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Author Topic: What's "Bristol glass"?  (Read 11446 times)

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Offline Sendhandfran

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2014, 07:10:41 AM »
Think I'll steer clear of Bristol glass. lol. Thanks for the info. There's so much to learn in the glass world!
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Offline Paul S.

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2014, 07:26:15 PM »
quote..............   "There's so much to learn in the glass world!"  -  very true, but so much better than being just another collector of plates ;) ;D ;)

I'd not really been aware of this thread, but very interesting to read........ my thoughts are that books are probably the worst of culprits for perpetuating errors and myths.

I don't suppose there are many people here with a copy of Daisy Wilmer's 'Early English Glass' (1910), which the lady used, as much as anything else, to promote the glass collections of her parents and others.
The author speaks a lot about 'Bristol glass' - clear and cut as well as coloured, plus reference to Michael Edkins coloured enameled painting on opaque white glass.
Although he seems to have started his working life in Birmingham, it's very possible that the knowledge that Edkins is best remembered for working in Bristol on 'opaque white glass and ceramics', is why people still speak of Bristol glass when referring to opaque white glass, although there's no guarantee that the glass he was painting on was made in Bristol - but the interpretation stuck, and seems to still.

Can't imagine there were many women authors of glass at the beginning of the C20, and Wilmer, like most authors of academic subjects at that time omits any bibliography or reference sources for her attributions/provenance, but you can imagine collectors taking her words to heart, and repeating her qualifications as to what was or wasn't Bristol glass, which was simply anything she considered had been made in Bristol...   clear, cut, blown, moulded etc.

I had written the above and then looked at Ivo Haanstra's words on the subject, although appreciate he has already commented above somewhere.

From Ivo's  'Miller's Glass fact file a - z' ....  a pocket book  he says............
"Bristol Glass....  A type of opaline named after the town in Great Britain where it was first produced.   It was imported from there the late 1700's.        Also made in France, Germany, Italy, USA and Czechoslovakia.        Very difficult to attribute correctly to a manufacturer.     Bristol glass is often decoated (printer's typo) with cold enamel painting."

So it appears the origin of the description 'Bristol glass' probably has nothing to do with blue glass as in Bristol blue, and far more likely to be relate solely to opaque white glass wares imported/exported/painted in Bristol in the latter part of the C18.


P.S.    as Benny Hill used to say.......   my wife's left Bristol................................................................ and gone to live in Hull. ;)


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Offline Sendhandfran

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2014, 05:55:06 AM »
Hi Paul.
Lol, I'd not heard that Benny Hill quote before..Hulls a nice place:)
I like old plates and have a few (meaning a cupboard full!:) usually, though not always, they're easily attributed but glass is in a league of its own..it seems any time i find out anything at all it just leads to more questions!
Thanks for the info, what an interesting sounding book you have there, I'd love to see it. Illustrates how easily things can be misunderstood, until they're thought of as facts.
I have a couple of bits of painted glass, ones by Bagley the other unknown, it seems crazy to attribute all unknown cold painted glass to Bristol Glass!
I'd like to thank the OP for this fascinating thread.
Thank you
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Offline Paul S.

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2014, 07:45:44 AM »
Currently the book seems not uncommon on Abe Books, with several under a tenner.          I wouldn't recommend it from a serious point of view, more as a curio really, although it's always interesting to see how people view a subject from their own contemporary position  -  it's difficult to do otherwise, since we're all creatures of our own time, and where we speak of the older days as Edwardian, Wilmer's take on that sort of thing means late Georgian.
The pictures are poor and b. & w. as you can imagine, but interesting to see how our knowledge of glass has changed over the past hundred years.           For me it isn't entirely without use, since it does lean toward drinking glasses and there was a little info. on thumb print ales in particular that was of interest. :)   

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Offline Sendhandfran

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2014, 09:16:15 AM »
Interesting book though. Like you say its nice to see old contemporary views of things. I have a glass book from the '50s, full of grainy black & white photos &, like yours, mostly concerned with drinking glasses, but still is interesting to see.
Victorian glass. Uranium

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Offline Paul S.

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2014, 03:37:08 PM »
possibly some of the ceramics collectors know this label  -  it's on a cake stand that I picked up this morning.
Thought it worth sharing - obviously the factory was aware of the meaning of Bristol glass i.e. opaque white wares, although not sure if Michael Edkins decorated this particular one. ;)

Apologies for posting a ceramics item in Glass, but just thought the label a coincidence after our chats  -  can be deleted if wished.

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Offline sph@ngw

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2014, 04:36:31 PM »
quote..............   "There's so much to learn in the glass world!"  -  very true, but so much better than being just another collector of plates ;) ;D ;)

I'd not really been aware of this thread, but very interesting to read........ my thoughts are that books are probably the worst of culprits for perpetuating errors and myths.

As a manufacturer of Bristol Blue glass since 1978, may I tie up a few loose ends?
The term originates around 1760 when a Bristol Chemist called Wiliaim Cookworthy started importing cobalt oxide from  Saxony and supplying it to glassmakers. Only a few grammes are needed to turn a pot of glass a deep rich blue colour, almost black, if the glass is thick. Isaac Jacobs and The Ricketts family , Jacob, Henry and William, all used it.
Other oxides allowed them to make amythyst  (maganese oxide)and a bright green glass (Chromium oxide ). Samples of all these are on view in the Bristol Museum who we supplied for many years with reproductions.
Bristol blue became a generic name - like Cheddar cheese which does not all come from  the Cheddar gorge.

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Offline Bargainsbyus

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2019, 11:36:53 AM »
This was identified as Bristol so it did not only come in white. Not sure what the numbers on the bottom mean.

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Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: What's "Bristol glass"?
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2019, 03:20:04 PM »
Your vase is not Bristol. It's Bohemian and Harrach. The marks, style, enamelling and colour are all typical Harrach

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