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scottish inkwell/perfume bottle

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I have listed an unattributed perfume bottle on ebay (I have two other much more spectacular examples which i intend to keep) BUT it has been suggested that this might have been experimental Strathearn, sometimes used by Herbert Dreier and Dave Moir in the time 1979 to 1980. The email suggested that I compare with cane details at

I know similar examples are illustrated in Robert Halls 'Scottish Paperweights' - and there look to be canes from a variety of possible manufacturers...

Have I missed some research, and listed an item that I should probably have kept? HELP!!!!

I think your listing description is ok, based on the known facts to date and, as you rightly point out, as shown in Bob Hall's book Scottish Paperweights.

It is true that several of the canes in items such as your bottle will have matches in Richard More's excellent site for Stathearn weights. I have an example of a weight and a bottle that show similar features. The bottle and some discussion is shown in my pages at:
(click on the bottle centre back in the first image for details)

I have made some attempts to research examples of these items, all of which contain a mix of "later Strathearn" and early Vasart canes. Some sources say they are Strathearn and others have suggested they are by Jack Allan (which would suggest either late Vasart or Strathearm but only up to 1968, or Perthshire Paperweights 69 to 73, or perhaps even the few years he was at Caithness Glass).

However, my UV checks of both bottles and weights show that the glass batch reacts like "modern Scottish" work (including some from Perthsihire Paperweights of around the mid to late 70s and later). The reaction does not tie in with any Strathearn pieces I have tested and that includes signed and dated items up to 1979. I do still need to check the UV reaction for confirmed late experimental Strathearn pieces.

However, if they really are experimental Strathearn (79 / 80) then the UV reaction indicates that, for some items at least, they were using a non-lead glass as well as the regular lead-based mix. During my investigations I have spoken with both Herbert Dreier and Dave Moir and neither could confirm any changes of glass mix. But that cannot be taken as absolute proof that changes were not made as memories are not always clear. After all, if people asked me what was happening in my own line of work 25 to 35 years ago, I would struggle on many details.

Another source told me of a dealer who knew another dealer who claimed that items such as these were made by a Scottish worker who (I think it was said) had worked at either Perthshire Paperweights or Strathearn. The details here are a bit fuzzy and I never got very far in following up the lead.

Most of these weights and botlles seemed to appear in the market fairly recently. Bob's selection shown in his book, some of which I have seen for myself, are consistent with others which also appear to be relatively recent acquisitions.

As yet, I don't know of a verifiable attribution for these items. I am keeping an open mind on all aspects.

Would the person who emailed you with the information be willing to say whether, apart from similar canes in known Strathearn items, there is any other indication for an "experimental Strathearn" attribution?

Regarding your two other bottles, if you would like to post images via this forum, I would happy to give my comments, for what they are worth. It is known that some bottles, with a UV reaction matching regular Strathearn items, were produced with Vasart canes but with a clear neck and well section. These could be either late Vasart or Strathearn.

Kevin u r a star!

I had hoped for a response, but was a little taken aback by ur detailed analysis!

This example was bought at Newark in 1993, I think dad paid about £45 at the time which seemed a reasonable price (although he was also buying double overlays from JHD for less than £60!!)

Further examples were bought at subsequent fairs. The 'dealer' never attributed the items, but the rotation of stock suggested not only that they were contemporary but also an active supply was available.

I very much like the idea of a former employee (or employees) producing such examples. The quality ranged from the crude to the quite sophisicated, but the canes were usually of good quality. Some obvious copies of designs made by Vasart/Ysart, and the very good examples suggested a worker from Vasart - but the variety in quality of production puzzles me!! Perhaps a master and an apprentice??

It wouldn't be impossible to imagine a former employee having stocks of canes from wherever they had worked and later producing items on a small scale...

I am building my own personal website on which I will place photo's of my somewhat limited collection - mainly scottish from 1930's Ysart, and the odd antique or six! I will add the 'unknown' scottish factory weights which I have mentioned before!!

Thanks again for your kind assistance

Perthshire Paperweights had three boxes of Vasart canes and would have brought the Strathearn ones with them.

Gary - can you check with Chic if he knows about these?

Just re-read the bit about these types of weights and inkwells. There appears to be a bit of a coincidence.

Did other collectors pick up similar items in the early 1990's? This might be a good clue as to the date of their production.

Kevins UV analysis - which I have never tried!! - suggests neither Vasart or Strathearn - so an alternative source!!

I'll try and rack my brains about the dealers name!


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