Author Topic: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.  (Read 1060 times)

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Offline Paul S.

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Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« on: November 16, 2011, 04:29:36 PM »
As far as I'm aware, it's the Glass Association 'Blue Book' which is the only generally available source for both pressed and cut glass Reg. Nos. (Slack, Lattimore, Thompson and Hadjamach covering pressed glass only), although for reasons unknown to me, 555817 is omitted from the Blue Book.    This bowl is both deeply cut and with wheel (intaglio) engraved decoration.     

Registration Nos. included as part of the back stamp on cut glass, are rather thin on the ground, for fairly obvious reasons, and it is usual to find the factory name only (Stuart/Webb/E.&L. etc.)  -  think I have only two pieces of cut glass that show a Reg. No. (and these are both Stuart).
I visited the National Archives at Kew (London) earlier today, and looked at both the 'representations' (the image/drawing/photo part of the registration) and the 'registrations' (the written/descriptive part) for this No.  - and pleased to say I found that the archive details of 555817 do agree with my bowl (I was worried that because I couldn't see the number in the Blue Book, then maybe the No. on the bowl was wrong).

Unfortunately, in the archives the image shown is simply a drawn outline of the 'bowl'  -  there is no indication that this item was destined to receive cut decoration, neither is there reference to the engraving of fruits.      Nonetheless, the distinctive outline shape of the bowl is unmistakable, and so I'm convinced all is o.k.
As far as the archive wording is concerned, this adds little of use other than detailing the fact that Stuart made requests to extend their copyright of this pattern/design twice..........once in 1915 and again in 1919, and on both occasions their request was successful.                The date of first registration for this bowl is 20th January 1910.
Registrations allocated to Stuart are very thin on the ground prior to about 1920 (there appear to be only 10 occasions between 1908 and 1920 for example) - then there is a little flurry in 1921.

I really don't know whether to think it any more easy or less so - when trying to date a piece of cut glass compared to a piece that has been pressed.        After multiple pressings, a mould deteriorates and detals becomes less clear, but where you have a blown blank of a bowl, such as this one - which can be cut with a given pattern at any time - then it is perhaps the style of the script of the factory name (part of the back stamp) that becomes the indicator of age.
We know from the books that the word 'Stuart' was first registered for use as part of the back stamp c.1924 (maybe not used perhaps until 1926)  -  and on that basis this bowl could not have been cut/decorated earlier than that date (give or take a bit).     Do people think that a mid to late 1920's date appropriate for this peice  -  bearing in mind the wheel engraving of fuits (which to me looked earlier in style - but I'm really unsure).      OR, might the bowl have been made earlier than the mid '20's and kept in stock and brought out later for further work and marking??

I very much like the nice touch of the petal decoration within the ground/polished pontil mark (I have no other pieces where this has been produced  -  might this perhaps be an indicator of some particular period), and the engraving of the fruits is of a very high quality, and needless to say it rings like there is no tomorrow.

Feel free to comment -  all thoughts are welcome, and thanks for looking. :)


Offline Anne

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 08:59:19 PM »
Nice clear pics of the design and the number there Paul. :) I seem to recall reading or being told that many of the RD nos for Stuart are for the shape of the item or a part of it, rather than the decoration as such. I have some small grapefruit dishes with RD nos and the registration is to do with the design of the bowl/base.

The other place for glass rd nos is great glass of course, but this one isn't there either:
http://www.great-glass.co.uk/glass%20notes/regnos07.htm

Did you happen to check if it was a Class 3 registration?


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 10:47:42 PM »
judging by the available data I saw at Kew, it can only have been the shape that was being registered - the drawn image for registration purposes was simply an outline shape - nothing else.     It should be fairly obvious, but I should have made it clear just to avoid any misunderstanding, that a top down view (plan) shows an elongated bowl - certainly not round  - and the long dimension is something like 11.25"/285mm.     The 'ends' so to speak, are slightly raised and are a sort of rounded pointy shape.
In fact the heading for this reg. No. is Class 4.

I hadn't checked your linked site - although I am aware of the contents.    thanks for looking for me. :)


Offline Anne

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 11:45:25 PM »
Hmmm that's curious isn't it as Class 4 is earthenware: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/reg-design-trademark.htm so it sounds like it's been wrongly classified (see comment 2. Classification of materials on the linked page).

I've seen a Class 4 glass item as well, and I think we had a Class 1 (Metal) one once as well. This is why these are missing from the Great Glass site and the Blue Book I suppose.


Offline Bernard C

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 06:18:31 AM »
Hmmm that's curious isn't it as Class 4 is earthenware: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/reg-design-trademark.htm so it sounds like it's been wrongly classified (see comment 2. Classification of materials on the linked page).

I've seen a Class 4 glass item as well, and I think we had a Class 1 (Metal) one once as well. This is why these are missing from the Great Glass site and the Blue Book I suppose.

Anne — that's a very interesting comment by the Kew historian, i.e. that The clerks sometimes placed items in the wrong material class.   I am sure that they did occasionally, but I wonder if they have explored other possibilities, particularly that sometimes misclassification could have been quite deliberate.

