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Author Topic: Identify etchings on antique glass, miniature antique jug and decanter please  (Read 507 times)

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Offline misscollectibles

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Would it be possible for anyone to give information about the provenance or identify in any way the following:

the name of the etching on the glass (I have a set of these glasses)
any provenance re the decanter (without topper(: )
information about the antique jug

Many thanks for taking the time to read and any answers will be a bonus ::)


Offline Paul S.

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hello misscollectibles, and welcome to the GMB :)

Generally, it's more productive in the way of answers if you provide one item per post  -  otherwise it confuses us simple souls ;D.

I'll start the ball rolling with the first pic which is the wine glass, and which has been machine acid etched.       The history of this process starts around 1850 and continues well into the C20, and was an exceptionally prolific method of decorating both cheap and very expensive glass (clear glass usually).          Geometric patterns and lifelike designs in an enormouse variety were used, and make a good theme for collecting.
They can be found commonly still at boot sales etc., although don't usually have much of a commercial value.    Difficult to date, unless the design is of some social significance.         Flick the glass - does it ring  -  and does the foot have a ground/polished pontil depression??
Please remember to give the dimensions of each item, it does help - and a pix of the underside of the foot is very useful sometimes. :)   


Offline misscollectibles

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Dear Paul

I wish to thank you for your reply. Apologies about the triple posting and any confusion or inconvenience it has caused. (I am happy to repost if this will help) In reply to your questions, the glass does ring but no pix at the foot - the small glass suitable for sherry.


Offline Paul S.

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not sure if we lost some meaning re 'pix of the foot' :)          I was suggesting that pictures of the underside of the foot - especially with drinking glasses - can be useful in dating, although to be of any real use they need to be close up and good quality.     Do you have a small smooth depression in the centre of the underside of the foot - or shortish lines producing a sort of 'Y' shaped mark, or simply a smooth finish?
My original comments about machine acid etching were a massively simplified explanation of what were a variety of mechanical methods - some using machines, others transfers from copper plates etc. to convey the pattern onto the glass.           In essence all processes involved some way of placing a resist onto the glass and then scratching through the resist to create the design/pattern - the item then being dipped in acid which would bite only where the resist had been removed - and thus creating the design.     
All too complex to describe adequately here, and bearing in mind all three of your pieces appear to show C19 glass, your most profitable start would be to buy a copy of Charles Hajdamach's 'British Glass 1800 - 1914' (they must surely now be inexpensive on ebay or Abe Books) - where he devotes an entire chapter to acid etching, for example, and it makes very interesting reading.
My personal, slightly educated guess, would be that your drinking glass dates to somewhere in the last quarter of the C19, and they can be found very commonly on occasions.                   Remember also to look for the amount wear (or lack of) on the foot, which is another dating effect.

I'll put head on the block and do a separate post for the decanter.


Offline Paul S.

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NOTES ON THE DECANTER ONLY............

Not for sherry probably, but more likely either a spirit decanter, or possibly one from a set of 2 or 3 of the same which would have formed a 'liquor frame'  -  similar to a tantalus, but without a facility for locking.     It's the straight sides and more narrow body that suggest this use.
Regrettably, provenance/attribution is a none starter - for the last 350 years decanters have been made in limitless profusion - although in the C20 some factories included an acid backstamp showing a trademark etc., for example Baccarat (France) or Stuart (British).
Decoration wise, there is slice cutting on the neck down to the shoulder, plus some wheel engraving in the way of small stars and a decorative band of matt diamonds, with further proper cutting of ovals at the base.         Again, a base picture would have been helpful.
The small decorative stars are a feature that go back to the mid C18, but that aside there is nothing else to suggest any real age, so I'd plump for something like 1850  -  1880..........the Victorians were nuts about those small stars and shoved them on almost everything they could get their hands on.......just have a look in the Silber & Fleming volumes (sections on utility glassware etc.)...........more books that for the collector of Victoriana are extremely useful, and which again must surely be available on ebay etc.
Pity you don't have the stopper, although antiques fairs and sometimes up-market boot sales can turn up boxes of mixed stoppers and you might just find a suitable match.                   
Try looking on the lip (inside and outside) - and the neck.......for a number (the matching No. which indicates quality if nothing else) - might just help with showing if this is Continental or British. :)


Offline misscollectibles

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Dear Paul

Thank you so much for the detailed information you have posted. I wish to thank you for the detailed information about the glassware and the decanter. All of your postings are very well appreciated as is the advice and recommendations for further reading especially with regard to working out the style of etching on the glasses and finally, thanks to you, I have found some information accounting for stars on glassware (we are avid collectors particularly of champagne saucers).

