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Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 46008 times)

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #320 on: July 29, 2019, 09:25:30 PM »
A picture of Mellish's patent dated 7 May 1851.

It is possibly why he wanted to patent a glass cutting machine/method with Hale Thomson (maybe HT paying for it?), that meant a wire could cut patterns out of glass.
It shows a ventilation system using a flat glass cut into with design to allow airflow.

Is this the one from the court case where HT says that he never made anything/put anything into production using that patent?

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vtdQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA9&dq=Mr+mellish+patent+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNwIODh9vjAhVSR0EAHYM7AU8Q6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Mr%20mellish%20patent%20glass&f=false

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #321 on: July 29, 2019, 10:38:37 PM »
In my reply #305 I mentioned the ruby glass and questioned whether it was made by English makers or was it exhibited by English makers and retailers but actually a Bohemian import (see quote below).


In 1845 in the Art Union Journal (April) page 100 there is mention of a coloured glass Chandelier being made at Apsley Pellatt. 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t_c9AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA135&dq=Mr+Powell+%26+co+whitefriars+patent+double+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3vsGxk9vjAhWnTxUIHSTkDSM4ChDoAQg1MAM#v=onepage&q=glass&f=false


The author talks about it having been designed by the School of Design in Somerset House. 
The author says they have seen it in bits but not assembled. The article goes on to mention it having coloured glass drops and speculates what the refraction and reflection will be like once it is fully up and illuminated.
 
Is it possible that this is the Alhambra chandelier shown by Pellatt at the Great Exhibition in 1851? According to Tallis it was red white and blue.
I wonder if  the coloured drops were Bohemian glass?  Especially the red ones.

Indeed in page 704 of this link to the Official Descriptive and Illustrated  Catalogue volume 2 of the Great Exhibition,the description given by Pellatt of coloured glass and how it is made, references Bontemps and is written in such a way that it  reads as though he has not made those experiments in coloured glass himself.  Imho.
(I have his book but haven't cross referenced what is written in this link with the book yet).
 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lLgXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA701&dq=falcon+glassworks+ruby+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxn9eUpNvjAhWwQEEAHSYvDb0Q6AEIVzAJ#v=onepage&q=falcon%20glassworks%20ruby%20glass&f=false

The glass tax was repealed in 1845.




Near the beginning of that discussion, the author mentions they have seen ruby glass 'equal to the best Bohemian specimens'.  In 1845?   That's curious because in an 1862 report of the 1862 exhibition, where the author was reflecting on the British ruby glass it was slated as being too thin and if made more intense it became 'brick dust red'. A brown I guess. 
(This type of brown colour can also be seen on a piece in a book by Walthraud Neuwirth, Farbenglas I (red and blue glass) where a piece is shown which was not made correctly - overcooked on reheating or something I cannot recall now-   and it is liver coloured).  Which is one demonstration of how difficult it was to make red glass.


To balance my scepticism, in an article entitled ' GLASS FURNITURE IN THE 19TH CENTURY ' the Corning show a ruby vase made at the Russian Imperial Glass Manufactory and dated c.1829 :
https://www.cmog.org/article/glass-furniture-19th-century

However, reading further in that Corning article, they mention that the Alhambra chandelier was not illustrated and also not noted or discussed by reporters.  NOTE - They also say it was the ONLY coloured piece in the firm's display. 

Call me cynical but ...
Had it been in bits since 1845?  Were the reporters aware that the coloured drops were not made by Pellatt?  Is that why it was not reported on?  Why the secrecy over the 'only coloured glass' in Pellatt's entire display?




On another subject, further into The Art Union Journal April 1845 article the author also talks about 'vitrified colours'.  That's interesting - does that give us a date for Richardson's and Bacchus glass that has 'vitrified' written on the bottom of it maybe?

Middle column second paragraph down is the start of that discussion:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t_c9AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA135&dq=Mr+Powell+%26+co+whitefriars+patent+double+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3vsGxk9vjAhWnTxUIHSTkDSM4ChDoAQg1MAM#v=onepage&q=glass&f=false





:-* thank you.

However, I suspect I've not really added anything that gets this much further. 

I've a controversial suggestion re the red glass used by British makers.  Were the pieces they showed at the Great Exhibition actually blown by them?  Or were they finished/refined by them having been blown elsewhere?  And were the pieces with small amounts of red on them actually from their own red pots, or were they somehow produced as pieces of red elsewhere for use in smelting and then using? Is that a thing? Is it possible to do that? I think from what I've read that it might be but open to correction here.

If they were blown by them then that would have required the British glassmakers to have been running pots for red. 
If gold ruby then a) it was very expensive to produce  b) it required very careful production and the knowledge of reheating to bring out the red iirc and c) I would have thought they might have been publicising their very special gold ruby glass somewhere?

