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Mercury Glass Perfume


I had posted about this item earlier.  But since the post has been archived I can't add to it.

Here is the original thread,4569.0.html

I still haven't added this to my website and I was doing more research on it.

I ran across this article by Ivo, Angela, and Diane Lytwyn.

Frank seemed to think the perfume has similar to Haida Bohemian work.  But in the article, it says that the European mercury glass walls were thin and therefore enamel decorated.  It said that American mercury glass was thick walled and had cut decoration.

My perfume has both cut ovals and enamel decoration.  Do you think it is Bohemian or American?

Sorry I never saw it the first time around.

It is not double walled mercury glass as described in the article and which has been in production well into the 20th century, but single glass with an inside mercury coating. This must have been fixed in some way - probably by lacquer - because the coating is susceptible to oxidation, and the object would have been unusable with a straightforward single mercury coating. The lacquer would provide only a limited protection against wear, but silvered glass was never meant to last forever - even the makers considered it cheap & cheerful and they certainly did not produce for posterity. That is why it is now rare where at one time it was overabundant.

The polychrome decoration on the frosted outside  is typical for the cottage industry around Haida, and the item itself is probably part of a silvered toilet set. As it is not possible to produce double walled hollow vessels with a narrow neck (think thermos) the perfume (or is it powder puff?) was made in solid glass using the same finish and decoration as the rest of the set: a tablet, a beaker, comb holder etc.

The blanks for much of the silvered glass decorated around Haida were produced by Hugo Wolff.

To be merged with original thread.

Connie then Ivo, I can copy the text to blank posts or you can :-)


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