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Glass Identification - Post here for all ID requests => Glass Paperweights => Topic started by: SimonD on January 22, 2012, 03:58:25 PM

Title: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: SimonD on January 22, 2012, 03:58:25 PM
Does anyone have any ideas of the maker of this paperweight? It's quite large (3 inches) and has a concentric design - with a large central cane, a row of of distinct canes with a complex centre, then an odd 'verge' of green, with an outer row of alternating canes. All the canes are complex. They are set of a clear ground. The base has a large pontil which is recessed a little way.

I haven't been able to cane-match on this one. If I were to guess, I'd say this is Scottish, probably Ysart Brothers. The ring of solid green is something I've only ever seen in Salvador Ysart weights though usually have a lampwork design (eg carousel, butterfly, 3D flower) floating above.

I'd be tickled if anyone can shed any light on the age/maker!

Best wishes
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: tropdevin on January 22, 2012, 06:24:51 PM

I would certainly go with Scottish, Ysart family - but my money would be heavily on Paul Ysart, 1930s-1940s, given the purple tinge to the clear glass (an effect from too much manganese in the glass mixture, probably catalysed by exposure to the UV in sunlight). The green ground is consistent with Paul's work.  It looks too neat for Ysart Bros - but I'm sure Kev will have a more definitive view.

Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on January 22, 2012, 11:29:48 PM
Purple tint to clear glass is also seen in, at least, some Salvador Butterfly weights, so is not purely a possible indicator of Paul's work.

The canes in this weght match others known in Ysart Brothers items. In this instance I do not know of any of the canes in this weight also being found in Paul's work. The setting is, indeed very clean but many weights attributed to Salvador are of (almost) equaly quality to Paul's.

On balance, and also taking account of the rather odd-looking milky white bits, I vote for a Salvador-made weight. Probably YB period.

I think it would look good amongst my other Ysart bits - and I am always happy to receive presents. ;D
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on January 23, 2012, 10:26:37 PM
    Hello Kevin, if I add this to the "now" thread does it help or does it confuse more the analysis of which Ysart?
       If it doesnt help feel free to remove this posting. Regards Roger.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on January 24, 2012, 12:43:47 AM
Both weights have the same pattern. And both weights contain canes that are known in work from the Ysart Brothers period (and perhaps even pre-war years). But all of the canes in Simon's weight are known to me, whereas in Roger's weight I do not recognise the central cane, and the orange ground is heavily bubbled which is a feature I am uncertain about.

So I am still happy with my thoughts that Simon's weight is likely to be by Salvador Ysart and probably from the Ysart Brothers period, and Roger's weight might have the same attribution but could possibly be later. I would still like to know the shortwave uv fluorescence of Roger's weight.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: tropdevin on January 24, 2012, 09:35:34 AM

Hi Kev.

I am not arguing against your conclusions, but I do not quite follow some of the discussion in this thread.

If the two weights discussed contain canes that could be from the pre-war years, then surely Paul could have made them? My (possibly flawed) understanding is that Paul and Salvador worked together from around 1930 to 1946, when Salvador left Moncrieffs. I imagine that both would subsequently have access to canes made during the 1930 - 1946 period, which may well turn up in paperweights made by either post 1946.  We do not know how many paperweights Paul made prior to 1946, but it was probably a lot: even if he only made some at the weekends (say about 20 a week, about 50 weeks a year) then he could have made 10,000 or more before 1946.

It is easy to identify with confidence canes that Paul did use, but unless we rigorously inspect every one of those 10,000 paperweights (including the ones we do not know about....), then we cannot be confident about which canes Paul did not use in that period.  I doubt that many of us have seen 100 Paul Ysart weights from that period, and even if we have seen 1,000 that may only be 10% of his output. This is an example of the well known contrast between 'evidence of absence' and 'absence of evidence'.

On a related theme: Paul signed some weights with a 'PY' cane, but as far as we know he did not use a 'PMI' cane (he was born Pablo Moreno Isart). We have never heard of or seen such a cane. But unless you examined every weight he made, you could not rule out the possibility - whereas if you found just one example of it, you could say confidently he did use it. I think this is sometimes called the 'Black Swan theory' when applied in other fields.


Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: SimonD on January 24, 2012, 08:04:13 PM
Thanks Kevin and Allan and everyone else who's contributed to the discussion! Hope it's not getting too hot!

Without provenance, it might not be possible to determine an attribution. Balance of evidence is probably enough to form a working hypothesis, so long as you are prepared to change your view when further evidence comes along!

Aside from the canes and the design, are there any other factors to consider? For me (and I probably haven't held as many Ysart weights as Kevin), the shape of the dome seems much more similar to Paul Ysart weights than YB weights I've held, as is the height and lie of the canes. The pontil scar doesn't give much away, as I've seen similar ones in both Paul and Salvador weights.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on January 24, 2012, 09:25:13 PM
     Kevin, the colour observed under short wave is light green (smoky?).   This is my wifes observation as I see colours differently to a lot of people. 
       There was a program on the box recently I was told, which found out that different places of living change the colour perception of people. Living in the country, in the city, in the jungle etc made a noticeable difference.
        Regards Roger.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on January 25, 2012, 01:21:00 AM
Quote from Roger:
... the colour observed under short wave is light green (smoky?). ...
That sounds like it is the longwave result (from the type of uv light that most folk use), not the shortwave reaction.

All of the Ysart weights (excluding Paul's Caithness and Harland periods) I have checked under longwave uv show as Green, but can be various shades. All of the Vasart Ltd (1956 onwards) weights and all of the Strathearn weights I have checked also show Green under the longwave. Ysart weights from the periods mentioned show a shade of Grey under shortwave, but all weights from the Vasart Ltd and Strathearn years show as Blue under shortwave. Paul's weights from the Caithness years (with the exception of  a few special training items) also show as Blue under shortwave - but they are not Green under longwave uv.

So, if Roger's weight has a blue shortwave uv result whilst being Green under longwave uv, evidence indicates it was made after 1955 and therefore is not an "Ysart item". And for these purposes I refer to anything made by Vincent Ysart between 1956 and 1964 as being "Vasart" not "Ysart"). However, I suspect that a shortwave uv test would show Roger's weight to be "Ysart" - but without the check, and with that unidentified central cane, there is room for doubt.

Quote from Alan:
... I do not quite follow some of the discussion in this thread. ...
It's always difficult to cover the complex issues of "Ysart canes" in a few words - it's as hard as trying to be concise about the Walsh-Walsh-Old-English-Whitefriars conundrum! And I have still not made much progress with the possible article that I hinted at in another thread (which I can't find right now). I agree that it is not easy to draw a definite conclusion on some Ysart weights. But ...

I have said elsewhere that with additional weights purchased over the past few years I now have many more examples of very good "Salvador canes" but also that I now know that several of those can be found in some of Paul's work. However, where a "Salvador" cane is found in a PY weight, it is usually just one or two amongst many that are regarded as his own, and more often in closepack weights than in concentrics etc.

In Simon's weight all the canes are, in my opinion, of the "Salvador" type and as far as I know none are linked to Paul's work. That is a primary reason for my belief that Simon's weight is, on balance, one of Salvador's.

Maybe I will have submit a "buy at any cost" eBay bid in order to secure the weight for my own future analysis. :)
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on January 26, 2012, 12:11:35 AM
  Hello, good evening and welcome.  I have a long wave and a short wave light. The weight of mine is strong green under long wave and light green (smoky) under short wave. To me this denotes Moncrieffs at some time if your observations are correct?
         Under short wave I see light green with a hint of pink, but I am odd with colours. Roger.
     Do you remember me saying about the scrambled weight that Bernd has or had on his site with the orange crunchie ground and the slice of a PY cane in it. Of course that doesnt mean that Paul made the weight, it could mean that someone in the place made it and threw it into the end of day weight possibly without noticing it at all. The two orange crunchie grounds puts them in the same factory, but when I still can't be sure.
             Regards Roger.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: tropdevin on January 26, 2012, 10:01:57 AM
Hi Roger

You have hit the nail on the head when you say ‘I am odd with colours’.  That is one of the several majors problems with UV fluorescence as a diagnostic tool – different people see colours in different ways; it is a subjective assessment.  I disagree with my wife about what is blue or what is green when we get to colours near ‘turquoise’.  So descriptions such as ‘pale straw with a hint of pink’ are probably more appropriate to the catwalk than to paperweight attribution.  There are some significant differences between paperweights that most people would agree on, but you have to be very careful with interpretation.

