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Author Topic: Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass  (Read 3028 times)

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Offline Bernard C

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« on: July 11, 2004, 02:46:16 AM »
Understanding errroneous information on the history of glass is not vital to an appreciation of the subject.    However it helps to understand the context in which authors of publications carried out their research, and often leads to a greater understanding of how they arrived at their conclusions.

Dr Colin R Lattimore's English 19th-Century Press-Moulded Glass, published by Barrie & Jenkins in 1979, was probably the most important innovative work on this subject, setting the standard for later works by Murray, Slack and Thompson, and providing the solid groundwork for today's manufacturer specific books, CDs and websites.

Unfortunately and rather unjustly Lattimore is possibly best known today for ascribing Carnival glass to the end of the 19th Century, an understandable conclusion, as much of the glass was made in old Victorian moulds.

I was recently fortunate to acquire an earlier work by Dr.  Lattimore.   This is in the February 1978 edition of The Antique Dealer Collectors Guide, a quality magazine which contains a three page illustrated article on the subject, and includes the Carnival glass dating error.   Does anyone know if this is the first publication of this error?

I have had the good fortune to meet Dr Lattimore, just the once.   This was at an antique fair, where he spent some time examining my stock of British glass.   I can recall him laughing at my ingenious but totally incorrect explanation of the function of a Hayward prism tile or pavement light, and kindly putting me right!    After he had gone, I was approached by a clock dealer who wondered why "The Clock Man" had spent so long at my stand.   I said he had got it wrong, he was "The Glass Man".   This rapidly deteriorated into a pantomime: "Oh, no he isn't", "Oh, yes he is", until we worked out that he was both!

For a glass dealer, meeting Colin Lattimore is something like meeting Royalty.   Don't worry, I will end here, and forgo the pleasure of relating my Lady Leonora anecdote.

Bernard C.
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright © 2004–15 Bernard Cavalot

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Offline Frank

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Re: Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2004, 08:01:07 AM »
Quote from: "Bernard C"

Don't worry, I will end here, and forgo the pleasure of relating my Lady Leonora anecdote...


...and leave your readers hanging!  :o

Looking forward to the next installment.

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Offline Glen

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 08:49:34 AM »
Bernard, you have posed an interesting question within a wider (fascinating) topic. In answer to your question: “Does anyone know if this is the first publication of this error?” I really can’t say. I haven’t seen the 1978 magazine article, but I do have Lattimore’s 1979 book "English 19th-Century Press-Moulded Glass".

I notice that Murray in 1982 ("The Peacock & the Lions") hedged her bets by placing Sowerby’s “iridescent glass” in “the last two decades of the 19th Century” (p 40) and also “in the twentieth Century” (p 54). Nothing like keeping your options open, eh?

There was certainly published information at the time, regarding the introduction of Carnival Glass, and its correct time line. Larry Freeman in his "Iridescent Glass, Aurene, Carnival, Tiffany" (published 1956,1964) had the dating as 1910-late 1920s. Sure, that was just a little late, but we can forgive him the odd year or two :-)

There were also Carnival Glass associations in the USA (the Society of Carnival Glass Collectors, established 1964, the American Carnival Glass Association, est. 1966 and the International Carnival Glass Association, est. 1967) as well as a thriving community of collectors in the UK that formed into an organised club in the early 1980s.

It’s possible to see why Lattimore had his date wrong, if we assume that he didn’t look beyond the Irish Sea. If we assume that he was only looking at the UK output of Carnival (ie Sowerby) then he possibly studied items that were made using old moulds (such as the Diving Dolphins, which was originally in production in the 1880s). However, the little Carnival Glass cream jug that is illustrated in "English 19th-Century Press-Moulded Glass" is actually a later item from Sowerby. Its catalogue number is 2377 (known to Carnival collectors as “Crosshatch”) and it was first introduced, I believe, in the early 1900s. The greater part of Sowerby’s Carnival output was actually made in patterns from the early 1900s (their item that is probably seen most often is Chunky aka English Hob & Button aka Sowerby’s 2266). The Diving Dolphins, Daisy Block Rowboat, Covered Swan and the Royal Swans are the main (and superbly wonderful) exceptions to that rule.

