Author Topic: Cut Glass Decanters  (Read 3184 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Andy

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 2029
  • Gender: Male
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 10:08:41 AM »
A suggestion,  Sowerby ?
Ive got 'The Decanter ,an illustrated history of glass' by Andy McConnell,
Certainly similar, late 19thc Sowerby ,
Ill have a good look through the book,
Andy :D
"Born to lose, Live to win." Ian (Lemmy) Kilmister Motorhead (1945-????)


Offline Leni

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 2277
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 11:53:08 AM »
I have tried to take some more pics of the decanters (well, one of them, anyway) but I'm not sure if they're better or worse!  :( 

Incidentally, Ray Annenberg was round the other day and looked at them and he seemed to think they were very good, and I value his opinion greatly!  ;D

Anyway, here they are in case anyone has any more ideas about them. 
Leni


Offline krsilber

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1015
  • Gender: Female
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 02:21:16 AM »
Wasn't Sowerby a pressed glass maker?

These aren't just good, they're excellent!  Cutting the wide blank pillars like that is very difficult and time-consuming.  I can see now the depth of the cutting, too.  Personally, I think they're English, Richardson or Webb perhaps.

Are you using a flash?  They aren't generally a good idea with cut glass.  I've been meaning to try to put together some tips for you, even started a post yesterday but couldn't find the example photos I'd taken.  But today I did, and posted my set-up in another thread before seeing yours again:  http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,21344.msg120306.html#new

That's for engraved glass, but most of the same stuff applies to rich cut glass.  You might take a look at Karen's photos in the gallery, too (http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/thumbnails.php?album=650).  She uses a light tent, but you can sort of see how with a white background that has some shadow in it, you can get a bit of contrast.

Here are some other tips on glass photography:
http://glassandpotterysellers.org/photo_tips.html
http://www.sigma-2.com/camerajim/cjgglassware.htm
Kristi


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

- Albert Einstein


Offline Leni

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 2277
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 07:22:15 AM »
Sheer laziness on my part I'm afraid, Kristi  :-[  I just 'point and shoot' with my digital camera -I haven't even learned the different settings   ::)  My son tells me I'm a disgrace!  He can use my camera to better effect than me, but he's busy revising for his 'Finals'  :(   

To the decanters:  Well, I did wonder about Richardson originally (see my first post) and when Ray Annenberg saw them, the first thing he asked was, "Are they Webb?"  So I would hope that maybe we could be right!  ;D ;) 

Have you seen the picture in Hajdamach of the Crystal Palace set?  They really do look very similar to me!  (Well, I hope it's not just wishful thinking!  ::) )
Leni


Offline krsilber

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1015
  • Gender: Female
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 09:23:51 AM »
Point and shoot for glass?  I think your son may be right! ;D  Naw, joking - cameras these days can be intimidating!  The instruction booklets are huge and confusing.  But it's worth getting to know some of the functions if you do much glass photography, I reckon.  When your son's done with Finals ask him to give you a crash course in changing the speed and aperture settings, use good light and turn off the flash.  That's my advice, FWIW. ;D 

Oh, and just monkey around with the settings.  Get comfy and take lots of pictures of whatever's in front of you, and see what happens.

I've seen the decanters in Hajdamach, I think I know which one you're talking about, but maybe not - what page?  I haven't seen one with the same cutting, though some are in a similar style.  Webb cut pillars like this, too, and perhaps Stevens and Williams, though I think they're less likely candidates.  Ha! what am I talking about?  I hardly know anything about English cut glass. ::)  But I'm learning! ;D
Kristi


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

- Albert Einstein


Offline Leni

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 2277
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 10:29:31 AM »
 :-[ Well, I thought the cutting looked a bit like the ones in Hajdamach in plate 80 and colour plate 13A, but now I look again I'm not sure.  There are some similarities, but it's not close enough, I now think  :-[

To be honest, I've never paid much attention to cut glass in pictures!  I love it when I see it, but tend to avoid it in photographs - perhaps too many people are like me, and take crappy pics!   ;) ::) 