The best way to study fluorescence would be to get a source of precisely known wavelength(s) – not just from some ‘black light’ made for security, philately, or mineraology – and a spectrometer to allow quantitative measurement of frequency and intensity of fluorescence.  But that is beyond most - if not all – collectors, unless they work in a relevant research lab.

Much detailed scientific work on fluorescence was carried out by an American professor (Woldemar Weyl) in the 1960s for the glass industry.  He found that the glass composition and trace elements affected fluorescence – as one would expect – but that other factors such as the annealing process and the gas composition in the glory hole also affected it.  I recall a paperweight meeting at which Dave Moir brought along several one-off weights he had made at Strathearn – the results of the UV tests led him to be assured that they had been made at more than one factory, whereas the UV differences were probably a result of variations in the manufacturing process.

One paperweight book says (and it gets repeated as if true) that most antique Saint-Louis weights fluoresce ‘coral pink’.  Mine don’t – but that probably means we used slightly different illumination for the tests.    I remain to be convinced that many of the results of UV testing are meaningful.

Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on January 26, 2012, 06:33:24 PM
Roger, thanks for your confirmation about having both longwave and shortwave uv lights. The "pink" part of your "light green with a hint of pink" may be a result of reflection of the glow of the uv bulb!

And thanks to Alan for the comments about problems with uv analyses, for which I will add something below.

However, your "lght green (smoky)" could tie in with what I see as "dusty grey". If that is true then I am happy enough that your weight is not from Vasart Ltd (i.e. 1956-64) or Strathearn (1964-80). Are you able to adequately separate "greens" and "blues"? If so, the quite strong blue under shortwave uv of Vasart Ltd & Strathearn would be clearly noted. If that is not the case for your weight then I would say it is not from those factories.

But in my experience, weights from the Moncrieff and Ysart Brothers factories have pretty much the same longwave reaction and also much the same for shortwave reaction. So it cannot be said that uv reaction can specifically indicate Moncrieff, as it could equally be Ysart Brothers (or even other factories, UK and elsewhere).

I have found that although difficulties occur with assessment of many uv reactions, in a number of cases the reactions are so different as to be a good indicator even if the actual colour or shade is not always easy to determine, or to agree person to person. It is the clear differences that help to a large extent with Ysart and similar weights. And it is the clear differences, not the alterantives in shades of colour, that I use to determine the likelihood of a Vasart Ltd or Strathearn weight as opposed to one made at the Moncrieff or Ysart Brothers works.

Alan is quite right that there are many difficulties with uv analyses. In 1969, Paul Hollister Jr. warned about the problem in his book, The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights where he commented on different colours seen for weights from known factories, whereas various people had assumed certain colours meant certain factories (such as "Pink / Peach" for St Louis). At that time the analyses were done with only longwave uv., but in the book, the actual wavelength was not stated (as far as I can see), nor details of the type of lamp used.

For the record, all of my analyses of Ysart and similar weights have been done with a mains operated unit (230 volt, used with UK 240 volt system) and having dual bulbs, longwave (365 Nm) and shortwave (254 Nm).

Another point that Hollister made was that, as an artist, he was well aware of the effect that one colour could have on an adjecent colour. Without going into detail, I can confirm that when I photographed weights under uv light, using one weight as a standard control with the analysed weight adjacent to the control, I occasionally noted that the control weight showed as a noticeably different shade! Hollister's comment may well expalin this.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on January 26, 2012, 11:17:54 PM
  Interesting and complex subject. See what you mean I think, if kept to the main definite colours it can be very useful for ID but if taken to shades of colours it could be misleading because of other factors needing to be in the equation, like uv light type, the persons perception of colours, surrounding colours and so on.
       My wife often says "its reflecting off the colours in the weight also".
   I can differenciate quite easily between blue and green but when it gets to turquoise then it becomes difficult to agree with my wife on the colour. Even some blues I can see a warm blue which means to me it has 1 or 2% red in the mix.
        Last time I looked Simons weight was doing quite well on the auction, I'll have a look in a minute. Will say simons weight is better made than mine, but I like the orange crunchie base colour in mine.
                Roger( the revisionist).
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on January 29, 2012, 10:10:06 PM
   Well somebody bought it at all costs, its a nice weight but it would have to be signed and dated for that price for me. Would anybody like to buy one similar with an orange crunchie ground?????????????????????????
         Roger (the realist).
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: SimonD on February 12, 2012, 02:23:38 PM
I have a Paul Ysart scramble paperweight which has a not too dissimilar bubbly ground...
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on February 12, 2012, 05:19:12 PM
Simon, why do you belive the scramble weight is one of Paul's?
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: SimonD on February 13, 2012, 08:47:49 PM
Hi Kevin - I think my scramble weight is by Paul largely because its similar design is similar to those ascribed to Paul in books. I haven't been able to cane match, but no canes immediately jumped out to me as Salvador canes, or even Ysart Brothers. (I've handled a Salvador/YB scramble in the past, and it was very different.)

