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Author Topic: Jobling Swallow Tray & ? Dragonfly Tray  (Read 789 times)

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Offline Bernard C

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Jobling Swallow Tray & ? Dragonfly Tray
« on: March 16, 2010, 03:32:53 PM »
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/albums/userpics/10318/normal_DSCF0854.jpg
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/albums/userpics/10318/DSCF0855.jpg
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/albums/userpics/10318/DSCF0853.jpg

Click image links to enlarge in new window.

Measurements:

Dragonfly Tray
  • Diameter 2 15/16" 74mm
  • Weight 2oz 58g

Swallow Tray
  • Diameter 2 15/16" 74mm
  • Weight 1 3/8oz 42g
 


I bought this pair recently from a good source, a bric-a-brac dealer standing at a weekly market in England.   The Jobling Swallow Tray is in dreadful condition, badly chipped and with severe water damage as though it had been used as a small flower pot saucer.   I will keep it for reference.

The Dragonfly Tray is in fine condition, with the usual polishing of the high points of the lightly acid-matted pattern as found on most examples of the Swallow Tray.   The rim finish, the rim chamfer, and the size are all identical.   The only differences are dragonflies instead of swallows, and this tray is about 2mm deeper than this swallow tray (obviously always slightly variable as it depended on how much the rim was ground down).

I've always assumed that the design, modelmaking and mouldmaking was French, as it is so different from the rest of Jobling's 1930s new products.   I doubt whether Jobling would have advertised the Swallow Tray in their trade catalogue had they not been manufacturing the tray themselves;  an unknown demand would have been difficult to meet in a reasonable time had they been made in France.   As the two trays are, in essence, identical, the Dragonfly Tray must be Jobling.

So why the rarity?

It is worth considering the status of dragonflies in Britain in the mid 1930s.

The first comprehensive illustrated guide to British Dragonflies was produced by W.J. Lucas in 1900.   Long out of print and seriously out of date, it was about to be replaced by Cynthia Longfield's new guide, published January 1, 1937.   With cheap rail and bus transport countryside holidays were popular with the middle classes, who became quite knowledgeable about wildlife, including dragonflies.   Specialist enthusiasts termed themselves Odonatists, and were always looking for rarities and new species, also providing countrywide distribution data, then centrally collected at the British Museum and transferred to species maps.

So you can imagine Jobling's first short production run of these two trays, for examination by management, sales, and marketing.   It wouldn't have been long before someone pointed out the inaccuracy of the wildlife modelling.   The Swallow Tray wasn't too far off - inaccuracy could be explained as artistic licence.   But the Dragonfly Tray was a disaster.   Dragonflies don't have different length wings, eye-spots on their wings, bendy bodies in flight, and, worst of all, eight legs!!!   And a substantial proportion of the middle classes, Jobling's target market for this glass, was fully aware of this.   So production of the Dragonfly Tray was abandoned, and the trays all destroyed - except that, as always, one or two escaped.

What do you think?   Have you ever seen one?

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


Offline peejyweejy

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Re: Jobling Dragonfly Tray (with friend)
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 05:24:35 PM »
You are a mine of information Bernard, I always learn so much from you. What a shame to have stopped production of the dragonfly trays....I would have loved to own one, no matter how innacurate!
Peejy x


Offline Mike M

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Re: Jobling Dragonfly Tray (with friend)
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 05:38:58 PM »
Bernard

funnily enough the first time I saw this dragonfly dish pattern the dealer was adamant it was Jobling -I pointed out to him it wasn't in any of the documentation and the dealer was mortally offended that I was questioning his attribution. (I now know of course that not being in the documentation is far from conclusive). Anyway I too have often wondered since then if he was right.

However the dragonfly dishes I've seen have often had a very different and poorer mold quality that the Jobling Swallow. I also think the similar size is a coincidence as many many dishes with different patterns and different colours were made in that size.

So I remain unconvinced, sorry (that's not me saying 'definitely not Jobling' just 'I'm still unconvinced')

Also the dragonfly dish seems to only come in one size and the Jobling swallow comes in at least two sizes!

Cheers

Mike   



Offline Mosquito

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Re: Jobling Dragonfly Tray (with friend)
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 08:31:12 PM »
I thought the Jobling Swallow pintray came in only one size, i.e. that shown in the 1937 catalogue? It's a direct copy of Sabino's Les Hirondelles pattern (no. 9074 in Decelle), other sizes also produced & still available from Sabino (http://www.sabinoartglass.com/showprod.asp?cid=66) - I've always believed the other sizes seen were Sabino rather than Jobling production.

Sorry Bernard, but I've also yet to be convinced by the Jobling attribution for the dragonfly dish. There are many other firms capable of making such an item, Verlys & Sabino spring to mind, as does Hoffmann, though the modelling is perhaps not good enough for any of these firms. See here http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,32414.msg175584.html#msg175584 for a similarly finished pindish with a fish design that comes in most definitely un-Jobling colours.

Also I've seen quite a few of these dragonfly trays offered for sale in the US recently - I certainly wouldn't say they were especially rare. There's one on Ebay now (attributed to Verlys), item 170459109202

Steven


Offline Mike M

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Re: Jobling Dragonfly Tray (with friend)
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 10:01:33 PM »
OK I guess Jobling may have only done one size, but I do have a pair of swallow trays -both absolutely identical except one is 3 inches and one 4 inches (give or take a mm) and the 3 inch is the catalogued Jobling one.

I'd say 4 inch is almost definitely not Sabino nor Verlys. -The glass seems wrong to me. 

I would not be the only bit of Jobling with an undocumented size variation.

Another little Jobling mystery

cheers

Mike



Offline Jayne

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Re: Jobling Swallow Tray & ? Dragonfly Tray
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 01:50:27 AM »


Offline Leni

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Re: Jobling Swallow Tray & ? Dragonfly Tray
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 07:29:56 AM »
Yes, I'd agree the ebay Dragonfly dish is the same.  I have one in colourless frosted glass. 

I also have a 'Swallow' pin dish, in Opalescent glass.  It's slightly bigger than the dragonfly dish, and is marked 'Sabino France'. 
Leni


Offline Anne

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Re: Jobling Swallow Tray & ? Dragonfly Tray
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 04:51:46 PM »
To add a little more to this discussion, there is one of the dragonfly dishes listed here: http://thewonderofglass.com/ourshop/prod_2374100-JOBLING-DRAGONFLY-PIN-DISH.html which appears to paraphrase Bernard's text from the original post above.

Discussing this item with Dan (art-of-glass) he tells me, "The dragonfly pin dish (or ashtray as they see in the book) were made by Fenton, 1935. They're in the Fenton books..." - does this help at all?  8)


 

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