Inverted Fan and Feather ShakersBy

Inverted Fan and
Feather Shakers

When one sees the new and the old shakers side by side, it's hard to understand how anyone could confuse the two. But original Inverted Fan & Feather (IFF) pattern shakers are seen so seldom, many collectors and dealers simply have never had the opportunity to examine one.

The original name of this pattern, if any, has yet to be discovered. Some carnival glass collectors call it Feather Scroll. Marion Hartung and other authors have called it Inverted Fan and Feather and that is the most widely used name today.

The IFF pattern was probably designed by Harry Northwood at his Indiana, Pennsylvania factory between 1896 and 1899. Since the IFF was being sold in Northwood's so-called "custard" glass in 1898-99, the pattern had to be created prior to a trip Northwood made to England in 1899. I say so-called custard glass because Northwood himself called his glass "Ivory" which was also the term used by the trade journals of the day.

The IFF Ivory line of 1898-99 was extensive. It included a 4-piece table set, water set, berry set, punch bowl with cups, a cruet, toothpick and salt and pepper shakers. Most of the Ivory pieces are decorated. The heavy gold on the feet seems to have survived the years better than the pink coloring applied to the scroll-like feather. In later years, ca. 1900-01, some IFF molds were used with pink slag glass, and still later, ca. 1908-9, the molds were used again with emerald green glass and vivid opalescent blue glass.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the original IFF pattern is the design of the feet. Except for the flatbottomed tumblers, every piece has four feet; each foot ending in a half-rounded ball. Some have the added attraction of being marked "North-wood" in block letters on the underside.

Reproductions of the IFF shakers were made by the Summit Art Glass Company in 1979 and advertised as "authentic Northwood pattern reproductions." The shakers were sold through advertisements in collector's publications and featured in Summit's sales literature.

As far as I know, the salt and pepper reproductions appear only in a pale yellow glass intended to imitate the old Ivory line. Although the new shaker above is plain, I have seen others that have been decorated with pink and gold decoration. The new pieces were originally sold with gold colored metal tops; this example has a silver colored metal top.

James S. Measell is a glass historian and author of many articles and books on antique and collectible glasswares.


Fig. 1 Reproduction shaker, left, has no feet. The original Inverted Fan and Feather shaker, right, has four ball-like feet.

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