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I've got a red, geometric Carnival pattern, or I've got a piece of Carnival in blue/ amber/ lime with grapes and leaves on it. What is it?

It's probably Indiana Glass.

This is the Egg Hors d'Oeuvre dish in "Iridescent Amethyst".

One of the most common predicaments that faces almost all Carnival collectors at some point is trying to sort out the newer, contemporary Carnival from the old, Classic Carnival. The "predicament" can't be addressed in one, easy FAQ, but we can begin by looking at a topic that crops up time after time in the Woodsland daily mailing lists: contemporary Carnival made by the Indiana Glass Company.

Brief History of Indiana Glass Company
The Indiana Glass Company of Dunkirk, Indiana, came into being around the turn of the century, making a wide range of pressed and blown glass (mainly tableware). Their origins were in the Beatty & Brady Glass Company, founded in 1896 and taken over by the National Glass Company in 1899. The Indiana Glass Company was formed after the National was placed in receivership in 1907. The company went through various changes of fortune and was merged with the Lancaster Lens Company in 1955. A further merger in 1961 produced the Lancaster Colony Corporation. Indiana Glass Company is a subsidiary of this corporation and they are still in operation today.

This is the Harvest Supper Tray in "Iridescent Green."

What about Indiana's Carnival Glass?
Indiana Glass introduce Carnival to their range in 1971: at this point there were few lines and mostly they were limited in number. "Iridescent Blue" was the first Carnival color they used. By 1974 they had added "Iridescent Gold" (an amber/ marigold shade), "Iridescent Sunset" (an amberina /red color), "Iridescent Green" and "Iridescent Amethyst." The colors are very distinctive, with a slightly purplish iridescence - very attractive and collectible in their own right. None of Indiana's Carnival Glass is trademarked, but their Carnival patterns are very distinctive and none of them are actual reproductions or re-issues of old patterns.

There are two, fairly easily found Indiana patterns, that often confuse collectors.


Advertisement for Indiana's Heirloom Series.
THE HEIRLOOM SERIES
Indiana Glass Company's Heirloom Series was produced around 1975-6, and there was quite a wide range of shapes made in the pattern. The pieces are not reproduction even though they look VERY similar to Imperial's "Crabclaw" or "Octagon"). The pattern feaures hobstars and a crabclaw like' shape between the hobstar panels. Between the "claws" on most pieces, is a solid cane-like pattern. The handle on the creamer and pitcher is indented like the Imperial Fashion' ones are. The color they are often seen in is an amber to red shade, that Indiana called "Sunset Carnival Glass" and when initially sold each carried an Heirloom Series sticker. The pattern range was also made in amethyst and marigold (a kind of golden shade) Carnival.

What were the shapes in the "Heirloom Series?" Large water pitcher, goblets, various bowls, vases, butter dish, cake stand, punch set, candle holder, rosebowl, plate, baskets, tumblers and so on.


Advertisement for Indiana's Harvest Series.
INDIANA'S HARVEST PATTERN
Now here's another one that foxes collectors into thinking it's an old pattern. Grape bunches and leaves are the main feature of this design and a surprising range of shapes was made in it. The color usually seen is a blue that has a wonderful iridescence with flashes of purple and green. Gold (marigold) and lime were also used in this pattern range. A distinctive feature is the finial on the covered items - it resembles a bunch of grapes. Another distinctive feature is the plastic ladle with the punch set; note also that the punch set is simply a huge, deep bowl. It does not have a stand. There was a multitude of shapes in the "Harvest" pattern: water sets, candy dishes and jars, a large covered compote, supper tray, punch set, candlesticks and more! According to Indiana Glass Company's original advertising, you could choose between goblets or tumblers in the "Harvest" pattern. They were not sold as sets with the pitcher - each shape was separate. So - the pitcher was sold alone as "70 oz. Harvest Pitcher". The goblets were sold in sets of 4 as "9 oz. Harvest 4 pc. goblet set". The large tumblers were sold in sets of 4 as "14 oz. Harvest 4 pc. Cooler set" and smaller tumblers were sold in sets of 6 as "5 oz. Harvest 6 pc. Juice set".


This is the Hostess plate.
OTHER INDIANA PATTERNS
Another pattern that crops up quite regularly is one that looks like "Hob and Button." Based on a Sowerby (England) pattern, the Indiana version was called the "Hostess" plate (10" diameter) and came in blue and gold. A frequently found item is the large, "Oval Center Bowl" (12" x 8.5") that stands on four little feet. It has a scalloped edge and an exterior pattern of fruit that includes bananas! Other distinctive shapes from Indiana include the "Hen On Nest" (5.5" high), the large "Egg Hors d'Oeuvre Tray" (13" diameter), the "Harvest" supper tray and the eggplate.

References and further reading:

  • wwwcga Daily Mailing Lists
  • "The Beauty of Old Albany Glass" Marcelle Bond (history of Indiana Glass Company)
  • "Presznick's Encyclopedia of New Carnival and Iridescent Glass" Rose M. Presznick
  • Check out John Valentine's Contemporary Carnival website at www.carnivalglass.net

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