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Author Topic: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?  (Read 2161 times)

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Offline flying free

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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 03:01:51 PM »
thank you -  my searching in German is improving all the time :)

m


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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 12:51:56 AM »
I've been doing quite a bit of research on this vase and debating whether or not to return to the thread, as I'm slightly wary of being shot down in flames  :)  As usual however, I've decided that's ok  ;D \I think this is actually in interesting piece of glass  and perhaps I might get a definite id one day.

I’ll start by saying I think this is  possibly important regarding the technique and the date it was made.
The size I originally put on was a typo – it is actually 7” tall (originally would have been I think c.10” tall) and about 3 ½” wide at the body, so not a small piece.

From what I’ve found, my thoughts so far are:
- Made 1860
- Three layer hand carved cameo glass
- Blank blown at Harrachov
- Carved at Kamenicky Senov possibly
- Possibly by Karl Pfohl (or close contemporary but cannot find any evidence as to who else it might be)

Firstly, I have to say I'm a little curious as to why I've not been able to find any maker on it.  Or indeed any further information about it written anywhere, or precious little information on mid Century Bohemian cameo glass or the techniques used  by Franz Zach and Karl Pfohl for example.  I’ve read literally masses of books and articles on cameo glass now, and see much written about English cameo glass (acid etched and hand carved) and how it was important in the third quarter of the 19thcentury and on French Art Nouveau cameo glass (acid etched and hand carved), and I absolutely understand the importance of those pieces …  but this vase and similar pieces were made c.1860 or even possibly in the 1850s. Casing glass only started in the 1830’s.   Northwood’s Portland vase was not made until 1873.
Admittedly I don't have any books specifically on Biedermeier glass, but from the three other pieces  I have found and from what I have read so far, I have reason to believe my vase and the others, have not been investigated or identified anywhere else.  (Happy to be proved wrong   )
I'm open to correction and more information so if anyone has any please do correct me, or add to the thread - I would be very appreciative.

I sent some pictures to the V&A.  They had no information to offer me and suggested I contact one of the German museums.  I've not done so only because I've not found any definitive info on it, or on the only other two I’ve found that are the same and one that is remarkably similar.  In addition to which, I have in the past sent the odd question to museums and have received no reply.
 
With regards the V&A they agree my date of c.1860.
I inquired loosely about Franz Zach as the cameo effect is similar, although I did not think it was by Franz Zach.  They have said it is not.  I think I agree with this based on the few other items I’ve found that are his.  These appear to be figural  on one layer over clear, with the depth of the cameo cutting allowing more or less light through in much the same way as a porcelain lithophane does.  His pieces sometimes have decorated stylised borders. 
See Judith Miller, Page 117 of Decorative Arts: Style and Design from Classical to Contemporary
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=X1cXb-wzy74C&pg=PA120&dq=overlay+glass+19th+century&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xJYsUemDBuLW0QXd_oD4Bg&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBjgU#v=onepage&q=overlay%20glass%2019th%20century&f=false

however I also found this (see link to a piece sold through Fischer) so it does make me wonder
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/4984949
their reference is Ref: G. Höltl (Hrsg.): Das böhmische Glas, Band III, Passau 1995, 180ff. 
and this
http://www.auktion-bergmann.de/ufItemInfo.aspx?a_id=73&i_id=169286&s_id=6104
so if anyone owns these references and would be willing to look up to see if there are any others like mine I'd be eternally grateful as it's one I don't have.

An additional comment they made was :
‘The techniques used are not that of Franz Paul Zach, indeed this blue cut casing combined with different designs of engraved and etched scenes was popular in Bohemia at that time with a number of factories producing examples’.

Firstly regarding the ‘popularity’:
I have searched extensively, but although I can find a number of pieces in a similar ‘ ish’ vein, I can only find  two (possibly three) the same and one that is very similar (in the Corning) to mine. 

I just don’t think they were that prolific and I think that the pieces the V&A refer to are mostly two layer  and cameo engraved pieces i.e one colour over clear (see links I’ve given below to pieces similar to mine but only two layers).

Even without the cameo design in the middle of the body of the vase, I can’t think there were that many of the three (i.e. transparent or opaline base with two more coloured overlays on) layer pieces produced at this time,  given the difficulty of producing overlay glass - 

a)   I watched a recording of Reine Liefkes describing a piece in the V&A that they bought at the Great Exhibition and which dates to 1855. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/g/glass-goblet-by-franz-paul-zach/
 It’s a Franz Zach blue over clear cameo cut and overlay cut footed bowl dating to the same period.  Admittedly it’s a massive piece of glass they are discussing.  But if you listen to the description of how difficult it was to make, they talk about the difficulty of the compatibility of the layers of glass and then also the difficulties in ensuring it annealed without cracking.  And then discuss that there one only one or two factories capable of producing this glass at that time and this was probably made at Neuwelt

b)   Also I’ve read much about the failure rate of the white over colour cameo glass produced in England and how difficult it was to produce - see Klein/Ward page 187 where they comment on the making of the Northwood blank in 1873:
‘Although cased glass had been made since the 1830’s, the manufacture of a cameo blank presented particular problems.  Not only did the white outer layer have to be of uniform thickness, but the white glass and the dark blue undercolour had to have the same coefficient of expansion and contraction to prevent the glass from cracking during the annealing process.’

c)   There is a book online written by David Whitehouse called English Cameo Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass and in it on page 7 under Preface he writes:
‘The first cameo glass vessels were made by the Romans between about 25 B.C. and A.D. 50. A handful of vessels were produced by Roman glassworkers in the fourth century A.D., rather
more were made by Islamic craftsmen between the ninth and 11th centuries, and Chinese glass cutters in and after the 18th century made more cameo glasses than all their predecessors combined. Nevertheless, cameo glass was comparatively rare until the late 19th century, when glassmakers in the Stourbridge area of central England produced tens of thousands of objects for consumption at home and abroad.’


 I believe that my piece was a technically difficult piece to make especially at the time it was made and given it is three layers and given the decoration on it.  So whilst they have said they were ‘popular’, I can’t think there were masses of them floating around.  If there were, I have not been able to find them having searched quite extensively.


With regards the seeming paucity of information on mid 19thcentury Cameo glass from Bohemia, it’s interesting that in that recording Liefkes says that the Franz Zach piece was ‘forgotten’ for a long time, being sent to reside at another of their museums ( the one that is now the museum of Childhood) until 1970, when it was ‘re-found’ and brought back to reside again as an important piece at the V&A. Another indication I think, of how little these mid 19thcentury Bohemian carved and overlay pieces were discussed,  by comparison to English Cameo glass of the third quarter 19th century and into the 20th century and Art Nouveau French cameo glass for example.

Secondly, the email from the V&A refers to these glass pieces as engraved and etched.  I wasn’t quite sure about this description :

- Cameo carving and engraving use similar techniques, i.e. wheels to create the effect, so I guess ‘engraving’ might be a description. 
- With regards the ‘etched’ I presume she is referring to the frosted effect on the body of the vase rather than that the decoration was   acid etched. 
- As far as I can tell from holding the vase and reading regarding similar pieces, this is cameo glass.  I had thought the decoration might have been etched initially and then with the blue layer hand carved in various depths and the final lines on the leaves etc. hand carved. However, you can see the white layer of glass around the blue all the way round the edges of every leaf and scroll and of course around the border. 
- So if for arguments sake we say some of the blue and white layers in between the decoration were initially acid etched to remove the colour back to clear (remembering though this was 1860 and Liefkes actually mentions in the recording transcript regarding the Franz zach piece dated 1855 that it was hand carved as that was a little before acid etching became used - and also in Klein/Ward’s book TheHistory of Glass pge 191 for example they talk about acid polishing replacing hand polishing in the 1880’s ),  then certainly the rest of it must have been hand carved including all the edges to reveal the white borders around the blue edges.
- So given the date of the piece, and the complexity of the design I can’t see how this could have been achieved, without hand carving it in the first place (open to correction if someone can explain how this might be possible to achieve via acid etching).  And the background is not totally smooth or even surfaced either.  By that I don’t mean it’s grainy or rough to touch but that if you feel the background it is slightly up and down in parts, not totally smooth, as though it was hand carved in the first place.
- The whole design looks as though it has been given an acid wash to make it satin after it was all finished.     

