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Buying Carnival
Buying Carnival
So you have your latest value guides and you are ready to buy carnival.  You have read them cover to cover and you are confident you know the material well.  Below are three Northwood Sunflower bowls for sale.  Sunflower A is priced at 40.00.  Price of Sunflower B is 135.00 and the price of Sunflower C is 270.00.  You look in the latest book by Carl O. Burns, Northwood Carnival Glass Identification & Value Guide, and the listed value for a Sunflower bowl in amethyst is 135.00.  I am going to tell you right now, each of the bowls below are appropriately priced based on their color and condition.  Please keep in mind that ALL carnival books are a guide, a tool to help you in your decision making process. The ultimate decision is yours to evaluate the condition, quality, color and how it will fit into your collection. No book can do that for you.  Having said that, why the big price difference?  Let's examine each bowl a little closer.

Northwood Amethyst Sunflower A
Northwood Amethyst Sunflower B
Northwood Amethyst Sunflower C


Northwood Sunflower Amethyst Bowl A
Sunflower A is a very pretty bowl with good color but there is extensive edge damage.  The repairs are good ones and it displays well from a distance.    Because of the damage, it is appropriately priced at 40.00.  It would make a nice display piece or a holding piece until a better example can be found or even a very pretty bowl to set on a counter or coffee table.  This bowl will probably never increase in value.  Enjoy a bowl like this for it's beauty.  It's still an impressive bowl.  I ought to know, I once owned it.  It sat on my coffee table.  Non carnival collectors were VERY impressed with it and not one of them ever noticed the damage.

Northwood Sunflower Amethyst Bowl B
Sunflower B has very pretty color and a nice pleasing shape.  The colors run more on the pastel side, baby pinks and blues.  There is a heat check or stress mark on one of the spatula feet.  These are pretty common in the spatula feet.  It occurred during the cooling process and is a factory flaw.  The amethyst base color is a bit on the weak side but that goes along with the pastel coloring.  It is a nice bowl, good shape and color, no damage other than factory and on a foot which really does not show.  It is appropriately priced at 135.00 and will increase in value.

Northwood Sunflower Amethyst Bowl C
Sunflower C is an exceptional one.  This bowl screams color.  Even the pictures could not capture how pretty this one is.  It is Electric Purple, the colors are very vivid and bright.  The base glass is a dark amethyst which helps to bring out the vivid colors.  There is no damage, no factory flaws.  It is one of the exceptional examples and commands a higher price.  This Sunflower was appropriately priced at 270.00 and will definitely increase in value.

In summary, I would like to say, that buying any of the above is fine if it suits your needs and your budget.  You need to choose the carnival and the price that is right for you.  Hopefully, this little lesson takes some of the "mystery" out of the varying prices you will see.  Damage diminishes the price no matter how pretty the item.  Undamaged, the more vivid the color, the higher the price.  Remember that and you should do well in your carnival glass buying.

Donna Adler
2003



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