No-one likes general adverts, and ours hadn't been updated for ages, so we're having a clear-out and a change round to make the new ones useful to you. These new adverts bring in a small amount to help pay for the board and keep it free for you to use, so please do use them whenever you can, Let our links help you find great books on glass or a new piece for your collection. Thank you for supporting the Board.

Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 5413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9828
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #100 on: October 18, 2017, 11:58:30 PM »
I think this is a really odd example of apparently (? the information on the V&A site is contradictory) Powell and sons (Whitefriars) production for E Varnish & co - marked to base.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

I mean, I know it's difficult to ascertain who made what but ...?

It is apparently marked on it's metal base rim around the foot and also on the pontil plug.

'Marks and inscriptions

'E. Varnish & Co. Patent London' inscribed on the metal rim and on an inserted metal plug in the base
Makers's mark



It is dated as c.1850.

m

Offline KevinH

  • Global Moderator
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 6113
    • England
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #101 on: October 19, 2017, 12:39:02 AM »
It's a shame there are no other photos of that vase.

As it is, each time I have looked at it, (probably a dozen times over the last few days) my instinctive reaction is, "It's not silvered glass, it seems to be a regular opal-cut-to-cranberry item from either England or Bohemia. But because it has the inscription to the foot rim, I keep trying to find the "silvering" - and I never do!

And why does the photo of the foot show the glass as, apparently, blue and without evidence of any form of glass which would lead up to a plug?

Surely that page just wrong!
KevinH

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9828
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2017, 08:19:01 AM »
1) I think the engraved E Varnish mark is on the rim - the rim at the top, not the foot rim. 
And then they mention an ' inserted metal plug in the base.' is also marked

It looks a bit confusing because it also has a decorative silver-looking applied-looking edging around the base rim.  But I do think they mean it is marked on the silver rim collar at the neck.



2) I've just had a lightbulb moment - if you look at the vase in a download you can see that there is an applied metal collar in the stem.
If this is an 'epergne' then the metal collar may not be a damage cover-up but might be the metal insert for the upper vase body to sit in the base.
So by 'metal plug in the base' they might be the inserted metal plug for the vase upper body to set into?



3) I  think it looks as though it has a blue interior.  Could this be a reflection of the silver appearance of the internal layer of glass (i.e.surface facing the inside of the vase  where water would go for flowers) ?  if it is indeed silvered using the silver nitrate method.



4) If it really is silvered in the double wall process, then who knows how they did it because it looks like that could mean:

-  clear internal layer, doubled wall external layer
-  then double walled external layer cased in ruby,
-  then ruby layer cased in clear layer (see downloaded image to show the thick clear layer over the internal ruby layer especially at the foot stem)
-  then clear outer layer cased in white


5) But it just does not look like it was made by an English maker to the eye.
The cutting does not look anything like the cutting on the other E. Varnish double walled silvered glass. 
It has vermicular decoration on it.
The upper rim of the vase (not the foot rim) looks as though it is cut and bevelled underneath the silver collar doesn't it?




6) I wonder if this comment in the description is correct:

'Production Note

'E. Varnish and F. Hale Thomson patented the silvering process used in the manufacture of this vase.'

The vase does have silver applications on it but that is not the same as being a double walled vessel with silver nitrate poured between the layers to give a reflective surface to the glass.


Summary: Very strange piece of apparently Powell & Sons glass  :-\

Edited 21 Oct 2017 to add:
The V& A also have these comments about the vase:

'Materials & Making
The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849. A number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks. A stemmed vase or goblet shape was formed, with the glass-blower stopping short of opening out the mouth. Instead, the top of the vase, still sealed as a bubble-shape, was reheated and 'dropped' inwards to form a double-walled interior. This plain, undecorated vase was then supplied to E. Varnish & Co., where it was filled between the walls from the foot end with a solution of silver nitrate and glucose (in the form of grape juice). The final stage was to seal the hole in the foot with a metal disc, in this example marked for Varnish's Patent. '

So it seems this is sealed in the foot with a metal disc, not on the collar as I thought it might be.

Offline drewfind

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • I'm new, please be gentle
    • VARIED
    • U.K
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #103 on: October 19, 2017, 10:08:30 AM »
I have been speaking to the V&A, to a lady called Judith Crouch.

