Author Topic: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate  (Read 1206 times)

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Offline neilh

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Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« on: September 28, 2010, 06:35:18 PM »
Here's another image from the Molineaux Webb pressed glass catalogue. Plate number 23 is a fairly well known Queen Victoria commemorative, probably dating to the Coronation of 1837. The catalogue itself dates to the early 1870s and proves this plate was in continuous production for at least 30 years.

This plate has a "W" mark on it (see photo). Other early pressed glass plates from this very early era may be marked with a "D" or "WR". The attribution story for these plates has changed over the years. If you have any books by Ruth Webb Lee on American lacy plate Sandwich glass, you will find this Victoria plate in her books. I'm not sure if she ever claimed it was American but we can see now that it is not.

Back in the 1970s the thinking was that these marks might represent the manufacturer, and if you have the book by Barbara Morris from this decade you will see she suggests WR = Webb Richardson. The V&A museum attributed a "W" plate that they received in 1970 to Molineaux and Webb using the same logic, but I believe they have that particular attribution wrong - it's not the same Victoria plate as in my photos here.

By the 1980s Hugh Wakefield of the V&A was happy to attribute some of these commemorative plates to unidentified British manufacturers.

The current thinking is that these "W" or "WR" marks represent the name of the mould maker. There was a community of mould makers operating in Birmingham in the first half of the 19th century and using the commercial directories of the day, we can say with a high degree of confidence that WR = William Reading, a prominent Birmingham mould maker. There is more than one possibility for the mould maker behind "D" or "W".

These moulds were distributed to glass factories in England and the near continent.

Much of the information above comes from an excellent article on these early plates by Siegmar Geiselberger.

You can read it in more detail - in German - via this pdf from the PK2008-3 edition of Pressed Glass Correspondence. 

http://www.pressglas-korrespondenz.de/aktuelles/pdf/pk-2008-3w-vogt-teller-wr-victoria.pdf


Offline neilh

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 06:46:17 PM »
The following example shows how early these plates are, and how these designs were to be found both in England and Europe.

Plate 37 from the Molineaux Webb catalogue looks very similar indeed to the plate at the bottom right of the following page from the Launay Hautin catalogue of 1840

http://www.glas-musterbuch.de/Launay-Hautin-1840.20+B6YmFja1BJRD0yMCZwcm9kdWN0SUQ9NzY2JnBpZF9wcm9kdWN0PTIwJmRldGFpbD0_.0.html


Offline yesvil

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 07:57:13 PM »
Just an observation - that plate drawing number 23 has a different picture of Victoria compared to the picture you are showing (And my plate on the other thread)


Offline neilh

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 08:26:11 PM »
Yes I'm aware of this but having seen many such design sketches, in catalogues, pattern books and the National Archives, you are not going to get a perfect match with these things particularly as the production process can't match the detail on the original sketch.

There were a number of Victoria plate designs produced but only one group in this ballpark. If you look in Ruth Webb Lee you will see about half a dozen variations on this plate, both in size and the number of frills around the edge.

It's an open question as to whether all slight variations of this plate were produced by Molineaux Webb or if slightly different moulds were distributed to other glass factories. In the absence of surviving catalogues we can only link them to one glass factory.


Offline Anne

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 11:04:58 PM »
Given that Victoria reigned for such a long time I wonder if the plate could have had a new central base area to reflect her ageing, in the same way as coinage and stamp portraits changed with her advancing years? That way the basic design could be re-used over a long number of years with an updated central part.


Offline neilh

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 06:59:11 AM »
If that is so, no such examples have been found. My own suspicion is that this 1837 plate may have been supplanted by the wave of 50th anniversary plates in 1887. The MolWebb one appears in a catalogue dated to approx 1870 so there is no certainty it was made after 1887.


Offline Anne

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Re: Molineaux Webb Queen Victoria plate
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 11:44:10 AM »
Cheers Neil, it was just a thinking aloud on my part, as I have seen commemorative plates by other makers where the shape / pattern is the same but the date  / event / person has been changed. Made good sense to recycle the design I guess.


 

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