Author Topic: The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS  (Read 10059 times)

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Offline m1asmithw8s

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2006, 03:37:23 AM »
I'd say that those St. Clair sulphides are Ulysses S. Grant & Mamie Eisenhauer.

Yea, Joe Rice can be difficult to develop any kind of ongoing dialogue with as I've come to find in emailing him re. his roses. He may simply be too busy or maybe just disinterested.

Regarding glass artists signing their work: Yes it would be much better for collectors & their heirs if everything was signed & dated.
To others who feel that the art should be simply appreciated for it's sake alone, that is also a valid point.

To those who feel that an artist who signs his or her work reflects that they take pride in their work, I would agree. Hell, I made 1 crummy crimp rose, my total sum paperweight output, and it is Ugly.
But I'm proud as heck that I struggled through the process successfully and so I signed & dated it! (pics upon request...lol).

Recently, I bought a wonderful lampwork weight on ebay script signed ''Joshua Steindler'', pic below:

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?album=66&pos=31

The lampwork is just stunning and yet I'd never heard of this guy.
So I asked the seller if he knew of the artist as no info about him was placed in the listing, just his name.
Well, the seller proceeded to tell me, in part, that Joshua Steindler was a member of Paul Stankard's team for several years and that they parted on good terms. Joshua has gone on to make weights on his own and is mainly working on sculptural art.
Well, that explains the quality of the weight.
I'm sure glad that Joshua signed his work so I could find out more about him and how he came about his expertise.
IMO, had this info been included in the listing, the weight would have sold for alot more.
I wanted it, regardless because it is so beautiful and well made.
But some simply want to know more about a piece and the maker before taking the plunge and making a purchase.


Connie

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2006, 09:51:53 AM »
I agree that the man is Grant pictured in civilan dress not a military uniform as he is typically seen.

http://www.grayhorseglass.com/items/475773/item475773store.html#item


Offline wrightoutlook

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ulysess and mamie and St. Clair
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2006, 12:57:22 PM »
Thanks Mark and Connie for noting that the sulphide figures are probably Ulysses S. Grant and Mamie Eisenhower. Upon reflection and looking up photographs of them, I agree. Although, I have to say that Mamie looks a touch like Evageline Bergstrom.

So now I wonder if there are other presidential wife sulphides that were made by St. Clair. Why did they make Mamie? Is there a Dwight Eisenhower? I have the St. Clair JFK, but have never seen a Jackie Kennedy. Except the sulphide of JFK and Jackie by D'Albret, of course.

I suppose it will be impossible to discover what glassmaker actually made the weights at St. Clair. And what presidents and wives were cast into sulphides. Although, with employment records and knowing what year or years St. Clair weights were solely signed ST. CLAIR (and not Joe, Bob, or Maude St. Claude), we could possibly pin down a year for the Ulysses S. Grant paperweight and maybe a specific glassmaker. The "female" sulphide" - Mamie - is dated 1972 in the die-cast stamp. Which begs the question, why wasn't Grant given a year of manufacture?

Oh well, it seems that Joe Rice is the man who would have most of the answers, but he's not talking. A silver lining might be that perhaps he's writing a book about the St. Clair family and St. Clair paperweights and wants to keep the information to himself for now. It is a book I would buy.

I am pleased to see that some St. Clair paperweights are getting good prices on eBay and other online sites, especially the highly collectible, high-domed weight with the Kewpie doll figure in it. Joe St. Clair paperweights, especially, are doing well.


Offline JP

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2006, 02:37:05 PM »
While I was looking at the images, Paul looked over at the screen and said "is that James Garfield?"  After looking at some images of both Garfield and Grant, I have to agree, much more like Garfield. Grant had his cocky hairstyle and a different brow. The mouth especially looks like some of the Garfield photos I googled, like:

http://www.historylink.org/db_images/garfield.jpg

Here's Grant:

http://www.coehouse.com/images/grant.gif

The other sulphide is not quite as realistic, much harder to identify, but I think Mamie is as good a guess as any, though I have to wonder why do a Mamie in 1972? That doesn't seem to be a significant year in her biography, she died in 1979.
p at mahogany roasters dot com


Offline wrightoutlook

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uh oh
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2006, 03:01:28 PM »
Thanks for throwing a monkey wrench into the works JP. Ha ha. Only kidding.

