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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: drewfind on October 11, 2017, 03:43:29 PM

Title: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 11, 2017, 03:43:29 PM
Hi
I have a plain red/crimson goblet from the e.varnish mercury glass range. It is, as far as I can find, quite rare, the only other monochrome piece is a blue one, also classed as rare.

I have taken it to one of our larger antique shops, and the chap I spoke to said he felt priveliged just looking at it, and asked me for a few more days to research it, he has yet to contact a few more of his colleagues, and asked me too also carry on researching.

Can anyone help please? I will try and add a couple of pics, but last time i tried it told me my file was too big.

I look forward to hearing from you all, many thanks
Andrew
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 11, 2017, 04:32:11 PM
Hi drewfind, welcome to the GMB.

If you have not already found our Help thread for resizing pics, please take a look:
TECHIE TIPS: Resizing images to fit the board (http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,34093.0.html)

If you still have problems, please add a post saying what the difficulty is. Or send me your images in an email via the envelope icon below my username on the left and I will sort out the resizing for you.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 11, 2017, 10:49:26 PM
hello Andrew - welcome to the GMB :)                  If you have temporary problems uploading pix, we might still be able to offer some help in the form of information related to the details on your lozenge.
Assuming you can read the details, you might tell us the figures/letters, starting at the top.
1849 ish is early, and falls into the first of two dated periods for lozenges  -  the first covers 1842 - 1867, and the second is 1868 - 1883.   
Circled at the top of the diamond, and placed outside you should find a Roman III (glass is classified as Class 3).          Within the diamond, at the top there should be upper case letter for the year  -  to the right will be a number indicating the day of the month  -  at the bottom will be the parcel No.  -  finally, to the left will be upper case letter indicating the month.

of course you may already know all of this.           Hope you can decipher the details.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 12, 2017, 09:47:17 AM
http://www.antiquecolouredglass.info/Mercury%20varnish%20glass.htm
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 12, 2017, 11:55:37 AM
thanks for the link.               I'm sensing that there might just possibly be a mis-use of the word lozenge here  -  could be wrong, and no doubt someone will confirm whether it's recorded or not that mercury glass is known to have included a Registration lozenge.
Whilst most pieces with a diamond lozenge are of the pressed type, cut glass and other forms have also been recorded on occasions, but I'm wondering if this particular reference to mercury glass should read 'seal/plug', rather than lozenge.

I don't seen any mention of a lozenge in the link, neither do I see any reference to Powell in the years 1849 - 51 in the list of B. of T. Registrations.
I notice that C.H. says  .............  "Some authorities give James Powell and Sons as the probable makers, but there is no conclusive proof."  -  although Andrew Lineham seems confident enough to say "Some of the finer glasswares were made at James Powell's Whitefriars glassworks."

At the time perhaps it was considered sufficient that a patent was adequate to protect this invention, rather than a Registration.

Over to you Andrew :)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 12, 2017, 12:10:12 PM
yes, suspect 'lozenge' may mean the impressed mark on the lead (?) plug in the base rather than a date lozenge Paul.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 12:24:39 PM
I think lozenge is the wrong term after all, seal/plug is the term used in the glass museum. The seal is round, London across the top, E.Varnish along the bottom and patent across the centre.

There may be more marks but I can't look at them until I collect the piece back from the antique house where it is being researched.

I hope this is of more help?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 12, 2017, 12:32:55 PM
thanks for the clarification Andrew :)  -  so ignore all my waffle in reply No. 2.            Probably best to avoid using the word lozenge, unless we are referring specifically to the diamond shaped Board of Trade Registration lozenge, thingy.           Anyway, great piece to have found, congrats.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 12, 2017, 12:44:56 PM
or any other diamond or rhomboid shape...
Title: E.Varnish pic
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 01:32:18 PM
My wife has also found some initials etched into the base

I will try and load the pics again as my wife has resized them on her phone

The initials are E&E , and they are above the E.Varnish seal, to the right, is this also to be expected?

[Mod: Image rotated for easier viewing]
Title: Re: E.Varnish pic
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 01:33:12 PM
this is the base
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with lozenge, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 12, 2017, 02:36:40 PM
Hi Andrew,

I have sent you an email about the resizing of images but I see that you have succeeded with your pics ... well done.

I have merged your second thread with the first and changed "lozenge" in the initial heading to "embossed seal".
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 12, 2017, 02:42:15 PM
really difficult to tell but the other way up i.e. as per your base photo, the initials look like B3 or possibly B B3
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 02:44:06 PM
I think it is an old script E & co , not E&E, I will try and get a better pic
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 02:52:34 PM
The new pic will have to wait until I collect it , sorry, we have 2 of the same pic
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 12, 2017, 02:56:49 PM
I will add some summary info soon, covering the Christie's South Kensington sale of "The Parkington Collection" 1997/8 in which a good number of "mercury glass" items, in several colours, were included, some of which attained twice the upper estimate.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 12, 2017, 03:51:02 PM
I suppose one might then say  ..................   Mercury Rising  ;D               Don't know that auction house Kevin [ * ]  ;) ;D

I meant to add earlier  ................   looking in Leslie Jackson, there's nothing in the index mentioning this type of glass coming from James Powell mid C19, although authors other than Jackson were responsible for the essays for that period.