Here are a few more photos
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on February 14, 2012, 12:12:08 AM
Thanks for the additional photos, Simon. I agree - no "Salvador canes" that I can see, so I agree it's one of Paul's.

The yellow ground does show some bubbles (holes), which is something I hardly see at all in my own PY weights. But the bubbles/holes are not as extensive as in Roger's (*) example.

(*) I suppose I should now say "my example" as it was me who pressed the button on Roger's eBay listing.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on February 14, 2012, 12:30:05 AM
And now that I have the weight that Roger showed, I can add a photo of it against another "holed-ground" weight I have. The weight shown against the ex-Roger one has an orange ground almost the exact shade of the other and although it does not show too many obvious holes from the top view, the oblique view photo does make it clear.

The canes in the "Catherine wheel" design weight can all be matched to other Salvador / Ysart Brothers work and the design has been seen in at least three Inkwells of the typical Salvador/Vasart type and at least two other weights. (That design, however, was not generally known until a few years ago when all the items seemed to almost appear at once! But they are all genuine, so no worries there.)

I have also added another weight with a bubbled/holed orange ground (albeit a much darker orange). This, of course, is a Roundels design and having no outer cane between the roundels is a Salvador version.

From this evidence, I vote strongly for Salvador Ysart as the maker of the ex-Roger weight and also of Simon's weight which kicked off this thread. ... Oh, and one other thing ...
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on February 14, 2012, 12:47:52 AM
... I will now admit to having a weight that I have not shown publicly since I bought it. It came from the USA, via eBay some years back. From the top view, it shows basically the same pattern as in Simon's and the ex-Roger weight. But check out the side view - it is the only one I have seen like it! I have been waiting for something similar to appear but so far it has not.

Perhaps this domed example was a forerunner to the standard millefiori version of that pattern. Or maybe it was just a whimsical variation at much the same time as, or even later than, the others?

The canes in the outer row have suffered a lot of movement in the section shown in the side view photo. The large central (top) cane is one of the so-called Salvador ones. The yellow cane with black centre is an example of those found in items by both Paul and Salvador. The powdered green element is unusual as it is used solely as a "side" decoration - the actual regular ground is a very powdery looking white.

The pontil scar does tend much more towards Salvador as the maker and the powdery white ground adds to that as, so far, I have not seen it used by Paul but it is known in several pieces by Salvador, including an Inkwell that was very recently sold on eBay.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: Roger H on February 14, 2012, 11:38:53 PM
     Hi, did you notice the similar type of use of the two colours for ground in figure 51 of John Simmonds reference book in a Salvador weight? Roger.
Title: Re: Id help for Concentric Paperweight
Post by: KevinH on February 15, 2012, 12:24:41 AM
Good observation, Roger.

I had forgotten about that 3D Butterfly weight illustration, showing a full green central section, which is probably overlaid directly onto the regular colour ground.

The main difference with my domed weight, though, is that the green is a "wrap-around" fill between the rows of canes. However, the powdered white does show as edging to the green and also to the inner/upper row of canes - but not around the central cane, which looks to be set on a fully clear section.

I also have a Salvador Ysart "Upright Flower" with a green inner ground and two rows of canes, looking like the base section of many of his 3D Butterfly weights. But in the flower weight there is no main colour ground (i.e. it is a clear ground), so the green section really is just a central layer.

These variations in ground styles extend the possibilities of collecting themes for Ysart weights. I wonder what we will find next. :)