Ok,are you ready, the two original patentees were Varnish and Mellish, with Thomson joining up later. nothing to debate!

Powells and others supplied BLANKS, this is very important. still nothing to debate!

BLANKS were then sent back to Varnish and Thomson, who COMPLETED the process, silvering.sealing, marking.still no debate!

Tallis had Powells as MANUFACTURING most of the glass for the exhibition, in reality they just provided the BLANKS,no more, just blanks.

I used to buy "BLANK lengths of granite" I would cut, polish, and drill it, MANUFACTURING a kitchen worktop.

This simple phrase refering to Powells as the MANUFACTURER, is what all the contention is about.

Once again, I will say that the end user of any material in the way of production is the manufacturer.

I have suggested to Mrs Crouch that the description should omit "possibly by, or attributed too" to be replaced by "Blanks supplied by Powells and others",and "Manufactured by Varnish and Thomson"

This clears up all grey areas of WHO manufactured Varnish and Thomson, the answer was infront of us all the time.
At the time that Tallis wrote about the Great Exhibition the phrase "Manufactured by Powells of Whitefriars" should have been "Manufactured by Thomson and Varnish, blanks supplied by Powells and others"

I will post again once I have had a reply from Mrs Crouch.

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9828
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #104 on: October 19, 2017, 10:23:42 AM »
I disagree regarding your explanation of what a maker of glass (manufacturer of glass) is. 
To my knowledge, the maker is the company that, or person who, blows the glass or presses the glass.


The process of refining the glass, i.e cutting, gilding, enamelling, silvering or whatever process is done to the the glass object after it has been manufactured (i.e. made by the maker) is called refining and finishing (as far as I know). There may be two names associated with a piece of glass, the maker of the glass and the refiner. 
I am open to correction on this.



I had already supplied the corroborating information that Powell's made some of the double walled glass items and that the 'refining' i.e. the cutting, silvering and plugging was done at Thomson's workshop in Berners Street,  in my previous posts about the court cases.

The information in the court cases gives further enlightenment as to who did what process at the Thomson owned workshop in Berners Street.
They seem to have had a number of people working there who seem to have done the refining of the glass.
It also tells the reader about what exactly Mr Varnish did and what Mr Mellish did.

Mr Mellish was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1851 for embezzlement.




I do not agree with these assertions in your post, from looking at the evidence given in the court case:

1) 'Ok,are you ready, the two original patentees were Varnish and Mellish, with Thomson joining up later. nothing to debate!'

Thomson did not join up later as far as I read. 



2) 'BLANKS were then sent back to Varnish and Thomson, who COMPLETED the process, silvering.sealing, marking.still no debate!'

According to Mr Varnish's evidence he knew nothing about glass and operated the commercial arm of the business.
Thomson did originally do some silvering and may have again done some silvering after Mellish went to prison but i seems  tMr Thomson employed a variety of finisher/cutters etc and it may have been they who completed the process.  He employed Mellish to help him do the process in the first place.  Varnish did not do this.



3) 'Once again, I will say that the end user of any material in the way of production is the manufacturer.'
In the glass world I would say this is an incorrect statement.


By the way, I'm no expert so am open to correction from people who have vastly more glass knowledge than I have.  This is just my understanding.

And I do not wish to be argumentative.  It's just that information on the GMB can be read worldwide so it is important that the information is factual. 

And is Judith Crouch aware of the court case evidence from the online cases from the Old Bailey, one in 1851 and then two in 1852?
I thought I had unearthed new evidence in finding those cases, but perhaps the V& A was aware of these all along and has the transcripts already?

m

Offline drewfind

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • I'm new, please be gentle
    • VARIED
    • U.K
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #105 on: October 19, 2017, 11:19:14 AM »
Flying free, I apologise for upsetting you.

You seem to think I am on a crusade of sorts.

One minute you find information you say supports my theory, the next, you are trying to pull it too pieces.
Not that I care really, I only have the one piece of glass.

But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!

I am not interested in court cases, embezzlement,shmezzlement.

