowl was in a common color, marigold, but an unusual shape. It went for $1050.
This Northwood stippled Peacocks on the Fence 9" plate in Renninger blue went for $1600.
Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest