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Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 5832 times)

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #170 on: October 28, 2017, 08:32:11 PM »
Correction:

I mentioned much earlier in this thread that if I had recalled correctly, Thomson said HE devised the double-walled method.  He did say something like that, but later in the case, Varnish contradicted this by saying in his evidence:
Court Case 1

Quote from Thomson giving evidence:

I have not silvered any ink-bottles myself of that construction; my first experiments with Mr. Lund's inkstands were perfectly successful, as far as the silvering went; they were perfectly silvered, but the ink being poured in upon it, took off the silver—Mellish did not invent the plan of a double glass—I took out a patent for that very purpose; that was not the patent in which I had purchased an interest in the first instance—I never knew Mellish make any experiments in putting the silver between two glasses, he took my directions to make glass suitable for my patent which I had been at work at months before I knew there was such a man as Mellish in the world; I hired him for the purpose of going to Powell's glass-works, and making hollow glass for the purpose of the patent which I had been at work at for months—the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfaces—I got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me—previous to getting out that patent, I had tried the experiment, and had shown it; it was perfectly well known—Mellish was engaged in making those experiments before I took out the patent—the inkstands sent by Mr. Lund were not with a double hollow—


Court case 1

Quote from Varnish giving evidence:
'it was before I went that he failed in silvering the inkstands for Mr. Lund—I know that Mellish afterwards succeeded in doing so, that was in consequence of the glass being inverted in such a way that it presented two surfaces, and the solution of silver was put in, Mellish at my suggestion tried the experiment and was successful, and that was the reason my name was put in—I think some of the inkstands of Mr. Lund were done so, but I suggested a mustard-pot or cream-jug—Mr. Lund had a patent for the inkstands, which failed—I think Mellish had an interest in them with Mr. Lund—afterwards at my suggestion, we found we could put silver on inkstands of this description by making the double glass; it was perfected and you may see them to-day—I believe the patent was taken out in my name, I am not quite sure—I know nothing of the glass trade—Mellish had no interest in it, he carried it out for his master; he was not one of the patentees—I think it was in the name of Thomson and Varnish, but the patent will show—


So ... a bit of conflicting evidence perhaps. But it seems Thomson and Varnish somehow together worked out that a double-walled vessel would work.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #171 on: October 28, 2017, 08:48:36 PM »
This is my Saint Louis goblet just to show that stem and foot:

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,60736.msg352516.html#msg352516

I'm probably wrong and similar styles were being made everywhere, except that I know I could not match it to a Bohemian piece no matter how much I searched.  I think sometimes there are odd things that maybe peculiar to certain countries but I couldn't explain that really.

Ooh, and just to be a little argumentative  :) Saint Louis seemed to have used a kind of spaced out cut pattern design with big gaps between their cut patterns.  Difficult to explain but CH makes the point in British Glass 1800-1914 on page 83 where he talks about the tumble up and decanter in white on clear in Colour plate 5.  That effect is what SOME of the cut patterns on the Varnish items reminds me of.

I'm going to take a look through CH British Glass now and prove myself wrong  ;D

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #172 on: October 28, 2017, 10:02:07 PM »
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

This goblet
https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/chiswick-auctions/catalogue-id-srchis10385/lot-beb28f46-d879-45e8-85dd-a7a80120530d

is veeerrry similar in shape and exactly the same height (10.5cm) as a goblet in Leon Darnis Baguiers et Verre a Boire page 162 plate 114 - 'Saint-Louis. Verre a piedouche, overlay bleu (it's actually blue on white on clear) - vers 1840-1850. '

The blue over white on clear goblet has been cut in circular bands on the foot but the foot is squat and is the width of the bottom of the glass and the shape of the glass is very similar to the green one, perhaps a little more squat in perceived shape a little less shaped inwards towards the bottom if yswim, but that could be because one is double walled and the other has been twice cased and then cut.

I have pictures of Saint Louis red and blue and green cased items dating to c.1840-1850.



mmmm

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #173 on: October 28, 2017, 10:25:18 PM »
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

From reply #143 in this thread:

The York Banquet - Note that Alexis Bénoit Soyer (French coincidentally) wrote this in 1853 and his wording is spare regarding who made the goblets:

'...we give here, as modern works of art, an engraving representing three superb drinking cups,—one for his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and one each for the Lord Mayors of London and York: the first is in ruby glass, a portion of the stem and base internally checquered with silver, and on the sides bearing white sunken medallions of her Majesty and the Prince Consort, and the royal arms of England. The other two cups were of the same size and shape, but, instead of being ruby and silver, the colours were emerald and silver; and on the sides were the private arms of each of the Lord Mayors, together with the usual heraldic emblazonments of the cities of London and York respectively.
They were presented by the author of this work in the name of the Patent Silvered-Glass Company.'

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #174 on: October 28, 2017, 10:35:53 PM »
Topic:  'Thomson's meaning of glass patterns'

I have just realised something I think ...
When Thomson was moaning about the glass patterns and saying (possibly - I think he denied saying it)  that the patterns would improve once Mellish was gone, I 'think' he might have meant the designs of the items/pieces, not the actual cut patterns on the items?