So I think the vase would have been blown with three layers - clear, cased in white and then cased in blue over the white, then hand carved, and then the design hand cut (as in cameo carved) on the blue, where it is most definitely raised in relief, and then acid washed to give that smooth satin finish to the design area only.  Finally, the geometric borders were polished.  As I say, I’m open to correction.

References of other pieces in a similar vein –
- These are the only two pieces I have found that I believe are the same maker as mine:
  The V&A agree the becher or beaker, is the same maker.  I didn’t send them a pic of the pink Stein, but I’m certain it’s also the same maker.  There is one other stein on there that appears to be the same blue version as mine but the picture is bad so I can’t see the detail so I’ve not included it). 
There is one other piece, a goblet – it is not exactly the same in that the picture is figural rather than the grapes and vine, but close up I can see it is done in the same way and has the polished geometric borders etc.  It is in the Corning and the link shows the techniques they have said the piece is made with.

a)becher originally in the JJ Ludwig Regensburg collection , a collection of a major antiques dealer and collector, and sold firstly in 2008 through Nagel and then again through Fischer. This is described only as North Bohemian, 1860.  I would have thought, given the collection it has come from and the two Auction Houses who have sold it, that if there was any evidence of maker or decorator available in literature one of those parties would have known about it.
http://www.auctions-fischer.de/catalogues/online-catalogues/210-european-glass-studio-glass.html?L=1&kategorie=102&artikel=26481&cHash=0e79a907d3

b) History of Beer Stein Glass  - third set of pictures down, left hand Stein, pink over white over clear with vines and grapes.   This site have the Josephinenhutte book and have identified other pieces on the site as either by, or probably by, Josephinenhutte.  The pink stein that is the same as mine has  not been identified, which leads me to believe there is nothing in the book to link them to Josephinenhutte.  I have also not been able to find another piece that is in any way similar enough to link Josephinenhutte to being the possible maker.
http://www.beerstein.net/articles/bsb-6.htm

c) Covered goblet in the Corning museum identified as Karl Pfohl, North Bohemia – I presume they mean Karl Pfohl was the decorator rather than also the blank maker and that they refer to North Bohemia as the place it was made.
http://www.cmog.org/artwork/covered-goblet-5#.US0fyzCeN_V

- The pieces below are a similar style to mine but not the same

1)   Three colour blue on white on clear with carved figural picture and geometric borders.  In close up you can see the carving is done in the same way as my vase although the picture is figural:
This first has no id for maker or decorator and is dated c.1850.  It is described as acid-etched cameo.  Given other descriptions I’ve read from the Corning,  I think it was probably engraved or cut and then frosted rather than the picture being created by acid etching.
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/property-from-the-collection-of-carl-desantis/lot.208.lotnum.html

The techniques described by the Corning as used on this next piece, are engraved, pressed, frosted, cut.  I’m not entirely sure where ‘pressed’ comes in as it is a blown piece, but nowhere is it described as acid etched. They have it identified as by Karl Pfohl and made in Northern Bohemia
http://www.cmog.org/artwork/covered-goblet-5#.US0uuTCeN_V

2)   Two colour only  - white overlay on transparent colour body with matt   Cameo cut design and polished geometric white overlay cut borders:
http://www.glaskilian.de/Biedermeier-Lithophanieschnitt.640+B6YmFja1BJRD02NDAmcHJvZHVjdElEPTIzMzAwJnBpZF9wcm9kdWN0PTY0MCZkZXRhaWw9.0.html

http://www.rubylane.com/item/518922-1998-17/Antique-Bohemian-Harrach-Cameo-Art

3)   Engraved in a similar way to mine but only two colours, not three:
Karl Pfohl glass red overlay on clear glass body cameo engraved (same as mine) http://www.papilio.cz/en/archiv.php?aukce=a28&pol=9795&PHPSESSID=b845bfad3169855d341788addbeb3227

