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Author Topic: Possible Scottish bookends  (Read 418 times)

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Offline brucebanner

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Possible Scottish bookends
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:14:42 PM »
Hello all, a couple of bookends i have found recently, they look 30's-40's in design to me and have some age, two weights cut in half and maybe reused if damaged or badly made or maybe just as made as i can not find any more.

I put them on a Facebook paperweight site and someone suggested 60's Strathearn. the backs of the weights have been painted red and the wood is oak with dovetail joints.


They measure 6 inches in height and the weights are 3 inches in diameter.

any thought's welcome, regards Chris.
Chris Parry

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Offline brucebanner

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 08:15:17 PM »
Backs of the bookends.
Chris Parry

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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 08:23:07 PM »
I have to say, the woodwork looks awfully like the sort of thing my Dad used to make, and possibly about the right period, not too long after rationing stopped.
He was an absolute demon with epoxy resin, it leaked out of every wooden joint in the house. And a few that weren't.

It's not the same paperweight cut in half, it's two half weights.. maybe they cluncked together violently at one point in time?
Whatever, it's a good way to make use of two half weights, far better than throwing them in the bin.  ;D
Cheers, Sue (M)
"The really smart people know enough to know that there's too much that they don't know for them to be arrogant about the little they do know."
Prof. Ron Davis OMF

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Offline brucebanner

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 08:41:08 PM »
Yes i know they are different, i wonder if the other two halves made another set of bookends?, how old do you think they are? i'm totally useless when it comes to paperweights.

I thought the one central cane might mean something?
Chris Parry

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Offline KevinH

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 01:12:11 AM »
I like these. They are fun!

I can match many of the canes to the work of the Ysart men from 1946 to 1955 at Ysart Brothers Glass (Vasart). And for the weight with the cruciform cane in the centre I would, by gut feel alone, say it was from those Ysart Brothers years.

However, the other weight, which again has "early Ysart" canes also has a distinctive yellow-and-brown cane which I have not seen in early Ysart work - although the central element of that cane does look like "early Ysart". If I am correct about that, then I suggest that this weight could have been made in the Vasart Ltd years (1956 to 1964).

The idea that these could be Strathearn has some validity based on that yellow-and-brown cane, which has an appearance of many canes from the Strathearn years. But the overall look of both weights shouts "earlier" to me.

Note that in the yellow-brown cane, the yellow is actually a solid rod. The use of solid rods in that bright yellow colour is known in some weights signed with a "JA" cane (for Jack Allen) and can be dated to the Vasart Ltd. period.

But now I have to think about the colour of the ground - which seems to be the same for both weights, although in one the ground is quite "patchy". Perhaps both weights were made in the Vasart Ltd years, or maybe the "patchy ground" one was made earlier and the other simply has a ground of the same colour; the colour being part of the same company stock (Vasart) but  under different company names.

Even though Vasart Ltd used lead-based glass, the older canes (made with soda glass for the clear parts) were still used in the lead-based weights. In fact, as many folk know, early Ysart canes from the 1940s and even the 1930s can be found in items made at least as late as the 1980s!
KevinH

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Offline brucebanner

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 08:50:45 AM »
Thank you for that detailed reply Kevin, I used to have a good collection of 1930's 40's furniture i would restore it and give it away to family hence I thought about a date for these.

I have no idea how tricky it would be to cut  a paperweight in half though. Im thinking you would have to have the right cutting disk to do it. I'm wondering if they are ysart did they make bookends or ever make other pieces of furniture.

They remind me of my Grandads attitude to life that nothing goes to waste and everything gets repaired or reused.

Regards Chris.
Chris Parry

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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 11:13:39 AM »
My Dad's post-rationing woodwork would fit very nicely with '56 -'64. That was the closest I could get to aging them, I'm afraid.
I still reuse, repurpose and repair things.  ;D
Cheers, Sue (M)
"The really smart people know enough to know that there's too much that they don't know for them to be arrogant about the little they do know."
Prof. Ron Davis OMF

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Offline KevinH

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2018, 10:35:10 PM »
Quote
I have no idea how tricky it would be to cut  a paperweight in half though. Im thinking you would have to have the right cutting disk to do it.
I guess it could be done with the right tools. But far more likely that these weights are examples of an extensive "stress fracture" / "annealing crack" that suddenly appeared one day after perhaps a sudden change in surrounding temperature, or a direct impact etc. See the images below of a weight I have (top and bottom views) which has a full stress fracture through most of it - yet still hangs together as a complete item. It might suddenly decide to separate itself one day. Stress / annealing fractures can quite often be found in Vasart items, especially from the Ysart Brothers years.

When a weight separates into two pieces because of a stress failure, it is unlikely to have a perfectly smooth and a straight fracture. Some gentle grinding and perhaps polishing can easily provide a surface that is safe to handle or, as with the bookends, make them effective for mounting. Are those bookend weights perfectly straight and smooth at the fracture?


Quote
I'm wondering if they are ysart did they make bookends or ever make other pieces of furniture.
I have not heard of the Ysart men making bookends or furniture of any kind - except when Salvador Ysart made a fully glass table with spiraled decoration - but which ended up broken (see towards the end of this page in the Ysartglass site).
KevinH

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Offline brucebanner

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2018, 10:44:30 PM »
Hello Kevin they look like they have been machine cut you can see fractures around the outer back rim, not cracked as with yours unless ground back and polished flat, I will try and take a close up.

I have been looking at other Ysart which looks really well made I just wonder why these are so crude.

I have give them a good clean and the outer surface on the one looks heavily worn which makes me think they were old when cut up or polished. The other also shows signs of wear .
Chris Parry

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Offline brucebanner

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Re: Possible Scottish bookends
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 06:55:58 PM »
A few close ups, you can see though how a cracked paperweight could be used.
Chris Parry

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