Inverted Fan and Feather Sugar BowlBy Dr. James S. Measell
Inverted Fan and Feather
My research on the old Northwood plant at Indiana, Pennsylvania, revealed that the Inverted Fan & Feather (IFF) pattern was probably designed by Harry Northwood and introduced when the plant was reorganized and continued on as part of the National Glass Company in 1900-01. The IFF molds were used for "Pink Slag." The successor to the National Glass Co. in Indiana, the Dugan Glass Company, made IFF in emerald green and a vivid opalescent blue in 1908-09.
It seems inevitable that such a noteworthy pattern would be reproduced and it was, by the St. Clair Glass Company of Elwood, Indiana. This firm had a tumbler mold made and produced examples in many different colors. Their attempts to duplicate pink slag, however, were generally unsuccessful; the closest they came was an off-color pink with a cloudy effect. In the mid-1970s, the IFF tumbler mold was sold to the Summit Art Glass Company.
The Summit firm soon made more molds in IFF and began producing a new covered sugar bowl, toothpick holder, and salt/pepper shakers. These shapes were featured in a Summit advertisement in the July, 1979 issue of Glass Review. Summit's major color was called "custard glass" and most of the IFF pieces were nicely decorated with pink and heavy gold. I've seen a number of pieces signed "Lisa V." on the underside and the covered sugar bowl is particularly attractive.
Although the Summit piece (left, in photo) follows the basic design of the old IFF pattern, there are key differences. The old piece (right, in photo) is slightly taller and the scallops around the top rim of the base are deeper (top arrow). Perhaps the most significant difference is where the feet join the body and the shape of the feet themselves. The area between the feet is quite narrow on the old pieces (bottom arrow), but much more open on the Summit-made pieces. The original feet are more vertical and they appear short and stubby when compared to Summit's copy. Summit also made the covered sugar in pink slag, custard, emerald green and opalescent blue.
When I first heard about an IFF covered sugar in opaque green, I was anxious to see. The late Bill Heacock had a fragment in this color from the Northwood factory site and I thought it a color that might be even more scarce than pink slag. The prospect of "discovering" a new color was exciting. Unpacking the box, I found the covered sugar from Summit Art Glass shown on the left of the photo.
Dr. James S. Measell is the author of numerous books on antique glassware.