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Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 4292 times)

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Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2017, 12:44:22 PM »
There is a red monochrome one sold in May here
http://cotswoldauction.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yXssRgneo7A/WQs9x43pL-I/AAAAAAAADwg/SUpKsQoCDHMSHbvMzjRzLCoMu8op95lkwCLcB/s1600/original.jpg

Much plainer than your version and not a beautiful shape like  yours.



There are also five monochrome green versions on the net - both much plainer shapes than yours.  Two I think are Varnish,one I don't know as can't get through the link to the description and another Hale one here

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Rare-Hale-Thomsons-Patent-Green-Silvered-Mercury-Glass-Faceted-Goblet-Varnish-GB-/253170940688

and here
http://www.stylendesign.co.uk/guidepages/estoz.html

This one is blue cut to silver but is a similar shape to yours for comparison, and is described as a Campana form

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/reeman-dansie/catalogue-id-srree10000/lot-60edd3a8-1017-46be-913e-a3f500ec4962

m

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2017, 01:35:58 PM »
Hi Flying free

That's excellent, thank you.

I looked at them all, but I still can't find the diamond cut moulding to the rim

I might phone the V&A, and as Paul suggested, go and have a look through what they have. I am wondering if the different designs were like lost leaders, throw a few out and see how they do.

I also agree with Paul that the "attributed to" and "possibly made by" James Powell statement to be very vague, as the records in the V&A also show the workbooks for the Powell company, and there is nothing there referring too commissioned pieces, trial pieces etc.

What other prominent glass makers were there trading at that time? Anyone got any clue please? I will do the donkey work, just point me in the right direction

I have found there are quite a few of the cut through items on the market, the closest so far being the link the Flying free has sent me, any more would also be appreciated.

Many thanks
Andrew

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2017, 01:37:38 PM »
I am also pleased to say, that the item being offered on E-Bay has a scratch on the surface, while mine is immaculate ;D

Offline Paul S.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2017, 02:23:53 PM »
yes, agree it would be very satisfying to discover the maker/s of such pieces  -  when you think of their importance, rarity and attractiveness, it's amazing that this information on this silvered/mercury glass remains elusive.       I notice that C.H. also mentions W. LUND as a third patentee.            With hindsight, do we think James Powell to have been a likely contemporary maker to whom the patentees might have offered their invention for production?  -  the answer is, possibly yes, and it's this 'possibly' that in some people's minds wins the day.      Like another London house, Apsley Pellat, Powell was a highly respected maker at that time, and both companies no doubt had the skill to produce such material  -  it's just that positive proof seems hard to come by.              If you read C.H. (pp. 269 - 271) you can see the difficulties involved in  making silvered/mercury glass.
In view of the efforts by the patentees, to protect their invention, then do we think it's fair to say that in the U.K. this type of glass was truly new and a novelty, and not just a rehash of an earlier design?               From what I can gather, U.K. glass houses in mid C19 like Powell and Pellat - more so than say the Midlands group of makers  -  seem to have been keen on historic designs - think of the Venetian revival and on toward Salviati and art nouveau  ............    so might they have turned their noses up at novelty glass such as this, especially as it was far from easy to make?             Just thinking out loud here.
Being vastly less than knowledgeable about such things, I'm not qualified to comment, but find it difficult to support the Whitefriars attribution if for no other reason than the depth of research into that maker appears to have failed to find proof - but who knows. :)

Generally, if you are a patentee, what is the likelihood that you will be the manufacturer also?          Don't know - but it's a fairly safe bet that there's always a percentage of inventions that are related to both, but certainly being the patent holder doesn't automatically imply you are the maker as well.          I know we've discussed before to what extend a British patent or Registration - in the C19 -  gave design protection outside the U.K.  -  the answer is probably not a lot.

Coming back to Kevin's details about the auction of Michael Parkington's pieces of this glass  -  he did have a lot of this material and obviously purchased very wisely  -  maybe he had an astute and well informed adviser ;)  -  at any rate M. P. looks to have been trying to corner the market in the stuff.
My personal thoughts on the Christie's sale catalogues (two sales separated by over half a year), is that they were being economic with the truth in the matter of information regarding the family tree of this glass.           From what I can see, all pieces are stated to be from either Varnish or Hale Thomson - this might lead the unwary to imagine that these companies were also the makers  -  but then perhaps you shouldn't be at such auction houses if you didn't know otherwise. ;)

I might try and speak to the V. & A. and see if anything more specific can be discovered about the alleged Powell connection for this glass.
     

