Author Topic: Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?  (Read 6706 times)

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Offline joolslee

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« on: May 06, 2006, 09:32:40 PM »
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  :)

http://www.knicknack.co.uk/mdna/

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.


Offline Tigerchips

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 10:36:35 PM »
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)


Offline joolslee

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 10:47:35 PM »
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.


Offline David555

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 10:51:07 PM »
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 is my Father's name, 555 is the number of man ('The Pixies'), but please call me ADAM P.


Offline David E

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2006, 10:57:41 PM »
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.
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
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Offline David E

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2006, 11:00:53 PM »
Just a thought: the signature isn't 'Boffo' is it? A photo of this would help.
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book


Offline joolslee

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2006, 11:02:55 PM »
Thank you David and DenCill ... the flash has gone on my camera so I'll try taking a pic of the signature in daylight tomorrow ... appreciate the welcome all.


Offline David555

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2006, 11:24:02 PM »
Hi

Isn't a fish vase round with two bubbles like eyes - that is what I am getting?
 
I have looked at about ten axe-heads in books and they are all spade shaped - some are rounded off I have to admit.

Your vase seems irregular for an axe head - I am not saying it isn't

It could be a 'hammer-head' or a free form piece - or ... it could be an axe-head.                        

I have about 20 pieces of Mdina, but favour faceted and textured pieces. As TC and David say,  Sue will know better as she has many pieces I think and has researched Mdina and IOW well.

Adam P
David is my Father's name, 555 is the number of man ('The Pixies'), but please call me ADAM P.


Offline chopin-liszt

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2006, 09:46:49 AM »
:D:D:D

Hello! I'll try to clarify things a little!

This is definitely a Mdina "Fish" vase. The signature is most likely to be that of Joseph Said. (His signature is pretty illegible). Michael Harris' signature is small, neat and easily read. I do not know of a Boffo ever signing a piece, but if there is one, keep away, IT'S MINE!!!! :twisted:

As far as I know, (info from Lesley Jackson), Mdina made what were called "Fish" vases and "Lollipops". (no mention of any weapons)

The Fish vases were meant to look like Manta rays, from above, and are the ones where the casing is applied heavily to both sides of the vase, with strapping crossing over, like this one. The way the shoulders are finished off on this one are fairly typical of Said. Michael Harris' ones tend to have more sloping shoulders than bumpy, but these are all individual hand made pieces, and there is no hard and fast rule. (I'm not shooting you down about anything, David!). Lollipops are the rounded ones, fully cased.

However, I have seen certain particular lollipops described as fishes. These are the very big, flattened and faceted ones with three colours internally.

I also have a round vase, but it has strapping crossing over it, fish style.

Mark Hill has told me he thinks he may be responsible for describing these as axeheads, a very accurate description, and one I do not think will ever go away!  I believe it is the axehead description that has spawned "mallethead" and "hammerhead" to attempt to describe other shapes along the same sort of theme.

The signature will add value to this piece, which is very nice indeed. Personally, I like these brown fish vases the best. I don't know why.
They're doing quite well on eBay at the moment. I do not think a reserve of £150 would be unreasonable.
Cheers, Sue (M)

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. Friedrich Nietzsche


Offline joolslee

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Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2006, 11:06:32 AM »
Thanks for the excellent info Sue and all ... I've added a couple of pics of the signature to the webpage now ... they're the best I could do with my camera ... the sig doesn't look like Said ... there's a clear upper loop at the beginning of the sig and definitely what looks like two r's in there but the rest is scribble ... i think it will take someone who is familiar with the various known sigs to identify it

http://www.knicknack.co.uk/mdna/

 

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