I am thinking hard about Ray's suggestion that these decanters could be repaired.  One would need the whole foot replaced and both would need a chip on the neck smoothed down and a small amount of water damage polished out, but Ray seemed to think it would be worth doing!  Perhaps I need to find out what it would cost.  What do other people think?  Are they worth it?   :huh:
Leni


Offline krsilber

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1015
  • Gender: Female
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2008, 11:29:14 AM »
How big are the chips?  Replacing the foot would be drastic, I think, and quite expensive if you want it to be like the original.  In American Brilliant people almost expect there to be a minor chip or two, and if they're small it doesn't usually detract from the value.  Lead glass is soft, and easily damaged.
Kristi


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

- Albert Einstein


Offline Bernard C

  • Committee
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 3160
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2008, 10:29:27 AM »
Quote from: krsilber
Wasn't Sowerby a pressed glass maker?   ...

Yes, they were.   Cottle tells us that in 1852, when they moved to a 5Β½ acre (2ΒΌ hectare) site in East Street Gateshead to expand, they had six ten-pot furnaces, all under one roof, operating on three shifts per day.   By the following year there was a branch of the Glass Cutters Union established in Gateshead.   By the 1860s they had eight furnaces and were employing over 450 people, up to over 700 by 1882.   They made every type of glass with the possible exception of English Rock Crystal and Cameo.   Their output was immense.   There was a major shift to pressed glass in the 1860s, but they still made blown glass in some quantity.   Decorating by cutting, engraving, and etching was used on pressed, mould blown, and free-blown pieces, both plain blanks and partly mould-decorated items.

It was the same story in Manchester and Sunderland.   By comparison the Stourbridge factories were tiny, insignificant glassworks, forced to specialise in the finest quality work simply because they could not compete with the economies of scale of the giant northern factories on mainstream production.

I suggest you read Cottle.   Be prepared to be amazed by the numbers.   For example in 1883 Sowerby's average output was about 150 tons/tonnes (170 US "short" tons of 2000 lbs) of finished goods per week, none of it bottles or window glass.

One more example of their amazing skills.   Cottle discovered that they were making "Clutha" style aesthetic art glass for almost three years before Dresser's designs were made by James Couper & Sons.   Indeed Dresser sold Sowerby's art glass at his shop in London.   Sowerby exhibited 700 examples of this glass at the 1882 Manchester Art and Industrial Exhibition, followed by 2000 examples put on public display in Newcastle, almost within sight of their glassworks.   Yet all this glass is sold today as Clutha by Dresser, ignoring Cottle's revelations, whereas possibly most of it was made by Sowerby, and genuine pieces made by Couper should really be thought of as just copies of Sowerby's art glass, that is if anyone could tell the difference.

That's all, as I am on the verge of trampling all over Simon Cottle's IP rights, and I don't want to be zapped by a moderator.  :angel:

Back to topic β€”  it is more likely that Leni's decanters were made in Manchester or Gateshead than Stourbridge, simply by virtue of the relative size and production capacity of the respective glassworks.   Publishing the known Manchester pattern books, of which there are a fair number, would be a great help.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Anne

  • GMB Tech Support Manager & "Board (never bored) Dame"
  • Global Moderator
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 11195
  • Gender: Female
  • I has a stick to poke the server with yes!
    • Glass trinket sets
    • Cumbria England
    • ALAVNA Vintage & Collectable Glass
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2008, 12:19:59 PM »
Bernard, could you tell us which Cottle book you're recommending us to read here please? :)


Offline Bernard C

  • Committee
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 3160
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2008, 01:48:40 PM »
Anne β€” Profuse apologies.   Taking up the time of a moderator for any reason other than a newcomer in difficulties is the equivalent of a hanging offence, in my humble opinion.   And I was just congratulating myself on remembering to provide the area and weight conversions!

Here's the reference:

Cottle, Simon, Sowerby - Gateshead Glass, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear Museums Service, 1986, ISBN 0 905974 27 1

There don't seem to be any on the web, so ask for it at your local library.   It should be readily available by inter-library loan (some libraries make a small charge for this service).

Bernard C.  8)   
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot

 

This Website is provided by Angela Bowey, PO Box 113, Paihia 0247, New Zealand