In relation to the pix, I did misinterpret what you said and instead of thinking of photographs. I imagined it was some reference to the base, because in some of my older glasses, I have found a X in the nobbly base and then wrongly presumed that this was a 'pix' ! Someone else told me that this was a snap at the base and occasionally made an 'x'.

I have learned my lesson now and will make a note of photographing items individually and include a pix of the base on any glassware I choose to post in future.

Thank you again for all your help.  :)


Offline Paul S.

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the 'snap' on the foot to which you refer, would be an indication of a much earlier glass (where the worker snaps the pontil rod away from the article - thus leaving a sharp scar)  -  probably somewhere in the first 60 to 70 years of the C18  -  although there is some evidence that it re-appears occasionally in the first third of the C19.    There shouldn't be any difficulty in separating genuine C18 glasses with 'snapped' pontil marks, as these will usually have a recess under the foot in which the snapped scar can sit without contacting/scratching your G-Plan table  -  but as always there are exceptions to the rule, so other factors must also be taken into account.           

The 'X' to which you refer (although in practise it looks more like a Y or T) might well be what is called either a 'gadget mark' or the 'shears mark'.
The gadget tool was a Victorian invention to assist the glassworker - not seen before about 1860 and disappears after about 1900 - and enabled the worker to hold the glass in a spring loaded vice like tool whilst he finished the piece.        It is alleged that use of this gadget created the Y or T mark on the foot, and some reputable books maintain this statement i.e. Hajdamach for example.
Other people insist (with some logic) that the marks are the result of cutting/shearing the item away from the pontil rod, whilst the glass is still plastic.          I go with the former, but only because that was the first description I encountered, and things whether right or wrong tend to stick in the mind  -  I really don't know which is correct. :-\

Champagne coupes/saucers are great to collect, although date wise they don't go back beyond c. 1830 - 40  -  I think they were preceeded by a sort of tallish ale flute type glass.        It seems that saucers were invented so that a more lively and bubbly strain of the drink could be seen better in a wider and more open glass (apparently Byron called the new variety  "Champagne with foaming whirls, As white as Cleopatra's melted pearls") - the down side being that the booze might go flat a bit quicker when in a saucer.         I must have 25 - 30 saucers, and they come in an endless variety - expect you have some of the hollow stemmed sort (to allow the sediment to settle away from the bowl).

When posting, also remember to give dimensions. :)



Offline Paul S.

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NOTES ON THE 'ANTIQUE JUG' ONLY............

Can't really offer much on this, other than to suggest that it might be a handled wine carafe from the latter part of the C19, and probably a utilitarian piece and not expensive when new.            Again, no idea of origin, but in view of the style of handle can say with certainty it won't date prior to c. 1865..........on pieces earlier that this, handles were attached by starting at the top and then manipulating the glass to re-attach lower down, but handles like yours, and thence on into the C20, were attached in reverse order.
As a general rule carafes didn't have stoppers, as presumably they were used with a single filling adequate to accompany just one meal.   I can't see clearly in your pic. but you might look to see if there is a worn matt dull area within the neck opening  -  which might indicate or otherwise use of a stopper.

In view of your mention of glasses with wheel engraved stars - hope you don't object to my including a couple of pix showing a variety of drinking glasses (probably mostly late C19/C20) - champagne coupe, claret, sherry, port and tumbler..........and the second pic showing several C19 custards and a sherry, plus a late C18 Irish mead glass.


Offline misscollectibles

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On the contrary, I am grateful, I have the saucers, the tumblers and a decanter but not the wine glasses - thank you for the pix! now I even know what that actually is.


 

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