Author Topic: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase  (Read 4393 times)

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Offline Frank

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2007, 04:23:21 PM »
Spring chickens really, Hartmann goes back to 1600 and Bayer were established in 1570. But it is rare to find any company that has such a history under one name or structure. Gets worse in the 20th C as so many companies disappear and just the name gets sold on. But Nazeing as such were established as a distinct glassworks in 1928. Certainly a great success story for the modern age of glass manufacturers.
Frank A.
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Offline Glen

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2007, 05:40:26 PM »
The only glass copies were one enamelled and a handful of printed ones in the 19th century. The most famous copy being Wedgwood's http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/grtr/ho_94.4.172.htm


What about John Northwood's? Neither enamelled nor printed. It was cameo and took him a reported three years to complete. His son, Harry, was also skilled at cameo glass work.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2007, 07:53:46 PM »
Weird I forgot that one Glen. It is of course illustrated on p205 of Hadjamach, British Glass 1800-1914.
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2007, 07:58:05 PM »
Egg in face 1 - Glen, read Stephen's original post.

Egg in face 2 - Frank, re-read Stephen's original post like you did the first time.
Frank A.
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Offline Glen

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2007, 09:58:26 PM »
I think we need to give John Northwood a bit more kudos regarding his incredible achievement back in the 1870s, and also put Stephen’s impressive and laudable aim into fuller perspective. John Northwood earned himself a place in glass history (well he did for me, anyhow) for his superb recreation of the Portland Vase. He is generally credited with being the first person to revive the “ancient” art of cameo glass (the original Portland vase is 2000 years old).

In the 1870s, Northwood was commissioned to undertake the work, which took him three years to complete. I believe that there was a heart stopping moment when the almost complete vase was washed in warm water and split in two. Fortunately it was mended and completed.

Almost seven years ago I visited Wheeling in West Virginia – the town that John Northwood’s son, Harry (also a famous glass maker) made his home, after leaving England. While we were there we were privileged to visit the home of the late Elizabeth (Betty) Robb, grand daughter of Harry Northwood and great aunt of David and Mary McKinley (David is the owner of the New Northwood Art Glass).

Miss Robb was a delight. She was a charming lady with fond memories of her grandfather who had obviously meant a great deal to her. He was a focal figure in her young days and she mused on the fact that even though he must have been very busy running the glass factory, he always had time for her. Particularly she recalled a time when the circus came to Wheeling and she stood hand in hand with her grandpa, watching the elephants go by.

The walls of Miss Robb’s house were adorned with Harry Northwood’s paintings and other mementos; precious memories from a by-gone age. But one special piece of art gave an insight into the real Harry Northwood, who was clearly his father’s son. The item in question was an exquisite cameo of Shakespeare that had been carved by Harry at the tender age of 22, just after he emigrated from England and set up his first home in the USA. It is a superb piece of glass, just an inch or two in height, with fine detail indicative of much patient work. The late William Heacock reported on this incredible item in his Glass Collecting journal (and also in his book on Harry Northwood). Heacock also noted that Berry Wiggins had found the actual document in an 1882 trade journal that described the item thus: “It surpassed in artistic design, fine workmanship and beauty of effect any work by any other process. Mr Northwood came from England less than a year ago and brought this new idea with him.”

The cameo was kept inside a showcase in Miss Robb’s home – she kindly unlocked it for me, removed it and carefully placed it in my hands. Truthfully, I was trembling. It was a privilege to hold the cameo – it fits snugly into the palm of one’s hand – and know that Harry Northwood actually held it too, while creating this work of art. We have a slide of Harry’s cameo but it’s not easy to show it here. The best photo I have seen of the item is in Heacock’s “Harry Northwood The Early Years” – you can see the little round box that it is kept in too.

If you’re interested in seeing Miss Robb and the McKinleys, here’s the photo we took:

Top row, left to right:
David McKinley (descendant of John Northwood) and his wife, Mary. On the right, Steve Thistlewood
Bottom row, left to right:
Miss Robb, and me (Glen)

http://www.geocities.com/carni_glass_uk_2000/Miss_Robb_Wheeling.html

Stephen, I wish you good fortune and much luck in this amazing challenge – you will be making footprints in glass history.

Glen
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Offline nigel benson

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2007, 02:16:55 AM »

It seems to me that there are potentially two threads here; one discussing the Portland vase and Stephen’s super idea to attempt Nazeing’s own version of the vase, and, another about the date of the origins of the company. The new date of 1612 must be a major breakthrough in knowledge about the company.