Hey, you and your pal might just be right. It does look like James Garfield. I had thought Rutherford B. Hayes, too. Maybe there's an Indiana connection to the St. Clair paperweight sulphides. Maybe the guy is Sigmund Freud. Oh man, oh man, if only Mr. Joe Rice would answer questions.

As for the "female" sulphide (marked and dated 1972), if it is Mamie Eisenhower, maybe it was a companion to a Dwight Eisenhower weight. Of course, there'd be no 1950s Mamie or Ike weights (when they were most famous) simply because paperweights were not in full bloom in the 1950s in the U.S.A., although certainly Kaziun and Stankard were puttering around with glass. Most of the new paperweight output - and technical discovery - was being generated in Europe. Certainly, the renaissance was taking place in Europe, what with Baccarat, St. Louis, and D'Albret tinkering around with the baubles, as well as the work of the Ysart clan.

The Evangeline Bergstrom sulphide by Baccarat was done in 1973, so either the St. Clair people were very prescient, thus pre-dating and getting a jump on the Baccarat folks - or it isn't Mrs. Bergstrom, which brings us back to Mamie Eisenhower. But it is possible that it IS Mrs. Bergstrom. Certainly Joe St. Clair would have known of her, if not actually knowing her.

So, am I back to not actually knowing who the sulphides are depicting? Probably.

Somewhere, someone knows. Paging Mr. Rice. Or somebody in Elwood, Indiana.


Offline m1asmithw8s

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2006, 03:03:00 PM »
I'm not certain but believe that St. Clair did make an Eisenhauer sulphide as wll as several other presidents.
If you go to Amazon and search 'St. Clair Glass', you may find 2 thin paperback books that were written awhile ago (mine are in storage).
While both of these have some nice pictures, they both only provide superficial information re. their output and the particulars thereof.

There are a few things that I have learned from midwest weight collectors as well as observing the comings and goings on ebay:

There are many different 'Hot Stamped' St. Clair signatures including but not limited to the following: STC, Hand made by St. Clair, Joe St. Clair, Maude & Bob St. Clair, Bob St. Clair (there are no solo Maude St. Clair sigs as far as I know), Ed St. Clair, Paul St. Clair. Sometimes the year is included too. I have seen the year as early as 1972 (maybe 1971) and as late as 1984. St. Clair, as they were in their various incarnations, ceased operations in 1987.
As to when Joe Rice fired up his 'House of Glass', I do not know for certain. He is a nephew of the St. Clairs.

Interestingly, I've learned that the hot stamped signature of the bottom does Not necessarily mean that that particular St. Clair actually made the weight. But you have to know a real St. Clairophile to discern all of the specifics.
I have learned some. For instance, Joe made some beautiful crimp roses. I've been told the estimate of his crimp rose output from the late 1960s through the early 1980s was around 1500 roses. His roses had 15 rose petals surounding a single central stamen. The are all hot stamped Joe St. Clair. Additionally, some that are cut/engraved carry the script signature of the cutter, 'Sid' (Sid Garret). As an aside, 'Jim' (Jim Beeman) has done some cutting for Joe Rice. Here's a pic:

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?album=66&pos=31

However, there are a few crimp rose weights extant that carry a Maude & Bob St. Clair stamp. These are much rarer and the crimp used to make them is different too, a 20 petal rose with a single central stamen.
Well, neither Maude nor Bob actually made these. Charles Gibson, who worked for them for a period of time, made them. Here's a pic:

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?album=66&pos=29

Crimp roses carrying the Maude & Bob stamp fetch premium prices. One sold on ebay a couple months ago for $1,000.00 USD, this because of the rarity of a rose stamped Maude & Bob. Joe's roses typically sell for around 5-600 USD, but for much more if they are footed, or blue, etc...
A rose carrying a Paul St. Clair stamp sold a few years ago for over $4,000.00 USD.
Any St. Clair weight carrying a 'Paul' or 'Ed' stamp will fetch premium prices as these are the rarest of the signatures, 'Paul' being the rarest.

