Author Topic: Terminology a step to one side...  (Read 492 times)

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Offline Frank

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Terminology a step to one side...
« on: January 15, 2007, 09:23:58 PM »
Not wishing to dilute a useful thread... and also it touches on the comment of collecting ideas in 1934.

There have been huge changes in collecting in the twenty odd years I have been at it... let alone 50 years. But 20 years ago only a handful looked at any English glass after 1900 as being worth a look. Manley was one of these but just re-reading some of the nonsenses he wrote in 1968 is quite laughable.

1. Sebastian  ::) Ysart and his four sones, working in Spain, discovered a way to make aventurine glass. The description then continues they they had made a 'new' discovery of controlling enamels suspended in glass. A feat never before accomplished  :o

2. Mr. Moncrieff while on a package tour (my exaggeration of vacation) to Spain in 1923 bumped into the Ysart's by chance and being desperately short of work to keep his employees occupied, hired the Ysart's on the spot.  :-\

3. Vasart was clumsily engraved with "Vasart"...

He did mention the paperweights but not in any detail. Worst he seemed to recognise two types of Monart, a commercial range and an Art range, while talking about Vasart he seems to imply that only the commercial range had a raised pontil mark.

Ref: Monart & Vasart Glass by C C Manley, Spinning Wheel magazine July-August 1968.

All the more remarkable in that it was written while Strathearn was still running and far more accurate information could have been readily obtained. Yet the logic of hiring 5 Spanish glassblowers at a time that he could not keep his existing staff busy seems to have eluded him.

My early efforts to learn about glass were highly frustrated as few dealers were even willing to discuss such modern junk, I actually got verbal abuse more than once. Victor Arwas was refreshingly different although he had not really researched this side of the Channel and his shop was mostly stocked with the French glass-makers Argy-Rousseau, Marinot, Schneider and of course Gallé and Lalique.

How our world has changed!
Frank A.
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Offline KevinH

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Re: Terminology a step to one side...
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 11:20:51 PM »
And to add to those points, it is very commendable that Cyril Manley did not repeat those early errors about Monart / Vasart when he wrote Decorative Victorian Glass (first published 1981). Instead, within that book, and across the wide range of glassware he covered, he gave his reasons for much of what he stated particularly where he knew it was not the general opinion of others. So, in that respect, some 10+ years on from the Spinning Wheel articles, it certainly appeared that Manley had gained new information and presented it as such.

However, those of us who like reading the older works must always take care to understand that some of what was stated may not be accurate, but that without reprints or new writings on the same subjects, we may not be aware of what was and was not factual. And in that respect, things have not changed ... except that we now have forums like this and other internet sites to help us more quickly recognise the mistakes that still get through.

Returning to Manley's earlier writings, here's part of his minimal comments on Monart / Vasart as given in Collectible Glass Book 4 - British Glass, published by Wallace-Homestead Book Co., Second Printing 1978:

"... To the best of my knowledge, Monart was never signed, but always marked with a gold paper label."
We now know that some Monart is signed with an acid mark. But at least Manley was good enough to point out that it was his best knowledge at that time.

"... Vasart, made by the Strathearn Glass Co, Ltd. City Glass Works Crieff, Scotland c. 1947"
This shows the ease with which information can become distorted, perhaps through editing, typographical error, or just poor review. An original copyright notice gives 1968 as the year in which I suppose the book was first published. By then, Strathearn Glass had been registered as the new company name (out of the former "Ysart Brothers" and then "Vasart Ltd" companies) for at least three, if not four years. But Manley seemed to state that items of Vasart made in c. 1947 were produced by Strathearn!

These examples can give us all a big hint at what to be careful about when we put anything in writing, even if it is just general comments in an internet message board.

By the way, I think that had Cyril Manley been with us now, he would have loved this form of communication and would have been one of the main users of the GMB. ;D
KevinH


Offline glasstrufflehunter

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Re: Terminology a step to one side...
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2007, 05:37:11 AM »
I was noticing in a Selman auction catalog from a few years ago that they had an old Fratelli Toso paperweight marked as "Fili Toso" because of a signature cane in the weight. Looking at that cane it reads as a contraction of Fratelli -"F.lli". Even in modern works the information is not always accurate.

I would like to write a book on Murano paperweights but I know I will be starting largely from scratch. I hope I will do justice to the subject. And I will certainly be picking brains around this place.
I collect Scottish and Italian paperweights and anything else that strikes my fancy.

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