Author Topic: 'Britannia' by John Derbyshire  (Read 641 times)

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Offline Paul S.

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'Britannia' by John Derbyshire
« on: December 28, 2012, 09:03:38 PM »
Might be of interest, possibly, as curiosity value if nothing else.         These agree with the book details, although a little taller - at 205mm - 8"  - than Slack suggests.        Unfortunately, not matt black glass, but one each of frosted and clear, both having been covered with a spirit based black paint - at least it doesn't dissolve in water.         Unfortunately, some slight nibbling to the ridged plinth.
The frosted example carries both the trademark and lozenge (it's also frosted on the inside)  -  the clear one has the lozenge only  -  so obviously separate moulds, and interesting to see the noticable difference in the head posture, with the clear example looking slightly more downward.               Both have the same Rd. details - 287495, for 26th November 1874.
Bearing in mind the (probable) greater value given to these things when in matt black, do we think someone has painted them to imitate the more collectable variety (which I think were made, in their turn, to imitate black basalt).             I'm inclined to leave them as they are and not remove the paint.            Thanks for looking :)


Offline glassobsessed

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 10:43:08 AM »
Interesting figures Paul. I guess it would be safer to leave the paint alone for now, at least until you can learn more about them.

John


Offline Paul S.

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 01:51:29 PM »
thanks John  -  I think they look better in black rather than clear glass  -  gives them a sort of classical, almost a patinated bronzed look. ;D
They cost me a couple of quid in the charity shop yesterday morning, so no big outlay  -  and I might eventually try some Nitromors on them some day.       When I first saw them on the shelf, I did think they were the matt black sort, but no such luck I'm afraid.
The design is well documented, and they are shown/discussed probably in most of the books on Victorian pressed glass - all I now need is the sphinx and greyhound ;)


Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 03:11:30 PM »
Paul a very nice find from a charity shop , they do look nice black but if they were mine I would like to restore back to clear and frosted.

I recently sold a Derbyshire greyhound but also kept the second one I had for myself.

I recently sold some nice glass at woolley and Wallis in Salisbury, they had for sale  a pair of Molineaux and Webb mat black sphinx's and a Derbyshire mat black sphinx . They did not sell because the reserve was to high although it was good to at least handle a Derbyshire sphinx as you very seldom ever see them.

Hope to see some pictures of the restored Brittania's if you try good luck.

Roy


Offline glassobsessed

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 03:58:21 PM »
In that case, if paint stripper does not work try white spirit, if that does not work try nail varnish remover. As a last resort try thinners but be careful as they are volatile... :o


Offline Angela B

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 05:22:33 AM »
Are we absolutely certain that this paint was not applied by the makers? Think of the red cloud glass pieces which were definitely painted by Davidson's. I have two pillar vases which some kind soul has treated with paint stripper to take off the red, revealing purple cloud glass underneath. The only good thing is they gave up before they stripped the bases, and one at least still has part of the original makers mark.
The black paint could have been applied to mark a Royal death, or just to make them more marketable in their day.
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Offline Paul S.

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 11:43:03 AM »
The answer has to be no - my knowledge of pressed glass is limited, and even more so with regard to these  iconic paperweight subjects from JD  -  although other people may have information which might throw light on the question of applied paint.      I don't recall seeing anything other than either clear glass or solid black examples, and must admit I've never owned or seen anything painted from Davidson, so I've nothing to compare these with.
As we know, after Albert's death Victoria became obsessed with black, so the suggestion is a possibility.         

My opinion would be that this 'black paint' has been in place for a long time  -  despite being stubborn to move, there are areas (the high spots) where the paint has been worn away, revealing the clear glass.      The breasts, arms and knees show this more than elsewhere, and the ridges on the plinths have suffered likewise.

Slack says that pieces bearing both the JD trademark and Rd. lozenge belong to the period 1873 - 6 only - which was the four year duration of John Derbyshire, and although there may well have been prominent deaths that might have produced a mourning colour such as this, the only obvious occasion that comes to mind is 1901. 
This is certainly some time after these pieces would have been made, so perhaps this pair might have been painted by their owner on the occasion of Victoria's demise - I'm not aware of any comments in my books suggesting the existance of painted examples - so let's see if the pressed experts can come up with any reliable information on this subject :)

P.S.    Sorry to hear of the vandalism of your Davidson pillar vases  :( 



Offline David E

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 01:17:18 PM »
Just one query - is it Brittania or Britannia? If it's the latter then it would benefit a change to the subject line so that future searches achieve a more accurate result.
David
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Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 02:05:28 PM »
One t; two n's
Britannia


Offline Paul S.

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Re: 'Brittania' by John Derbyshire
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 02:17:11 PM »
Is this where I'm supposed to say................deliberate mistake, and just checking to make sure you're all awake ;).........whereas it was me that wasn't awake.........apologies for the spelling error, and thanks for spotting it.............hopefully the mods will change to assist future searches. :)

 

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