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2017, 03:59:06 PM »
MP was not the first person to have a large collection of these pieces.
An actor prior to him also had a large collection from something I read.  (some got broken in  a shelf accident).
I wonder if some of MP's pieces came from him?

I wonder if the Varnish /Hale T glasses were made in Bohemia?  I'll just put that out there
 ;D
m

Offline Paul S.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2017, 04:31:51 PM »
 ;D   nothing ventured, nothing gained.

C.H. says (and abbreviating a little)  ..............   "  ...   the majority of pieces from Varnish are scratched in diamond point with a No. appearing on the glass plug and on the foot.    Meaning of Nos. is unclear and don't always match  - but must have been used to assist worker in some way to match the seal to the opening"
C.H. uses the word 'must', so obviously feels confident about that statement.     

My reason for saying this is to query whether folk here might know if the script of these Nos. appears as Continental, rather than British - there is, usually, a difference.            The answer to this question might settle m's question.

Hear that Keith  ................   'shelf accident'  ......... ;D ;D

P.S.     don't think I have Manley any more, so don't know what he wrote about this material.

Offline drewfind

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2017, 05:15:08 PM »
I might also try a different approach, maybe looking at technical and industrial advances that might point to certain companies that had the facility to make such a product at the time.

I have read that mercury glass was being produced from 1840, but can neither remember where or if any company names were mentioned in the article.

It would be logical for the inventors to approach an established and competent company, as I have said, the workbooks for Powells shows no exceptional orders, or any indication looking into new ventures. Something like this would have been noteworthy I am sure?

Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2017, 06:32:02 PM »
Paul keeps mentioning the word design. Can I just point out that that a patent doesn't protect a design. It protects an invention, which is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process.

Offline Paul S.

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2017, 07:42:48 PM »
thanks Christine - apologies if I have lapsed into wrong usage.             It's true that on the GMB the word design is reserved, usually, for an item that is a variation of an already existing invention  - milk jug, vase, salt etc., and possibly items that don't in the main have patent protection?        These new designs were/are Registered with the Board of Trade, and allocated a Registration No., but obviously are not patented as new inventions.           
Quite where the line is drawn between a new design which is simply an artistic/aesthetic variation, and something that is considered an improvement on the original invention, and thus more suitable for patenting, I've no idea. :)   

P.S    email now sent to the V. & A. requesting details of origin of the suggestion of James Powell as maker.           Their automated reply comments that they intend to reply within 30 days.   

Offline KevinH

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2017, 02:06:21 AM »
I may have found the original source of J. Powell being said to be the maker of blanks glass for Varnish & Co. (and perhaps (Frederick) Hale Thomson).

The info has come from a meander through:
Manley ... Decorative Victorian Glass
Hajdamach ... British Glass 1800-1914
Haanstra, Bowey, Lytwyn, (Glass Museum Online) ...Mercury Glass - Silvered Glass from Europe
Ending up with ...
Evans, Ross & Werner ... Whitefriars Glass ... as referenced in the Glass Museum article linked above

The reference in the Whitefriars book is to: "Beard, Mayall et al ... Tallis's History of The Crystal Palace ... 1851, P82"
I am not sure if the page number refers to Beard etc or to Talis's tome. But the basic info is: "indicated by a note in Tallis's History ... " which makes the claim that most of the glass was provided by "Messrs Powell & Co, Whitefriars".

I tried searching Tallis's History ... (it's available online), but my keywords were unsuccessful. Maybe that is a task for "m" (flying free)?

The Glass Museum article makes a positive statement that Whiterfriars Glassworks was the provider of the glass. However, the text in the Whitefriars book does not explicitly state that. Rather, it gives the information about the note in Tallis and goes on to offer additional information as to why Whitefriars Glassworks could have been the provider - based on consistency of colours of the glass used to case the "Mercury Glass" items.
KevinH

 

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