Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > Malta Glass

Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?

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Hi - I've decided to sell a Mdina ornament I bought in 1976 - I think it may be described as an Axe Head but I'd like to know for sure as I don't want to mis-describe it ... On the bottom it is inscribed Mdina Glass 1976 and there is also a signature but I can't make out the name ... excuse the jif lemon, it was all I could find for a size perspective  :)

I'd appreciate any comments and, if possible, a guide price to start an ebay auction as I have no idea of it's value. Thank you.

Hi, welcome to the board. :D

It's Saturday so the board is a little on the quiet side. An expert on Mdina might drop in any moment, or perhaps tommorow.

I'm no expert but I do have books which are not always accurate.  :roll:  :lol:

For a moment I thought the vase was sitting on a clear glass tray. Now I can see that it's part of the vase and it's cased, I think.

I've looked in Millers and there is a similar one called a "Fish" vase. According to Miller's the "Axe Head" shape is known as a fish vase.

Does the signature say "Micheal Harris"? If so, (according to Millers) this doubles the price.

The brown colour in Millers is described as Tortoiseshell, I think. I'm not sure if this means all colours of brown.

I must say, it does look very impressive. 8)

Hello and thanks for your reply tigerchips ... the signature does look as though it contains two r's and possibly a dotted i ... in fact it was a Michael Harris vase I saw on Ebay that prompted me to dig my ornament out from the loft ... however, I think Michael Harris left Mdina before 1976 so I guess it can't be his signature  :(
So when you say it's "cased" ... is that a known term that I should use in the description ... I just love glass and buy because I like ... I know nothing of terminology.

Yes I would say you have a beautiful Mdina Axe-Head vase

They appear to have been made with spade shaped bodies and also in less regular body shapes like your piece with sloping or sharp sides

The added trailing is also seen on some axe-heads

Michael Harris left Mdina in 1972 and the craftsmen he had trained took over - if it was new in 1976 I would be surprised if it had the Harris signature, although it may have been stock - can you let us see a photo of the date and signature?

Here is an axe-head unsigned sold on eBay - your vase is a less common colour and has a signature - I have seen the £100+ mark reached for such items

eBay link

Adam P

David E:
Sue (chopin-liszt) is one that can answer this, but it does look like an axe-head (properly known as 'Fish' as TC points out) vase. Slightly unusual shape, but Sue will probably slap me down :oops:  :wink:

Michael Harris left in 1972 and while his items do hold more value, later Fish vases are still highly collectable — just wished I had one, but Sue won't give me one!  :lol:

Casing is where there is an outer layer of glass, often clear, covers the interior decoration.


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