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Author Topic: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)  (Read 1524 times)

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Offline WhatHo!

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Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« on: October 28, 2014, 12:33:34 PM »
Looking at the pic that Patrick put up of Vicente Boffo making a trailed knop chalice its has become obvious to me that the description in the Mdina book of how these were made must be wrong.

The book states that the chalice was made in 5 sections, I quote “The craggy knop was built up by trailing coloured glass onto the lower part of the stem once it had been added to the foot but before the upper part of the stem and bowl were attached”. I’m no glass blower but even to me this seems a difficult way to make it. This states that he has made the foot and knop first and then applied a top stem then attached the bowl. Clearly from the picture of Vicente you can see him casting on the foot after the rest of the stem and knop have already been attached to the bowl.

I think that these were made in 4 pieces not 5. The bowl was blown, the stem applied, then coloured glass was trailed over the stem to produce a craggy knop and then the foot was formed on the end of the stem as in the picture of Boffo. I would like to follow this up by saying that I can clearly see the stem running through the middle of the knop on chalice I own. Also the centre part of the knop has a much thinner colour than the sides due to the clear stem running through it.

I would also like to make another bold suggestion that IMHO the description of the image of Ettore doing punty work on p26 is not right. There is far too much glass being applied to the base and looking at the size of the blown piece he could well be casting a stem on to a chalice (the bowl is properly formed later after applying the punty to the foot).

It is interesting to note the 2 pictures of Vicente and Ettore look very similar in the manner of their work.

Anyway some food for thought :)

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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 12:41:38 PM »
Could a 5th part not be described as the trail of glass around the rim?

Not doubting what you're saying for a second; just pointing out that this trail exists too, which would be a fifth part.
Cheers, Sue (M)

"Cherish those that seek the truth;
 Beware of them who find it."
Grimm.

Offline WhatHo!

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 12:51:58 PM »
I don't think so Sue as he mentions all the 5 pieces in the book so a rim trail would be a sixth ;)
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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 01:15:44 PM »
One has to remember that the book was written from information recalled by and given freely by Elizabeth Harris to Mark for the purpose of writing the book.

Records had not been kept, our memories can decieve us sometimes, or not be as reliable as we would like. It was simply the best available information at that time, and a lot more has come to light since then, including your observations here now.
I might consider this to be an error, rather than a full blown "myth" though.


Cheers, Sue (M)

"Cherish those that seek the truth;
 Beware of them who find it."
Grimm.

Offline Patrick

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 01:53:25 PM »
Hi,
I think the Topic Title is slightly tongue in cheek.......  There is a smiley face But it only shows as : )

What the topic does shows me is the fact that Ettore was a glassblower ( gaffer ) rather than a servitor. Usually the Gaffer works the stem and the pic. clearly shows Ettore about to work on the stem. There is no reason to think that he would not form the foot and finish the bowl as well.
 It also shows that my comment in a previous topic about Ettore's abilities was wrong.
 I do hope that Mark will research this Chalice work and maybe change the description if he republishes the book.

Regards,
              Patrick.

Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 02:11:21 PM »
 ;)
The title also demonstrates an example of the author having control over the impression they wish to give.  Including the smiley face to show no malice.  8)
The book was written with great respect to Elizabeth's point of view, and from what she recalled.

You do have to take these things into consideration when reading books. Take almost everything with a pinch of salt and be ready to accommodate new information as it does come to light.
Cheers, Sue (M)

"Cherish those that seek the truth;
 Beware of them who find it."
Grimm.

Offline WhatHo!

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 04:50:23 PM »
Absolutely right Sue and the title was of course tongue in cheek :)
It would be impossible to write a book like that without errors, especially as the main characters are no longer around to advise.
I do however think it is important to highlight these errors because the written word is often taken as gospel and its good that people who are interested actually know how these things are made.

Something you like, mail me! :)

Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 04:56:35 PM »
Exactly. And many thanks for the trouble you've been taking to get things straight.  :)
Cheers, Sue (M)

"Cherish those that seek the truth;
 Beware of them who find it."
Grimm.

Offline Nemmie

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 05:58:08 AM »
Wow, you two are really getting into your Mdina lately.

Thanks for sharing all this information and relighting the fire of interest in this wonderful glass. I may well even share some of my eighty pieces now we have a proper section.

:)
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
― Henry Ford

Offline chriscooper

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Re: Mdina chalice myth exposed :)
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 10:20:54 AM »
And of course wrong information in one book gets carried over into other publications passed onto Auction houses internet sales, search engines etc.
We all know some of the best books written about British, Czech and Scandinavian glass over the last 50 years have all contained glaring inaccuracies.
Doesn't matter if the information came from a well respected author, an ex worker or a family member if it's not accurate then it's wrong.
Looking forward to seeing some of them rare pieces you keep teasing us with Denver.

 

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