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Author Topic: Apsley Pellatt Curiosities of Glassmaking 1849-Venetian Ball & French Millefiori  (Read 7706 times)

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Offline KevinH

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I agree with John's thoughts about it being a bizarre way to make a solid ball.

But I will get back to you on this when I have reviewed Pellatt's book a few more times. :)
KevinH

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Offline flying free

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It might have been a bizarre way to make a solid ball, but he (Apsley Pellatt) was definitely talking about a solid ball i.e. what we now call a paperweight judging from the picture of the item (it looks to have a flattish base to me, not to be a round ball but I could be wrong).

Anyway, if, let's say, he was talking about an item that we now call a paperweight, I wonder why that term is not referred to either in his book or in the 1852 book.  And therefore when did that term become the 'term' for the item?

Just wondering ...

m

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Offline KevinH

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I am researching .. more info will be given soon ... please wait. :)
KevinH

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Offline tropdevin

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***

I thought the first clear reference to a 'paperweight' like object with millefiori in a glass ball was by Sabellico in 1495.  But what you actually call them is another matter.  Around 1845 - 1850 in the UK they were called 'letter weights', more often than 'paperweights'.  I do not know when that latter phrase was first used, or became popular, but it was not an obvious choice, to my mind.

Alan 
Alan  (The Paperweight People  http://www.pwts.co.uk)

"There are two rules for ultimate success in life. Number 1: Never tell everything you know."

The comments in this posting reflect the opinion of the author, Alan Thornton, and not that of the owners, administrators or moderators of this board. Comments are copyright Alan Thornton.

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Offline chopin-liszt

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A few weeks ago I was admiring a 1st century Roman glass dish, in the local museum, moulded out of cane-like structures.
The individual "canes" were a deep opaque blue, with an (uneven and a bit square - like those minty black and white sweeties) spiral of white running through them.
Cheers, Sue (M)

‘For every problem there is a solution: neat, plausible and wrong’. H.L.Mencken

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Offline KevinH

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I am still "meandering" through various books, but getting close to being able to give an answer to the questions. The answer(s) will probably be brief, but the list of book references and selected quotes (and maybe some earlier GMB threads?) might fill up my post. ;D
KevinH

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Offline KevinH

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Hah! I have been around a few circles and rushed off on a couple of tangents.

My research, for what seems to be a couple of fairly simple questions, is getting more interesting (for me), but is needing much more time than I first imagined!

When I have reached a conclusion I will post again ... and also tidy things up by deleting "progress comments" such as this one.

;D
KevinH

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Offline flying free

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hmm, this is what happens :0 and why I post and then disappear for months and suddenly repost endlessly long comments ;D
I have found out that Sabellico 'recorded' his observations - so somewhere in Latin, is a recorded version of an early solid Venetian ball.  I have a contact who reads Classics, so I might get in touch and suggest that as an area to look into for me  :o
In the meantime, I'm travelling at the moment but am ploughing through Apsley Pellatt and lo ... page 110 mentions paperweights.

m

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Offline KevinH

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Quote
Sabellico 'recorded' his observations - so somewhere in Latin, is a recorded version of an early solid Venetian ball.
Some of the references in paperweight literature point to: Marc Antonio Sabellico, “De Situ Urbis Venetae”, written around 1494/5.

And at least one reference gives the Latin text: “primo venit in mentum brevi pila includere omnia florum genera quibus vernantia vestiuntur prate.” The often repeated translation is, “But consider to whom it did first occur to include in a little ball all the sorts of flowers that clothe the meadows in spring.” It is usually stated that the "brevi pila" (little ball / column) referred to a "Venetian ball" of the 15th century.

Quote
... Apsley Pellatt and lo ... page 110 mentions paperweights.
Yes, but the reference may be debatable in the context that Pellatt made it!
KevinH

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Offline flying free

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I don't understand what you mean by the last comment ? But that's probably because I've lost track of where we are now :)

It reads to me that what he calls Mille-Fiore (sic) he says are the same as the Venetian Balls, but as he defines it, the Venetian Balls were constructed of scramble canes, and he describes the Mille-fiore as being more regular in design ie. having a set pattern of canes.  He shows a drawing of the set pattern construction. (the drawing is very confusing I think)
 He then says that once the shape with the set pattern of canes was made it could be formed into a paperweight or a bowl (he calls  a bowl a 'tazza').  That isn't improbable is it? I'm sure I've read that some Strathearn paperweights became little bowls?
So it seems to me that at least in 1849? (was that when he wrote the book?) when the book was written, there is a mention of paperweights and in the same breath as a Venetian ball.  So it could be taken that they are the same item (paperweight) but one is a scramble weight (Venetian Ball) and the other a formed from a set pattern design of canes(Mille-Fiore paperweight item).

Given there appears to be a lack of mention of 'paperweights' in contemporary mid 19th century writing about the Great Exhibition for example, I take it to read he was writing of Venetian Mille-Fiore (sic) paperweights  of a much earlier date and not contemporary items being made at the time of his writing. His phraseology is written in past tense when describing the Mille-Fiore work - 'It was formed by placing...' and does read as though he was describing much much earlier work no longer being made.

His description of how it was made is a bit weird though.

m



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