However, Lattimore did refer on page 153 (in "English 19th-Century Press-Moulded Glass") to “the ubiquitous iridescent glass produced at the end of the century and now known by the American name of carnival glass…………. Prices for this type of glass are affected by the demand from the United States”. So he was aware that the USA was driving the market. Certainly the information regarding the time-line for Carnival was in the public domain at that time.

On the wider subject of published erroneous information, I guess it’s just one step in the process of how we learn. We all make mistakes - sometime they’re excusable, sometimes they’re not. Unfortunately, when something is in print, it is often very difficult to correct it, should it be proven wrong. And (a pet peeve of mine) it is so frustrating to see mis-information being repeated as the truth, simply because “it’s in the book”.

One interesting piece of wrong information perpetuated for a considerable length of time in the Carnival Glass world, was the case of the Jain Hand and Fish vases. It was written back in the 1980s that these were made in Czechoslovakia - by the Jablonecky Industrisklo works (hence Ja In). In fact the items were made by the Jain Glass Works of Firozabad, India. It took quite a bit of work to get the correct facts in the public arena.

There are plenty more examples of similar “mistakes” in the published literature today.

Thanks again for an interesting and thought provoking “thread”, Bernard.
Just released—Carnival from Finland & Norway e-book!
Also, Riihimäki e-book and Carnival from Sweden e-book.
Sowerby e-books—three volumes available
For all info see http://www.carnivalglassworldwide.com/
Copyright G&S Thistlewood

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Offline Bernard C

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2004, 02:44:51 PM »
Frank: It will take more than one request to prise my Lady Leonora anecdote loose!

Glen: Thanks for obliquely pointing out my error - in mitigation I got muddled up over Murray and Morris - now corrected.   My worst problem with similar names is distinguishing between the three Adam Dodds, which must cause you some difficulty as well, as father, son, and grandson could all have been involved with Carnival Glass production.

Here is the full reference, for you and other Carnival Glass collectors:

Three page magazine article with six figures: five b/w photographs of glass and one with drawings of the Davidson, Greener, and Sowerby TMs and a design registration lozenge:

Lattimore, Colin R., F.S.A.Scot., English Decorative Press-Moulded Glass 1870-1890, in The Antique Dealer Collectors Guide, February 1978 edition, ISSN 0003-5866

"The end of this period saw the introduction of the ubiquitous carnival glass, which occurs in a number of colours, the most unpleasant being deep and pale orange.   The effect is obtained by colouring the surface of the glass with metallic lustres.   In cheap ware only one surface is covered, while in the better quality both inner and outer surfaces are covered.

"When the lustre is applied to colourless glass, the orange colour is the result, but if coloured glass, blue, green or brown is used, a rather more pleasing effect is obtained, especially with blue.   The heyday of this glass was in the early years of this century, when it was given away as fairground prizes, hence the name Carnival Glass."

The abbreviated bibliography at the end of the article includes "American Glass, Geo. and Helen McKearin."

Spelling, punctuation and case all checked and correctly transcribed.

Regards, Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

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Offline Ivo

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2004, 03:57:41 PM »
Quote from: "Bernard C"
Frank: It will take more than one request to prise my Lady Leonora anecdote loose!]

Aw come ON  :roll: !!!!

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Offline Adam

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2004, 05:50:33 PM »
Bernard - Honestly, life isn't as complicated as you often think!  There were only two Adam Dodds' connected with what we must now call Carnival - my grandfather (whom I never knew) and me.  My father was only briefly connected with Sowerbys - strictly non-technical and he wasn't called Adam anyway!

If you really want to ie yourself in knots, my great-grandfather was called Adam but he is recorded as an engine fitter and now there is another one aged about four.  Neither, you will be pleased to hear, involved with Carnival so far as I know.

