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Author Topic: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question  (Read 1429 times)

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Offline flying free

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2014, 05:18:47 PM »
My comments on the discussion over ‘Arboresque’ descriptions:
Ref: Kev’s reply

‘As for "arboresque" ...

BGBTW, page 99, catalogue #331, [sadly not illustrated] was a bowl in "... a style known as Arboresque, introduced in 1933". The description says:
Quote
'Clear glass, blown into an irregular patterned mould and sprayed with orange metallic salts.’
'

1)   Manley’s book that featured a crackle bowl named as ‘Arboresque’ (#285) was dated 1981
- Manley’s description of ‘Arboresque’ was (my underlining)
‘“285. Another example of cracked surface, but no mystery who made it. Steven & Williams, in 4 colours, recorded as ‘Arboresque’ in 1930.
Crystal over cracked iridescent surface. 27.9cm (11 in) diameter.”’
-   So Manley says ‘Arboresque’ was recorded in 1930.
-   His description  means it was cased glass over a crackled surface that had been iridised.

2)   The Crystal Years was written 2 years later in 1983
– R.S. Stevens-Williams description of ‘Arboresque’ was       
‘This was a treatment carried out in the early 1930s and used a glasshouse effect of trailed uneven coloured glass, mainly of jade green and rose, on to the surface of clear crystal articles.’
-   An error in this book?  The description does not match that of Manley’s at all.

3)   British Glass between the Wars was written in 1987
– Dodsworth’s description of ‘Arboresque’ was
Clear glass, blown into an irregular patterned mould and sprayed with orange metallic salts.’  And   ‘ … in a style known as Arboresque, introduced in 1933
His description seems to me to be possibly describing Manley’s bowl at least in the way it looks in the picture however:
-   Dodsworth did not show a picture of ‘Arboresque’.
-   His description does not match the description of The Crystal Years
-   His description does not match Manley’s in technique
-   His date (1933) does not tally with that stated in Manley (‘…recorded as ‘Arboresque’ in 1930)

Dodsworth must have known of the book ‘The Crystal Years’, but recorded a different description of the technique of ‘Arboresque’.
Dodsworth must have also known of the Manley book, but there is a date discrepancy between the two books for the pattern and the technique doesn’t match Manley’s desc.
Manley says it was recorded for 1930.  Where? 
Dodworth says it was introduced in 1933.  Where is the source for that?

4)   20th Century British Glass (CH) was written in 2009
– Hajdamach gives no description of ‘Arboresque’ and shows no picture but says it was introduced in 1933

Summary so far:

- Did Dodsworth find a different description of ‘Arboresque’ in the pattern books, hence he was able to date it to 1933? 
- If he didn’t use Manley as a reference source, then in 1933 this pattern must be recorded with a description of the décor, in the pattern books.
- If Dodsworth did get it from the pattern books, where did Manley get his stated ‘recorded 1930’ date from?
- Hajdamach says it was introduced in 1933. Did he find it in the pattern books?  If so, I wonder why is there no description of the technique used for the décor, or a description of the décor or a picture?
- If Dodsworth is correct then it must mean:
-   the description of the technique in The Crystal Years is wrong.
-   Manley got his ‘recorded 1930’ date wrong.
-   Manley got his description of the technique wrong
-   ‘Arboresque’ is not what we know as rainbow glass.

Re Kev’s further comments:
‘So, if my thoughts are correct, maybe all of the four colours (as stated by Manley) for Arboresque were sprayed metallic salts. And maybe (as stated in BGBTW) all Arboresque was a mould-blown pattern.’

- If this is the case then we are looking for iridescent single colour moulded crackle-patterned glass.

'And not only that, but perhaps the meaning of "arbor" in connection with this pattern, was "like tree bark" (such as with oak etc). That could make sense of why we have been thinking of "crackled surface decoration" and have not considered "mould blown".
yes, therefore the pattern could vary but would always be a mould blown version of a tree bark type pattern and always be iridescent

'If so, then I guess some / most / all of the white crackle over pink items referred to are simply not "arboresque". And that would also vindicate Manley in his later book. He only referred to Item #285 as "arboresque". Items #280 and #282 happened to be the first two of that small group for which he used the term "cracked surface decoration".'

- I feel Manley is vindicated anyway on that issue, if as you say, he only referred to the one item as ‘Arboresque’.  The readers have chosen to ignore that the other two items were not denoted as such.

If it is commonly felt that Dodsworth was correct then:
Someone needs to contact Broadfield House museum and ask them to look up the pattern number in the 1933 area of the pattern book (or 'books' as it maybe - I'm confused as to whether there were two books running for the period 1932-1939 because they were recording Stevens and Williams patterns that had not been designed by Keith Murray, in the Keith Murray Pattern Book - source CH British Glass).

If he is correct, then:
a) Anyone with Manley needs to correct their issue updating the descriptor of technique and also the date of the pattern.
b) Anyone with The Crystal Years needs to correct their issue in the same way.