My first reaction to Paul's superb bowl was how American (i.e. US) in style it looks.   Certainly Stuart exported to the US, and I suspect that the US was possibly Stuart's largest marketplace after its home market.   Let's suppose that the bowl was designed with their US customers in mind, but that also the design might sell quite well in the UK.   To protect the design in the home market all that was needed was a genuine design registration stamped on each piece.   Unfortunately, as soon as the design was registered, it became public knowledge, and the details of the design were reported in the glass section of the following month's Pottery Gazette.   That didn't matter in the home market, but it certainly did in the US, where publication of a British registered glass design was an open invitation to copy with no fear of legal action.   I believe that some two or three weeks after publication the current issue of the Pottery Gazette was on the MD's desk of every major US glassworks, and Stuart were fully aware of this.   They were faced with the very real possibility that their first batch of exports to the US would arrive too late, with US made versions already established in the market.

So what could they do?   A spoof or misleading registration or patent was a possibility.   I suspect there are several examples, designed to confuse competitors, of which probably the most likely is Sowerby's first patent, illustrated in Hajdamach I.   Unfortunately it is difficult to see how this would work with a simple shape.

So how about registering it as Class 4?   Brilliant.   It wouldn't appear in the glass section of the Pottery Gazette, giving them the opportunity of a successful launch in the US, and it had the bonus of being able to sell the rights to the pottery sector.   In fact it may have been the pottery sector rights that were the main reason for the two renewals.

I wonder if there are more Stuart Class 4 registrations?   If there are it would help explain why Stuart registrations around this time are apparently thin on the ground.

Loose ends

Paul — the reason only the shape was registered was so Stuart could decorate it with cutting, engraving, etching or enameling and the design would still be protected.

The reason it's not in the Blue Book and Gulliver is that these only sourced from Class 3 (glass) registrations.

Your Stuart mark is not in the books and is very early indeed.   I've only seen one or two examples.   It's quite likely to date from 1910 or earlier.

Finally

Paul — I believe your bowl to be one of the most important, if not the most important, recent discoveries for the history of British glass.   It shows like no other example of British glass I know the supreme business and commercial skill of all our glassworks.

WOW!!!!   :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp:

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 10:52:44 AM »
I have in fact now checked my pix. from yesterday (I did get permission to use the camera) - just to make sure of the Class 4 thingy - and there's no mistake, and Bernard's hypothesis that this was a deliberate ploy re the U.S. market may well be correct.
I won't post those pix that I took yesterday  -  I forgot to get permission to use them publicly - and don't want to get into copyright problems, although I have forwarded copies of pix. of both the representations and registrations, privately, to Bernard.
See here for some previous comments re early Stuart marks.......http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,35181.msg190613.html#msg190613   -  and although my pic. of the Reg. No. is none too clear, I would believe that the script for 'Stuart' in the above link is very similar to that on this bowl  -  so both marks really quite early in date.

Bernard  -  I was under the impression - from reading my books - that the word 'Stuart' literally did not appear in any guise (as part of the back stamp) prior to about 1924 - are you suggesting that it was used albeit rarely, as far back as 1910  -  or am I misunderstanding you??
   
I was going to say................"Of course, bearing in mind that the bowl was first registered on 20/01/1910, there must have been many examples knocked out long before the company started to include a backstamp - so, as I've said, my piece probably retailed post 1926".     But now I'm confused :pb:

Haven't a clue why the copyright for this bowl was extended (twice), but there is the possibility that this may indicate some concern on the part of Stuart re theft of their design - or again maybe it concerned some slight specification change.

I don't know from whence the Blue Book or Gulliver sourced their details  -  I suspect not from the individual master registration books that I was reading yesterday.    I say this because presumably had those researchers used the same books as me they would have seen this particular item  -  whatever Class it was registered under.

I have inlcuded couple of extra pix. just for interest. :)



Offline Leni

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011, 01:07:39 PM »
Superb bowl, super pics, and fantastic information!  Thank you and Bernard for sharing!  :D   :hiclp:
Leni


Offline Anne

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 07:33:04 PM »


Offline Littleblackhen

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:05:52 PM »
I am very interested to read this thread as I am currently waiting impatiently until I can pick up an auction win, a bowl and matching plate, with this same rd. number on the bowl :)  I will send photos as soon as I get it home.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Glass-Lady/552453431473856

Check out my facebook page for my current stock available at Elsecar and The Sheffield Emporium.


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Stuart Registered Design No. 555817.
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 01:53:13 PM »
must have been some little time after this thread started that The National Archives gave the GMB the o.k. to use, publicly, images taken from the Board of Trade Registers etc., although obviously you need a readers ticket for Kew. 
I'd forgotten there weren't any Kew images with this one, so to put the matter right please see additional pix as attached - first image with text is from the Register and the drawing are from the Representations.           Look forward to seeing the bowl and plate. :)

 

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