I’ve a soft spot for Normandie because the very first piece of depression glass I ever bought was an amber Normandie dinner plate. I had to go to the library for a book to identify it and had a hard time deciding whether it was green or amber! That was in 1999 and we’ve had a few nice pieces since then flow through our shop. (At the moment we have one piece in stock, the amber pitcher.)
Federal Glass made Normandie from 1933 to 1940 in amber and pink, plus some iridescent dark orange called Sunburst and a little crystal. We’ll focus on the pink in this series since we’re looking at pink depression glass with zero pieces reproduced and talk about the amber too.
Remember our Collecting Fun Quotient? Patterns that score high are beautiful, have lots of fun pieces, have a good balance of findability with some pieces easy to get and others more difficult, and reasonably durable. Let’s look at Normandie.
Normandie is pretty, no quibbles there! The design features a bouquet of daisies between lattice work trellises. The piece shapes are nice too, well balanced, not at all ungainly.
Unlike Madrid the Normandie creamer, sugar, cup and sherbets have smooth rims and don’t have the vertical ribs that end in V-shaped points.
The sherbet is shaped much like the Patrician sherbet, a bit square looking.
Plates and bowls have scalloped edges that go beautifully with the floral design.
The colors are nice. I’m not crazy about the Sunburst iridescent dark orange because it’s hard to see the design. Federal’s pink is a soft candy pink, not at all strident. It’s hard to photograph though!
Federal originally called their amber color “Golden-Glo” and that’s a good description. Their amber is a dark yellow, honey colored, no cinnamon or hint of orange. One of the dealers at the glass show last month said she likes to add a couple pieces of amber to other colors; shes felt the amber made the other colors pop. I’ve not tried mixing amber with other colors but topaz yellow blends beautifully so amber probably would too.
Early collectors called Normandie “Bouquet and Lattice” before researchers learned the correct name. It’s a very good description! I hope you’ll agree that Normandie is a beautiful pattern. Let’s give it a 9 for Beautiful.
Next up we’ll look at the different pieces you can find in Normandie.