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Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 655 times)

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Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2017, 07:20:58 PM »
Hi Paul

I went into the V&A website, click on the collections icon at the top of the page, you will then find a page with loads of different pics, and there is a search box to the left if you type in e.varnish it comes up with the 4 they have in their collection, there is also a link on that page that takes you into more detail, even down to wages and glass orders for the James Powell factory.

Offline KevinH

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2017, 11:18:05 PM »
General info on Silvered Glass (also known as “mercury glass”) from the sale of The Parkington Collection (parts I and II) at Christie’s South Kensington, Oct 1997 and Apr 1998.

The sale included 6 Lots of silvered glass items by Hale Thomson and 20 Lots of silvered glass by Varnish & Co. There were a total of 525 Lots for Part I and 477 for Part II covering glass from the 18th century to modern times.

For Part I, each Varnish & Co. Lot included the wording “impressed disc”. For Part II, the wording was “inset disc”.

Of the Varnish & Co items, colours were Amethyst (3 Lots), Blue (5 Lots), Green (4 Lots), Lime Green (1 Lot), Pink (1 Lot), Red (3 Lots), Ruby (2 Lots) and “Yellow lined” (1 Lot). Most of these were decorated with geometric or floral cutting.
   
Most of the Varnish & Co. Lots made higher than upper estimate figures for the hammer price. A selection of every 4th Lot across both auctions shows a reasonable example of details and prices:

Part I (approximate hammer price calculated from total price including buyers premium + VAT)
Lot 266 Pink vase 7.5 cm high (3 inch); est. £200-300, hammer price £440
Lot 271 Blue vase 31.5 cm high (12.4 inch); est. £800-1,000, hammer price £2150

Part II (actual hammer price)
Lot 244 Ruby ring stand 13.5 cm high (5.3 inch); est. £200-300, hammer price £450
Lot 248 Green vase 23 cm high (9 inch); est. £500-700, hammer price £850
Lot 252 Amethyst vase 30 cm high (11.8 inch); est. £1,500-2,500, hammer price £3,500

The vase of Part II, Lot 252 was the one to achieve the highest hammer price. Lot 275 in Part I came close at approximately £3,130; this was a Green vase standing 29 cm high (11.4 inch) and included Prince of Wales Feathers in the decoration and was estimated at £1,200-1,400.

Overall, the 20 Varnish & Co. Lots (some being pairs) had a total hammer price of approximately £23,300 against a total high estimate of £14,600.

How those auction results would compare for similar items today is unknown to me. All I know is that when I handled several of those items at the viewing I was surprised at their weight which was much greater than I anticipated. Generally, very fine pieces of glass to have in the hand.
KevinH

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2017, 09:02:46 AM »
Hi Kevin

Thank you very much for your endeavours. This info will make sure that I don't give it away.

I'm sure you can tell that I am relatively new at this, so would you say I am better selling private or via auction, and if auction, which auction house would you suggest I approach?

I have some more items to collect over the next few weeks. Other then the mainstream big boys like Lalique, Daum, Galle etc, what glassmakers are off the radar, but sought after?

Many thanks

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2017, 11:34:51 AM »
Update for those interested

Antique house has confirmed incised initials/mark with further investigation going on this coming week via Christies, Bonhams and the V&A
the train of thought being that this was a trial/sample piece as the form of the glass is also unknown.

If anyone has anymore information regarding this form, please leave me a message.

Many thanks
Andrew

Offline KevinH

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2017, 05:09:15 PM »
Quote
... would you say I am better selling private or via auction, and if auction, which auction house would you suggest I approach?
The dealer who is doing the research for you is approaching some of the best people likely to be able to help. I have very limited knowledge of current "best ways" to sell. All I would say for now is that those main auction rooms can probably more easily attract "mainstream collectors", but given the ease of internet information on what is available at provincial auction rooms (particularly ones that have specialized "fine arts" sales) those outlets should not be overlooked.

Quote
I have some more items to collect over the next few weeks. Other then the mainstream big boys like Lalique, Daum, Galle etc, what glassmakers are off the radar, but sought after?
I have absolutely no idea.  :)

Quote
... the form of the glass is also unknown.
I am not sure what that means. Is it the overall shape, the way the colour is applied or the manner of cut decoration (looks like possible cut spirals to me, but would need better photos to see what it really is), or something else?

(I will now move this thread into the British & Irish forum.)
KevinH

Offline MHT

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2017, 06:13:19 PM »
Re the number scratched on the bottom, if you look hard you should find the same number scratched on the 'plug', I believe it was a way of matching the two. I have the same thing on a green Varnish & Co salt. There is more about this in Manley if anyone has a copy to hand.

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2017, 09:10:09 AM »
I am not sure what that means. Is it the overall shape, the way the colour is applied or the manner of cut decoration (looks like possible cut spirals to me, but would need better photos to see what it really is), or something else?
Update for those interested

Antique house has confirmed incised initials/mark with further investigation going on this coming week via Christies, Bonhams and the V&A
the train of thought being that this was a trial/sample piece as the form of the glass is also unknown.

If anyone has anymore information regarding this form, please leave me a message.

Many thanks
Andrew

The cutting on the shape is lovely - there are cut diamonds/curved triangles? all around the rim if I can see correctly and also there might be vertical panel cuts on the body, as well as the spiral cuts around the body and foot.
It reminds me of Bohemian cut goblets for some reason.
I wonder if it was cut by a Bohemian glass cutter?

Would it be possible to put a clear large photograph up please? Many thanks. 

m

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2017, 10:46:12 AM »
Hi all

The etching to the base is to be further investigated.

MHT thank you for the information regarding the numbers to your base. I do not have a copy of Manleys glass book, and know very little about antique glass, this is my first foray into it really.

Its all in the hands of the dealer, I'm just trying to learn more.

Flying free, my apologies, this is the largest file I could send, when (and if) I get it back, I will take some more close ups for details.

Once again, thank you for your input

Andrew

Offline Paul S.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2017, 11:01:21 AM »
hello Andrew, and thanks for your reference to the V. & A. collections and their pieces of Varnish mercury glass  -  good to have someone that does actually use this free and marvellous source of information, and I've now had a look at the museum's on line data - and pix -  for these pieces.

But, regret to say I am far from convinced that by simply adding comments such as  ..............   'attributed to James Powell'  or  'possibly made by James Powell'  -  that this is somehow definitive and unquestionable proof that E. Varnish patented pieces of mercury glass were made by Powell.
It's perhaps unfortunate that the museum haven't included the source of their information for this assertion  -  although to be fair most folk wouldn't be interested in that extent of detail.

The V. & A., certainly in past years, offered a drop in surgery once a month - on something like a Tuesday afternoon - and the public were invited to take along their glass for possible id  -  this may still be the situation.             Perhaps one of us should pop along and ask if they might share their provenance for the Powell attribution. :)

P.S.    Assuming this piece is your property still  -  very much hope you do get your glass back, eventually ;D

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2017, 11:52:51 AM »
Paul I agree with you.
It would be great to have the original reference source for the  'possibly' made by James Powell.

I've also wondered where the 'English Mercury Glass' was made.

Of course I can see that it was patented here but is that the same thing as being made here?
If it was a design and making idea that was patented here that might stop other makers here making it, but would that patent apply to America or Bohemia?

m


 

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