If it was copper ruby red then again not an easy process I don't think. ( I know Egermann introduced this in the 1840s and his experiments and recipes were stolen from what I recall reading). 
So that would mean that just a few years later than Egermann introduced copper ruby glass casing, after the repeal of the British excise laws, in a country where much of the glass had been and still was clear glass production , where Apsley Pellatt appears to have made no reference to them (again open to correction if I have missed something) producing their own red glass in his book dated 1849 (and I have another question over the red droplets used in the Pellatt Alhambra Chandelier for the Great Exhibition), and also where Hardman was having difficulty obtaining a decent red from Birmingham makers (but that might be because he wanted something specific for stained windows admittedly),  there were British makers producing red glass decanters and goblets etc from their own red glass pots. 

That's major progress in a very short period of time.  Or it seems so to me but I have no knowledge of the chemistry of glass colour development  :-[



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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #322 on: July 31, 2019, 11:40:58 PM »
This was reported (see photographs of paragraph relevant to ruby glass) in the Civil Engineer and Architects Journal in 1851 - page 557:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=j8dzQHVdv9oC&pg=PA344&dq=art++journal+1850+ruby+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYwL6VjODjAhWxoVwKHWEhCVgQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=art%20%20journal%201850%20ruby%20glass&f=false

I do not get the impression from that report that British makers were making the kind of coloured glass that would be similar to the OP's red glass.
In a curiously worded separate sentence it mentions a ruby glass chandelier and the Alhambra chandelier shown in the Great Exhibition:
 'The 'ruby' chandelier and the 'Alhambra' chandelier, placed in the Great Exhibition, are steps in a style of art which may lead to results both brilliant and tasteful'
The sentence is written in such a way that there is no commitment to whether the chandeliers were made by British makers or elsewhere. 
Neither is there any commitment on the part of the author as to where the coloured parts of the chandeliers might have been made.  The emphasis appears to read as though it's a question of whether coloured glass chandeliers will be as successful in style as clear glass, not on where the coloured glass was made.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #323 on: August 01, 2019, 10:28:27 PM »
With reference my post reply #305

I wonder whether the word 'manufactured' could have been meant as 'finished' / 'refined' in the mid 1800s, rather than referring to who blew the glass?

This is an inventory from 1863 of the glass in the V&A collection.  Page 102 shows what was then under the category 'Modern glass'. 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zSRdAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA102&dq=rice+harris+ruby+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKgInJ0uLjAhWbRxUIHdL0A18Q6AEILTAB#v=snippet&q=bacchus%20%26%20co&f=false



A couple of questions in my mind. 
a) This first may go against what I've said.  There are many pieces from Steigerwald.  On one of the pieces in the V&A the description says iirc that Steigerwald insisted glass sold by him was made in his factories.  Yet a number of the pieces shown say 'Steigerwald' and others say 'manufactured by F. Steigerwald'

b) Likewise under 7109  there is a triple overlay piece ('VASE or GOBLET and COVER, imitation Bohemian glass... transparent glass with ruby and opaque white' ) mentioned as 'manufactured by Rice, Harris, and Co of Birmingham'. 
However next to the Bacchus ruby pieces numbered following that Rice Harris piece, it just says plainly  'Bacchus & Co'.
I can find 7110 the white overlay on ruby decanter and stopper ' Bacchus & Co' here
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O326654/decanter-and-stopper-george-bacchus-and/

Curiously I cannot find the triple overlay 'manufactured by Rice, Harris and Co of Birmingham' piece in the V&A collection. 
Where is this Bohemian imitation? 
Am  I searching the wrong terms hence why I can't find it in the collection?
And why do the Bacchus pieces not say 'manufactured by Bacchus & co'?

:-* thank you.

However, I suspect I've not really added anything that gets this much further. 

I've a controversial suggestion re the red glass used by British makers.  Were the pieces they showed at the Great Exhibition actually blown by them?  Or were they finished/refined by them having been blown elsewhere?  And were the pieces with small amounts of red on them actually from their own red pots, or were they somehow produced as pieces of red elsewhere for use in smelting and then using? Is that a thing? Is it possible to do that? I think from what I've read that it might be but open to correction here.

If they were blown by them then that would have required the British glassmakers to have been running pots for red. 
If gold ruby then a) it was very expensive to produce  b) it required very careful production and the knowledge of reheating to bring out the red iirc and c) I would have thought they might have been publicising their very special gold ruby glass somewhere?

If it was copper ruby red then again not an easy process I don't think. ( I know Egermann introduced this in the 1840s and his experiments and recipes were stolen from what I recall reading). 
So that would mean that just a few years later than Egermann introduced copper ruby glass casing, after the repeal of the British excise laws, in a country where much of the glass had been and still was clear glass production , where Apsley Pellatt appears to have made no reference to them (again open to correction if I have missed something) producing their own red glass in his book dated 1849 (and I have another question over the red droplets used in the Pellatt Alhambra Chandelier for the Great Exhibition), and also where Hardman was having difficulty obtaining a decent red from Birmingham makers (but that might be because he wanted something specific for stained windows admittedly),  there were British makers producing red glass decanters and goblets etc from their own red glass pots. 

