Author Topic: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,  (Read 1361 times)

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Offline daveweight

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 12:12:50 PM »
I think the thing everyone seems to be forgetting is that John Deacons and Peter McDougall are not the ones selling these weights, it is the paperweights dealers who put them on Ebay. John and Peter just make weights to meet the orders dealers place and if it is the cheaper weights that they are selling it is these they will order.
Dave


Offline tropdevin

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 01:22:12 PM »
***

Quite so, Dave.  I don't think I have at any point said that John Deacons is personally flooding the market with his own weights.

Nor do I think I am being snobbish with my comments: I am talking about the basic economics of the market place. If only half the Deacons weights on eBay sell, that is still around 2000 weights per year through that channel alone. If the dealers placing the orders find that sales are slowing down (because the market is getting saturated), then guess what - they will first try to drive the makers into selling them the items more and more cheaply, and when that can go no further, they will stop placing orders. And then what pays the bills chez Deacons? Provided the weights keep selling well, no problem.....but 'provided'.....

It is instructive to look at what happened to Strathearn, Perthshire, Caithness, Selkirk Glass, and to an extent to Whitefriars: they were producing lots of paperweights (often of excellent quality) that, after a time, the dealers did not want at the factory prices - so there was unsold stock, insufficient cash flow - and closure.

Alan
Alan
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Offline ahremck

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 01:36:43 PM »
Personally I have just purchased 11 Deacons weights from "Londons Collectable Treasures" on Ebay.  They cost me c.25 pounds an average sent to me in Australia.  I know they are not his "peak" weights but they are in a wide variety of styles and as yet there are no Australian makers I know of that make millefiore or even lampwork paperweights.  I bought them so I have competent examples of a variety of styles not normally available to me.

Ross
I bamle all snileplg eorrrs on the Cpomuter Kyes.  They confuse my fingers !!!


Offline Derek

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2011, 12:57:12 PM »
Hi all

I have recently co-authored an article on John Deacons with Ben Drabeck, the PCA president, which will appear in the 2011 Bulletin. During the course of researching the article I had several conversations with John and some interesting points emerged which, having reread this thread, appear to be relevant  :

1) Johns business plan drawn up after J Glass was based around constantly improving his output and offering better value for money. His “bread and butter” millefiori weights are no exception.  He has over 100 designs which are produced from a palette of 70+ colours. (so Ross has a few more to get!). These “bread and butter” weights account for around 20% of Johns income, a ratio that has remained virtually unchanged over nearly 30 years.

2) John commented to me about how he has seen the market change - in the past his network of dealers either ran specialist shops or specialist stalls at antique and collector fairs. John is now selling to many more “dealers” than he used to but all these now sell via e-bay or their own web sites.

3) John is working far fewer hours these days so the actual number of paperweights he is making each year is significantly less than say 5 years ago.

I feel that the points above show that although the range of designs of Johns “bread and butter” millefiori weights we see on the market has certainly increased, the total number on the market is actually FEWER these days - its just that it appears that there are more as we see them ALL on the internet.

Leni was the first to make the point about value for money and I totally agree with her. When I started collecting, I wanted examples of both lampwork and millefiori. For lampwork it was Peter Holmes. For millefiori, other than Murano or Chinese, the only weights that I saw in shops/collector fairs within my budget, were John Deacons and Peter McDougall. Like most new collectors I was concerned with building up a collection with plenty of different designs and colours but at the same time I also saw the more expensive offerings from these two makers and aspired to own some of these one day.

I am sure I am not alone in having the likes of John Deacons and Peter McDougall to thank for firing my enthusiasm for paperweight collecting. I think that there are many other existing collectors who would echo this view and no doubt many new ones who are waiting in the wings, yet to be bitten by the bug!

Best regards

Derek


Offline Derek

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2011, 01:10:07 PM »
Hi all

Earlier in this thread Alan looked at what happened to Caithness, Perthshire, Strathearn, Selkirk and Whitefriars as examples of problems caused by over production. I don’t think that these are particularly valid comparisons : –

Caithness were a volume producer and by my estimates (published in another string on this board) up to the time they closed the Perth factory, had a total production of 3 million weights and at their peak they were producing  150,000 a year from 18 chairs.  Caithness was a favourite stopping point for tourist coaches in their vast car-park. A substantial proportion of their output was therefore unlimited weights aimed squarely at this tourist trade.  However Caithness tried to compete head on with Chinese imports which was doomed to failure as even their cheapest weights were 10 times as expensive as the Chinese ones and incidentally twice as expensive as John Deacons. In 2008 the new owners of Caithness – Dartington Crystal -  did the sums and closed the factory. 

Although Perthshire had seen some falling off of sales up to their closure in 2002, they were still a very viable concern with a loyal following both in the UK and abroad. However the death of Neil Drysdale left them without an effective driving force at their head and they closed within months of his death.

Strathearn were owned by Stuart Crystal at the time of their closure and clearly Stuart didn’t see paperweights as figuring in their product line which was exclusively engraved glassware so closed down the Strathearn paperweight production and instead got the Strathearn factory making blown ware blanks to be engraved at Stourbridge.   

