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 1706 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

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 #50 on: October 16, 2017, 12:57:59 PM »
Of course I have,lol, If Hale-Thomson & Varnish were working together as a company in 1849, they would have exhibited as that in the Great Exhibition 1850.

Varnish exhibits on his own, under his own company name
 
I think that's a little more definitive than "possibly by" or "attributed to"

This can all be checked.

Actually, I could not find Thomson exhibiting anywhere

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 #51 on: October 16, 2017, 02:26:02 PM »
If anything, Hale-Thomson broke from Varnish and either sold his patent to Powells, or allowed them to manufacture under licence.

It makes no sense that a company already set up to manufacture tubular glass, candlesticks, chandeliers etc. to change course, drastically,
add the elements of danger and expense, set up a new processing area, requiring new staff, new equipment etc, and all post 1850, to finish by 1855.

By what else I have read, the manufacturing process only lasted between 1845-1855, this is a relatively short time span, for an established company like Powells, to not only undergo a post 1850 transformation, but to also manufacture the same product for two different patentees?

I will probably go with my initial thought at the top.

Over to you

Offline KevinH

  • Global Moderator
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 5881
    • England
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2017, 08:11:11 PM »
Before I add any other comments, I need to admit to some misspellings of "Thomson" in previous posts - I used the form "Thompson".

My main reason for the error was that I was adding posts at 3 am, which was probably not a good way to ensure accuracy. However there are some instances of the same mistake being made in the literature I was researching - probably either because of type setting errors or because of an error in the source information. One such case is in Hajdamach British Glass 1800-1914, page 54 where there is a reference to:
Quote
... the silvered glass of Varnish and Hale Thompson ...
and that was the first index record I followed up.

I will amend all such errors in the previous posts (not only in my text). And I will check for occurrences of "Hadjamach" too (I often get that one wrong!)
KevinH

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9600
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2017, 09:07:30 PM »
I'm confused by drewfinds posts - sorry I'm tired, but I'm finding it hard to follow the thread.

I don't think we can make assumptions when trying to work out who manufactured these items.  In the past assumptions may have been made based on best evidence available (no internet, very hard to find original sources etc)  but as Frank would say I'm sure, without pattern references or an original source you cannot definitively state a maker.

As an aside I thought I'd add this link to a vase in the V&A - I found it quite intriguing because there seems to be conflicting information in the description.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

Firstly it says it's a Hale Thomson, F. vase. 
But then under info it claims the inventor as Thomson ... and then inventor as E Varnish. 
And the vase is inscribed E Varnish & Co Patent London.

So where exactly does 'Hale Thomson, F.' feature in this? 

Then it says 'James Powell & Sons (manufacturer) ' but also says:
'Place of origin: London (probably, made)'

Did James Powell & Sons manufacture outside of London?
If James Powell & Sons did manufacture outside of London then I can see how the query on place of origin arises. 

If JP&Sons did not manufacture outside London then how come the V&A don't know whether or not it was made in London if they are sure it was made by James Powell & Sons?


(has anyone ever seen another James Powell & Sons vase that looks like this by the way?)




Then there is more information under the V&A heading Materials and Making where they make two points :

1) 'The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849.'
and

2) 'A number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks. '


Source info V&A:-
'Vase
Hale Thomson, F. Enlarge image
VaseVase
Explore related objects

Category

Glass
Vases
British Galleries
Style

Victorian
Name

Hale Thomson, F.
James Powell & Sons
E. Varnish & Co.
Place

London
Gallery

British Galleries, Room 125c
Collection

Ceramics Collection
Vase

Place of origin:
London (probably, made)

Date:
ca. 1850 (made)

Artist/Maker:
Hale Thomson, F. (inventor)
James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)
E. Varnish & Co. (inventor)

Materials and Techniques:
Ruby and white glass, silvered

Museum number:
CIRC.248-1965

Gallery location:
British Galleries, Room 125c, case 3'

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9600
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2017, 09:27:02 PM »
1) Second confusing example here in the V&A
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3409/varnishs-patent-goblet-hale-thomson-f/

This one doesn't call Hale Thomson and Varnish the 'inventors' but calls them the 'patentee' instead.


It also claims the patent was from both Hale Thomson and Varnish and ran from 1849-1860:
'Descriptive line
Goblet, England (probably London), possibly made by J. Powell and Sons under the patent of F. Hale Thomson and E.Varnish, 1849-1860'




2) Then there is this last one pictured:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2949/varnishs-patent-vase-hale-thomson-f/

Note that both of the above examples say in the header 'James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)'
 but then under the detailed descriptions merely say:
'...possibly made by J. Powell and Son ...'




