Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. > British & Irish Glass

Breaking News Nailsea / Bristol hat found in charity shop in Bristol for £1.50

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flying free:
Mike I don't think one can say probably Bristol and not Nailsea.  I don't think it's possible to say where any of these items originated from with any degree of certainty.  Especially given the ebay effect where items can be posted across the world now.  The uranium flask I posted could be English, but might not be.  It's old I feel sure, it was sold near Nailsea in fact, but apparently it did not originate there.
Even the items made of very dark glass with flecks/spots in them of coloured glass or little white bits have been linked to Wrockwardine from what I read.
Perhaps I'm just confused but I can't see any definite evidence anywhere for being able to link friggers to certain factories at all?  I suppose if they have direct provenance/family history from the factory, or were actually dug up at a factory site, then the probability of them originating there is higher.
Or am I missing something?

No your not confused and Nailsea type glass was also made in Alloa, Scotland... where incidentally many Nailsea workers went too. Probably find it was made elsewhere in Europe too if you start to look. So terms like Nailsea and Bristol blue are meaningless for identification of source... but useful for communicating in words a style of glass.

Hi m,

I did say it was only a theory (my theory) about the hat. It wasn't bought on ebay but from a charity shop in Bristol and it is very similar to the other hat I had , thought to be Nailsea but might have been made at a bottle factory either in Bristol or elsewhere.   

The hat isn't very well made (half-folded brim) so probably it wouldn't have been sold but just kept in the family of whoever made it....local to Bristol.

The glass has a similar colour to a bottle made in Bristol but these bottle colours vary over the years. There is a distinct blue tint to most of these bottles that also exists in the green colour of the hat. This might be due to the local sand used...who knows...the same result might be had by looking at bottles, of the same period produced, in London .

The style of the hat , not being a top hat , but more of a bowler , might suggest late Victorian period and not 1830's when Nailsea stopped producing bottle glass. Many of the workers from the Nailsea glassworks must have gained jobs in the Bristol bottle works after Nailsea closed and continued the tradition of making glass hats.

So that's my  theory which I'm putting forward here but there's always doubt about a theory unless it can be proved ....which in this case , it can't   ::) !   

The examples of probable Nailsea glass in the Bristol Museum from the Challicom collection were collected by Mrs Bertha Challicom , in and around Nailsea, in the early years of the  20th C . (see page 18 Nailsea Glass , K Vincent). Some of the Nailsea examples have been handed down through the families of glassworkers at Nailsea.  I'm sure the Bristol Museum must have examples of cullet dug from the gardens in Nailsea so they are able to devote a whole cabinet to possible Nailsea glass based on colour recognition and known Nailsea inherited items. You would need to ask them though how they came to their conclusions . ;)

Cheers, Mike.

Unfortunately cullet cannot be reliably used to id a glassworks products as it was often bought in. This was discussed in the Smith report and he hoped that a future excavation can look for grass trails. (Bits of glass spilt or dripped going from gather to blower as well as around the chair.) These can be reliably used as they would be from the actual melt and would give definitive analysis for identifying possible items.

So for foreseeable future Tesco have it covered  >:(

But also in Smith report...

--- Quote ---From Nailsea Glassworks Study, - 2004 - Part 1

Initial window glass production was in the form of crown glass, then later sheet glass using swinging pits, then it appears rolled plate glass and some fancy glass was produced. It would seem that later some coloured and engraved glass was also produced. There is, for example, a copy of a pattern sheet for this, dating from 1855 1861, deposited at the SRO by the generosity of the Nailsea & District Local History Society.

John Eyres (boy clerk in the 1860s) wrote in 1911

Following the collapse {1862} of the furnace Eyres records that “it was several years before the ‘Old’ house was again at work.” Subsequently “a little side furnace was built for one or two men to make fancy goods, such as propagators, cucumber glasses, rolling pins and glass shades.”

This furnace was also noted separately as “Ornamental burning kiln”.
--- End quote ---

I will not accept that this side furnace was built for making friggers - this was for commercial work on a small scale perhaps but to meet a need in local market!  Clearly they needed to continue what they were already doing in the Old house! Which opens the field on colours too. I like to see that pattern sheet!


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