Scalloped Swirl Sketch About Scalloped Swirl
(York Herringbone)

Copyright © A Kaske 2001
Scalloped Swirl Sketch

The Scalloped Swirl pattern was first made by Ripley & Co (Ref 1,2). The first Ripley & Co. was established by Daniel C. Ripley and several partners in 1866 in Pittsburgh and specialized in flint, cut, and engraved glass. In 1874 Ripley established his own company, where he made pressed glassware, bar glass, and lamps (Ref 2). Since the first company apparently did not make pressed glass, we assume that the Scalloped Swirl pattern was designed and fabricated by the second company sometime after 1874. Revi (Ref 2) shows a grouping of a Covered Sugar and a Cream, a Spooner, and the Butter and Cover (pictures from our collection) from a Ripley catalog (undated by Revi). Revi (p294) states that Ripley & Co. made the Scalloped Swirl pattern starting in ca. 1885. McCain (Ref 1) shows a line drawing of a salt and indicates that the pattern is also known as "York Herringbone".

In 1891 Ripley & Co. joined the United States Glass company (a grouping of 18 separate companies). The US Glass Co. reissued the Scalloped Swirl pattern starting in ca. 1892 calling it No. 15,026 (Ref 1), certainly an uninspiring number (not even prime) for such a nice pattern. Revi shows a U.S. Glass Co. catalog picture of a Scalloped Swirl tumbler (Ref 2). One of our pieces is an 1893 Worlds Fair souvenir ruby stained tumbler so we know that piece was made after Ripley joined the U.S. Glass Co.

The U.S Glass Co. went bankrupt in 1963 (Ref Archival Collections , Bowling Green State University). The Archival Collection referenced here is a most interesting site. It includes a short history of the USG Co. and the Tiffin Glass Co. and lists their inventory of documents from the US Glass Co and its successor the Tiffin Glass Co. The inventory includes financial records from USG Co. and Tiffin, and glassware photographs, sketches, pattern rubbings, mold designs, and machinery blueprints from, apparently, Tiffin. Note that the actual items are not 'on-line', just their inventory.

Pictures and the dimensions of our Scalloped Swirl pieces can be found here
Or by pressing this back on this page.

We have three ruby stained and two crystal toothpicks in our collection. Don't ask why we have five, it just happened.

The three ruby stained toothpicks are noticeably taller, by 1/8", than our two crystal toothpicks. I am not sure to what this anomalous difference can be attributed. Certainly when the glass solidifies in the mold, it shrinks. The shrinkage will depend upon the chemical composition of the glass, but I see no reason for the composition to differ between the crystal and the ruby stained pieces. The ruby stained pieces, I believe, are subject to a second 'firing' after application of a salt, but there is no reason that I can see that a second heating could increase the size. Perhaps the two crystal and three ruby toothpicks happened to have different chemical compositions and so shrunk at different rates or they were by coincidence made in different molds with slightly different dimensions. I believe the later is more likely. After all, the toothpicks must have been one of the cheaper items so probably many were made and many molds needed. It wouldn't have been necessary to maintain precise tolerances between molds so plus or minus 1/16" might be acceptable and thus a difference of 1/8" might be quite reasonable.

Salt/Pepper Shakers
We describe two different styles of salt/pepper shaker bases and three kinds of metal tops.

Type A Salt
Type A Salt
The bottom of this shaker consists of a recessed central 7/8" D boss surrounded by a 1-1/8" ring. The base itself is 1-1/2" in diameter. The drawing above shows a plan view and a cross-section of the base. The thread on this shaker makes only one turn and the rim is smooth. The recessed central boss is absent on this style. The base itself is 1-1/2" in diameter. The inner part of the base is about 1-1/8" in diameter. The drawing above shows a plan view and a cross-section of this base. The thread on this shaker makes two turns and the top of the rim is rough.

We are quite sure that the 'domed top' and 'raised top described here are old. We are not sure if the 'depressed' type (not shown) is old, and we do not know if any of these were supplied by Ripley or US Glass. McCain (Ref 1) does show a line drawing of a Scalloped Swirl salt with what appears to be the 'domed' top.

Domed Top
The domed top does not show the threads on the outside. It is a heavy material, probably zinc, and seems too thick to have been stamped and so may well have been cast. I would, however, be surprised if it were a casting since that would be an expensive process for such an inexpensive item. It has a dull grey finish. The 15 holes in the top are approximately 3/16" D The salt would really pour so we put a thin cardboard insert with small perforations under the top).

Raised Top
The raised top is stamped from a non-ferrous metal which may be nickel or nickel plate (portions have retained a shiny finish). The top surface is slightly raised. The threads are visible on the exterior. There are 15 1/8" D holes.

Depressed Top
The 'depressed' top is a stamped from aluminum. Since the material is Aluminum it is not particularly old and certainly not 19th century. The top surface is slightly depressed. It has a dull finish and does not look at all like the contemporary replacement tops we have. The threads are visible on the exterior. There are 15 1/8"D holes.

We were disappointed to find that no Scalloped Swirl kerosene lamp seems to exist. But we found a grand substitute. The Coolidge Drape lamp is a close match and is a nice piece.

McCain (Ref 1) states that the Scalloped Swirl pattern can be found in Crystal, Ruby Stained, Green (scarce), and Blue (scarce). The only piece in green that we have is the small (individual) creamer, and we have never seen a blue piece.

McCain (Ref 1) shows two patterns that are similar to the Scalloped Swirl. The 'Heavy Drape' pattern made by Fostoria has the characteristic scallops but does not have a smooth thumbprint-like space between the rows of scallops. The Coolidge drape (only a lamp?) scallops are separated by a narrow band of steps, not a smooth thumbprint. None of the other 'swirl' patterns shown in McCain can be mistaken for the Scalloped Swirl.

We are mostly just collectors, but we do sell some antiques and collectables at a few shows in Minnesota. Our Scalloped Swirl collection started with the large water pitcher and one crystal tumbler that came from Al's grandparents who lived near Madison S.D.

The first time we ever saw another Scalloped Swirl piece was at a show in Minneapolis in about 1998. C & R Antiques from Connecticut had one or two ruby stained cordials. We knew very little about pattern glass and our pattern, but Chris and Rena gave us a fine short tutorial about EAPG and York Herringbone. We foolishly didn't buy the cordials since I thought we wanted crystal pieces only. We have since become wiser. In fact, we got our ruby stained butter dish bottom from the them.

Joan Winn and Jack Burke have taught us a great deal and have often been a source for nice pieces.

We have often looked at other wonderful patterns, but we've avoided starting another collection until recently. We have picked up a few creamers in various patterns and some pieces in the 'Red' Block pattern. It looks like we've started another collection. We do have a curious shell pattern bowl and a stem that we cannot identify. Perhaps someone can help us.

If you find errors or omissions on these pages, please let us know
Al and Sandy)


1. McCain, Mollie Helen,   "Field Guide To Pattern Glass",   Collector Books,   KY,   2000.
2. Revi, Albert Christian,   " American Pressed Glass and Figure Bottles",   Thomas Nelson Inc.,   NY,   1964.

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