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Author Topic: Cut Crystal Decanter  (Read 445 times)

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Offline Casey951

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Cut Crystal Decanter
« on: September 17, 2012, 06:05:21 PM »
Hello,

I need ID help with this vintage cut crystal decanter. Decanter is cut all around, including front of neck, with a hobstar pinwheel design. Handle and top rim are clear. Stopper is cut with triangle facets.  There are no markings on the bottom.  Decanter measures 5.75" High x 4"Diameter.

Thanks for any help!


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 07:45:05 AM »
In view of the height, handle and style of lip, it is tempting to think this might be a cruet for oils or vinegar.     That aside, this rich cutting style fits with your location, and was popular on some smallish handled decanters end of C19 and into C20 - but none that I can see are quite this short  -  but then again, this sort of cutting spread to Europe, so you may find it impossible to nail down a factory.       Stopper looks to be a period match.           Sorry unable to offer any real help. :)


Offline Casey951

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 11:08:55 PM »
In view of the height, handle and style of lip, it is tempting to think this might be a cruet for oils or vinegar.     That aside, this rich cutting style fits with your location, and was popular on some smallish handled decanters end of C19 and into C20 - but none that I can see are quite this short  -  but then again, this sort of cutting spread to Europe, so you may find it impossible to nail down a factory.       Stopper looks to be a period match.           Sorry unable to offer any real help. :)

Hi Paul, au contraire, you were a big help! You see, I have another decanter that is almost identical to this one but it is slightly larger (6.25"High x 4.5" Diameter). It didn't even occur to me that these could be a oil/vingar cruet set. Appreciate you pointing that out and for the other info you shared.  :)


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 06:27:26 PM »
Casey - I'm yet to be convinced, in view of their size, that either of these are what we might usually term a decanter - even the largest at 6.25" is still probably too short, although this example appears to have some high quality cutting.    We tend to think of hobstars and pinwheels as an invention which started life on your side of the pond, and there are some very famous design names  -  any chance we might see some better side-on closer pix of this large piece piece, just in case it is one of the well known designs?
The more alcohol related type pouring spout of this second one, its height and handle just possibly might suggest that it's a 'flagon'  -  a piece of table glass with a long history, and used for serving wine at the table.       They've morphed a bit over the centuries, starting out with long spouts, screw caps or hinged metal lid  -  but those from the late C19 and early C20 century seem to have settled down to look like a squat shortish decanter, with pouring lip and handle.     You understand this is really only my personal opinion, and it may simply be that both pieces are just big cruets for liquid condiments. :) 
We need someone who is knowledgeable regarding this type of table glass  -  someone please. :)   


Offline Casey951

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 07:58:12 PM »
Casey - I'm yet to be convinced, in view of their size, that either of these are what we might usually term a decanter - even the largest at 6.25" is still probably too short, although this example appears to have some high quality cutting.    We tend to think of hobstars and pinwheels as an invention which started life on your side of the pond, and there are some very famous design names  -  any chance we might see some better side-on closer pix of this large piece piece, just in case it is one of the well known designs?
The more alcohol related type pouring spout of this second one, its height and handle just possibly might suggest that it's a 'flagon'  -  a piece of table glass with a long history, and used for serving wine at the table.       They've morphed a bit over the centuries, starting out with long spouts, screw caps or hinged metal lid  -  but those from the late C19 and early C20 century seem to have settled down to look like a squat shortish decanter, with pouring lip and handle.     You understand this is really only my personal opinion, and it may simply be that both pieces are just big cruets for liquid condiments. :) 
We need someone who is knowledgeable regarding this type of table glass  -  someone please. :)   

Hi Paul, 

Thanks again for your input and for educating me  :)

I've attached 3 more photos of the larger piece. They are in this order: 1. The hobstar and pinwheel design. 2. The "other" design that appears inbetween the hobstar/pinwheel design. And, 3. The bottom. 

I just noticed that the bottom of the larger piece is more ornate (cut) than the smaller one and that "other" design inbetween the hobstar/pinwheel design differs on both.  If we take that into account along with the differences in the spouts, perhaps they are not a set after all (?). 

Appreciate your help, Paul, and any others who want to share their expertise.  :)


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 03:33:35 PM »
regret to say that I can't see this cut pattern in my books - shame, would have been good to find a name for it.     Very attractive cutting though, very deep mitres and that pinwheel (a genuine States only invention) is big, quality from a craftsman.      Won't bore you with names of many of the possible factories, as sure you will find them your side just as easily, but just for sake of interest for the other couple of people who may read this thread, would comment that major revolution your side re items like this was Henry Fry's invention of the 'figured blank' around the very beginning of the C20.          Traditionally, cut decanters were produced from scratch from mould-blown blanks - but ingenious Mr. Fry (from Rochester, Penn.) obviously saw a profit to be made by producing a pressed blank with the outline design already there - thus saving the cutters a lot of time and work and halving the cost.     Cutting shops bought in these figured blanks and could follow not only the pressed design, but add some variation of their own, by cutting and then polishing the pressed design.       However, apparently the purists didn't like his approach and it's said that his idea marked the end of the true rich cut period.        How difficult it may or may not be to determine whether a piece was produced from a pressed figured blank, or cut from scratch from a mould-blown blank, I really have no idea.
All of which gets us nowhere with your pieces  -  shame we couldn't tease your fellow countrymen out of hiding to comment.

Ref.    'The Decanter An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650'  -  Andy McConnell - 2004.


Offline Casey951

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Re: Cut Crystal Decanter
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 09:54:28 PM »
Paul, many thanks for your input. I didn't know about Henry Fry's invention, so that was very educational to me!  :)


 

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