Author Topic: Signatures on paperweights - historical question  (Read 2137 times)

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Offline Rainbo Culpepper

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Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« on: June 01, 2011, 09:35:37 PM »
Hello again.  I've been here once before. It was a good experience.  I thought I would try it again.

My other question was about sulphides.  This one is about signatures.  I collect marbles, mostly vintage toy marbles but I'm also interested in the more decorative modern glass marbles.   Every now and then a debate gets started on the marble forums about the signatures or lack of signatures on the lovely glass spheres made by contemporary artists.

That got me wondering about signatures on paperweights.  I'm guessing that not all are signed. Are they signed more often than not?  Was there a day when it would have been rare to have them signed?



Your insights would be appreciated.  Or a link to any old discussion of this would be fine too.  Thank you very much.


Offline KevinH

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 11:34:52 PM »
Quote
... That got me wondering about signatures on paperweights.  I'm guessing that not all are signed.
True. Not all paperweights are signed.

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Are they signed more often than not?
No. When considering all the paperweights made around the world from circa 1830 to the present time, the vast majority, especially those made for the gift market, are unsigned.

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Was there a day when it would have been rare to have them signed?
Depends on the maker, and this is true of both "antique" and "modern" weights. For example, there are enough antique Baccarat weights with a "B" signature cane to make them "fairly common" even though they are in the minority. Many modern makers tend to sign all of their work or not at all. Others, such as Paul Ysart, covering almost 50 years of work, signed some but not others, depending on the target market.

But I am sure other folk may have different views to mine.

Has anyone actually made a proper analysis of this? :)
KevinH


Offline alpha

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 12:55:09 AM »
I think it is more helpful to consider each genre or maker separately. For instance: antique Clichy values are significantly impacted by the presence of any signature cane since the canes were used infrequestly. Similarly with antique St. Louis; whereas modern St. Louis always had a signature cane from 1970 onwards. Antique Baccarat signature date canes are not as much of an impact if it is 1848 (the most common) but of much greater impact in values for 1853 or 1858. All post 1970 modern Baccarat weights have a signature/date cane and it means nothing.

Antique Venetian dates are not that common only because the weights themselves are not that common. Antique Bohemian dates will positively impact value due to their rarity. Antique American weights are very rarely signed if at all but do have date canes at times that can positively impact value for the minor rarity.

Modern weights generally are not signed unless they are modern studio artist/factory weights and then scratch signed or signature canes are used indiscriminately and value is not impacted by the presence or absence of either.

20th century Murano weights are rarely signed with a signature cane and when they are, the value is unaffected. Glass Eye Studio rarely uses a signature or date cane but the value is unaffected one way or the other.

Antique folk art weights were almost never signed with either a cane or scratch signature and when they are values can be affected.


Offline Rainbo Culpepper

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 01:10:56 AM »
Super information! 

Thanks!


Offline ahremck

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 08:02:51 AM »
In Australia there are really no papereweight production companies.  Some individuals have produced lots - but most stopped instantly when the flood of cheap, but good quality, Chinese weights hits at about a quarter of the price.  To try to compete would have been commercial suicide.

Most paperweights are signed here - BUT they often just have initials - given the smaller size of pwts[By the way I have about 65 artists identified for sure as Australian Pwts].  That leads to tricky situations - for instance Eg & GS come from the same studio.  Eg = Eileen Gordon part-owner and GS = Gordon Studios blown by whoever, Eileen, Grant or some other worker currently at the studio.  A Similar situation occors with SO & OM - where SO = Setsuoko Ogishi, the owner, and OM = Ogishi Mizuno the studio brand.  Also because they are not all common for many workers the signatures can be quite unreadable - I currently have around 15 weights with a signature but I can't figure out who the artist was.

My experience is that most Scandinavien weights are well marked.  Most USA weights are well marked - often around the edge of the base rather than on it.  Canadian seem to be marked ok.  Many Scottish weights are well marked but then again many are not and we need the Kevin's of this life to help we strugglers.  English are erratic but mot of the ones I have seen are marked OK.   The rest you need to be expert in to be at all certain.  I currently have c. 90 overseas paperweights by some 55 designers/companies

The above represents my personal experience and I concur with most of what was stated above unreservedly.  I guess the trick is to realise that some areas who make lots of weights do not mark them - eg. Murano, China, India & Bohemia are rare to have any sort of marking, whereas Australia, Scotland, USA, etc. are usually marked.

Ross

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


Offline tropdevin

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 04:58:46 PM »
***

Beware the items such as this on eBay which is a Chinese paperweight with a completely bizarre forged St Louis signature. I think the same seller may have put up other 'signed St Louis' Chinese recently, so I have reported the item to eBay as forged.

Forged signatures appear most often on Murano paperweights, masquerading as Baccarat, but some of those are good copies of the modern etched Baccarat mark.


Alan
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Offline alpha

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 06:22:47 PM »
Alan: With PCA convention still firmly in the brain, I wonder if perhaps you meant to use the term "fake" rather than "forgery". Although the SL acid signature was a forgery it made the weight a fake... :huh2:


Offline tropdevin

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 07:08:43 PM »
***

Hi Andy.

Agreed - the weight is, as modified, a fake. But the signature itself is a forgery.

However, I thought eBay might understand the word 'forged' more readily than 'faked'.

Alan
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Offline alpha

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 07:43:49 PM »
I agree, but are you sure you (we) are not being too optimistic about ebay's understanding capabilities? :thud:


Offline tropdevin

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Re: Signatures on paperweights - historical question
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 08:43:59 PM »
***

I fear you may be right. Or, perhaps, they don't really want to understand....I would not know...?

Alan
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