Author Topic: Scottish paperweight puzzle... ID = Caithness "Zodiac" Collection  (Read 4822 times)

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Offline Anne

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This one has an odd story behind it... I was given it by a friend who came to stay with me in London some 20 years ago. She told me that her then husband had been doing some building work for someone up in the north of Scotland and when it came to settle up for the work the client paid the bill with a box of paperweights. She said there was maybe 20-30 weights in the box, and she'd been giving them out to family and friends as presents. Mine was one of them... she didn't know which company had made them, nor where in Scotland her husband had been (up the top somewhere! was as much as she knew), so I was wondering, can anyone throw any light on this paperweight for me please?
http://yobunny.org.uk/gallery1/displayimage.php?pos=-59


Offline KevinH

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 01:32:58 AM »
Anne,

The weight is in the category which I call "interesting". I think it might be an early, non-production item from Perthshire Paperweights.

The central cane (which, as yet, I cannot find a match for) and the two other better quality ones have a Perthshire Paperweights look to them. And the general design of scattered canes on "lace" [a bit like the weight mentioned in the Ysart and Related Glass messages] was certainly a feature in their production ranges from 1971 onwards, although I believe these usually (always?) had the lace set over a coloured ground.

In the book Paperweights From Great Britain 1930-2000, John Simmonds illustrates a similar item to yours, but with a few more canes, including a "P 1969" cane, and which he describes as "very early undocumented spaced millefiori ...". 1969 was the start of regular production at Perthshire Paperweights.

The link in the story to "up the top somewhere" of Scotland could give the impression that the weights may have been made in that locality. But 20 years ago there were only two main makers "up the top" - Caithness Glass and Paul Ysart, both at Wick. I'll stick my neck out and say that your weight was not made by either of those.

Although it is probably not possible to find out now, it would be good to know what the other weights were like.
KevinH


Offline Anne

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 03:51:10 AM »
Thanks for the reply Kev, now you've set me wondering as well. Up the top of Scotland to my friend meant somewhere north of Gretna I think! In those days she hadn't ventured even as far north as Cumbria, so Scotland probably seemed like another continent!

I'd come to the conclusion that it's not Ysart after reading Frank's site and yours today. If it helps to know, the bottom is totally smooth - no pontil mark at all.  

I've no idea what the rest of the weights looked like, I only saw this one, and my friend doesn't recall what they were like either. Perth does ring a very vague bell, so maybe her hubbie mentioned to me where he'd been working - it's a long time ago and I can't really remember.


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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005, 09:00:27 AM »
Isn't that central cane the zodiac sign for Aquarius?


Offline Anne

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 05:29:01 PM »
Now you mention it, yes I believe it is. I hadn't thought of that before - I'm a Scorpio so not my sign. ;)


Offline RAY

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2005, 07:24:18 PM »
yep it is perthshire and a star sign, me and allan scott were talking about these weights about a month ago
cheers Ray


Offline Anne

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2005, 11:04:29 PM »
OK, thanks Ray, were these a regular production item do you know? If so do you know who made them at PP?


Offline KevinH

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2005, 11:13:08 PM »
Not sure of the details, but I think the Zodiac canes must have been in the last few years of PP. They are not shown in the book The Complete Guide to Perthshire Paperweights which was published in 1997.

And I have not heard any latest news on the proposed follow-up book, covering PP weights since 1997.
KevinH


Offline Anne

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2005, 11:36:04 PM »
Interesting, thanks Kev.I've had this since long before 1997 though - at least 15 years, possibly up to 20 years since my friend gave it to me. Could they have been tried earlier and then shelved perhaps?


Offline KevinH

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Scottish paperweight puzzle... =Perthshire NO Caithness
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2005, 12:19:18 AM »
Yes, that is interesting.

Maybe there was a range of canes and weights that were simply not mentioned in the book? Or maybe I will have to ask some more questions of those in the know?

But there's another possibility. I didn't mention it when the thrread was first posted because the closest thought was unproven and did not properly match the actual evidence ... What happened was that I had mentioned this "wavy line" cane to a member of the Paperweight Collectors Circle who is very knowledgeable on one-off Perthshire Paperweights items and also on variations on regular production items. He suggested it could have been a commission for a company and we tentatively thought about ICI, which uses a 'double-wave' Logo. But that logo has a different number of wave crests and I would have thought the letters "ICI" would have been included. It could still be a company logo cane, though.
KevinH

 

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