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Author Topic: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?  (Read 818 times)

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Offline David E

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Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« on: November 13, 2007, 09:23:48 AM »
I am making queries on behalf of someone else, so don't have the item to personally examine.

They are described as 13-in. and 14-in. long and may have a green tinge in daylight. To me they look 19th century and possibly friggers? But although described as drumsticks I can't see this as being the actual use! Any other ideas, or are they purely decorative?

They were believed to be made by Chance (the owner's mother, where they derived, had a shop in Smethwick), but unless it is a frigger my best guess would be Nailsea, which was associated with Chance, or one of the Stourbridge makers.

I will try and get better and more detailed photos, if required.
David
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Offline Frank

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 11:49:24 AM »
If they were drumsticks then there could be a drum somewhere :) not a clue!
Frank A.
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Offline Andy

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 11:58:36 AM »
Hi David,
i had an identical pair about 2 years ago, i thought they were Nailsea 'friggers'
and they sold on ebay to a chap actually in the town of  Nailsea, (i think i got about£120!).
I think it was him that told me (or another ebayer by contacting me, memory not too good)
that they were probably made by the glassmakers of Nailsea, for the annual glass makers parade
through the town, mid 19th C and are indeed drumsticks.
Hope this helps,
regards Andy
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Offline David E

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 12:07:45 PM »
Thanks a lot Andy, that's most helpful!

I believe the glass makers' parade would indicate apprentice pieces, then?
David
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Offline Frank

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 05:18:20 PM »
From St. George Gray, 1911 article on Nailses, courtesy Glass-Study
Quote
Perhaps the most interesting specimens in the Challicom collection are the two objects represented in No. v., height 6 in. and 12½ in. respectively, which came from a public-house at Nailsea. These are examples of the emblems, or pole-heads, of the old Nailsea Glass-workers' Guild, which held its meetings at the “Glass Makers' Arms” before-mentioned. Whether they were carried in procession by all the members on the annual “walking-day” is unknown; but, at any rate, they represent the insignia of the guild.

Although that article includes a lot of Nailsea there, some in colour, nothing like these but then a 1920 article includes a drumstick.
(http://www.glass-study.com/studypic/Articles/Nailsea1920/nailsea05a.jpg) courtesy Glass-Study
Frank A.
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Offline David E

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 05:26:30 PM »
Cool, thanks Frank/Glass-Study (http://debook.com/gifs/Mailwave.gif)

The likeness is very close: the stem and head are almost identical in style and the twists are in the same direction. I think that pretty much clinches it, unless anyone else can contribute.
David
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Offline KevinH

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 11:14:59 PM »
Quote
I believe the glass makers' parade would indicate apprentice pieces, then?
Perhaps. But would skilled workers also have taken the opportunity to show off their talents - in a competitive manner - to other glasshouses as well as the general community?

I have seen and handled three items described as "drumstick", one clear, two in green (bottle glass?). Two of these seemed to me to to be solid enough, with a tapered rather than globular end, to be pestles. Another alternative description for some of the "drumsticks" could be "sailor's darner", used for repairing woollen socks.
KevinH

Offline Frank

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 11:35:54 PM »
Kevin did you miss this point?


Quote
... These are examples of the emblems, or pole-heads, of the old Nailsea Glass-workers' Guild ... Whether they were carried in procession by all the members on the annual “walking-day” is unknown; but, at any rate, they represent the insignia of the guild.


Which implies they were not apprentice pieces! Indeed friggers often represent great skill.

It is interesting that one of the two objects referred to in that quote (not the image showing) is not a drumstick but closer to a darning dolly... apart from size.
Frank A.
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Offline KevinH

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 02:42:41 AM »
No Frank, the point was not missed. My comment was in relation to David's thought that items used in glass makers' parades would indicate apprentice pieces - which is something I don't agree with. Perhaps my wording was not clear on that matter?

I agree that many friggers represent great skill but I also think that many would have been made by capable apprentices, even if they were not offiically supposed to!


KevinH

Offline David E

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Re: Glass 'drumsticks' 19th century - any ideas of purpose?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 09:35:39 AM »
Thanks both. My thinking was that the parade could have included apprentices and that this was one of the purposes to demonstrate their progress during indenture.

There is a 12- or 15-part series of articles on friggers at Broadfield House that I will have to photo one day for Glass-Study.
David
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