Here again is a thumbnail picture of the 16" thorn vases I mentioned in part 1 and 2. Click image to enlarge, or here
Yesterday I was browsing through the factory pattern books in Reynolds, looking for a Walsh cut glass pattern, when I noticed pattern No. A4066, a group of four fairly conventional thorn vases. This was a central 10" vase, linked by chains in maypole fashion to three smaller vases and sold "Boxed Complete". Three pages and a few patterns further on is the date 20.7.27. So this indicates that Walsh were still making thorn vases in 1927, half a century on from the popular date for them in the reference books, which now must be considered a launch date.
A short time ago I wrote what I hoped would be a helpful reply to Jim Sapp's topic Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
. While I was looking at the photograph of the Barbe decorated Burmese ware in Hajdamach, my eye alighted on the little vase at the front of the group on the opposite page, and I realised that I was looking at the graduated colour effect in my thorn vases. The caption indicates this is an example of Thomas Webb's Alexandrite
, which Hajdamach describes "... needed to be reheated twice, firstly to obtain the red colour change from the amber, and finally to reheat the very top of the glass to get a beautiful violet blue
Now suppose that around 1900 Thomas Webb's management was shown the interesting graduated colour change that could be achieved by blowing cased glass of two colours into a tubular mould. And that it could be done again, producing any combination of graduated colour changes. They came across a particular combination of blue cased in ruby, and then the process was repeated with the outcome cased in amber. It was attractive, the layers did not split apart when broken, and if made thin enough with a carefully finished rim, there was no way of telling what process had been used. So the management proclaimed this amazing new glass invented by their brilliant research team, which involved reheating twice to obtain the colour effect. Quite true, if a little misleading. Had they told the whole truth, every glassworks in the world would have been copying it within a few months. By creating the impression that it was a new special glass, they were able to sell it as the exclusive range Alexandrite
Am I a million miles away or not? Probably I am, as I have been wrong many times before. So, could some kind person please explain what is wrong with my theory, and why Webb's really produced a new special glass when they had all the coloured glass and skills already available, just waiting for Alexandrite
to be made.
... and does this help attribute my thorn vases?