Which leaves us:
a) still trying to find a recorded date and description and name for the pieces we 'know' as rainbow vases/bowls.
b) hunting around to find single colour moulded tree-bark patterned pieces with an iridescent surface in any of 4 colours (which ones I don't know)

m


Offline flying free

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2014, 07:30:05 PM »
just a possible observation on my comment above here

I think Manley could have been describing what the bowl looked like sat on the table as it were - ie smooth on the interior as you looked down on it, with the smooth glass laying over the crackle (cracked?) surface that was on the underneath(exterior) of the bowl.?

'1)   Manley’s book that featured a crackle bowl named as ‘Arboresque’ (#285) was dated 1981
- Manley’s description of ‘Arboresque’ was (my underlining)
‘“285. Another example of cracked surface, but no mystery who made it. Steven & Williams, in 4 colours, recorded as ‘Arboresque’ in 1930.
Crystal over cracked iridescent surface. 27.9cm (11 in) diameter.”’
-   So Manley says ‘Arboresque’ was recorded in 1930.
-   His description  means it was cased glass over a crackled surface that had been iridised.'


Offline flying free

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2014, 07:52:44 PM »
following my two long posts immediately  above  ::)

I've still got an issue with the description of how this crackle glass was made.
So was it one gob of glass, blown into a mould that had a 'crackle patch' pattern on it, the mould complete with out-standing ridges all around the crackle patches on the inside of the mould, to create the crackle type pattern of patches left on the glass?  It must have made it hard work removing that from the mould. 
So then it was iridised, then blown out again to enlarge the crackle in order to leave the fissures between the pattern showing as clear glass?  how would they ensure the iridescence didn't creep into the fissures? 
OTOH If they blew it out to enlarge the fissures before iridising, then wouldn't the iridescence spray in the fissures as well making the glass completely peach iridescence?
Manley's pic is very hard to judge but the fissures look clear to me if you look at the bottom of the pic, on the exterior wall.
m


Offline KevinH

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2014, 08:19:16 PM »
And I am still not sure whether "arboresque", would have referred to the "cracked surface", or to the colour type "iridescent" or both of those together.

I have (seemingly VERY quickly!!) investigated Manley's term "cracked surface". I wondered if that was always interchangeable with our own often-used term "crackled". Maybe it is ...

Unfortunately, his Glossary at the beginning of the book does not cover "cracked" or "crackled" or "crizzled"!

The first examples of "cracked / crackled" I can find in Manley's 1981 book are actually described as "crizzled"! These are Items #119 and #120, two pieces described as "Stevens & Williams 'Moss Agate' ". Manley included in his description: "Note the crizzling, a common form of decoration, ... but the cracks have almost severed the vases before being sealed." (My italics) To me, this describes "crackled" glass - using cold water to make the cracks before reheating and blowing.

The next Manley examples of "cracked / crackled" decor are two Monart vases (Items #234 & #235). Manley called these: "mottled casing over white". And he added:
Quote
... before the final shaping, the outer case only is deeply marked with a piece of sharp metal (a nail will do) after which the blowing is continued ...
Again, that lines up with what I think most of us here would say was, "crackled, by dipping into cold water".

That then leads us to the first of references to the Manley term "cracked surface" (i.e. his Item #280 that we have referred to earlier). For that one, he again suggested "marking the surface with a sharp piece of metal".

His next reference to "cracked surface" was item #282, for which he said: "like 280 ... another example of cracked surface ...". Although for this one he followed up with: "... the opal casing having powdered opal marvered onto the surface ..." he added: "The cracked surface is made exactly as for 280" - meaning with the use of a piece of sharp metal.

For his Item #285 bowl, he only talked about the "cracked iridescent surface"; he did not say how he thought the cracks were made. But is seems very likely that he thought  "as for 280".

So my conclusion is that all of Manley's' references to "cracked surface" imply his belief of the use of a "sharp piece of metal" for marking before blowing. And that perhaps his use of "crizzling" described what we would take to be "crackled with cold water".
KevinH


Offline flying free

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2014, 08:52:01 PM »
 :o  have we any references anywhere to crackle glass being made by
'... before the final shaping, the outer case only is deeply marked with a piece of sharp metal (a nail will do) after which the blowing is continued '
Is it possible Manley did not understand how crackle glass was made?  or more pertinently have I missed a vital technique that was  used in the making of crackle glass?
I've honestly never heard of this method.  It sounds pretty hard work to me - why use as a sharp nail (on a boiling hot gob of glass?  how would you get near enough to it with a nail without burning yourself?) presumably to 'score' the surface in a nice pattern, when for hundreds of years glass makers have sprayed or dipped the piece into cold water and then blown it out further to make the same pattern?