Quote by Thomson from court case 1:

'... before Mellish left, I had a conversation with Douglas about Mellish's patterns (Mellish used to draw the patterns for the glass)—I may have said to Douglas, that now Mellish was going, he would see a great improvement in the patterns; I do not remember it—I spoke continually to Douglas, of course—I have no doubt I said there would be an improvement—I am not aware that Mellish said, "If so, you shall begin afresh for yourself, and shall not have my patterns (or sketches) to work with," and throw them into the fire—to the best of my belief nothing of the kind passed—nothing certainly was said about Mellish's patterns; they were not his, they were mine, and if he had thrown them into the fire I should have given him into custody—I afterwards improved upon those patterns very much indeed—I said, three weeks before be (
sic ) went, that I should have a scientific person to improve the work, and that he was incapable of it—it was one of the great causes of his leaving, that I required a higher person to carry out the thing in a higher grade of art.'

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #175 on: October 28, 2017, 10:48:33 PM »
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

I wouldn't consider this clutching at straws, but it could be confirmation bias  ;D

The oval cut 'leaves' on the green vase look very similar to a Saint-Louis goblet page 119 of Baguiers et Verre a Boire
Click here to view


The quatrefoil cutting is also similar to that seen on a Clichy goblet  on page 118 (I know quatrefoils and trefoils were used in Bohemian glass as well and therefore might also have been seen on British glass of the period) but also:

The  odd 'line' or 'wave' type cutting on these red goblets can be seen in a similar style on that Clichy goblet on page 118 as well
http://www.dreweatts.com/cms/pages/lot/13856/461

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #176 on: October 28, 2017, 11:58:04 PM »
Topic:  Ink pot - this is what the V&A describe as a Thomson 'ink pot'  ( I wasn't quite sure what shape of item they were discussing in the court case where they referred to Lund's ink thingy'
Click here to view

And it's amethyst glass - I couldn't see any amethyst of the period in Baguiers et Verres a Boire

I'll edit to add the lund version when I find it again.

Here is another amethyst piece (again the cut pattern repetitive portrait ovals is reminiscent of some glass from the Baguiers book)
Click here to view

By contrast this is a Lund inkwell KevinH already added this earlier but just for ease of comparison):
Click here to view


and another here in green on Ruby Lane.  It has the inset plug stating W. Lund Patent and has similar cone shaped mitre cutting on it that can be seen on op's red goblet on the rim:
https://www.rubylane.com/item/549184-mp-mi/GREEN-Mercury-Glass-Inkwell-W-Lund


This is a paperweight added earlier:
Click here to view


Here is a set of 4 Lund inkwells in silvered glass:
https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=48&id=253608


This one is in the V&A and some of the cutting is very similar to the diamond shapes around the top of my goblet:
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O11189/inkstand-unknown/


This one appears to be a plummy colour. The repetitive oval shapes remind me of the cutting on my goblet but again, I can't see a similar plum colour  in the book (the book has lots of items in it but obviously will not be exhaustive in terms of examples from all the factories):

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3080/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/
m

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #177 on: October 29, 2017, 12:40:11 AM »
When Thomson said they dealt with ' Sago ' - maybe he meant Saint Gobain?

See page 5  (written in 1825 and discusses glass being made at Saint Gobain and then sent to Paris to be finished)
Click here to view

I can get my head around Saint Gobain and Powell's supplying FLAT glass to be silvered into mirrors, but not goblets etc. no definitive evidence for double walled items yet.
I'll keep looking in the next week or so.

m

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #178 on: October 29, 2017, 02:55:20 PM »
Topic:  Dates for the production of silvered glass silvered by Thomson (and or Mellish)

This was written in 1856.  - see page 65
Faraday gave a report on the development of using silver nitrate and other agents, not used by Thomson,  by M. Petitjean ( Petit-Jean , Petit-jean )  - think it was on the 13th June 1856.

This seems to be a turning point for using a different mixture, i.e. not Thomson's method. 

Newton's London Journal Vol IV  1856  pp65
Click here to view



This (link below - see page 96) from The Chemical News was written in 1876 and talks about the newer processes (i.e. not using mercury I think) only becoming really feasible when M. Petitjean developed the method of using Tartaric acid as a substitute for the reducing agents 'formely employed'.

So this seems to back up the development of M. Petitjean noted in 1856 by Faraday. 

Of course that does not mean that Thomson did not switch and start using tartaric acid as a substitute reducing agent in his silvered products. 
But I don't know how feasible this might have been in reality?

Click here to view

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #179 on: October 29, 2017, 03:23:52 PM »
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?:


Two issues - 1) the blower needed to know how to make double-walled cased glass items.
                   2) the Varnish and Thomson pieces are colour cut to clear (with silver showing) so the maker needed to have access to coloured glass pots


- Is it possible the initial  inkwell for Lund  was blown at Powell's Whitefriars but was only one layer?
From the court case it does seem to  indicate that Powell's made the first one but it doesn't say it was cased and it does appear iirc it took a while to get Mellish to get it blown. 
Yes perhaps having made that they could repeat the process but could they do it with cased coloured glass?


I'm just wondering if there was a whole lot of single layer silvered glass inkwells around blown by Powell's Whitefriars, but that the double-walled cased glass items came from elsewhere?

I'm just really surprised there is no Powell's evidence for these patented Varnish and Thomson glass items.  One was given to Prince Albert.  If it had been made at Powell's wouldn't there be a record evidence of it somewhere?



 

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