Author Topic: Uncommon 1920s Molineaux Webb blue pressed glass vase - a tale of attribution  (Read 624 times)

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Offline agincourt17

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Here is a heartwarming example of the not-so-old maxim that ‘a Kindle can’t hold a candle to a good old-fashioned reference book’.
 
Anyway, ‘to begin at the beginning’, as some of us still say in Wales – about four weeks ago I bought a little clear, pale blue, pressed glass vase (see pics) in a charity shop for £1. I liked it, was intrigued by it so – What the hell! – Go for it!
 
It is 9-sided (nonagonal?) with a scalloped foot rim and scalloped flared top rim to the  bowl. The exterior of the bowl body has vertical rows of  deep scooped facets. 11cm tall, with a foot diameter of 6.8cm and a top rim diameter of 12.2cm . Quite thick, heavy glass (especially the foot) with no real signs of wear to the underside of the foot.
 
I was pretty sure that it wasn’t 20th century Davidson or Sowerby (though I’m often proved wrong) and it wasn't in accord with any of the published Bagley patterns (though the  GMB trinket sets forum have found a couple of previously undocumented examples recently). From the colour and geometric shape I thought it may have been European Art Deco, but browsing Pamela Wessendorf’s  http://www.pressglas-pavillon.de/ drew a blank, as did Marcus Newhall’s Sklo Union CD-ROM. But something in the back of my mind kept niggling that I had seen something similar somewhere.
 
Then a couple of days ago, whilst browsing through your Neil Harris’s Manchester Glass website https://sites.google.com/site/molwebbhistory/Home  – as you do – I came across sugar bowl pattern #400 in the unregistered MW catalogue. But, Nah!, 80 years too early, and the foot is much shallower, and there is no stem (and pale blue glass in the 1840s?).  Light of inspiration suddenly dulls and then fizzles out.
 
Until two nights ago.  Am browsing through Hajdamach’s 20th Century British Glass (what a sad life I lead) when what should I notice on page 184 but an illustrated advert from 1925 for Lancastrian Crystal (Molineaux, Webb & Co. Ltd.), and in the centre of the top row is my little blue glass mystery (topped with a flower frog that sounds vaguely like Molineaux Webb’s RD 741400 of 27 October 1928). Bingo!
 
I note, especially the comment in Hajdamach’s caption about the ‘mystery’ vase being made in carnival glass, and an association with the Czech Rindskopf factory.
 
It seemed so extraordinary that a MolWebb design for sugar bowl that was deemed fashionable in 1840 should surface as a flower vase in the 1920s. Proof indeed of the cyclical nature of much fashion.




Offline Paul S.

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that's an attractive blue, good find - pity you're missing the flower support.            This design of a tiered and lensed pattern, with a scalloped foot seems then to have been not uncommon prior to 1940.          The attached, and Jayne's links especially, show Walter's take on this idea, the bowl they called 'Edith, I believe
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,47738.0.html   


Offline Anne

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Fred, what a lovely piece and a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm developing a great fondness for Manchester glass, having added two (now realised it's) three (possibly definitely four!) clear glass pieces to my collection - one of which was my grannie's old sugar bowl passed onto me by my mother. I love the blue of yours!

PS Paul, I've evicted the gremlins for you! :)


Offline wolkenreb

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Lovely!
Nancy


Offline Glen

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I’ll wind the clock back fourteen years (if I may) to 1998. That was when Stephen and I were spending a huge amount of time in the British Library archives, reading the Pottery Gazettes as we researched for our first book and our (then) research journal “NetworK”. One of the ads that we came across was on page 41 of the January 1st, 1925 Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review: the ad was for Molineaux Webb and it featured a range that they called “Lancastrian Crystal”. There in the middle of the illustration was a posy vase that Carnival collectors were familiar with: the vase was known in amber Carnival but was unattributed.

In 1998 we published the full Molineaux Webb ad on the back cover of our “NetworK” journal (NetworK 17, 1998 - see image below) and we detailed the discovery inside the journal. We named the posy vase “Manchester” on account of its apparent attribution, and it is called this by Carnival collectors today.

In early 2001 we showed the Carnival “Manchester” posy vase in our second book “A Century of Carnival Glass” (Schiffer Publishing, 2001) and explained the context regarding the Molineaux Webb ad.

Shortly afterwards we published further information in our “NetworK” journal (NetworK 32, 2001) after studying the recently released Walther catalogues (Pressglas Korrespondenz). We pointed out that an item called “Edith” appeared to be identical to the “Manchester” vase. Our understanding was that Walther made some Carnival Glass and thus the possibility arose that the iridised posy was actually a Walther piece. (At that point we also began to work on the Carnival output from Walther, but that’s another story).

So, there’s my history on the identification and attribution(s) of the piece.




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