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A rare and possibly unique Monart cameo glass lamp

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These are rare but hideous and basically a failed experiment. They simply could not get the cameo to work with most of the trials shattering in the process. Previously I knew of 3 complete ones - this is only likely to be one of those or a new one. One other is in Japan (It was a gift to a Japanese ambassador) and the other still in the family.

Bases alone are also known, a few exist. I paid over a thousand pounds for a base alone - now in the Perth Museum.

I have had a few mails which show a wide range of attitudes about this lamp and thought it might be a nice idea to start a discussion here.

It may be appropriate for such a lamp to appear in a museum as a illustration of one direction that was attempted, but failed miserably, to add to the 'Monart' range. It has a historical interest but, is it a highly desirable example for a private collection? :?:

I bought the base as I wanted it to illustrate it in the book - which I did and then quickly passed it on to the Perth Museum. While it was at home it was displayed for a while but then went into a box as it looked out of place amongst the good Monart. Parkington did not want it either.

Is there any track record for failed trial pieces by Lalique or other noted glassmakers? :?:

Bernard C:

How do you differentiate between a trade sample, a failed trial, and an experiment that did not justify full-scale production?   Is it not the case that almost any rarity could be labelled a "failed trial", excepting, of course, specials such as de-luxe finishes, non-standard sizes, retailer exclusives, and other niche products?

I know of few items that can be categorised with some confidence.   Perhaps the best example is the Pompeian bowl, Reynolds plate 21 (ii), which, despite the caption, carries the earlier trademark "WALSH".   Only three such marked examples have been recorded, all of medium size and thus easily portable, unlike all other Pompeian not in the factory pattern books, and, thus, with every characteristic of being trade samples.   How would you classify the Jobling Open-Footed vase, #11600, the original with the open foot?   This is very rare, apparently because of production difficulties, and the mould was modified to close the foot but leave the sides open shortly after the original launch.   I imagine that Jobling would have described both versions as production items, but there is a temptation to label the early version a failed trial today.

Are there not some dangers involved in introducing terminology and classification today that may not have been used then?

Always remember the problems that Heacock & Gamble caused everyone, including themselves, when they renamed Opaline Brocade "Spanish Lace" (or Spanich Lace (sic) in two captions in my copy of Book 9!).   I have to smile over this as the pattern now always either makes me want to have a good scratch, or reminds me of a dark green vegetable artistically arranged over white fish!   And we are not supposed to mention those dreadful, twee names they gave to Davidson and Greener Pearline patterns, so I won't.

Bernard C.


--- Quote ---How do you differentiate between a trade sample, a failed trial, and an experiment that did not justify full-scale production?
--- End quote ---

In this particular case we got it from the horses mouth - so I did not define but reported. On the other hand, one of them was good enough to give as a gift to a dignitary.

Personally, I wish they had persisted as it would be nice to have had a range of cameo Monart. I suppose with the emphasis on Monart being as a sideline for the company, there was little motivation to take it any further.

The lamp sold for a hammer price of £4,000 which makes it the second highest auction price for a Monart mushroom lamp.

The highest was a surface decorated lamp, normal production that topped £5,000 over ten years ago.


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