Author Topic: Webb's Alexandrite  (Read 3988 times)

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Offline Jim Sapp

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Webb's Alexandrite
« on: February 13, 2007, 11:38:03 PM »
Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any information on Webb's Alexandrite?  I am particularly interested in dates of production and any patent information.  According to published sources, I have it narrowed down to 1901-02 but would like to be more specific if I can.

Here is what I am trying to research:   http://www.fairy-lamp.com/Fairylamp/Temp/Alexandrite.jpg

Any and all help appreciated.

Jim
www.fairylampclub.com


Offline Frank

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2007, 12:09:30 AM »
Hi Jim,

I don't think that piece is Webb's Alexandrite, or at least not from that photograph. The highest edge should be blue from the side but if you look directly at this edge the richest chocolate brown colour will appear. One of the most stunning dichroic effects I have ever seen. The first reheating of the upper portion led to the amber body changing to red and the second reheating of the top of the glass changing to blue.

The only example I have handled of this very rare glass is actually shown on plate 38 page 316 of Hajdamach, British Glass 1800-1914. Unfortunately he only gives the briefest account and only suggests turn of the century. Perhaps 13 years on more information has come to light.
Frank A.
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Offline Jim Sapp

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2007, 12:19:33 AM »
Thanks Frank,

The top most color is indeed a deep violet blue.  It is very difficult to photograph, especially while sitting in my cabinet.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume it is Alexandrite.  All my reference materials only give minimal information.  I was hoping to find additional details of Webb's production. 


Offline Piper

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 04:35:58 AM »
I really have no light to shed on the subject. I just wanted to say, "WOW!!" That is one beautiful piece of glass!!
Never trade a diamond for a brick. No matter how bad you need a brick.


Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 04:45:40 AM »
I have only seen a couple of pieces of Webb's ALEXANDRITE.  One way to tell for sure if it is Webb's Alexandrite is to use a black light on it.  the pale yellow at the bottom will glow green under a blacklight.  Webb must have used a little uranium in their formula.  I have not found any other product that goes by the name of Alexandrite (and there are several) or amberina "wannabees" that will glow green.  This probably does not answer the question, but it is the only thing I can add to this discussion.
Dave
aka: Mr. Vaseline Glass


Offline nigel benson

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2007, 02:03:34 PM »
Hello,

This is NOT Alexandrite. It may well be by Thomas Webb, but it does not have the correct colouring - as Frank suggested.

There were 10 pieces in the two Michael Parkington sales back in 1997/98 - I handled all of them (Pt I - lots 281, 2 & 3; Pt II - lots 302, 03 & 04) I have owned three pieces, and have been lucky enough to handle others.

The correct colouring is: rising from citrine, going into rose pink, then into blue and, finally a chocolate brown rim. Most pieces are thin, which would probably make them unsuitable for such use. This would also suggest that the colouring on the night light is "up-side-down", since the rose pink is within the body and the citrine toward the rim. There appears to be no blue and it is doubtful that there is a chocolate brown rim from what can be seen in the photo.

True Thomas Webb Alexandrite commands substantual prices, so I don't think it is advisable to assume it to be that rare commodity. If the colouring for all four constituants is poor, or the chocolate brown is missing, then the value is commensurately (even substantually) less.

As for reference sources, I'm afraid little has been written about the subject. Yes, Hajdamach "British Glass", also, earlier, and with less accurate information, "Decorative Victorian Glass" by Cyril Manley - otherwise I cannot recall any other source at present.

Nigel



Offline Bernard C

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2007, 08:31:01 PM »
Jim — More sources, some with good quality colour photographs:-

From Woodward, H.W., "Art, Feat and Mystery" — The story of Thomas Webb & Sons, Glassmakers, Mark + Moody Limited, Stourbridge, 1978, p.32 (no illustration):-

Alexandrite

Alexandrite was one of the shaded glass-wares which became popular at the end of the 19th century, being a transparent glass shading, by re-heating, from yellow to rose-red and then to blue.   Corning Glass Museum, New York has a specimen as well as the Glass Collection at Stourbridge.

Webb's Alexandrite is not to be confused with that of Stevens and Williams, Brierley Hill, the latter having a body of transparent yellow, cased with blue and rose-red, which was cut to various depths by the decorator.


Also, from Gulliver, Mervyn, Victorian Decorative Glass — British Designs, 1850–1914, 2002, p.256 (with good quality colour photograph):-

A small punch cup ...  in Alexandrite ...

Also, from Newby, Martine S., From Palace to Parlour — A Celebration of 19th-Century British Glass, The Glass Circle, 2003, exhibition item No. 190 (with good quality colour photograph):-

190.  Thomas Webb & Sons 'Alexandrite' plate that is shaded from straw opal in the centre through fuchsia pink to blue at the frilled rim, ...

For the sake of completeness, S&W Alexandrite cameo is illustrated in R.S. Williams-Thomas, The Crystal Years, and in Sotheby's 3/3/98 sale catalogue of the RB collection.

Finally, I've checked Strange & Rare for Alexandrite, and I am reasonably certain that there is no reference to it.   I can't think of any other likely sources.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline pamela

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2007, 09:15:56 PM »
Please, Moser Alexandrite glass is something completely different (imho) - Do glass collectors indeed have the same name for different glass chemistry  :-\
Pamela
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Offline Frank

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 09:19:03 PM »
Very different Pamela, this thread is about Webb's Alexandrite.

Jim, might be an idea to try and get a better picture of your piece please. Does it have the chocolate brown edge effect?
Frank A.
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Offline pamela

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Re: Webb's Alexandrite
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2007, 09:46:40 PM »
I'm lost  :'(
Pamela
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Experience teaches that anyone who begins to collect in any field can feel a change in his soul. He becomes a joyful man filled with a deeper empathy, and a more open understanding of worldly things moves his soul.    (Alfred Lichtwark 1852 1914)

 

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