Author Topic: A Strathearn mystery!  (Read 2627 times)

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Offline Liz

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A Strathearn mystery!
« on: April 08, 2006, 10:58:15 PM »
http://i2.tinypic.com/t9jm0o.jpg

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 is...is 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!
Liz
Liz


Offline KevinH

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2006, 01:35:31 AM »
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 ( http://strathearn.smugmug.com )? 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 ...
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.
KevinH


Offline Liz

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Strathearn mystery
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2006, 01:36:04 AM »
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!
Liz
Liz


Offline Liz

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2006, 02:36:49 AM »
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,
Liz
Liz


Offline Liz

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Starthearn paperweight
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2006, 01:23:28 PM »
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!
Liz
Liz


Connie

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 01:49:41 PM »
Quote
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 ...
That does not mean that the "S" cane was abandoned after 66, just that date canes were also used.


Quote taken fro KevH's post above.

Liz - What KevH is telling you is the just the "S" cane with no date cane was used in 1965/66.  Then in 1967 the date canes were added but the "S" cane use was not abandoned.

So your paperweight clearly fits into having been made in 1967 with the use of the "S" cane plus the date cane.


Offline KevinH

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2006, 06:42:23 PM »
Hi again folks,

Liz has made an astute observation based on her understanding of the evidence. This really pleases me, as it from this detailed level of investigation that unknown points may come to light - and it also helps to highlight possible confusions within presented text and images.

For the signature cane in question, it is true that Richard's reference is perhaps misleading as it could suggest "a Red S cane" or "some part of the cane that is red". My understanding is that Richard has used a referencing system that occasionally includes an extra indication of the weight that the cane is in. I do not think he has tried to suggest particular colours of the "S" or other parts of the cane. His example of that cane is taken from an upright flower weight that has a flower in the "madder" colour, which I think Richard has shortened to "Red" for his reference.

So yes, without an understanding of how a reference system was constructed, the confusion over a cane "colour description" is easy to see. I will email Richard about this.

Liz also points out that when comparing the 67-69 date cane, the "flower" in Richard's example has more "petals" than in hers. Again, it is good to see people counting "petals" of canes. But I wonder about this because it seems to me that both canes have 20 "cogs" (for this form of cane, it is usually referred to as a "cog cane" rather than a "flower / daisy"). Also, the canes are different in that in Liz's example, there is what seems to be a blue or purple coating around the white cog.

Another point that is not clear to me is whether the date in Liz's weight is actually 67. Unfortunately, even with enlargements and enhancements of a copy of that part of the photo I cannot make out the actual numbers. To me it seems as if it could just as easily be 66, 68 or 69.

However, regardless of the actual date, or the colours of parts of the cane, the fact is that Strarthearn used a variety of cane structures and colours for several of the years. Also, as stated in Richard's site, the "S" was used as a stand-alone cane until the 70s when they started including the "S" in a single cane with the date. So, it is not surprising to see that Liz has a weight with a separate "S" cane for a year that may be different to the example shown in Richard's pages.

But there is one rather interesting thing I have not yet mentioned ...
I would like to have a weight like Liz's ...
One with that particular "S" cane ...
It's the example of that cane that interests me ...

It was, until recently, believed to be a cane first made in the Strathearn years - for their signature. A few examples of the cane were known in early Strathearn weights. But a weight turned up showing all the signs of being even earlier than Strathearn and UV checks backed this up. The weight and its cane were featured in a PCC Newsletter. A natural question was raised that since this "S" (in the same 8-petal daisy cane) now had reasonable evidence for existence pre-Strathearn, what did it represent? Was it really a true signature cane of Salvador Ysart, perhaps first used in the early years of Vasart (Ysart Brothers)? I also raised this point as part of my presentation at the Ysart Glass Conference in Perth last year.

Any occurrences of that particular "S" cane are of interest to myself and others inlvolved in the research into Vasart / Strathearn paperweight making.

Liz .. when you have practiced some more with the camera, I would like to see some more photos of the weight. And if you can manage some close-ups of the "S" and date canes, that would be great.

:D
KevinH


Offline Liz

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2006, 10:37:03 PM »
Thank you KevH,

  I am woking on the photos and will post them this evening. In the interim, I closely studied both my S cane and the 65/66 (picture # DCP1965-664595P6S-Red) on Richard's site and the 67-69 S cane (DCP1967-694109P6-1) mine has 8 cogs, a navy/purple S surrounded by an orange circle within a white daisy, it is an identical match to the large picture on the right side of the page.

  The 67-69 S cane has similar colors, but has 20 cogs. My date cane is definitley 67.

 The other curiosity (to me) is that the other canes, I had described as non-descript, appear to have more similarities to the older canes described before the 67 period canes. As I have stated, only the cat cane in the 67 canes description was an exact match.

  I know, a picture is worth a thousand words! I will post them as soon as I get a clear shot.

Many thanks,
Liz
Liz


Offline Liz

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2006, 11:54:32 PM »
Link: http://tinypic.com/v3in4p.jpg
Link: http://tinypic.com/v3hxec.jpg
Link: http://tinypic.com/v3i1rm.jpg
Link: http://tinypic.com/v3inuw.jpg

KevH,

 Finally, some clear pictures....thank you for the tips....improved, but I won't be offered a photography assignment anytime soon!
 :D

Liz
Liz


Offline dfernbach

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A Strathearn mystery!
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2006, 01:45:29 AM »
Someone please let Frank know I want my referral bonus as I think I'll take credit for Liz having shown up on the Message Board.

Actually I think that Mark and I needed to add someone else who speak American.

Seriously - the issue of photographing weights is a big one.  Having spent many hours playing around with the art, I'm going to start a new topic and disclose my previously classified photo techniques.

Talk to you soon, Liz

 

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