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Woodpecker Wall Pockets

Article by Alan and Lorraine Pickup

HOACGA bulletin May, 2002

One way or another hardly a day passes in this house without one of us opening one of our numerous books to explore some aspect of carnival, custard, opalescent, stretch or Greentown type glass. Recently while browsing through the vase section in Dave Doty’s book, A Field Guide to Carnival Glass, his observation about the Woodpecker vase caught our attention.

The Woodpecker vase or wall pocket is a rather unique shape that was made by the Diamond Glass Company at the Indiana, Pennsylvania facility some time in the 1920s. It is eight inches tall and two inches wide. The vase has a flat rear surface and was made to hang on the wall. A hole is provided to hang it from a nail. We doubt that this vase was ever used as a car vase. The hole to hang it would not have lasted long jostled along in a 1920 vintage car. Found in carnival glass only with marigold iridescence. We have also seen this wall pocket in black glass, and it is reported in a couple of non-iridescent colors.

The bird may or may not be a Woodpecker but we will leave that to the ornithologists to decide. The nice detail on the bird is complimented by a filler background and topped by a band of vertical bars. The flat backside is smooth, without a design.

Birds, both large and small were a common theme on many carnival glass patterns both here and in Australia. Just looking around the room we can spot Singing Birds, Stork and Rushes, Heron and Robin mugs, of course the numerous Peacocks, many pastel swans, and the Australian Thunderbird or Shrike and the Swan bowls. And there are many other glass patterns with bird themes that we don’t have, such as the chickens on the Farmyard bowls, Australia’s Kookaburra, the Emu, Kiwi and Magpie bowls. Can we also include the Ragged Robin bowls? Okay, so the Ragged Robin is a wildflower that grows along the road. We just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Although this Woodpecker bird vase is certainly not in as much demand as “them Peacocks,” it can be considered to be on the endangered species list, as it is “not often seen” today, as pointed out in Dave Doty’s book.