You might be familiar with glass, but I have spent all of my working life in manufacturing, and whether you like it or not, the finishing of ANY workable piece, for display, sale or patent makes that company the manufacturer.

Powells supplied the blanks, only.

So you can dig up whatever you like, who his tailor was, what his favourite colours were, I don't really care.

I do know that Powells did NOT make the finished product, they just supplied blanks
Just as much as YOU know who didn't?

If you are so interested in this thread, why didn't you know more before, do you like being contentious?

Once again, I don't really care, but if someone, with absolutely no idea about antique glass can send you into this sort of spin, you want to watch out when you come across a proffesional,!!!


Offline Lustrousstone

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 12708
  • Gender: Female
    • Warrington, UK
    • My Gallery
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #106 on: October 19, 2017, 11:28:08 AM »
I find your response to M frankly offensive and perhaps you should read the court cases to find exactly who did what from the horses' mouths instead of relying on second hand reports.The V&A gets it wrong sometimes, we know they do. The glass museum (was Broadfield House) gets it wrong sometimes. There is a lot of firsthand detail in those court cases about the various processes involved, not just the embezzlement.


Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9828
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #107 on: October 19, 2017, 11:43:54 AM »
drewfind, I have to correct this as I may be implied as being part of the 'everyone' in your statement:

'But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!'

a) I have questioned Tallis as not being clear enough in their description.
b) I have repeatedly on this board, questioned Manley information and never use Cyril Manley as a source of evidence.

c) I have to say I'm very surprised to hear that the V&A are quoting Cyril Manley as a source of their findings as you have said in that quote above:

'But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!'



I do hope Judith has further information on whether she knew about the  primary source information given by Varnish, Thomson and Mellish in the court cases. 

I would be keen to hear her response and hope you come back and let us know.





Offline drewfind

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • I'm new, please be gentle
    • VARIED
    • U.K
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #108 on: October 19, 2017, 12:57:08 PM »
Sorry Lusturous, have I offended you too?

I have spent the last two weeks researching three names. I followed up on information, posted here by members, just through personal interest.

Various people have quoted different names, at different time to different articles. At no point was a court case mentioned, maybe it was, maybe it was not, regardless it matters not.

Tallis,Glass Museum, The V&A, and Manley, these were where I was told to refer.

I refer to them

You reply and say "they can all make mistakes sometimes", please, please,please make your mind up!

How would anyone else wanting to research the same thing, look at this link and think, oh yes, these are the places I need to refer too?? When you reply like that!

Whichever way you look at it. The glass was handled last by the Varnish, Thomson co. It does not matter about a court case, the plain fact is the glass went into Varnish & Co as one product and came out another.

That is a fact, not surmising, not disputed.

Sorry, if this offends too

I will not waste anymore of your time, or mine.

Keep an eye on the V&A description, if it changes, you will know the email from Mrs Crouch was agreeing with my point, anything else would be a waste of time posting as they might make a MISTAKE in what they say, if it does not, you can all relax, and feel secure in the knowledge that I will not be back to bother you.

Actually, if they do change it, I still won't be back.

Offline Lustrousstone

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 12708
  • Gender: Female
    • Warrington, UK
    • My Gallery
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #109 on: October 19, 2017, 01:17:34 PM »
Actually your input has been invaluable because M might never have dug deep enough to discover the three court cases that revealed the detailed connections (in first-hand reports) between Varnish, Thomson, Mellish, Lund and Powells that have not been "joined up" before. It's what research is all about.

I will furnish links to the three court cases for reference and reiterate my offer to send easy(ier) to reads pdfs of the transcriptions to anyone interested

28 November 28th, 1851. Scroll down to Case 60
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18511124
5 April 1852
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18520405-382&div=t18520405-382&terms=mellish_varnish#highlight
12 May 1852 scrioll down to 502
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?name=18520510

There is a continuation of the May 1852 court case still to find

[Mod: date of the April and May court cases corrected from 1952 to 1852]

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk
Look for glass on
ebay.co.uk
Visit the Glass Encyclopedia
link to glass encyclopedia
Look for glass on
ebay.com (us)
Visit the Online Glass Museum
link to glass museum


This website is provided by Angela Bowey, PO Box 113, Paihia 0247, New Zealand