Author Topic: Cut Glass Decanters  (Read 3365 times)

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Offline Anne

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2008, 02:13:32 PM »
Brilliant, thanks Bernard, I'll ask Kendal library to find it for me... (although there should be a copy there as Simon went to Kendal Grammar School so he is a local celeb!)

Edited to add: I just checked the catalogue online and there's not a copy in the whole county of Cumbria.  Shocking! - all they have are two copies of the Sotheby's concise encyclopedia of glass - neither being at Kendal. Humph! Looks like inter-library loan is the way to go.  ::)


Offline Leni

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2008, 04:06:53 PM »
At Bernard's request, I am adding a picture here of the little tazza I bought from him a while ago, which could well have been made by Sowerby.  Bernard asked me to show this as an example of (possible) Sowerby blown glass.

(Incidentally, Ray Annenberg saw this tazza at the same time he came round and saw my decanters, and he asked me was it made by Sowerby, because he thought the colour looked like Sowerby's green.  Needless to say, it's NOT pressed!  ;) )   
Leni


Offline krsilber

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2008, 12:00:35 AM »
Bernard, thanks so much for the information about Sowerby!  As I'm sure everyone realizes by now, I have heaps to learn about English glass.  I never knew anything about it before joining this forum; the only European glass I'd done much "research" into was Bohemian (and it still baffles me! ::)).

I looked for Simon's book - it's not available through ILL here, and having just bought 3 books (two from the Dudley Museum) I'm not yet ready to buy it yet.  After a little Googling and reading it seems like cut glass wasn't much of a focus there, though of course that doesn't mean they didn't do it.  These decanters are very well cut, and my feeling is that they would have been made by a company that was big in the cutting business, even if not in their total glass output.  Bernard, when you say, "it is more likely that Leni's decanters were made in Manchester or Gateshead" do you mean there are other companies around there besides Sowerby that are also likely candidates?

Surprisingly (to me), Hajdamach says on pg. 359, "English cut glass formed the bulk of glass production in the late Victorian period and the profits from its sale helped to finance the technically complex art glass."  Not so surprising is the fact that companies like Stevens and Williams employed freelance cutters to help meet their demands, so even if a company seems small on paper it may in reality have had more people working for it.  Pound-for-pound (kilo-for-kilo ;D) it may not have produced as much as a company like Sowerby, but much of Sowerby's output was cheaper and more quickly made.

Of course, there's always the possibility Leni's decanters aren't English at all.  Hawkes and Hoare are two good American candidates.  Leni, what color do they fluoresce in UV?

Your green tazza is gorgeous!  Thanks for posting it.  You mention Sowerby's green...one little factoid I stumbled on was that Sowerby exported some of their colored glass, including to America.  That's not necessarily relevant to the attribution on your compote, it just struck me as interesting.  I learn so much through this board! :) :) :)

Does anyone have an example of Sowerby's cut glass?  Or if some of it is shown in Simon's or another book, I would very much appreciate it if someone could email me an image or two.  My curiosity is piqued now!!
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

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2008, 07:55:38 AM »
Kristi — Please take care with the word research.   I like to keep it for the the work of those who consult primary evidence and generously bring their results and conclusions to the rest of us in the form of books, articles, and websites.

I'm surprised that Cottle is not available through ILL in the USA, as I thought that the Rakow Library actively participated in ILL, and that there was an established reciprocal ILL agreement between the Library of Congress and the British Library.   Perhaps I am wrong.

Please take care to not misquote me, quote me out of context, or revise what I wrote.   I am not sure whether you were in that reply, but you were getting close.   Please tell me if I have got it wrong, and I will, after due consideration and if necessary, put it right.   I prefer to choose my own editors.   You were certainly quoting Hajdamach out of context, as he was making that assertion in the context of the introduction to chapter 14.

Please take more care when describing Sowerby.   They were a highly efficient and cost effective innovative factory, producing fine quality products at a price that few others could match.   You will be interested to know that contemporary writers, used to equating quality with expense, also had real difficulty with Sowerby's operation and products.

I sold a Sowerby cut salt at Gaydon, only a few weeks ago.   Nice hand-polished accurate cutting on a pressed blank with the trade mark moulded into the base, dating it to post–1876 or thereabouts.   Leni may remember it.   No more identifiable cut Sowerby in stock.

I can appreciate your difficulty getting to grips with the reality of British glass production during the Victorian era.   When you are constantly drip fed the line that almost all unmarked glass was by S&W or Webb, you start to believe it.    Don't forget that Hajdamach concentrated on the Stourbridge factories quite naturally, as he was curator of the museum there, and the surviving pattern books and other records were readily available to him.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline krsilber

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2008, 10:26:09 AM »
Kristi — Please take care with the word research.   I like to keep it for the the work of those who consult primary evidence and generously bring their results and conclusions to the rest of us in the form of books, articles, and websites.  Yes, I had misgivings about that word when I used it, which is why I put it in quotation marks.  To me, on a personal level, that's what I'm doing when I read and look at photos and ask questions.

I'm surprised that Cottle is not available through ILL in the USA, as I thought that the Rakow Library actively participated in ILL, and that there was an established reciprocal ILL agreement between the Library of Congress and the British Library.   Perhaps I am wrong. I only searched in the state system.  I can get things ILL nationally for a fee, but never tried it.

Please take care to not misquote me, quote me out of context, or revise what I wrote.   I am not sure whether you were in that reply, but you were getting close.   Please tell me if I have got it wrong, and I will, after due consideration and if necessary, put it right.   I prefer to choose my own editors.  Oh my!  I don't even know what you're referring to.  I quoted you once, and that was to ask a question (which you haven't answered).    You were certainly quoting Hajdamach out of context, as he was making that assertion in the context of the introduction to chapter 14.  I thought about the context, but the statement itself seems to stand alone.  It would have been different if the chapter were about a particular company.  I don't know what all he was including in his assessment.  It just seems like a striking statement, so I kind of threw it out as a point of discussion.

Please take more care when describing Sowerby.   They were a highly efficient and cost effective innovative factory, producing fine quality products at a price that few others could match.   You will be interested to know that contemporary writers, used to equating quality with expense, also had real difficulty with Sowerby's operation and products.  I hope you didn't think I meant that cheaper was low quality.  That was a dumb word to use for less expensively.  I shouldn't be making any assumptions about a company I know so little about.  Still, none of the Sowerby glass I've seen (and I admit I've seen little) can compare in the amount of time and labor that went into making Leni's decanters.  A great deal of skill was involved in cutting the pillars.  Only a few top firms in the US attempted such cutting.  I'm not saying Sowerby didn't make them, but based on what I've seen and read I think it's more likely a Stourbridge company did.  My opinion - and not a terribly educated one! ;)

I sold a Sowerby cut salt at Gaydon, only a few weeks ago.   Nice hand-polished accurate cutting on a pressed blank with the trade mark moulded into the base, dating it to post–1876 or thereabouts.   Leni may remember it.   No more identifiable cut Sowerby in stock.  Maybe I'm jaded by American glass, but here pressed blanks are equated with cutting corners when it comes to rich cut glass.  

I can appreciate your difficulty getting to grips with the reality of British glass production during the Victorian era.   When you are constantly drip fed the line that almost all unmarked glass was by S&W or Webb, you start to believe it.  I don't believe that!  Geez, give me a little credit.  Ray Annenberg said he thought they might be Webb, and he must know something about the glass industry.   Don't forget that Hajdamach concentrated on the Stourbridge factories quite naturally, as he was curator of the museum there, and the surviving pattern books and other records were readily available to him.

Bernard, I really hope I didn't offend you by my comments.  I seem to have a bad way of putting things, my writing style ain't so hot I guess.  Because of a medical problem I have trouble finding the words I want to use, and it takes me a long time to write a post sometimes, so maybe I get slack. 

Bernard C.  8)
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 Nancy128

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2008, 03:21:01 PM »
Leni, what a beautiful pair of cut glass decanters. :o  Could you black light these and tell me what color they are?  That helps me determine what catalog to search for American Brilliant.  Thanks!  ;D

Offline krsilber

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2008, 03:16:50 AM »
Leni, if you get a chance, could you look at these with a blacklight and report back?

EDIT:  Whoops, just noticed Nancy's post!  Well, I second it. ;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

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2008, 06:59:32 AM »
Looked at the decanters with the only black-light I've got - a torch with a fairly strong standard UV LED - and all I get is the purple reflection from the LED. No other glow of any sort.  Nada.
Leni

Offline Nancy128

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2008, 11:44:04 AM »
That narrows down the search Leni!!  There were some American cut glass companies that would buy Baccarat blanks, so I'll look in that direction.  They are very very stunning!!

Offline krsilber

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Re: Cut Glass Decanters
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2008, 02:22:38 AM »
Thanks, Leni!  It will be interesting to see what Nancy finds.  I'm still leaning toward English, but it's a hard thing to verify.
Kristi


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

- Albert Einstein

 

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