That's major progress in a very short period of time.  Or it seems so to me but I have no knowledge of the chemistry of glass colour development  :-[



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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #324 on: August 01, 2019, 10:36:25 PM »
I also find this piece I mentioned earlier (sale on ebay - clear glass silvered ) interesting because of the lozenge cuts around the rim and foot.  They have a certain similarity with the lozenges cut design of the Banquet goblets in some way:

https://picclick.co.uk/Antique-Mercury-Glass-Vase-Or-Goblet-Signed-E-183772943336.html

https://www.glassmessages.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=65670.0;attach=209932;image

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #325 on: August 01, 2019, 11:41:02 PM »
From the Art Union Journal (monthly) 1 November 1848  page 327

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=47XlAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA306&dq=the+art+union+1847+bohemian+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiZm9y86OLjAhUNQ8AKHTnlBDAQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=%20bohemian%20glass&f=false

I have previously linked to this I think, but my interest then focused on who developed the silvering process.
In November 1848 it was referred to in the Art Union Journal as the Draytonian Process.

On re-reading that link it there is some interesting information.

From near the bottom of the author's writings on Drayton's silvered glass it says:

'We understand that a very large assortment of the German glass, is now in process of manufacture for the especial purpose of being subjected to the Draytonian process'.


I know I've read later articles published c. 1850 re Hale Thomson, that the journalists have referred back to Drayton using Bohemian and German glass and that they were then comparing in 1850 saying that 'now' comparitively most of the glass was from Powell & Co.  However I read that to mean that Drayton was casually using whatever German and Bohemian glass was available for him to purchase 'locally', NOT that he was himself ordering German  glass to be made for the sole purpose of it being specifically made to be silvered by his process.

This comment from 1 November 1848 puts a rather different spin on things.  It implies that there was a known route of sourcing German glass for Drayton in late 1848.



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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #326 on: August 02, 2019, 08:18:43 AM »
14 months later than the German glass being ordered for the Draytonian process of silvering (see immediate previous post) The Literary Gazette on 5th January 1850 mentioned it had seen the Hale Thomson silvered glass:
 '.. it's application to cups, vases and other articles, is exceedingly beautiful ... '

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=A9duaPuNWUkC&pg=PA445&dq=art+journal+hale+thomson&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwieGx3ePjAhUaThUIHTOiBooQ6AEIOzAE#v=onepage&q=art%20journal%20hale%20thomson&f=false

No mention of who made the cups, vases and other articles. 

I wonder if they were from Germany?

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #327 on: August 02, 2019, 12:36:41 PM »
From the Magazine of Science October 1847 pp 245


'...; and the more pure the flint glass is, and free from lead and other ingredients, the more perfect and beautiful is the deposit'.

I think at the time that Drayton was still using the essential oils of cloves and cassia when this was written.

However, am I misreading something? Was it a PR exercise to justify the fact he was using German glass? 

Or did his experiments show that using 'free from lead and other ingredients' glass was the best for the silvering process?

Does this mean what I read it to mean, i.e. not using lead glass?  or does it mean something else?

If it does mean not using lead glass, what does that imply about Hale Thomson's and Varnish branded goods? ( I know, according to their explanations they used grape sugar and not the cloves and cassia by 1850)

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DegTAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA245&dq=drayton+silvering+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjLofCpl-TjAhXtQUEAHfHvCLIQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvering%20glass&f=false

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #328 on: August 05, 2019, 02:31:59 PM »
Before I lose this link :
Red glass jug and becher c.1840 Bohemia - in V&A collection

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O5503/beaker-unknown/

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #329 on: August 11, 2019, 06:50:45 PM »
A small opaline scent bottle with silver lid with hallmark apparently for Mellish.
The information in the listing says


'A Rare and very early white opaline glass scent bottle with silver gilt push button activated spring top, fully hallmarked for London 1852. This early spring-cap mechanism is claimed to have been invented by Thomas Diller (1828 - 1851) and is indicitive of only the best quality pieces. The cartouche engraved with a mirror cypher below a coronet. Thomas Robert Mellish is listed from 1852 until 1856/1857 as a patent glass warehouse, glass cutter and glass mounter. Pieces of this type and of the period are frequently unmarked. With a full set of hallmarks for 1852 this piece is really a benchmark for the period.' (My emphasis)


http://hallmarksilver.com/scentphotos/white_opal.jpg


I started searching for other items because in the court case, one of the workers as a witness said they were an engraver on glass and that they knew Mellish because they had previously worked for Mercian's (sic) the pencil case makers. 
Firstly, I think the online version has misread Mercian's and it should read Mordan's (Sampson Mordon the pencil case makers - propelling type pencils or ever sharpening pencils that have a casing to them)
Secondly, I wondered how proficient at glass cutting/engraving someone would be if they had previously worked for a pencil case maker?
Lastly, I suppose if Mellish worked for Mordan's (from the witness statement it seemed Mellish was some kind of organiser/salesman maybe for Mordans?) that might be how come Lund knew about him/of him.

m

 

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