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Author Topic: gilded triple layered knife handle - c. 1880 Herbatte Namur Val St Lambert ?  (Read 578 times)

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Offline flying free

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I came across these vases in the Grand Curtius collection quite by accident.

I have a knife handle, triple layered glass , white, cased with yellow and then cased with red.  I've always wondered where the gilding was done and the handle made.  I was sold it as probably Thomas Webb.  I never believed that and  thought it might have been Harrach but never found anything that really made me think yep.  The gilding is curious,not like anything I'd seen before which is why I bought it.  I later thought it might have been Edward Webb.
And then I found these two vases.  And the gilding and design on the vase on the right I'm sure is the same hand as my knife handle.

it says it was designed and gilded by Herbatte in Namur
Val St Lambert c.1880s

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Glass_in_the_Grand_Curtius#/media/File:Vases_(Valle_Saint-Lambert_et_Herbatte,_vers_1880),_Grand_Curtius,_Li%C3%A8ge.JPG

m

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Offline flying free

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p.s. I have always wondered why on earth one would buy/use gilded knife handles where the gilding was sure to rub off at some point?  bit of a design error I'd have thought.  Wonder who they might have been made for - they are a bit decadent really being triple layer glass and then gilded?  Perhaps they were made just for 'show'.

m

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Offline Anne Tique

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I had to do a little searching and I will continue to do so, because there's not much I can say except that they were done as you mentioned, at Herbatte, one of the divisions of VSL at that time in the department of Namur.  The black examples are made of hyalite glass, the red one is blown in a mould, both imitating Chinese laquer ware, which would be correct for its time in the Japonism period.

I have some images of the pieces from your link, that are a bit more clear, but I just need to find out if I can post them here, re copyright, to see for everybody's benefit, if not I'll send them via MP to you.

You do not mention size, but as you mentioned, the gilding would wear off quickly but I'm sure it wouldn't be for every day use. If it's a bit larger, then it could be the handle of a carving knife, which you would use even less, I guess, once a year at Christmas and very special occasions.

Coincidentally, I got approached by the curator of the Grand Curtius, mr Phillippart, earlier this week and if it is ok with you, I'll show him your pictures to see what he can find out.

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Offline flying free

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Anne thank you for responding :)

The handles are quite small at 9.4cm so are ordinary daily cutlery sized.
There were two other pieces in different colours iirc.  I think one was yellow. I can't remember the other colour.

I'd be very grateful if you could pass on the pictures to your contact.  It would be nice to know who did make them.
The information I had was that they had actually come from a Webb's employee but I've not been able to make a secure link to Webb's and neither have I found anything from Harrach which would have been my other contender.
Then I saw the Herbatte vases looking for something else and immediately thought of my knife handle as they are so similar in style and execution it seemed to me.

Thank you again for any help.
m

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Offline flying free

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Just bumping this  :-*  for interest.
I'd forgotten about this knife handle but found it looking for something else.

Something occurred to me - if the red and black are meant to represent Chinoiserie then I wonder if the red is solid red rather than a cased piece.  Therefore not like the knife handle  - I had hoped it might be cased as the handle is.

thank you for any help.
m

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