Selkirk were also in the volume production business, again relying on the tourist trade and competing with Chinese imports like Caithness.  When Caithness first called in the receivers in 2004 they were bought out by Edinburgh Crystal who the same year also bought Selkirk from Ron Hutchinson. In 2006 Edinburgh Crystal went broke and were bought out by Dartington who immediately closed Selkirk, the smaller business, but retained Caithness. 

The Whitefriars factory moved to Whealdstone in 1923 which at the time was remote from London but as the London conurbation expanded, Whealdstone became just another suburb connected by all the transport systems to central London and land prices rocketed. Paperweights were just a small percentage of Whitefriars output. By far the biggest line and representing 25% of their output was a contract with Zeals for thermometer tubing. In the 1970’s Zeals moved this contract to Corning Glass so it came as little surprise in 1980 when the board of Whitefriars closed the factory and sold the site to property developers. The site is now a large housing estate.

Best regards

Derek

Offline tropdevin

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2011, 02:08:04 PM »
***

I am sure some of Derek's points are valid and well made.  Like other commentators, I agree with the value for money point - and John makes very neat, high quality paperweights: I don't think any is questioning that.

However, I did not talk about 'over production' per se by the now closed companies: the crux of my argument was that they were producing paperweights that dealers did not want to buy at factory prices, because the dealers could no longer make enough profit.

I am not clear what constitutes 'volume production' as far as the market is concerned: an American artist like Chris Buzzini producing a few paperweights a month is clearly not 'volume'.   But having over 100 designs (as Derek suggests JD has) sound quite a lot to me.  Also, from the external perspective of the paperweight owner or buyer, John may be producing fewer weights each month, but these are still adding to the total number in existence: all that is reduced is the rate of increase in the total number.

Maybe everything in the garden is rosy, and I can look forward to both of my John Deacons weights increasing in value due to demand outstripping supply. ;D

Alan
Alan
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."  Abraham Lincoln.

The comments in this posting reflect the opinion of the author, Alan Thornton, and not that of the owners, administrators or moderators of this board. Comments are copyright Alan Thornton.
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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2011, 02:40:53 PM »
Is it something peculiar to (many) pw collectors that makes them obsess about the monetary "value" of their collections much more than simply enjoying them?
I can't help noticing that this attitude really does exist, I've seen it time and time again over the years I've been interested in glass.
I just don't get it.

I'm glad to see Peter MacDougall finally getting a mention though.  :thup: Highly under-rated.

Incidentally, Neil Drysdale's widow Jane, is currently making some wonderful fused glass pieces in her lovely little shop, Carnelian Crafts in Crieff.
You can also still go and watch Caithness paperweights being made in the visitor's Centre, at the back of the Dartington/Caithness shop.
Cheers, Sue (M)

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Derek

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 03:00:42 PM »
Hi Sue

Couldn't agree more - I have many weights in my collection that are of little value - they are there because I like looking at them and often because they incorporate some particular technique which at the time I couldn't understand how it was achieved.

I even know some of some collectors who keep their weights in a bank vault!  they are not collectors in my view.

Crieff is the centre of paperweight and glass making in Scotland at the moment - as well as Carnelian Crafts where you can often find a Perthshire or two and Caithness at the visitors centre both John Deacons and Peter McDougall have their studios within the town.

Best regards

Derek
 


Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2011, 03:14:17 PM »
And Crieff is a lovely little village with some great little old fashioned shops.
Fabby delicatessen, wonderful shoes, designer knitwear, great cafes with home made food, wonderful views, a cliff face for those who would rather practice rock-climbing than do the charity shops and Art Galleries, there's a shop which sells (among all sorts of other old fashioned things) fabulous and unusual malt whiskies (far cheaper than anywhere else).....

It's one of "those" places the very wealthy retire to. There have been massive campaigns to stop tescoid and other such monstrosities setting up nearby - it would completely kill the village.
And it's close enough for me to visit - quite often!

You can find Border Art Glass in Carnelian Crafts too. Jane is carrying on the tradition with a career in glass, and promoting glass. I suppose she is the last in the "Perthshire line" at the moment.
Cheers, Sue (M)

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline tropdevin

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Re: Just arrived,Deacons,little beauty,
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2011, 03:51:32 PM »
***

I don't think that many paperweight collectors obsess about the monetary value of their collection: I certainly don't (though I have met some who do).  My comment above about my John Deacons increasing in value is one of those 'tongue in cheek' things, a concept with which some of you may be familiar.

As for having many weights in the collection of little value, Derek can vouch for the fact that we have well over 50 small Chinese paperweights, which are regarded by quite a few collectors as too cheap and cheerful to figure in their collections. And we have a couple of John Deacons....

Alan
Alan
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."  Abraham Lincoln.

The comments in this posting reflect the opinion of the author, Alan Thornton, and not that of the owners, administrators or moderators of this board. Comments are copyright Alan Thornton.
 http://www.pwts.co.uk

 

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