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Possible Vasart Paperweight

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Possible Vasart Paperweight

2.8" diam approx, 1.7" high - mottled turquoise base set with latticino spokes and canes that seem very Vasart, use of bubbles for glittering effect is profuse and look like (are!) tiny cracks and fissures on close inspection. Base has ground (gouged) pontil with central black spot.

There is little ware to the surface but one small bubble is astray and there are three pieces of white/grey glass from the main body that have floated to 6mm from surface, one is central, the other two to sides (largest 5mm long and thin, these could also be frosted irregular shaped bubbles or aberrations (look like opaque glass under a 15X lens)

Paperweight has few scratches to surface, so these defects count against the weight - I paid £30.00

I suppose this one goes out to KevH for a definite ID, no rush I know you are busy and it is a hassle when members are always using your talents, but they are excellent talents

Pics top side base

Adam P

Hi Adam,

Since I am still sitting at my pc at 02:46, I will answer this now :D

The weight could conceivably be any of: early Vasart (46 to 56), Vasart Ltd period (56 to 64) or early Strathearn (say, 64 to 69). Only a full UV check would confirm which side of 1956 it was made.

But with that amount of bubbling and the fact that the design appears to fill the whole dome, I would guess it's a pre-56 piece.

--- Quote ---... use of bubbles for glittering effect is profuse and look like (are!) tiny cracks and fissures on close inspection ...
--- End quote ---
I commented in another posting about bubbles of this sort in weights. They were not a deliberate design feature, even though they do sometimes add an interesting effect. As you say, there are cracks and fissures. This, as well as the many varied-sized bubbles around cane edges etc., is, I believe,  the result of less than perfect working and inefficient temperature controls. Some weights have a "snow storm" of bubbles in the dome, let alone surface bubbles around canes (I have two examples with "snow storm" domes, one of which does however have a redeeming feature of the "sought after" "Y" cane).

Thanks Kev

I read on your website about early Vasart paperweights and how bubbles and fissures occurred - these are actually quite nice as they all seem to glitter around the nine central canes in the right place, there are also strange bubbles in between the three base canes, these are iridized purple/green, they are an attempt at something I think as some are lost within canes.

The two lower base canes have centres that are bubbled and crackled and glow a light blue iridescence? I am sure as you say the attempt was to imbed the canes and tiny bubbles / fissures were created (though some bubbles do seem deliberate (three large to centre & in between three base canes), as said I actually like them as they add so much sparkle and are around the cane areas, only one stray bubble has floated to surface, as well as a few floaters (not so good).

I have other Vasart weights but none as fascinating as this, if that is the right word.

How would to UV test the glass, is it on your site? - I don't even have a UV pen/light (easy to get one). It would be good to obtain one for all my other weights.

Adam P

UV testing - To summarise what I state within my web pages:

The UV checks to separate "Ysart Brothers / Vasart Ltd / Strathearn" weights cannot give any conclusions when using only a Longwave UV lamp (which is what all the standard UV pens / lights are). It requires a Shortwave UV light to determine a difference.

Although some folk have suggested a difference in the Green fluorescence, with a lighter Green for "early" items, I have not found this to be consistent. What I have noted is:

Longwave ...
all of Ysart Brothers / Vasart Ltd / Strathearn, show as a shade of Green.

Shortwave ...
- Ysart Brothers (1946 to 1956) show as a "dusty / muddy" Grey
- Vasart Ltd (1956 to 1964) & Strathearn (1964 to 1980) show as Blue

So the only thing that can be sorted out under UV is that if it's Blue under Shortwave, it's from 1956 to 1980, otherwise it's 1946 to 1956.

(Note that it is still not proven for certain that 1956 was the actual date of change of the glass mix - but it does seem likely that it was then or very shortly after.)


Bubbles - Although some of the bubbles in a number of these weights may appear to have had a deliberate thought behind them, I am sure that it was not the case. And any "iridescence" showing in or around the bubbles is only an effect of the light and the colour of the ground or nearby canes - again, this is not a planned feature.

But I do agree that even unintended random bubbing can sometimes add a bit of interest to many of the standard daily production pieces of rather average quality :)

Thanks Kev

Excellent information, as usual you are very generous with your time and knowledge - I would like to use your instructions to UV test my weights, I believe it is also good for other types of glass ware

I agree that the bubbles and crackling were a happy mistake, they are too random to be on purpose. I ponder why this weight was kept and had the pontil ground, I think the answer is that after all that work it was too precious to throw away, it may have been kept by a worker or even sold as a second. Monetarily I would prefer one with no bubbling and signed (or cane) by one of the brothers, but it is strangely special to me and in amongst my more precious paperweights it is always the one people want to handle .. LOL all that sparkles

Adam P


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