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Author Topic: ID help with classical style vase please  (Read 3960 times)

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Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2013, 03:53:01 PM »
I’ve added some pictures for reference, of my 19th century opaline glass (or what I would call opaline glass) to show how they compare to the early to mid 19th century descriptions cited above, as they are from c. the same era.
All sources are cited previously in the thread.

1) the first is an identified Baccarat perfume bottle - 19th c, and would be classified as opaline glass(my definition of) I believe.  It is thick glass, and slightly translucent but by no means could it be classed as  demonstrating opalescent properties and is definitely not transparent and translucency is minimal

2) the second is a mid 19thC pedestal tazza with trailed pink rim, also believed to be French.  Translucent to some degree but not transparent by any means and does not demonstrate opalescent properties.

3) a small jug with red trailed rim, more translucent than either of the above pieces, more finely made, would not class as transparent but is certainly more so than the above piece, does not demonstrate opalescent properties as far as I can see.  Identified using source 'Glass - Millers Antique Checklist, Mark West pg 53) as Baccarat opaline glass.  Believed to be c mid C19th

4) c.mid C19th green mantle lustre satinised exterior polished interior, does not demonstrate opalescent properties is translucent, is definitely not transparent – attributed as possibly Josephinenhutte.

All of which I would call opaline glass using Newman's definition
'Opaline – a dense translucent glass that derives its diffused nature from the addition of bone ash, and is colored using metallic oxides, usually in pastel hues.’

Although all, as far as I can see, have a greater translucency then Mel’s vase I believe Mel’s vase dates to 1847 and I would still have described Mel’s vase as opaline glass. 
And that is where the link with this thread lies and where my confusion lies in general regarding descriptors of opaline glass.

The Count in 1834 described opaline glass thus
  ‘Opaline glass is produced by mingling in the common metal of white glass, a portion of calcined bones, which gives a blue shade without impairing the transparency.'   His description appears, to me, to be of what I would call opalescent glass. And as you read a little further in the article it does appear he is describing opalescent glass.  And indeed Christine commented above, that the word opaline may have been used  in this context as meaning opaline = opal ‘ine’ – opal ‘like’


And then in 1847, in the article I  cited earlier on in the thread from the Art-Union magazine, which shows engravings of what I believe are the same glass and the same range as Mel's vase, the author of that article( written in 1847) titles it 'Opalescent glass'. Now I would call Mel’s vase opaline glass based on Newman's description.

Charles Hajdamach reproduced that article but does not refer to either opaline or opalescent when describing these vases but merely refers to them as Etruscan.

And although it is difficult to be sure as some of the items under discussion are illustrations, I think  there are further examples of confusion over terminology/descriptors from different eras, demonstrated by the following two points:

-  on page 113 of British Glass 1800-1914 Charles Hajdamach shows a photograph (plate 84) in black and white unfortunately, of a vase that appears to be quite dense white glass I think in a very similiar vein to Mel's although not satinised on the exterior,  with the plate description as
'plate 84. White opaline vase, sepia enamelled with a scene of Ulysses weeping at the song of Demodocus, after an engraving by Flaxman; c 1851.  Height 18 1/2in. (47.2cm)'
(My underlining to draw attention to the glass descriptor of opaline)

But then we have this
- on page 139  plate 104 (bottom right hand corner vase) he pictures another vase that again to my eye looks as though it is made from a similar glass to Mel's, i.e. I would call it opaline glass, although admittedly it is difficult to be sure as this is an illustration rather than a photograph.
It was a vase from Molineaux Webb & Co of Manchester shown at the Great Exhibition.  In the book CH quotes from the catalogue written in 1851  in the following paragraph, (page 136/137) 'At the Great Exhibition the Etruscan style of decoration appeared on many of the glass stands.  One page of the catalogue was devoted to the glass of Molineaux, Webb and Co in Manchester and featured at the bottom right a vase described as "opalescent...engraved after Flaxman's design of Diomed casting his spear at Mars" (plate104).'   (The Great Exhibition, and therefore the catalogue description of 'opalescent glass', dates to 1851.)

