Author Topic: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus  (Read 5327 times)

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decanterman

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Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« on: April 07, 2004, 07:01:42 PM »
I am looking for any information about Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus, who operated tne Graystan glassworks in Battersea, London, in the 1920s and '30s. I understand that she also operated a glasshouse making Lalique-esque glassware in northern France before opening Graystan.

She wrote a book on 'Irish Glass', published around 1920, and ran an antique shop in the Brompton Road, London. It has been widely suggested suggested that she made fake 'antique' Irish glass and sold it through her shop. However, as the suggestion goes, she was protected from the legal consequences of her fraud by her mother, the ballerina and opera house dame, Ninnette de Valois.

I would be most grateful for any information that would some flesh to those bones, please.


Offline aa

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Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2004, 09:59:16 AM »
Decanterman, in common with others, you are probably finding the comments about anonymity and registration more than a little baffling.

To put things in context, there are a number of very helpful and knowledgeable people dotted around the world who happily spend their time answering the questions posted on this board, and most of them prefer to identify themselves, when they reply. They also prefer the questioner to identify themselves as well.  
However, the debate about registration, if it is to be continued, would be more sensibly conducted under a separate thread and for those who wish to discuss it further I am posting a separate topic.

As for your search for more info on Gray- Stan, this link may help you find out some more about this rather obscure, yet fascinating topic  http://www.glassencyclopedia.com/Graystanglass.html

So far as I know there have in the past been very many mis-attributions in respect of Gray-Stan......it is very rare. This may have had a bearing on the scarcity of replies to your posting. Presumably you have a decanter, which may be Gray-Stan? Any possibility of posting a photograph?
Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
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Offline Andy McConnell

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Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2004, 11:30:46 AM »
Thanks for the explaination and direction to the site suggested.

Some clarification appears necessary in view of the strange reaction to my request for info. My name is Andy McConnell and I am a full-time writer/historian/journalist/researcher specialising in glass. My book, 'The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650', will be published by the Antique Collecors' Club next month, and will be the largest volume it has ever published. The result of seven years full-time research and writing, it comprises 150,000 words illustrated by around 800 mages of around 2,500 examples on 600 or so pages. I also write reguarly for a variety of magazines.

That said, and having read EG-S's bio posted on the glass encyclopaedia, there is more more to the lady in question that meets the eye. It appears almost certain that she was a faker as when the collection of one of her best customers, Walter Harding [acquired from her shop at a cost of £13,000] was sold at Sotheby's after his death, it raised a total of £900!

At her speech to the Royal Society of Arts in 1926, she vehmently denied having been a faker but admitted owning old Irish glass moulds and having tried to replicate the hue of 'old Irish glass'.

I understand that she embelished true antique Irish glass with 'improved' cutting and engraving and made new pieces. The Bodlean Library's example of her book, 'Irish Glass', has a sticker on the cover that states; 'Use with caution, contains many factual errors'. The book contains some real stinkers as illustrations, including some ramshackled chandeliers and a canoe-shaped bowl without its stand and polished off, yet presented a legit.

Her nefarious output was entirely aside from her Graystan production, which was clearly legit and which I am not questioning.

That said, and hoping not to provoke some any further angry responses, I would love to receive further info that adds to the above. Does anyone know, for instance, anything about the glasshouse that she is said to have operated in Normandy [?] to produce Lalique-esque glass before starting up Graystan?

Further, was much Graystan glass cut and engraved? The few examples I've seen look Monart-esque, with swirling motted colours but no cutting. And yet she employed at least one cutter at her works, as I understand it.

With fingers crossed.....
Andy McConnell

Author 'The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650', Antique Collectors' Club, June 2004.


Offline aa

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Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2004, 07:32:38 AM »
Eagerly awaiting the publication of your book. Welcome to the board. I'm surprised we haven't had already a zillion decanter based questions for you to answer, but don't worry... they will come! :)
Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
For information on exhibitions & events and to see images of my new work join my Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/adamaaronsonglass
Introduction to Glassblowing course:a great way to spend an afternoon http://www.zestgallery.com/glass.


Offline henry

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Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2004, 08:18:22 PM »
decanterman
Dame Ninnette was the daughter of not the mother of Mrs G-S.
Good luck with the search
PS  The book is brilliant.


Offline angel2

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Re: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 11:45:42 AM »
 :angel:

Andy: Ninette not Ninnette (sorry, spelling police!  :no:) Again sorry but know nothing of your glassmaker.
Love & respect you on A.R.S. Any time you need a proofreader, I'm available! (seriously), (really seriously).

angel2




Offline Frank

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Re: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 12:18:26 PM »
Although Andy is well aware of the full story now, for others there is a good account in Hajdamach 20th Century British Glass and a little detail here on my site http://www.ysartglass.com/Otherglass/Graystan.htm
Frank A.
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Offline Kevin B

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Re: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 09:16:18 PM »
I am not sure if anyone is still interested in this subject, but I think I have a Graydon-Stannus fake.  It is a plain Cork Glass Co. decanter.  If you have it, it is obviously not 200 years old, but at the same time I don't believe it was made last week.  Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. I have attached to photos, one showing the base with impressed Cork Glass Co.


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 10:35:46 PM »
I think the whole story is intriguing and very interesting - that said I don't possess any known pieces from this lady's output.      For the ignorant like myself Kevin, you don't explain why this might be one of her fakes?         Do I understand from what you are saying that your decanter, whilst having the Georgian blazes, lozenge stopper and neck rings, doesn't have other necessary qualities i.e. wear and colour perhaps, which it should to qualify for c. 1810? :)


Offline Kevin B

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Re: Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 03:51:09 PM »
Exactly that, it has a small amount of wear on the bottom, but not enough for 200 years no matter how well cared for it was. The surface of the bottle is too clean, all my other period decanters have masses of wear when you hold them to the light.  The colour isn't the bright colour of modern glass, but isn't quite right, and the thing that kills it for me, is that against white paper you can tell what is wrong with the colour.  It is just faintest hint of blue, which smells like a total rat to me.  None of my other Irish decanters have that colour.  I have some that have a hint of blue but I would say it was very masked under gray, where this is just blue.  The really old glass books tell you that Irish glass has a blue tint, but newer books tell you this is BS.  Back in the 30s that myth wasn't yet busted.  Everything else about the way it is made is perfect for the period.  Slight striations in the glass, the odd small bubble, the peg of the stopper snapped off. It is just like a perfect Cork Glass Co. decanter should be.  This is not a copy in the style of, I have plenty of those, so can tell those straight away.  This is trying very hard to be like the real thing.


I have not heard of any such decanters flooding on the market or anyone else having made fakes like this.  The slight colour undertone makes me think it must be pre-WWII, as all my post war books talk about that being a myth or don't mention it.
Kevin.

 

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