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Author Topic: Is this an example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark?  (Read 2463 times)

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Offline Paul S.

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Is this an example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark?
« on: September 04, 2009, 07:49:38 PM »
I'm probably in the wrong place with this, but wanted to show something I have not seen previously, and which has a relevance to Bernard's very recent item which is described as a 'toastmaster glass'.   I like looking at the bottoms of most things when I'm buying glass, but admit to never before having seen a 'gadget' mark, although I have a rough understanding of what the tool was used for, although I'm not sure why it leaves a 'Y' shaped mark.   The decanter shown was picked up last weekend for a few pence at a charity market  -  although minus stopper unfortunately.   This 'tri-form' lipped spout, seems less common than a spout with single direction lip, and I'm thinking this might be a mid to late C19 copy of a much earlier style (Venetian ??).   In fact it is not pink (more's the pity) but is just a plain flint piece (think it picked up the colour from the black base paper).    24.5 cms. tall.   Don't think I have even seen the mark in a book, but cud be wrong.   So, for anyone else who like me, has not seen the mark.......      In fact it was only seeing the comment about a Y shapped mark this evening, that made me rush for the decanter.   When I had cleaned the piece last weekend, I saw the mark and thought simply it was damage by a careless glassblower. :-[       Which spirit might this have contained, and is it English?      Paul S.

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Offline johnphilip

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 06:26:53 AM »
Is that not the mark from the shears ?

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Offline Paul S.

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 08:28:14 AM »
oh!!  -  in truth I really haven't a clue.     Cud be this was a bit of auto suggestion perhaps  -  just seemed like a vey good 'Y' shaped mark.   Apologies if I have confused everyone.   What then does a real 'Y' shaped gadget mark look like??  Paul S.   

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Offline Bernard C

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 09:01:23 AM »
...   What then does a real 'Y' shaped gadget mark look like??   ...

Hold your left arm in front of you pointing up, and make a goose beak pointing right out of your first two fingers and thumb.   Now put a stemmed glass in between your first two fingers, with the thumb under the foot.   That's a gadget, except that there's a slight S-bend in the handle (your arm), so that the handle and centre line of the glass all roughly line up, so that the rim of the glass can be easily rotated in the glory hole to fire finish the rim.

The Y-shaped mark of a gadget is where your fingers are on the upper side of the foot, either side of the stem.   Often this mark shows the impression of fibres — asbestos fibre wrapping — used to prevent thermal shock cracking the foot.

I hope I have that correct.  ;D

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

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

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Offline Paul S.

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 10:32:08 AM »
thanks very much Bernard  -  a very good explanation, and although I had a rough idea that the gadget held the foot, didn't know quite where it left the impression.
I assume the Y impression is not overly obvious, otherwise this might detract from the looks of the foot of the glass.      So I had been on the wrong side of the foot completely!   John's comment about shears is quite probably correct then.    Just looked again at my decanter, and odly enough, the foot does show a feint outline of an impression going across from one side of the foot to the other, similar to your description, although this may mean nothing at all.   In fact the foot is very much out of 'flat' - with quite a little rise at one point, and the whole piece is really cheap looking  -  several white stones in the metal.   I must now look out for a real gadget mark.    Paul S.

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Offline jsmeasell

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 08:38:41 PM »
Just from the photo, I suspect the foot was applied to this vase while it was still on the blowpipe. A finisher at the bench (the chair in UK terms) used a tool called "clapper" or foot squeezer to shape the foot, and the result is often a bit uneven as described. If the vase was then was cracked off the blowpipe and taken to the lehr, the top area would be finished (ground/polished?) after annealing. How is the top edge of this vase finished? In this type of operation, there would be no gadget (called "snap" in USA) used at all. So, I think the Y-shaped mark is the result of cutting off the bit that became the foot when the tool was used to shape it.

Also, the mark that looks like "fiber" could be from a lehr pad, i.e., fabric used on the chain-link metal belt in the lehr to keep the piece from being marked by the metal. If the glass is very hot, it will pick up marks from the lehr pad.
James Measell, Historian
Fenton Art Glass Co.

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Offline Paul S.

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Re: example of 'Y' shaped gadget mark
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 11:24:06 AM »
thanks for yur input James  -  this piece isn't actually a vase (or do you say 'vaise')  -  it's a decanter in fact  -  and the top has a three way lip.  Generally the body seems quite thin and delicate (for a decanter) - but perhaps thats just because my decanter that I pick up mostly is the whiskey one.  These three way lipped varieties seem less common than other sorts.  Unfortunately, I don't collect decanters, so know very little about them.  Paul S.

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