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A Strathearn mystery!

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Hi All!

  I have been collecting paperweights for a short time ,  I mostly buy ones that appeal to me (in the low budget range) and alot of sulphides. I have a Strathearn that is a mystery to me and would really appreciate your knowledgeable input.
  I have tried (and failed miserably) to get a good photo to post, it was my first time taking a photo of paperweight, ( advice on photographing would be GREATLY appreciated) and my first experience with tinypics. I will never again look at a listing with a really bad photo and wonder why they bothered posting it, now I know! :oops:
  Here's what I know, it is a Strathearn(has black/white fish label), it has 13 canes on muslim/lattice, one being a central, white 67 date cane, one is a greenish/black cat cane, one is a navy S cane surrounded by orange and white, also a blurred butterfly/flower? and an intricate set-up with orange and white alternating canes, others are kind of non-descript to my untrained eye! The mystery it a 65, 66 or 67, the  S cane dates it as a 65/66 yet the date cane is 67? And does a green cat  cane have the same value as a black cat cane? Hope you can help!! Thanks in advance for your patience!

Hi Liz, welcome to the board.

What info are you using to say that the "S" cane dates it to 65 / 66? Is it from Richard More's website ( )? If so, what he says is,
--- Quote ---It appears that in the early years of 1965 and 1966 Strathearn used only a signature cane, in 1967 the first date cane was used ...
--- End quote ---
That does not mean that the "S" cane was abandoned after 66, just that date canes were also used.

From here on, I see that Simone has beat me to it ... and has used a lot less words than me. But here's my comments, anyway :D :

I think you can trust the date cane for the actual date of the weight.

I have no idea of any comparative values that can be applied to Cat canes - black or green (or any other colour that may be found, although it could be a fun piece of research to see if there were other colours). I also do not know whether a green Cat cane is particularly unusual. But collectors do seem to put a bit of a premium on Strathearn weights with any Cat cane.

As for photos of paperweights, they can be one of the most difficult of all glass objects to get really good images for. But there are some basic points that may help and these cover both the taking of the image and then subsequent "photo editing":

a) Take the photo using a plain background. With a "busy" background, it is possible that the camera will set its automatic focusing on that, rather than the weight. This can often be the case where the weight, like yours, has a bed of white latticino twists, which can make it difficult for the camera to find a precise central focusing point.

b) Check the camera for a "close up" (or "macro") setting as well as the "normal" one. Take photos at the same distance but using the different focus settings - sometimes one will work much better than the other.

c) Try a shot with flash. Although this will invariably produce a flare somewhere on the top of the dome, it will help with sharpness of the photo by eliminating most hand-held camera shake. It will also (usually) give a good contrast to canes and white twists.

d) Images straight out of modern digital cameras are usually far too large for general purposes and reducing the height and width will actually produce an apparent increase in sharpness. If you have the editing software to do so, cropping and resizing images to a max of around 500 pixels is always a good thing to do - at least for a first, general online viewing.

e) Also with editing software, it is possible to boost the sharpness of a digital image. Most images can benefit from a certain amount of sharpening, but too much makes them look overly "grainy", so it's something to experiment with. Generally, the better the camera (or its "resolution"), the less sharpening is required. However, the sharpening tool can even be useful for slightly blurred images as it can make them look quite acceptable.

Many thanks for the link (very informative)!! I did not find any 67 canes, except for the cat cane (and you are right,  they are the same) that matched mine. But 67 must have been a transitional (?) period, there were very few canes listed. I'm still not sure why there is a difference in the date canes, the S cane appears to be earlier than the date cane. The site was fantastic and I learned a great deal!

Thanks for the much needed help!

Hi KevH !

  I can't wait to practice taking paperweight photos, (re-charging the battery as we speak) I kind of wore it out in my practice run!

  My confusion on the S cane date issue stems from several sources, one being Richard More's site, if you look at page one of Signature & Date Canes by year, photo #DCP1965-1966-4595P6-S-Red; you will see that my S cane matches it,  caption reads red but it is orange (as is mine) and if you look at the 67-69 cane, the flower has more petals than mine. Hope I described that properly!  I am still in the very, early learning stage of the paperweight world!

  So, do I have a 66/67 or is it a true 67? Now that I know it is special, I will have to move it to the front of the collection cabinet, poor thing was actually behind some "less than special" sulphides! Thanks to you, it has been promoted!

Many thanks,

I never meant to imply that Strathearn tried to confuse anyone or that the weight was not made in 1967. The fact remains that my 67 has a 65/66 S cane.Maybe I should have asked if it was common operating procedure to have a paperweight with a signature cane and date cane that differ?!

 As for the 67 Starthearn canes, there were only 10 pictures, one (the cat cane ) that matched mine. Never said there were none, only that there were very few and asked if it was a transitional period for Strathearn.

 Being a new collector, I spend a considerable amount of time researching paperweights that interest me,( and wishing I could afford most of them)  I have spent hours reading the glass forum and obtained a great deal of very valuable information...thanks to all of you!


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