Author Topic: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase  (Read 666 times)

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Offline Paul S.

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Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« on: March 01, 2013, 04:35:03 PM »
This pattern appears in Jackson on page 113 (in sky blue), under the heading of 'Woodchester Beakers and related diamond-moulded vases'.
Shown in the book and in the W/Fs catalogues as pattern No. 1202 - appearing in the 1931, 1938 and 1940 catalogues - although I've no idea of the colour range - and seems to have gone by 1949.        A pattern with a fairly long life, bearing in mind this was apparently first designed in 1918.
Height is 6" - pontil is snapped - foot is ribbed, flaired and with a folded rim.     Not easy to see from book pix, but Powell seems to have been keen on folded foot rims when there was this flaired shape to the foot, especially on the Venetian inspired designs  -  obviously providing strength to the foot rim, as it would have done on the originals.        This vase does have a long high-pitched ring characteristic of W/Fs pieces.
It looks as though the whole of the flared foot is applied as a separate piece, judging by the seam-like appearance where it joins the body.

Jackson discusses this colour in her glossary, and in the early 1930's the factory used what she describes as a "pale pinkish-purple glass called violet was used ......   with a darker and less translucent form of ametheyst being used in the 1930's - (actually listed in the factory catalogues for 1938 -49)".
This one is certainly not pale, so I'd suggest the darker amethyst of this piece suggests strongly that it was made late in the period for this pattern.
I might be very wrong, but would welcome anyone's thoughts and thanks for looking. :)


Offline 17C_pioneer

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 05:10:40 PM »
Hello Paul,

Some background to these designs and their inspiration is given in J. Stuart Daniels' book "The Woodchester Glass House" , Gloucester 1950 and in H.J. Powell's book "Glass-making in England", Cambridge University Press, 1923.  The two-part construction and the folded foot rim are almost certainly based on the archaeological finds, but in this case these reflect French rather than Venetian origins.

Colin


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 07:44:44 PM »
Colin - many thanks for taking the time to reply...........I thought everyone was ignoring me (as usual) ;)
I am a fan of books, but have to admit I don't possess either of the volumes you mention.........mainly because I don't really collect W/Fs. although I'm a big fan of the pre Baxter material, particularly the Venetian inspired pieces.           I am aware of Powell's book but hadn't heard of the other volume.                       I picked this up because it wasn't expensive and I do like amethyst - the seller didn't know he was selling a W/Fs piece.

I was a bit confused by the folded foot coupled with the Woodchester (Roman) connection - assuming that there hadn't been any folded feet in the Romano British period, so wasn't sure why Powell included that feature.       I thought it was the Venetians in the C16 who first hit on the idea of strengthening the foot rim by folding it under, alghough I have seen Continental drinking glasses where the rim is folded over the foot rather than underneath.
I won't debate the pro's and con's of the design since I haven't read the book, but will try to get a copy and read the history behind your comments.
My thanks again for your information.


Offline chriscooper

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 07:49:17 PM »
Think the colour would be Amethyst, if I remember right the alternative colour description violet  arose from the Wuidart 'Wealdstone' range, opinions differ whether they were actually all 'new' colours or some were just alternative names? for the existing colours.
Gold. Green. Violet. Lido Blue. Royal Blue. Peacock Blue. Silver Grey and Helion. The colours of the Wuidart catalogue.

Chris


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 08:09:16 PM »
thanks Chris, I'd definitely go with amethyst on this one  -  in the flesh the depth of colour is really strong.


Offline 17C_pioneer

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 08:29:15 PM »
Paul,

The Woodchester glass house actually dated from about 1600 and appears to have been worked by glass makers originally from the Lorraine area of France.  The use of the folded foot there probably originated from earlier designs of glass that were blown from a single bubble, with the double-thickness foot being made by necking in the bubble and then pushing up the base of it.

Ironically the Venetians seem to have used fewer folded feet.  This appears to have been for two reasons, firstly because by using better quality materials they made stronger glasses than those made from sand and ashes by the forest glass-makers and secondly because their wealthy patrons wanted glasses that appeared fragile - so that they could show-off their wealth by affording to buy such beautiful fragile things, half of which might easily be trashed in a single meal.  Conspicuous consumption I think it is now called.

Colin


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 09:48:35 AM »
thanks Colin.          I have a copy of Kenyon's 'The Glass Industry of the Weald', in which he discusses briefly some of the Woodchester material - interesting to see that apparently the Woodchester workers seem to have used what is described as the only circular (Venetian) type of furnace known in this country - so maybe an integration from Italian into French into British industrial link.
Kenyon was concerned, however, with the Surrey and Sussex Weald forest industry and he, too, mentions the import of workers from France. Interesting to see that some of the Lorraine workers (from the Weald sites) eventually went on to become big cheeses in the Stourbridge and Newcastle industry, when the the nature of the work changed from woodland to coal based glasshouses.

I see from Kenyon that the Woodchester site was discovered by a guy called Marmont around 1880, who spent something like 30 years excavating the area, although almost unbelievable apparently left no written record of his work, and this was only rectified by Daniels in 1950.
Good job that Powell got in when he did, otherwise we'd have even less of a record of the glass types, perhaps.

I did walk around one of the Surrey/Sussex weald sites some few years back, and in small random areas glass fragments are quite common - too small to indicate their original shape or use, but nonetheless attractive with the iridescent colouring - unfortunately, I've since lost them. 

quote................"Conspicuous consumption I think it is now called."...............or perhaps originators of the expression 'disposable society' ;D



Offline Paul S.

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 09:56:12 AM »
Just noticed that there's a 'sky blue' example showing in Miller's  'Glass of the '20s & '30s'  -  small booklet covering quality glass of that period by Frankie Leibe (with Jeanette Hayhurst as special consultant).                 According to the booklet, colours produced for this design include sapphire (I remembered the two pp's ;)) - gold amber - green - sky blue , and most sought after, sanctuary blue (I've had a piece of W/Fs in this one and it really is a stunning blue)...................BUT, no mention of my amethyst :'(
However, I do like the price that Miller's have put on this piece ;)


Offline johnphilip

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 10:38:52 AM »
Hi Paul look up their salts then you can take a pinch with their prices as i am sure you know . ;D ;)
A sanctuary blue swan sold last week it is a beautiful colour .


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Powell 'Woodchester' related vase
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 10:55:57 AM »
quote................look up their salts then you can take a pinch with their prices as i am sure you know......... I agree - was only joking - I think the bottom's fallen out of the market since then  -  it's only layby pieces that hold their quirky value now  ;)

 

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