3) There is one more example with no picture that mentions only Hale Thomson:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3599/varnish-patent-goblet-hale-thomson-f/
Again at the header they say Manufacturer James Powell & Sons but under Description it actually says:
'Descriptive line
Goblet, England (probably London), patent of F. Hale Thomson, attributed to J. Powell & Sons, 1849-1855, C.23-1961 .
'




There are three more searching under E Varnish.  This one with a picture:
4) http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3080/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/

Also only attributed to James Powell & Sons

'Descriptive line
Glass Vase, England (probably London), patent of Varnish & Co, attributed to J. Powell & Sons, 1849-1855

Production Note
Attributed to James Powell & Son'





and two more with no picture also saying 'attributed to James Powell & Sons':

5)   http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3203/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/

and this apparently paperweight:
6)  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3537/varnish-patent-paperweight-james-powell-sons/



That's an awful lot of possibly made by's and attributed to's ?

Offline Paul S.

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 8035
  • Gender: Male
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2017, 10:06:17 PM »
............  and now you deserve to go to bed. ;D         I think it's very confusing of the V. & A. that they give conflicting info. within the same page and for the same item.       I agree, they start by making a definitive statement, and by the time you've reached the end they become vague and use words like possibly and probably.

I've always thought that one of the most important aspects of archive information is the reference source for a given attribution  ...........  the vast majority of us, including academics, don't have the time or resources to spend months ploughing through reams of academia to locate an important but difficult to find data.       It's also a dangerously possibility that with the passing of time even the museum will forget or lose track of the source of their attribution, and the greater the passage of time, the greater is the likelihood that people will be less able to research archives to find attributions for historic material.

I think I'd tend to agree that perhaps Andrew was getting himself a little confused  -  not difficult with a subject such as this  -  and it helps sometimes to stand back and try to simplify what we know to avoid overcomplicating matters.

second time I've amended this post. :-[             you'd think that it was easy to convey facts - but obviously not, and probably too much woolly thinking giving rise to confusion.

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9600
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2017, 10:09:23 PM »
yes :)  I do .

There is a page on the Glass Board about Mercury glass here:
http://theglassmuseum.com/mercury.html

On that page it states that Edward Varnish and Partners were retailers and glass dealers and says
'... their glassware was made at James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks in London (and possibly elsewhere).'

It's slightly confusing in that the '(and possibly elsewhere)' could infer that James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks was in London AND elsewhere ...  (I know there are authorities on JP&Sons who will be able to clarify this point hopefully)

or ...

 it could read that the glass was made at James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks in London with the '(and possibly elsewhere)' meaning  glassworks other than JP&Sons.

Ok, for anyone who just read this post, I've just corrected it!  there IS a reference source in that article:

Source:  ' Evans, Ross and Werner  Whitefriars Glass: James Powell and Sons of London page 30' !!



However -

Charles Hajdamach says in British Glass 1800-1914 (1991, reprinted 1993) pp271:
'These firms were retailers and dealers and the glass was made for them, presumably, at one of the London glassworks.  Some authorities give James Powell and Sons as the probable makers but there is no conclusive proof.'

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 #57 on: October 16, 2017, 10:57:32 PM »
I'm not confused, maybe I am having trouble getting across my point.

There are 2 different seals, one Varnish the other Thompson, why 2? from the same company (Powells)

Why would E.Varnish use Powells, when their company was already manufacturing and exhibiting at a time when Powells were not, if Powells were already making silvered glass objects, why did they not exhibit alongside Varnish?

Why was Hale-Thomson not mentioned in either stall exhibits description?

I understand that there are loads of books, etc, but the information that nearly everyone refers too is the same as the V&A, attributed too, and possibly by.

There seems to be little evidence that Powell was involved prior 1851.

Only 4 stalls separated Varnish from Powells at the Great Exhibition, I should imagine that could have been first point of contact between the two companies.

Check out the exhibitors list for 1850, page 127, Glass, scroll down too 27, then look at 31, you make your own minds up.
Also, while you are there, try and find Hale -Thompson on any stalls.

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 #58 on: October 16, 2017, 11:22:40 PM »
Ok, to make it more confusing, I went back again to check, I zoomed in and there is "pat" at the end of the Varnish introduction?

Offline flying free

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 9600
    • UK
Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2017, 11:23:11 PM »
Quote 'Why would E.Varnish use Powells, when their company was already manufacturing and exhibiting at a time when Powells were not, ...'

Drewfind some of your information may be very useful in drawing evidence together on who actually made the glass.
But where is your evidence that E. Varnish were 'already manufacturing ...' glass?

The evidence from other sources says E. Varnish were retailers and dealers, not that they were the manufacturers of the glass:
one source being Charles Hajdamach (British Glass 1800-1914) pp 271.  Charles is a noted authority on glass http://www.hajdamach.com/

If there is a source that says E. Varnish was a manufacturer of glass could you quote the source please?

Many thanks
m


 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk

Look for glass on ebay.co.uk  Look for glass on eBay.com (US)
Link to Glass Encyclopedia
Link to Glass Museum


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