As a final aside, a maker by the name of Mike Mitchell worked for the St. Clairs for a period of time. He was not known, to my knowledge, to have made any roses while working for them. However, he has made some on his own and also uses a hot stamp to sign his. Here's an example:

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?album=66&pos=34

I hope all this is somewhat helpful and illuminating.


Offline wrightoutlook

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st. clair history
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2006, 03:24:37 PM »
Thanks Mark. Your replies are always illuminating.

Except for the big boys (Trabucco, Kaziun, Whittemore, Stankard, and others, plus the antiques of New England Glass and Boston & Sandwich), a lot of American weights tend to be shunted aside. Perhaps the most important mass-market paperweight maker in the U.S. (and certainly the most imporant "factory" weight company in the U.S.) is St. Clair. How many of those signed and unsigned St. Clair ash trays have you seen at flea markets? Hundreds? Probably.

This is why it's frustrating not to have more information, a lot of which some folks in Elwood, Indiana can provide. Maybe there are other St. Clair relatives with information; not just Joe Rice.

I did not know there were books about St. Clair, which means there's going to be another hunt on my hands.

One of the problems is that unless it was French or stunning American (Kaziun and Stankard), short shrift has been given  - at least here in the U.S.A. - to so-called "lesser" companies and makers. No offense to Selman or Jokelson - and I sincerely mean it; no offense - but they both tended to avoid some of the American output in their early writings, or ignored the American output completely.

Okay, I do understand that the Gentile Glass folks in West Virginia are not up there technically with the French or the early U.S. boys like Stankard or Kaziun, but still.

Except for Drew Ebelhare and Parabelle Glass, who else is making millefiori weights? Gentile did and still does. Most Americans are lampworkers and avoid millefiori work.

After all, Mrs. Bergstrom had a 1947 Gentile goose (one of the original ones) in her collection. And let's not forget that Gertrude Gentile is one of the first female paperweight makers. Thank goodness Jean Melvin's book American Glass Paperweights And Their Makers exists.

By the way Mark, your collection is beautiful. That St. Clair crimp rose is stunning, as are many of your other paperweights. And the Joshua Steindler piece is superb. Now that really was a lucky eBay find.


Offline m1asmithw8s

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2006, 06:09:07 PM »
Jim Brown is also making fine millefiore weights.
Nancy Alfano markets them and one occasionally makes an ebay appearance  :)


Offline wrightoutlook

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newcomers to me
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2006, 06:48:41 PM »
Thanks again Mark. I didn't know about Brown or Alfano, so that's good news. I did know that a fellow named Hart was doing some millefiori and selling his work on eBay himself, but he was initially buying Murano millefiori and fashioning them into paperweights he crafted himself. When I first say his auctions on eBay, I emailed him about it and asked if they were Murano canes he was using. He emailed me back and said yes and that I had a good eye. He did say he was eventually going to make his own canes. So maybe he, too, is doing that now.


Offline Lily of the Valley

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The joys of paperweight collecting, and A MESSAGE FOR MAKERS
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 12:32:05 AM »
7424598262

I don't recall exactly how I got lucky and found this site.  I am really enjoying the topics/comments.  It's educational and fun!  This is my first post and it's easy to see I'm not all that computer-savvy.  Anyway, the above number is from an ebay posting which looks very much like the "mystery man" in your St. Clair weight.  Maybe this seller will have some additional infomation.

I look forward sharing some of my "mystery" - at least to me - paperweights but first I have to figure out just how to do that ...... :oops:

All the best ..... Lily

 

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