... Vesta Venetian can be found in Walsh Mother-of-Pearl and other styles. The salient feature of Vesta Venetian is that it was ribbed, twisted, and then ribbed again using the same dip-mould, usually 18-rib, giving the effect of threading under vertical ribs. The first example and the second shallow bowl are both (also both 18-rib, also the foot on the first looks to be 16-rib, as expected); the second posy is Walsh Mother-of-Pearl, but not Vesta Venetian. Fielding's text is slightly confusing; possibly either a semicolon or exchanging the two descriptions would have helped. ...
All this was rather naive of me â€” I should have realised that as Fieldings gains experience as auctioneers, their use of auctionspeak (a language very similar to eBayspeak and eBayfeedbackspeak) is becoming more sophisticated. With this in mind, you will see that their description of the posy in lot 670 doesn't actually say anything, so it's impossible to criticise them in any way.
Yesterday I examined both lots that Nigel mentioned for myself.
Lot 652 is fine, a lovely example of Walsh Vesta Venetian
in Walsh Mother-of-Pearl
, sadly missing its brass flower holder.
Lot 670, the "shallow bowl", is trickier. It isn't Vesta Venetian
â€” the apparent threading effect in the photograph on the sides of the central well is, I think, just a trick of the light. Yet I'm certain that it is Walsh Mother-of-Pearl
, although the opal layer has been stretched so much as to be almost invisible, and it is 18-rib. I believe it was made as an underplate for a smaller version of the vase in lot 652 by the Vesta Venetian team, and so could be considered a Vesta Venetian
accessory. So, in a roundabout way, Fieldings' description was more or less accurate! Am I being too generous?
Lot 670, the posy, is much easier. It is not Walsh, but an unfortunate piece of heavy mould-blown rubbish, optimistically married up with a rather nice but ill-fitting brass flower holder that has lost its original vase. It is one of two pieces that shouldn't have been included in this auction; the other being the sphinx with a huge lump missing from one corner. Their only saving grace is that they make all the other 807 lots in the auction look wonderful!