Figural Chalice made at Harrachov and decorated by Karl Pfohl Kamenicky Senov  where if you click on it, you can see the cameo carving is done in the same way as that on the blue layer on my vase (scroll down to second picture)
http://www.prazskagalerie.cz/en/news/from-editorial/crisis-and-boom-in-glass-and-jewellery-industry-1


Two colour blue overlay on clear with polished geometric borders and satin finish engraved cameo picture, a
Karl Pfohl goblet sold at Sotheby’s – blue overlay on clear with polished blue overlay on clear geometric borders and satin finish ‘acid cameo’ (their description – the Corning (see below) do not use this description)  blue picture on the clear background
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/property-from-the-collection-of-carl-desantis/lot.205.lotnum.html

Karl Pfohl goblet in the Corning where the description is ‘blown, overlaid, cut, engraved’ and nowhere it is described as acid-etched. Id’d as by Karl Pfohl -  North Bohemia,  Kamenicky Senov
http://www.cmog.org/artwork/goblet-896?sm_actor_name=Pfohl%252C%2520Karl&sort=bs_has_image%20desc%2Cscore%20desc%2Cbs_on_display%20desc&goto=node/51200&filter=%22bundle%3Aartwork%22&object=1#.US0rQTCeN_V

I’m interested to hear of any leads or information if anyone has seen anything similar to my piece and am open to correction on any of the above
Thanks for taking the time to read if you got this far – I hope some of it was interesting.
m


Offline flying free

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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 02:32:40 AM »
Just to add I was checking some dates and rereading the references and have found Northwood's first cameo piece was
'About 1856, he produced a white-over-blue vase depicting Perseus and Andromeda' - Source David Whitehouse reference as in previous post.


Offline Ivo

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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 07:15:02 AM »
Add one more paragraph and you' ve got a book - a nice book. I am sure there will be other things to add on the origins of cameo ... but so far no tendency to shoot you down in flames. On the contrary!
Ivo
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Offline Frank

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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 12:17:41 PM »
Excellent - I guess you need to get a peek into the Passau museum books next.
Frank A.
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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2013, 01:04:41 PM »
Thank you Ivo and Frank :)
Yes Frank, I need a couple of books - the Passau volume being one of them.
However, as I say below I do have the Nagel Auction books of the JJ Ludwig collection auctioned in 2008.  It was a very important and massive collection of antiques.  There are many many 19th century Bohemian bechers and other glass in the collection.  The Passau books were known about then and of course the museum, and the collection was German, yet, there are only some specific references and id's so I don't hold out much hope.

I'm not adding a paragraph  ;D but it did occur to me that there is one important name I've found missing from my text above who really should be included for reference.  That is Carl Günther , Steinschönau.  Whilst he did not sign his work there are a few pieces attributed to him online and they do have some similarities.
Again I'm open to correction, but instinctively I do not think he is in the running for making my piece - there are too many differences in the way his are made e.g. the ones I've found are mostly figural, the way his pieces are cut are different (can't explain how but they have more lines in them, are less 'stylised' than the Pfohl or Zach pieces and are just slightly different) and the overlay he engraved on is a more transparent red in all the cases I've found.

However, what is important is that I think some of the work he was doing is also cameo glass and some appear to be earlier than my piece. 
So for example I have the Nagel Auction house catalogue of the JJ Ludwig collection sale, and in the second book, cat no 218 there is a straight sided beaker described as 'Becher mit Chinoiseriedekor'.  The blank is blown with a fairly transparent red overlay on clear glass.  There are sets of three groups of round lenses cut around the foot as a decorative border with the red showing only as an outline around the clear lenses and then a plain red swag joining each group.  The figural decoration is cameo cut with most of the background removed and the clear that is left has then been frosted.  The picture depicted is beautifully carved on the red with a  warrior with shield and spear and a bird on a tree branch.