So it seems to me that in 1834 opaline glass was the name for what we would now call opalescent glass and, as demonstrated by the comments in 1847 and 1851, what I would now call opaline glass was at that time named opalescent glass.
i.e. the complete opposite of current usage of terminology.

Also although I have a number of c1850 i.e. early opaline(my definition of) glass pieces,  I do not have a single piece of opaline (my definition of) glass that I believe demonstrates opalescent (dictionary definition of)  properties or even 'opal' like properties if you think of an opal stone and the colours it refracts.

So where this use of  the word opalescent in the 19th century to describe what I would call opaline glass comes from is a curiosity to me.
I can understand the descriptor of opaline being used to described opalescent glass if you take Christine's term of opaline= opal 'ine'-opal'like'.

And finally, which term is correct for use now?

m



Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2013, 04:10:33 PM »
And none of them have been subjected to reheating. Bone ash, if indeed it was used, was used as simply as an opacifier.

It seems like somewhere/sometime the use of opaline became inaccurate and the use of opalescent became sloppy rather than a complete switch round. Walsh's canary opalescent is indeed opalescent


Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2013, 08:36:30 PM »
Thinking out loud here and just musing
 it may be that the word opaline as the Count uses it was correct at the time of 1834 because
- early opaline might have been quite transparent (more as Italian Girosol glass maybe?  is that opalescent in that it's been reheated or is it a very transparent form of opaline glass really?) and only in white therefore it might well have given off different colours like my Salviati ewer does because it was quite transparent.  So whilst it sounds as though he was describing our term of opalescent glass, in fact he may not have been describing opalescent glass restruck to produce the colour spectrum.  It might just be that opaline glass at that time was as I've just described.

Then the description as he uses it might have become inaccurate because
- as time went on  opaline might have become more translucent and less watery in appearance but still translucent,  and also with the introduction of colours to opaline glass, the definition as given by the Count may have not stood the test of change?

I can only think that opalescent as used in the above sources (1847 and 1851) as a term to describe, what clearly looks like, white opaline glass (although quite opaque by comparison to my little jug for example) in the vases as I described in CH and also Mel's for example, might have been used as opal 'escent' i.e. also opal 'like' meaning white 'like' , so using the opal as a white colour descriptor, rather than as a comparison to the stone opal or as a descriptor of having been heat treated to display opalescent qualities.

Especially since I've now found an 1844 reference and description of opaline glass here
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eDpc0eHOv-cC&pg=PA309&dq=opaline+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cTUAUb6XDYzP0AWDnoD4DA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=opaline%20glass&f=false
 (btw this is a fascinating read for all sorts of things but especially glass, the section of which starts on page 303, so if you get a chance do click the link and have a read)
Source: An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy, Books I-VII Elibron Classics -
'This Elibron Classic Replica Edition is an unabridged facsimile of the edition published 1844 by Longman, Brown, Green and Longman, London'
Page 309 no 1307 'Opaline glass is of a semi-transparent opaline hue, used for various ornamental articles, chiefly for the boudoir.  The effect is produced by adding to the best glass a small quantity of oxide of tin or what is better, phosphate of lime, or well burnt bone ash.'

btw none of this is going to help with my next query which is....would Mel's vase be described as opaline glass and is my Harrach Etruscan vase described as opaline glass  ;D

m


Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2013, 08:53:18 PM »
With regard Mel finding a shape that is the same as her vase and my comment on their scarcity -
whilst I've no idea whether these (Webb's Etruscan decorated by Giller) were exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 or not, certainly those produced by Davis, Greathead and Green of Amblecote, which are in a similar style and also Etruscan, were, and Hajdamach shows a copy of the illustration from the catalogue and talks about the 'discovery' of two of these pieces at in 1991 at a Midlands Antiques fair. He also shows photographs of those two pieces.

  He also says on page 131 under the chapter heading International Exhibitions:
'... . If the aims of the exhibitions were somewhat fallacious and patronising, of more interest now are the objects which were displayed at those events.  Glasses from the exhibitions periodically appear on the market but their importance and provenance often go unrecognised. In the last few years the Richardson vase with the scene of Ulysses weeping at the song of Demodocus (plate 84), the Last Supper goblet (Plate 109) and the fragment of the MOrrison tazza (Plate 110) have been identified from illustrations or entries in the catalogues.  Even with the wealth of illustration in the exhibition catalogues ... the majority of the glasses that were displayed remain lost or unidentified.'

m


Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2013, 08:58:04 PM »
I think the count is using white as in clear/colourless...


Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2013, 09:05:49 PM »
yes that's what I mean - colourless with an opacifier I think is what gave the  'white' opaline glass. And it was a while before colours were introduced (need to check dates on that though) - I was just wondering if, at the time he wrote it, opaline glass was just white but very translucent which would fit his description.
m


Offline neilh

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2013, 10:21:13 PM »
ff, with regard to Hajdamach and the 1851 "Diomed casting his spear at Mars" vase, attributed to Molineaux Webb, I noticed a mismatch between that page in the Exhibition book and the inventory in another section... this is what I said on my own website:

---

Other websites and researchers have assumed all the images on the page are Molineaux & Webb pieces, but a careful look at the Exhibition Catalogue leaves room for doubt, especially with the opal vase of "Diomed casting his spear at Mars."
 
No such item is listed under the Molineaux & Webb section of the Exhibition Catalogue, but the next manufacturer in the catalogue, Richardsons of Stourbridge, list "opal vases, painted with enamel colours", and one of the subjects is "Diomed casting his spear at Mars."  This probable mis-identification of manufacturers is further supported by a remark by Roger Dodsworth in an article on the Manchester glass industry in Volume 4 of the Glass Circle.  In discussing this object he says "as the vase is opalescent it is more likely to have been transfer-printed from an engraved plate, a technique usually associated with Richardson's of Wordsley."


Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2013, 10:35:39 PM »
Hi Neil
thank you for correcting that :) (this is a correction to the maker in an earlier post by me
' on page 139  plate 104 (bottom right hand corner vase) he pictures another vase that again to my eye looks as though it is made from a similar glass to Mel's, i.e. I would call it opaline glass, although admittedly it is difficult to be sure as this is an illustration rather than a photograph.
It was a vase from Molineaux Webb & Co of Manchester shown at the Great Exhibition.  In the book CH quotes from the catalogue written in 1851  in the following paragraph, (page 136/137) 'At the Great Exhibition the Etruscan style of decoration appeared on many of the glass stands.  One page of the catalogue was devoted to the glass of Molineaux, Webb and Co in Manchester and featured at the bottom right a vase described as "opalescent...engraved after Flaxman's design of Diomed casting his spear at Mars" (plate104).'   (The Great Exhibition, and therefore the catalogue description of 'opalescent glass', dates to 1851.)'


What's also interesting though is that you quote Dodsworth as calling the vase opalescent :
'" This probable mis-identification of manufacturers is further supported by a remark by Roger Dodsworth in an article on the Manchester glass industry in Volume 4 of the Glass Circle.  In discussing this object he says "as the vase is opalescent it is more likely to have been transfer-printed from an engraved plate, a technique usually associated with Richardson's of Wordsley."'

My underlining to draw attention to the word opalescent.

Furthermore, from what you have said, it seems Richardsons described their vases as being opal, from the wording in the Exhibition Catalogue given above.  I have noted that in CH British Glass, there is the use of the word opal and also opaline.  I was leaving that for another day lol. but it seems to have bearing on this subject.


Offline KevinH

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2013, 12:20:40 AM »
Quote
... it seems Richardsons described their vases as being opal ...
I have no idea of the actual context of that use of "opal", but to many glassworkers it usually just meant "coloured in a shade of white". On that basis, "opal" could be a correct description for "white opaline" but not all white glass could be called "opaline".

[I am happy to delete this post if it just causes confusion. ;D]
KevinH


Offline flying free

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Re: ID help with classical style vase please
« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2013, 12:42:06 AM »
Kev, I do think it's a possibility that white glass was described as opal glass, rather than opal glass being used a particular descriptor of how the glass was made.
I think the Cristallerie de Clichy book might hold the clue to partly understanding the various old and current descriptions of opaline glass.

I'm off to bed now :) but will post in the morning.
m

 

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