Author Topic: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight  (Read 1630 times)

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Offline cfosterk

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An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« on: March 17, 2010, 09:00:47 PM »
I thought I'd have a cheeky bid (not expecting to be successful) - looks like an Ysart Bros attempt or possibly Vasart.

Other views would be appreciated!!


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 11:36:34 PM »
I wil get back to you on this one. But for now, it could be useful to compare some of the canes (including the parts that make up the complex canes) to others in items from, say, Perthshire Paperweights.
KevinH


Offline cfosterk

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 08:48:07 PM »
Hmm....perthshire style canes? I hadn't noticed anything even vaguely perthshire about the weight tbh

the alternating green then blue single canes then stirred something but the 'complex' canes I thought closer to 'vasart' examples.

the wings on the butterfly are confusing too....i'm sure I've seen elements in a number of weights...


Offline cfosterk

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 03:22:31 PM »


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 02:14:12 AM »
Sorry to have taken a while to get back to this. I was trying to find examples of identical or similar canes. My thoughts are not brief, so I will deal with things in separate posts, ending with some photos of a weight I have that may or may not assist.
KevinH


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 02:14:42 AM »
Although I am sure I have seen at least three of the complex canes elsewhere, I can only find one definite example – the blue 20-cog over white over red 6-point star. I can also provide what I believe is a match to the thin pale yellow rods that are used as the outer layer of 7 alternate canes with 7 pink-white in the inner circle.

One of the other canes I have seen is the pastel-blue 20-cog over clear over 8-lobe “daisy” with complex centre. Or at least, I have seen a cane very similar. And the third one I seem to recognise is the outer row cane with the multiple pink-white cane surround.

Problem is, I can’t be sure where I have seen these but I think at least two of them have been as decoration to bowls (or vases?) likely to have been made at Perthshire Paperweights. Other things that make me think of PP are the use of several, very tidy, 20-cog canes in the same piece, together with other canes having multiple thin rods (or cogs) as an outer surround to a complex cane.

I cannot identify the open spiral white twists cane and neither do I recognise the overall form of the butterfly as being specific to a particular lampworker. But again, I do feel I have seen a butterfly with aventurine body and heavy-looking antennae with curved ends – just can’t find it.

Having said that, I agree that some, if not all, of the canes may well be Vasart Ltd and perhaps even early Ysart. But with those neat 20-cog canes, I don’t favour Ysart Brothers (Vasart) or earlier as being the likely date that the weight was made.

Given that this is a “floating butterfly” weight, it could suggest Salvador Ysart or perhaps one of the sons (other than Paul). But I have seen two other examples in the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, one of which had quite thick antennae looking very much like the pale yellow rods already mentioned. Those weights are pictured in my article “Project Perth” in issue 82 of the Newsletter of the Cambridge Paperweight Circle (August 2003). The interesting thing about those was that the UV fluorescence was Green / Blue (longwave / shortwave) which is consistent with Vasart Ltd through Strathearn and also Perthshire Paperweights up to about 1983.

Back to the blue-white-red cane and the yellow rods … see next post.
KevinH


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 02:15:28 AM »
I bought a weight from Bob Hall, which is illustrated on page 137 of his book, World Paperweights: Millefiori & Lampwork. It’s a patterned millefiori having six groups of canes around a central “group”, set on a cushion of “lumpy” aventurine.

One of the canes in this weight is the “20-cog blue over white over red 6-point star” in the unusual butterfly weight. And the cane “group” in the centre has a “JA” cane untidily surrounded by 9 yellow “rods”, which on very close inspection actually have a 16-cog structure with the yellow as a coating to a plain white rod.

That particular “JA” cane is very different from another version which is shown in the Complete Guide to Perthshire Paperweights and is also known in some of Jack Allen’s weights from the short time he was at Caithness Glass.

Photos of this Jack Allen weight and all of its canes follow below. Unfortunately, I cannot give an accurate dating or place of manufacture for this one. In the book, Bob stated (rather strangely – or perhaps there was a typo or editing glitch): “… made around 1970 … This paperweight was probably made during the Strathearn or Vasart period …”. If it was 1970, then Jack Allen was at Perthshire Paperweights. And the range of canes, as shown below, do not look to me to be consistent with Vasart Ltd but could be Strathearn.

The cushion of “lumpy” aventurine is an interesting feature. Can anyone tie it in to a known period or company?

I do not believe it is possible at this stage to say that the butterfly weight was made by Jack Allen, but I think he would certainly be one of the main candidates. I still feel there is an element of very early Perthshire Paperweights to both weights but I accept that Strathearn may be just as likely.

I am open to any pointers that can show definite matches of the canes in both weights to known work from any of the Scottish companies – particularly the Vasart or Strathearn years.

Photos follow ...
KevinH


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 02:17:52 AM »
Top, side and base views of "JA" weight.
KevinH


Offline KevinH

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 02:23:35 AM »
Cane details.

Note the Blue cane with red central star and the yellow "rods", which I think match to the butterfly weight.

Incidentally, the Blue cane is difficult to photograph with accurate colouring. Flash makes it look much paler that it really is, and the same effect occurs when I use my "old" Nikon without flash! Using my digital SLR without flash, the effect is not as noticeable but the blue is still a touch on the pale side, as is the yellow of other canes.
KevinH


Offline cfosterk

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Re: An unusual Scottish butterfly paperweight
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 10:01:59 PM »
The more I look at the weight the more confused I get. I think I've have seen elements of the weight in different manufacturers pieces too but hadn't been able to tie anything concrete down. Just the nagging thoughts that this cane looks familiar and the like...

Anyways, after such a comprehensive reply Kevin, heres my go, although far less scientific....

I am in no way criticising the quality of millefiori produced by Vasart and Strathearn but the canes in this piece seem much crisper and very well defined - perhaps pointing to Perthshire?

The complex canes reminded me of a 'common' Vasart cane. But then I remembered a sulphide on Richard Mores site signed with a JA cane, hmmm...

The green and blue cog canes are again very precise and do appear very 'Perthshire' in appearance. 

The white spiral (four) twist should be easily identifiable but I haven't found a match yet.

The turquoise ruffle cane appears similar in design to a number of strathearn examples.

The profusion of bubbles between the canes has a distinctly later vasart/early strathearn feel.

Then theres the lumpy butterfly - were it not for this beast the millefiori set up might have pointed to a rather well regarded member of the Ysart family. I am sure I've seen something vaguely familiar, but can I find it!!! The use of aventurine for the body is particularly puzzling. The dome is comparatively high (2.5" high by 3" wide).

The purple/black base is a mottled effect and similar to vasart/strathearn examples and some early Perthshire bases.

The base is 'button' fire polished - the pontil set within a slightly concaved base with wear to the footrim.

So a hotpotch - elements of a number of factories from the 1950's onwards. I like mystery weights!! A mongrel but I love it!!!


 

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