|Comments by Alan and Lorraine Pickup
Ribbed Tornado Vase
From HOACGA bulletin March, 2001
Tornado vases can be found both with a plain background or ribbed background. The Ribbed Tornado vase made by H. Northwood and Company is daringly in a class of its own. Although rather small in size, this one measuring approximately six inches tall, yet this vase pattern stands out in its distinctive style in so many ways. First the descriptive sections with a "twister" pictured on each sector. And the many-ribbed background lending its twisting effect to the violent action of a tornado.
Then the iridescence on the amethyst and blue vases are said by some writers to rival early Tiffany, Loetz and Carder art glass. That's not to say that the marigold, green, ice green, the rare white and ice blue versions are any less attractive. None of these vases, regardless of the colors, change hands frequently. An ice blue Ribbed Tornado vase was sold recently here in St. Louis in the Garth Irby auction for $3500.
These Tornado vases are listed the fourth vase section of the HOACGA notebook as #261 through #264. And besides the standard smooth background and scarce ribbed background examples, they are shown both in a whimsey shape and a rare pedestal and footed variant. There doesn't seem to be any indication that these rare marigold pedestal vases were made by the Northwood Class Company.
The amethyst example pictured here does carry the Northwood trademark (N) on the inside bottom of the vase, but like many Northwood patterns, all the vases may not be signed. Both the Mordini and Doty price guides refer to two sizes. There is about a half-inch difference in size between the two. Both sizes are pictured on page 105 of the book, Harry Northwood, The Wheeling Years, by Heacock, Measell and Wiggins, and an excellent picture of the three vase styles can be found in the book, Magic and Mystery of Carnival Glass, by the Thistlewoods on page seventy.