Author Topic: Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)  (Read 3844 times)

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Offline Anne E.B.

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Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)
« on: January 20, 2007, 07:08:41 PM »
I got really excited when I spotted this - because of the optical effect when held to the light ;D  My first thoughts were that it was may be antique - may be Czech (because of the optic pattern).  It certainly has some age wear on the base.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/glassie/miscel-26.jpg
View taken of inside http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/glassie/miscel-27.jpg
View of knop http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/glassie/miscel-28.jpg

Mod: Anne has kindly uploaded these photos to GlassGallery:  See also her later posting on this thread.

http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-6917
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-6918
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-6915
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-6916

It has diamond cut facets with a row of scale cut ones at the top and at the bottom.  Tiny (tool?) marks can be seen on the curved tops of the scales - seen on the first picture. There are no seam marks.  Its quite large at just over 6" high, 3Ā¾" diam. opening and very heavy at 580g.  If this is a drinking glass, then may be for ale?  It has a really nice sounding ring when tapped.  The glass is not yellow in appearance but quite clear.

It has a polished pontil mark where a spiral can be seen. http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/glassie/miscel-29.jpg

I've been unable to find anything quite like it.  Any ideas about what it might be, maker and age would be much appreciated, in the meantime, I might just try it out... >:D

TIA ;)
Anne E.B


Offline Bernard C

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Re: Optic cut ale glass (?) Possibly Victorian ?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 07:36:50 PM »
 
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Anne ā€” What a wonderful find.   Yes, it's a rummer, but what a stunner.   It is of major importance.   I've never seen one before, nor had I ever suspected its existence.

 
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I had better explain.

On October 13, 1849, W.H., B. & J. Richardson of Wordsley near Stourbridge registered a design for a pressed glass tumbler with a slightly taller facetted pattern, see Hajdamach, British Glass 1800ā€“1914, pl.302(iii).   This would have been the first pressed glass design registration by a British glassworks known to us today, had Richardson's not been beaten to it by just one day, by Thomas Gammon of Birmingham, who registered your design on October 12, 1849.

To my certain knowledge there were just two patterns made under this registration by Thomas Gammon, a pickle jar with matching lid (Hajdamach, pl.302(ii)), and a footed jelly.   The jelly has the lozenge sideways on fitting snugly under the bottom row of facets.   The lozenge has III in the "handle", then clockwise from the top, S, 12, 6 (parcel number), B.    You will probably find that there is a faint registration lozenge in the same position on your rummer, but it could be unmarked, or it is just possible that it carries a different lozenge, as Thomas Gammon registered other designs around the time.   Hajdamach, pl.302(i) is a tumbler in a similar pattern.

Of course, only the top was pressed.   As the design finishes at the top of the facets, where there is a clear mould line (explaining the roughness at this point), the rim must have been vertical when moulded (otherwise it would have been impossible to remove the glass from the mould), and only flared after the addition of the hand-made stem and foot, and the subsequent transfer to a pontil rod.    I can't remember whether the main part of the mould was 2- or 3-sided.   On some early (1860sā€“70s) pressed rummers you get anomolies like eight pattern repeats split asymmetrically 2-3-3 around a 3-sided mould, but I don't think this is one of those.

Hajdamach's photograph was first published in the Glass Circle's Strange & Rare in 1987.   There is some confusing text in this book on this subject, and I am convinced that Hajdamach interpreted the evidence as I have done above, as he just omitted the confusing bits.   While Hajdamach is a superb reference, you will find that the book is also a model of diplomacy, with anything controversial like this omitted.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Bernard C

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Re: Optic cut ale glass (?) Possibly Victorian ?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 07:35:32 AM »
Anne ā€” Further musings.

Note that the complex and mature nature of the pickle jar and your rummer shows that Thomas Gammon was a glass house of considerable experience.   In both cases, press-moulding was used simply to provide an ornamental pattern and basic shape, as an alternative to hand-blowing using dip and shape moulds or hand-blowing with cutting.   There was still considerable hand work needed to complete and finish the product.   Press-moulding of this type became quite widely used in British glass houses, and survived, particularly in the Manchester glassworks, until the early years of the 20th century.

It was around a quarter of a century after Thomas Gammon's historic registration that major advances in press-moulding technology were introduced to British glassworks, almost completely eliminating the need for additional hand working, most notably in NE England by Sowerby, Davidson, Greener, and Moore.