Yet, like the historians that have worked closely with the factory, I was under the impression that the Nazeing Company began in 1928 with the purchase of the farmhouse and land known as “The Goats”. Geoff Timberlake actually proved the links back into approximately the mid nineteenth century with the Kempton family that worked in the Lambeth and Southwark boroughs of London, but could not find any leads to take him any further back.

Has there been a breakthrough that takes the historical thread back to 1612? If so it would be great to hear about it in detail.

Below, in brief, is what Timberlake found and is taken from:

“75 Years of Diverse Glass-making to the World”,
G Timberlake, 2003:

Chapter 1, Page 1, Para 2: “At this point in time there was no history of glass making in the Kempton family, Charles Henry’s father was in the hat trade; therefore the son’s initiation into glass making must have been through his father-in-law (Henry Hall).”

Timberlake then goes on to say that there was a Henry Hall working at Whitefriars in 1837.

So does the company of Nazeing trace through to Charles Kempton (C1870), or to his father-in-law Henry Hall (1837)? Once the history goes into Whitefriars surely it is no longer the company of Kempton, nor by implication of the later, Nazeing Glass Works?

Chapter 1, Page 1, para 4: “The only documentary evidence that Charles Henry was ever employed at a Glass Works is found on the birth certificate of his third son, Richard where Charles Henry’s occupation is given as “Labourer in a Glass Works” (he left this employment in 1869 and set up a lamp warehouse business at 57 Oakley Street, Lambeth). It is possible that this (glass labourer) might be in the employment of James Powell and Sons, as Wendy Evans records ‘labourers’ at Whitefriars.”

Again the history begins within another company – again it is Whitefriars.

In another piece, written by R. Boville Wright, the first paragraph says: "Glass making has been closely associated with Vauxhall in Surrey for some 300 years, the original works being opened by Sir Edward Zouche in 1612. The factory seems to have had a varied history, but eventually became Dawson Bowles & Co., and was carried on under that name till it closed down at the beginning of the nineteenth century."

He goes onto say: "Some years later Charles Kempton (grandfather of the present Cedric A. Kempton), turning his attention to coloured glass making, opened a new factory in Wickham Street, not far removed from the original site."

This seems to be a geographical link and not a continuous historical link.

So the question I have is, Have you managed to prove the link back to “Sir Edward Zouche's factory 1612”, Stephen? This would be fantastic!!

Whether one or two threads, both are hugely interesting pieces of news.

Nigel

Offline KevinH

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2007, 08:21:39 PM »
The Northwood copy of the Portland Vase has been mentioned here.

But as far as I can see, nobody has mentioned Jospeh Locke's copy for Richardsons. This is covered in (at least) D R Guttery's From Broad-Glass to Cut Crystal - A History of the Stourbridge Glass Industry (page 143) and Christopher Woodall Perry's The Cameo Glass of Thomas and George Woodall (page 99) and, of course, Charles Hajdamach's British Glass 1800-1914 (explicitly on page 119).

Trouble is ... I don't think I've seen any text (let alone images) categorically stating that Locke's copy was in fact a cameo version of the same size and colours as the original.

Oh, and when it comes to copies, Northwood also produced one in clear glass with engraved scenes. And Richardsons made many transfer printed versions of the scene but applied to vases that were not at all the same shape as the Portland Vase (ref Hajdjamach).
KevinH

Offline Frank

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2007, 10:33:47 PM »
It seems the earliest copies of this vase were made in 18th century Rome by the Gem Engraver Giovanni Pichler. They were moulded, but I am not sure if in glass... ::)

Source: Cameo Incrustation isbn 0 933756 14 3
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Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2007, 02:46:45 AM »
Regarding old factories still in existence:  CRISTALLERIES ROYALES DE CHAMPAGNE has been in continuous operation since 1666, and glass has been made in that region since the 1300's.  here is a link to their history:  http://www.bayel-cristal.com/b_eng200.htm

Offline Frank

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Re: Now here is a REAL challenge! Portland vase
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2011, 10:26:57 AM »
Did Nazeing continue the project? Having seen another planned for 2012 in News section, http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,41681.msg231148.html#msg231148

Although now closed, there was one Czech glassworks that dated back to 1400s at the time of this thread.

Hopefully Nazeing version being in non-toxic glass of course! Now that would be a marketing coup!
Frank A.
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