Dodsworth does state it is blown into an irregularly patterned mold and I don't understand that description either - at least not in the context of looking at Manley's bowl.  It doesn't match up (to me - again open to correction).  And I am open to correction n all my thoughts,  as what I know about glassblowing can be written on a stamp (or on the paperweight I made last week  ;D )

Manley's 'crizzle' effect is actually the crackled glass that has not been blown out further I think.  I have this on a Leveille vase where the internal layer is smooth then the exterior of that layer was sprayed or dipped to crizzle it into crackles all over that don't have fissures, then it is cased again, then cased in coloured glass, then cased again  :o - tis a mighty heavy piece of glass.
I would call this tight crackle but crizzle is a good description of the effect.  Except that crizzled often refers to glass that has gone like this because of poor mix  in the batch somehow I think. I mean in centuries old glass.

To reference some crackle points -
Here are some Stevens and Williams crackle glass pieces from the Broadfield House collection
http://gorgeousglass.org.uk/collections/getrecord/DMUSE_ST390/     (described as crackled with water) - I'd call this tight crackle, i.e. not blown out further)

http://gorgeousglass.org.uk/collections/getrecord/DMUSE_BH2757/  This is Abbey Glass the crackled version.  The outer layer has been crackled and blown out further to open the fissures between the crackles

http://gorgeousglass.org.uk/collections/getrecord/DMUSE_ST406/    This is Moss Agate - done in the way I described my Leveille piece above I believe.  It has been cased over the fine crackle so has a smooth outer surface.

There do not appear to be any pieces I could find that look like the Manley bowl I'm afraid.
However, to me, the Manley bowl looks like my little yellow vase I posted earlier with the crackled white exterior.  i.e. a translucent glass outer that has been crackled, over a clear glass interior layer.

Re:
The ' opal' casing  comment .... that denotes white glass I would suggest? 
So could I be right that at least one of those pieces in the Manley book is cased in white and then crackled?



m

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2014, 09:53:16 PM »
The piece that Manley describes as with opal having been scored with metal to form the crackle,  is the same one #280 that I referenced earlier as thinking it was this piece here (see link below).  Now we know it had opal on it, I think this vase matches even more - the foot, the rim shape, the white (opal?) surface that is crackled.  And now I'm even more suspicious about the colour in the photographs in Manley to be honest.
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/gorgeous-stevens-williams-arboresque-vase-no

I'm very curious now as to where the Dodsworth description of 'Arboresque' came from.
I can't think of a crackle bowl blown into a  crackle patterned mold to form the crackle surface pattern, that is iridescent.  And I can't find any to reference, although that means nothing.   Just curious to see if I could find one.

btw,
How many colours do the Stevens and Williams rainbow vases come in do we know?

I know there was discussion on here on a thread about two and three colour vases, but I just wondered how many colours for the stripes might be known.
off hand I can think of pink blue and green.  Was there an amber I wonder?  that would make 4 colours.
edited later to add - yes 'Auburn' was used (ref CH 20th Century British Glass page 143 ) where the vase was Light Blue & Ruby on Auburn cased.
So that makes 4 colours so far.
Just wondering.
m

bfg

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2014, 10:13:46 PM »
slightly off topic but thats the second reference to SW auburn I've come across today (the other being a ribbonette style jug id-ed as SW)

Offline flying free

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2014, 10:30:49 PM »
I have to look the colour up Mel and see if I can find anything as on the one in the book it's very hard to see the 'Auburn' colour.

Re: rainbow - I've just come across this solifleur type vase cut glass striped, described as Stevens and Williams Rainbow dating to c.1890
http://www.antiquecolouredglass.info/Stevens%20&%20Williams%20Antique%20Glass.htm

So either the 'Rainbow' range ran for many, many years, or the term rainbow is sometimes used as a descriptor of the effect of the coloured stripes.

Offline KevinH

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2014, 10:40:48 PM »
The Item #280 in Manley (1981) does appear to be of the same shape as the one in the Worthpoint page (see above) and is definitely of the same height (5.5 inch).

However, the Worthpoint eBay vase has a very much more contrasting colouring - with both the white and pink in very bold shades. The Manley example is much more delicate in colouring, possibly due to much thinner layers of colour and a paler shade of pink.

Also, the Worthpoint item has more a "chunky" look to the surface with larger pieces of white and larger separation of most of those pieces. The Manley example has smaller pieces separated by a closer network of divisions. Even if the colours in Manley's book are not true, there is not the same contrast to the white and the pink (especially for the pink seen in the interior of the neck).

Very probably made by the same company (Manley stated Thomas Webb) and very similar techniques, but different items.
KevinH

Offline KevinH

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Re: Stevens and Williams Arboresque question
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2014, 10:45:27 PM »
From 2 posts above ...
Quote
So either the 'Rainbow' range ran for many, many years, or the term rainbow is sometimes used as a descriptor of the effect of the coloured stripes.
Or the dating in that site was incorrect. :)
KevinH

 

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