Author Topic: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?  (Read 1255 times)

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Offline Glassic

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Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« on: January 28, 2007, 10:33:45 PM »
I have some of this stuff and have never been able to give the design a name.
Any clues would be a much appreciated, the matching decanter is barrel shaped with a top hat look when the stopper is in place.
 http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-4762

Offline Cathy B

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Re: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 11:12:09 PM »
All I know about Grimwade Crystal is that it:

- was an offshoot of Crown Crystal, starting in the early 30s (Marjorie Graham, in Australian Glass of the 19th and Early 20th Century (sic) put it at 1932 but there were ads for it as early as 1931;
- Early stemmed blanks were imported from a company in Scotland but cut in Australia. They were advertised as Grimwade Crystal, "every piece of which is made from start to finish by Australian craftsmen at the works of the Crown Crystal Company, Sydney". This was raised in Parliament as false advertising, and earned them a visit from the Minister of Trade and Customs. WJ ('Gunboat') Smith assured the Minister that the blanks would be made in Australia by the end of that year (1931).
- The company was named for the Grimwade family, who had co-founded the Australian Glass Manufactures Company Limited;
- They continued manufacturing through until sometime in the 1950s, but the section was closed down briefly during WWII.

There is a catalogue that I can view, but I gave my copy to a friend without keeping a copy (thinking at that time that I would never be interested in Grimwade). Give me a few weeks and I may be able to get another copy. It may or may not have your pattern, and as far as I'm aware the patterns have not been named yet.  

Offline Glassic

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Re: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 12:15:10 AM »
Wonderful, thanks Cathy, you have stirred the grey matter somewhat. All hearsay, but I was told a little of that story. Many notations to my crystal got cooked on some very old computer discs.
I was told that during production not all of the pieces were etched and no lead crystal was produced after the war but again, hearsay!
I do have a bunch of bowls and a cake plate of a simple diamond cut if you know anyone keeping records!
... and I just looked up that book... Yikes... too rich for me! Look forward to hearing more. 

Offline Cathy B

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Re: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 02:25:00 AM »
Most of this has come from old Sydney Morning Herald articles, government files and ads, and Australian Glass only has sketchy information on the company. I'd originally thought that production stopped during the war, but there are definitely ads which come from after the war - but whether they were just cutting imported blanks again, I personally don't know.

Going back into the files, there are so many complaints about quality, some of which are quite amusing. They had a contract from 1934 onwards with the Australian War Memorial to make cut glass ink bottles for souvenir desk sets, the bases of which were made from the salvaged deck of the (first) HMAS Sydney, which had sunk. Of the first 94 bottles they made, 12 were rejected as having "blemishes in the glass, rounded instead of sharply cut edges, badly shaped insides, or very small openings," (according to J.L Trelour, Manager, Australian War Memorial, dec 1934). Another 16 were held back as having the same defects, but not as noticeably. In addition they were all different sizes so that the teak had to be cut to match each bottle. All of which is interesting (to me) but doesn't really help with your decanter, does it?

If you can wait a week or so I'll see what else I can find.

Offline Cathy B

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Re: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 02:39:16 AM »
Hi Glassic,

Sorry about the delay!  Your glass appears in the 1934 catalogue. It has a cut pattern number 72. I assume that the base has a row of broad cuts like the bottom row of the US Georgian pattern? If so, the blank tumbler shape is called "Georgian", and it came in 5oz, 8oz and 10oz sizes.

Can you post a picture of the decanter? There are different shapes with different names, such as Phoenician etc.

Hope that helps.

Offline Glassic

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Re: Design ID on Australian Grimwade?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 04:46:27 PM »
Will do. Thanks.

 

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