This is dated c 1835.
I have to admit I'm amazed that in reading all those references, and to also read  the Whitehouse book on English Cameo Glass and see all the  references to past cameo work that he gives,  there is no mention of the work done in Bohemia in the  2nd and 3rd quarter 19th century.
m


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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 01:43:53 PM »
Adding to my post above and my longer post above Ivo's and Frank's replies
(Ivo, yes this is one further paragraph I guess  ;D )

I thought I should also add a link (see below) to a book I found whilst searching.  It was written in 1870 by Alexandre Sauzay.  There are two important points in it that I thought I should pick out:

1) On pages 173 and 174 it describes the method of overlay glass within a reference frame of having first mentioned the Portland Vase.  It also discusses the difference between engravings on glass and overlay cutting - therefore,  it is in someway referring to 'cameo glass' when it describes overlay glass and the cutting thereof.

2) Within those same pages it discusses using acid, however reading it carefully and having read the preceding chapters, that reference used when discussing  acid on glass, is actually regarding using acid to etch or engrave glass, it it not a reference to acid etched cameo glass.

I am confident my vase and the ones I've linked to above use hand carved cameo technique to create the designs on the glass.

link to book here
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t0sNAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=bohemian+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5JEmUa_aPMaS0QXfs4CQBg&ved=0CFoQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage&q=bohemian%20glass&f=false

With regards my comments on the three layer glass and the 'popularity' which the V&A refer to,
in the JJ Ludwig collection, which was a high end collection and I believe collected over a long period of time, there were 44 bechers of the period, of which only four were three layer glass , and only two were cameo (the one the same as mine and the Carl Gunther piece which was only one overlay).  Obviously this could be just because they didn't like overlay glass, but given the breadth of the collection overall and the number of bechers in their collection, I suspect not.

m


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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 08:31:25 PM »
Just adding this which I've finally found.
In CH  British Glass  1800-1914 this goblet (the one I've linked to)  is pictured in black and white but only described as
'Plate 111 - page 146 "Large goblet cased blue over clear and engraved by the Bohemian engraver F.Zach, c1860. 12 3/4". "

He comments on page 145 under International Exhibitions regarding Bohemian Glass displays of the 1862 Exhibition on the site of the now Natural History Museum  and says the following:
'...A fascinating glass from the English engravers' point of view must have been  the cased goblet (my words - this is not the same goblet as I linked to) showing Cupid amongst scrollwork engraved by F. Zach.  Zach remains as mysterious figure but the quality of his work is evident from the known signed pieces (plate 111)'

The piece in plate 111 is this one
http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackcountrymuseums/4388847173/
Described by the Black Country Museums site as
'1850-1860 Blue cast loving cup engraved in cameo style with a partially clad male figure embracing a mermaid.
Engraved by Franz Zach.' (my underlining)

No mention in CH British Glass of the cameo on the goblet.  Admittedly the intricacy and detail of the cameo is not of the detail of the Northwood cameos but this was 16years before the Northwood cameo vases were displayed at  the International Exhibition of 1878 which are commented on in the book on page 147.
On page 115 there is documentation of the Locke Portland vase for Richardson and the cameos made by Locke and Alphonse Lechevrel which were also exhibited at the 1878 Exhibition.

m


Offline Frank

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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 01:04:17 AM »
e.g. the ones I've found are mostly figural, the way his pieces are cut are different (can't explain how but they have more lines in them, are less 'stylised' than the Pfohl or Zach

Be aware, and I think you are, that ¨his work was usually" "His work is known as" simple refers to one or more pieces that are positively documented to assume that all of an artists work are based on this example is possibly erroneous. But not always! An accomplished engraver may have only worked on 10 designs in his life. Another may have developed and explored - but this is a freedom of modern times. There are simply hundreds of engravers most of whom would have stuck to what they are taught and could have become extremely accomplished at their interpretation of their lessons - but most will remain unknown and the odds are always in favour of an unknown as they were the majority. Which does not mean you will not identify their teacher.
Frank A.
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Re: Blue and white overlay vase - vine and grapes decoration - enamel?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 08:39:28 AM »
 :) I am aware and you are quite right.
And it's a good reminder also that I should put caveats and be careful of the way I phrase things.

One of the difficulties is that there are so few of these pieces around to compare and contrast, whether the same as mine or just similar.
The other is the scarcity of information on the technique with regard to Bohemian use in the 19th century.

I am open to correction on everything I've written above so any contributions very gratefully received :)

m



 

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