Regards,

Adam (Dodds)

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Offline Glen

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2004, 05:59:01 PM »
Oh Bernard....I didn't "obliquely point out" your "error". Truth is I didn't spot it. :lol: I just thought there was a book by Morris that I hadn't read!  :oops:
Just released—Carnival from Finland & Norway e-book!
Also, Riihimäki e-book and Carnival from Sweden e-book.
Sowerby e-books—three volumes available
For all info see http://www.carnivalglassworldwide.com/
Copyright G&S Thistlewood

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Bernard C

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Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2004, 02:15:56 PM »
Glen - QED!   You made an assumption based on my error.    It just shows how important it is to get it correct, and that the history of errors, while not mainstream, is certainly non-trivial.

Adam, thanks for putting me right.

You do not have to call Rainbo and Sunglow "Carnival".   In my book manufacturers' names take precedence over collectors' later names.   It is just that I have been brainwashed by Glen and her fellow enthusiasts.    In the UK "Carnival" is more properly the name of a range of table glass by Bagley, pattern #3141, reg no. 894118 (Nov. 1946).

I am delighted to hear of a very young Adam.   With his pedigree, some fairly startling innovations should be going into production around the years 2020 - 2022.   Is he taking advance bookings yet?

Bernard C.
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

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Offline Glen

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What's in a name?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2004, 08:22:17 AM »
Quote from: Bernard C
You do not have to call Rainbo and Sunglow "Carnival".   In my book manufacturers' names take precedence over collectors' later names.   It is just that I have been brainwashed by Glen and her fellow enthusiasts.    In the UK "Carnival" is more properly the name of a range of table glass by Bagley, pattern #3141, reg no. 894118 (Nov. 1946).

Bernard C.

I wish it were this simple  :roll: While I do agree that manufacturer's names should be taken into account, there are instances (in my humble opinion) where they should not take precedence over later names that have come into use.

Here's an example: Riihimaki actually named several of their patterns in at least one of their catalogues, which has only recently come to light. Within Carnival Glass collector circles in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, most of these patterns have names that have been in use for some considerable time (for example, Western Thistle). It would be impractical to change and call them by their original names (Kukka instead of Western Thistle) as it simply wouldn't work. No one would know what we were talking about and it's impossible to change book references etc retrospectively.

What would the answer be in the case of a pattern such as the Rose Garden? The vase was made by Brockwitz (who called it Rosen) and Eda (who called it Rosor). But the collectors who first began to write about it in the 1960s call it Rose Garden.

What Steve and I have done in all our published writing, is to include all known names for items, where possible.

Another instance where I believe that collectors' later names should take precedence over manufacturer's names is where the specific name in question is in common currency. "Carnival" is undoubtedly the term most widely and universally used for press moulded, iridised glass with a pattern. "Marigold" is the term used for the familiar orange iridescence on Carnival.

Sunglow* is specific to Sowerby's marigold, but is used (and known) only rarely. Nothing's going to change that. Same thing with the Bagley pattern "Carnival".

In these days of fast international communication, emphasised by the world wide web, I don't think that we can focus on terms that are specific to a single area. Language has to perform a function, which in this case, is to identify products or items for as many people as possible. A common currency, if you like. Having said that, I firmly advocate listing where appropriate, and being aware of, all names / terms etc., as part of the educational process (and of course, for historical accuracy).

* Mod: changed from Rubigold to Sunglow as requested.
Just released—Carnival from Finland & Norway e-book!
Also, Riihimäki e-book and Carnival from Sweden e-book.
Sowerby e-books—three volumes available
For all info see http://www.carnivalglassworldwide.com/
Copyright G&S Thistlewood

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Frank

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Re: Dr Colin R Lattimore on Carnival Glass
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2007, 10:11:58 AM »
Quote from: Bernard C
Don't worry, I will end here, and forgo the pleasure of relating my Lady Leonora anecdote...

...and leave your readers hanging!  :o

Looking forward to the next installment.
Quote from: Bernard C
Frank: It will take more than one request to prise my Lady Leonora anecdote loose!]

Aw come ON  :roll: !!!!

Still waiting  :mus:

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