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Author Topic: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.  (Read 1135 times)

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Offline agincourt17

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Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« on: August 08, 2016, 01:20:06 PM »
The Sowerby pattern books for 1895 and 1898 shown a glass swan in two sizes - large, pattern 1852, and a smaller pattern 1852. It would seem to be an unregistered design.

The only photo of the pattern 1852 swan that I know of is a beautifully-detailed  turquoise vitro-porcelain version shown as colour plate 30 in Sheilagh Murray's "Peacock and the Lions..." (Oriel Press, 1982). She gives the size as 16cm long by 12 cm high, and bearing the peacock trademark.  The shape and surface detail differ significantly from the Burtles & Tate swans, and to that from Jane Webb &c.

Here are some photos of a similar swan in opalescent yellow-green uranium glass.  The swan has no identifying marks. It is 15cm long x 11cm tall x 7.5cm wide, and weighs 392 gm. The uranium glass is highly reactive to UV light. The detail is not so crisp as Murray's example, but I presume that is largely due to the different working and finishing properties of the two types of glass.
(Permission to re-use these images on the GMB granted by Kevin Collins).

Does anyone have photos of the pattern 1852 swan to show in other colours, please?

Does anyone have photos of the smaller Sowerby pattern 1852 swan to show, please?

Fred.

Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 01:36:57 PM »
It would surprise me if this swan were Sowerby, as I can't think of anything else Sowerby in this "primrose pearline" like uranium glass. Other Sowerby opalescent glass is not uranium and other Sowerby uranium glass is not oplaescent

Offline agincourt17

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 04:37:38 PM »
Perhaps I should have stuck to my initial idea of putting a question mark at the end of the topic title, Christine, because what you say about Sowerby opalescent glass and their uranium glass seems to be the rule.

On checking back though my reference photos, there is a single Sowerby piece made from 'pearline-like' opalescent glass with a strongish yellow base colour - a small 2-handled dish pattern 1254, Sowerby RD 314279 of 18 September 1877. Unfortunately, I don't have a record as to whether it was UV-reactive or not, but certainly other opalescent versions of this pattern (usually with a more-or-less uniform opalescence on quite pale base colours) were definitely not UV reactive. 

Other than Davidson, Greener & Co. made opalescent uranium glass items from as early as 1891, but they never registered a design for a swan.

I will be interested to see if anyone posts photos of a marked Sowerby pattern 1852 swan in other colours.

Fred.




Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 06:07:20 PM »
Maybe they made a very small batch  ???

Offline nick.a

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 06:34:20 PM »
Hi Fred,
There is a clear glass Sowerby swan in the V&A collections, see: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3859/swan-flower-holder-sowerby-ellison-glassworks/
It looks similar to your 'primrose' version Fred, but not quite the same.
Kind regards
Nick

Offline agincourt17

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 07:58:11 PM »
Thank you, Nick.

The detail is certainly much crisper on the V&A example, but that may perhaps be because reheating the freshly-moulded piece to produce the opalescence has partially melted the detail in the hottest parts.

Fred.

Offline MHT

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2016, 08:17:41 AM »
Fred
I also have the same swan in 2 sizes.
http://e-britain.co.uk/victorian_pressed_glass/gallery_unknown.htm
They have the same mottled base and both have a lot of rough flashing, especially around the heads.
Sorry, never have been able to attribute them.
Mike

Offline agincourt17

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 09:08:49 AM »
Thank you, Mike. Very nice photos.

Interesting that you have the swan in two sizes (like the Sowerby swans), but then again the Burtles & Tate swans also came in several sizes.

The mottled base is certainly unlike any Sowerby piece that I have come across before so I agree that a firm attribution for the swan(s) is still lacking.

Fred.

Offline nick.a

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2016, 02:43:52 PM »
Hi All,
I must admit to being really confused by the attributions of pressed glass swans in general. Maybe it's the camera angles of the photos, but the number of feather bars on the wings seem to differ quite often (especially in Burtles Tate attributions) In the photo on the V&A site, for example, there are four bars of feathers on the wing whereas the Sowerby pattern picture (larger bird) and Fred's photo show three. Could this be a differing mould, camera position, picture definition, incorrect attribution, or is this just me assuming the V&A swan is the larger version or do I need an optician or psychiatric help ;)? Mike's photos also show three wing bars, but I assume the base rules out the Sowerby attribution?
Oh and thanks Fred for your reply to my email, much appreciated.
Kind regards
Nick


Offline agincourt17

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Re: Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2016, 03:27:15 PM »
The most reliable indicator for the Burtles, Tate & Co. swan attributions (irrespective of the size) is the RD number 20086 (registered 8 January 1885) that they usually bear.

Similarly, the Jane Webb & Joseph Hammond etc. swans normally bear the lozenge for 21 Dec 1874 - Parcel 4 (RD 2880150).

Otherwise, without some kind of manufacturer's markings, it seems that really firm attribution of a glass swan to a particular manufacturer is often a problem (especially in view of different sizes, moulds etc.).

I gather that a similar problem occurs with unmarked glass 'hens on baskets'.

Fred.

 

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