See Hajdamach's chapter on pressed glass for more detailed information, including comparison with the generally earlier advances in press-moulding technology in the USA.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Anne E.B.

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Re: Optic cut ale glass (?) Possibly Victorian ?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 08:37:13 PM »
Bravo Bernard 8)  I'd hoped you would spot my query because I just knew if anyone could help, you would be the one :)

I'm amazed at the information you have given and delighted know that it is a significant find.  Does this mean that it is, what amounts to a museum piece?  Is there anything I should do with it....?  I haven't read the books by Hajdamach that you refer to, but will try to get my hands on copies.  This type of glass isn't my usual cup of tea, but this piece just jumped out at me when I spotted it on Saturday in the Salvation Army Shop. 

I've been unable to find a lozenge so far, but will have a real good look tomorrow in good daylight using a lens and will report back.

Many thanks once again - and much respect 8)
Anne

Christine - I think I'll wrap it in cottonwool for the time being ;D
Anne E.B


Offline Anne E.B.

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Re: Optic cut ale glass (?) Possibly Victorian ?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 03:43:58 PM »
Bernard, try as I may, I've been unable to find any markings at all.  My OH and son were unable to either.
Anne E.B


Offline Bernard C

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Re: Optic cut ale glass (?) Possibly Victorian ?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 10:01:29 AM »
Anne ā€” It doesn't surprise me at all that you couldn't find a registration lozenge.   Had you found one, it would have been found on other examples, and be well known.   Also thanks for your earlier kind remarks, but I can assure you that anyone who is reasonably familiar with English Victorian table glass would have told you the same;  I just happened to be the first to respond.

Your rummer is important because:
  • With the possibility of tumblers with ground and polished pontil marks being cut-down broken rummers, reducing their value as evidence, it changes the status of the Thomas Gammon registration from two items, a pickle jar and jelly glass, to a suite of tableware.
  • It also raises the likelihood of other unmarked items in the suite which have yet to be found and identified.
  • This would be the first registered suite of English pressed tableware, not just by a day, but by years.
  • With the mould lines, all of which are zigzags, all hidden in the decoration, it is evidence of a level of sophistication of mould-making that brings into question the traditional view that English glass houses were considerably behind their American competitors in pressed glass technology.   This view may have arisen from lack of substantive evidence about the early years of pressed glass here in Britain.   I have long held the view that suppliers of raw materials, machinery, &c., spread such information worldwide very quickly indeed;  it was, and still is, a core element of supplier sales and marketing strategy.
  • Your rummer is the first and only example known to me of a fully attributed handmade Thomas Gammon stem and foot.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot


Connie

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Re: Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2007, 10:24:31 AM »
I have been following this thread with interest because when Anne first posted I immediately recognized the pattern on the bowl as a popular American pattern but knew from the stem it wasn't American.

In the U.S., the pattern on the bowl is known as Georgian and it was made by all the major Elegant Glass factories - Fenton, Cambridge, Paden City, and later (or more cheaply) Anchor Hocking.

My everday glasses are Fenton Georgian in a deep ruby red from the 1930s.


Offline Frank

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Re: Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2007, 10:36:30 AM »
Which may contribute to the difficulty in finding other examples of Gammon, can you add an image for comparison please Connie.
Frank A.
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Connie

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Re: Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 10:53:00 AM »
Here is a picture of a Paden City Georgian goblet or high sherbet  You can't see the pattern very well on it because it is in a small area.

Here is a Fenton Georgian small whiskey tumbler

I will have to dig some more through my hard drive to find the picture of my everday glasses.  They are Fenton Ruby tall tumblers.  The tumblers are much more common than other pieces and all the factories that made this pattern made them.  They are extremely hard to differentiate.  You need to know if the are stacking or non-stacking, ground rims or not, exact height meassurements, etc.


Offline David E

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Re: Optic pressed ale glass = (Rummer) Thomas Gammon (Important)
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2007, 02:14:03 PM »
Just a slight query, Bernard.

I'm looking at Glassmakers of Stourbridge & Dudley 1612-2002, Jason Ellis [Xlibris Corp.] and he mentions a William Gammon, glass manufacturer of Aston, near Birmingham, in reference to a date before 1850. Of course, this could be a relation of Thomas, but I thought I'd mention this.

Edit: p.424
David
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