Author Topic: Where has all the British glass gone?  (Read 3817 times)

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Offline Bernard C

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Where has all the British glass gone?
« on: April 14, 2008, 09:35:27 AM »
Look at any oldish map of the world, and you will see a goodly chunk in red, the old British Empire.   And our major glassworks certainly exported to Europe, the USA, and South America as well.   Yet when you run eBay searches on British glass, you only find pieces in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA.

So where has it all gone?

Bernard C.  8)
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Offline heartofglass

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 09:58:55 AM »
Well, those places are all English speaking & also former colonies as well.
So maybe English glass has more profile & is more well known in these places simply due to these factors? (Not that I haven't seen 19th c. English glass here mislabeled as Murano.)
However, there are former colonies such as India which also imported a lot of English glass, such as the glass furniture made by Osler. It is an interesting point that you have raised. 
Regarding the U.S there seems to be a bit of confusion there about what is identified as English glass & early American glass, as a lot of the production on both sides of the Atlantic in the 19th c. was so similar in many ways.
As for Europe, maybe it's the same issue, so much glass made there was very similar in style to English glass & to the average buyer/seller it all looks the same, so they attribute it to a local origin out of a lack of knowledge/laziness in researching.
Marinka.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 10:55:33 AM »
Which underlies the importance of having books outside your direct areas of interest. A lot of American cut glass is of far superior design to much British cut glass and was imported to the UK. It is often assumed to be British if found in the UK. Not that British cut glass does not have its gems, at the top of the tree the quality of design was as good in both countries.

What is this 14"/350mm diameter Bowl and stand, British or American? Available in 1900 and based on unskilled wages it would now retail at approximately 11,000 Euros:


Frank A.
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Offline Ivo

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2008, 11:33:09 AM »
The answer is not that complex. Glass industries worldwide predominantly serve their home markets, and for the UK the home market is the island, its dependencies and its colonies. The Brits did not export in a big way to the major world markets such as France, Austria, Germany, Russia, the Ottoman empire or South America.  Those markets were served by the Belgians and the Czechs. With a market as big as an empire in which the sun never sets, why should you even bother with clients who don't speak proper english, use funny weights and measures and - oh horror - decimal currencies!
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Offline pamela

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 05:51:40 PM »
A lot went to Denmark also!
Dr. Doris Billek and I recently visited Lise & Dan Andersen in Odense/DK
They have got a tremendous collection of Scandinavian glass, but also a lot from England 19th century. During our discussion on this phenomenon that they find lots of British glass in Denmark, we came to the following possible clue:
At least Greener, Davidson and Sowerby had sales offices and stock in Hamburg, Germany.
Altona, today a part of Hamburg, and whole Schleswig-Holstein were Danish until 1864. Consequently, we think that Denmark imported British glass via Hamburg into Schleswig Holstein and further.

Just an idea - no proof whatsoever  :angel:
Pamela
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Offline Frank

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2008, 06:54:00 PM »
Simplest way of looking at this question are the government statistics, for your convenience I have copied part of a page in the Glass-Study for the purposes of this thread, it contains a link back to this thread.

Glass-Study link


Frank A.
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Offline krsilber

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 07:24:40 PM »
Judging by ebay US (not a terribly good standard, but it's all I got), there's not actually a whole lot of British glass in the US.  The category "British Glass" has at the moment 284 items in it, but only 143 if you restrict them to those sold in America, and only 106 if you remove paperweights.  For comparison, there are 79370 items in "Glass" located in the US (not including paperweights, which add another 2245).

Hard to say how meaningful these numbers are, with the enormous number of misattributions, unknowns, and miscategorizations on ebay.  And I'm not a very good judge, not having much experience with British glass (perhaps because it's so hard to find!).  Those tariffs we imposed must have done the trick!

Frank, your punch bowl is obviously... ;) ;D
Kristi


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Offline Frank

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2008, 08:24:16 PM »
Dealers brought a lot of British glass back from the States and US dealers took a lot of US glass from Europe to the states. In my Monart dealing days, after the prices shot up the US was 'the'place to buy. Nearly every weight in Ysart Glass came from the US and the bulk of Paul Ysart's production went to the US.
Frank A.
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Offline Bernard C

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2008, 07:58:53 PM »
Thanks everyone for your views, and to Frank for the statistics, but I had meant something slightly different in my original post.

My experience is not of an occasional trickle of successful eBay searches from outside the area I mentioned, but nothing at all.   Zilch.   Zero.   Over more than a decade.

So where's all the British glass in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, Malaya, Borneo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, West Indies, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and Aden?

... and apologies for that rather garbled list, derived from a 1930s Pears map of the world, and my memories of stamp collecting.

Bernard C.  8)
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Offline Patrick

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Re: Where has all the British glass gone?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 08:26:55 PM »

My experience is not of an occasional trickle of successful eBay searches from outside the area I mentioned, but nothing at all.   Zilch.   Zero.   Over more than a decade.

So where's all the British glass in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, Malaya, Borneo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, West Indies, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and Aden?

Bernard C.  8)

I would put it down to the lack of easy access to the internet in those country's . I can not imagine that more than 20% of the population even knows about Ebay.

Regards Patrick.

 

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