[ * ] Spelling error corrected after reporting myself to myself.  :D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 03:57:13 PM
Hi Kevin,The Christies info would be appreciated, many thanks

Hi Paul, I have had a look at the archives at the V&A, and they attribute the inventors as Halewood and Varnish, with James Powell as the manufacturers
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 12, 2017, 04:26:25 PM
Andrew, can you explain exactly what it is that you have been looking at in the museum, please.    Do they provide a source of provenance for this attribution?               They may well have discovered some important piece of historic documentation for this assertion.
Halewood and Varnish we know of -  as the patent holder/inventor - they are well documented, but as far as I understand they were not manufacturers.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 12, 2017, 04:31:26 PM
ah, I can't see that even if I turn it the other way up but that might be because the script is mirroring/reflecting a second set of script off the internal layer of glass perhaps?

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 12, 2017, 07:20:58 PM
Hi Paul

I went into the V&A website, click on the collections icon at the top of the page, you will then find a page with loads of different pics, and there is a search box to the left if you type in e.varnish it comes up with the 4 they have in their collection, there is also a link on that page that takes you into more detail, even down to wages and glass orders for the James Powell factory.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 12, 2017, 11:18:05 PM
General info on Silvered Glass (also known as “mercury glass”) from the sale of The Parkington Collection (parts I and II) at Christie’s South Kensington, Oct 1997 and Apr 1998.

The sale included 6 Lots of silvered glass items by Hale Thomson and 20 Lots of silvered glass by Varnish & Co. There were a total of 525 Lots for Part I and 477 for Part II covering glass from the 18th century to modern times.

For Part I, each Varnish & Co. Lot included the wording “impressed disc”. For Part II, the wording was “inset disc”.

Of the Varnish & Co items, colours were Amethyst (3 Lots), Blue (5 Lots), Green (4 Lots), Lime Green (1 Lot), Pink (1 Lot), Red (3 Lots), Ruby (2 Lots) and “Yellow lined” (1 Lot). Most of these were decorated with geometric or floral cutting.
   
Most of the Varnish & Co. Lots made higher than upper estimate figures for the hammer price. A selection of every 4th Lot across both auctions shows a reasonable example of details and prices:

Part I (approximate hammer price calculated from total price including buyers premium + VAT)
Lot 266 Pink vase 7.5 cm high (3 inch); est. £200-300, hammer price £440
Lot 271 Blue vase 31.5 cm high (12.4 inch); est. £800-1,000, hammer price £2150

Part II (actual hammer price)
Lot 244 Ruby ring stand 13.5 cm high (5.3 inch); est. £200-300, hammer price £450
Lot 248 Green vase 23 cm high (9 inch); est. £500-700, hammer price £850
Lot 252 Amethyst vase 30 cm high (11.8 inch); est. £1,500-2,500, hammer price £3,500

The vase of Part II, Lot 252 was the one to achieve the highest hammer price. Lot 275 in Part I came close at approximately £3,130; this was a Green vase standing 29 cm high (11.4 inch) and included Prince of Wales Feathers in the decoration and was estimated at £1,200-1,400.

Overall, the 20 Varnish & Co. Lots (some being pairs) had a total hammer price of approximately £23,300 against a total high estimate of £14,600.

How those auction results would compare for similar items today is unknown to me. All I know is that when I handled several of those items at the viewing I was surprised at their weight which was much greater than I anticipated. Generally, very fine pieces of glass to have in the hand.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 13, 2017, 09:02:46 AM
Hi Kevin

Thank you very much for your endeavours. This info will make sure that I don't give it away.

I'm sure you can tell that I am relatively new at this, so would you say I am better selling private or via auction, and if auction, which auction house would you suggest I approach?

I have some more items to collect over the next few weeks. Other then the mainstream big boys like Lalique, Daum, Galle etc, what glassmakers are off the radar, but sought after?

Many thanks
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 14, 2017, 11:34:51 AM
Update for those interested

Antique house has confirmed incised initials/mark with further investigation going on this coming week via Christies, Bonhams and the V&A the train of thought being that this was a trial/sample piece as the form of the glass is also unknown.

If anyone has anymore information regarding this form, please leave me a message.

Many thanks
Andrew
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 14, 2017, 05:09:15 PM
Quote
... would you say I am better selling private or via auction, and if auction, which auction house would you suggest I approach?
The dealer who is doing the research for you is approaching some of the best people likely to be able to help. I have very limited knowledge of current "best ways" to sell. All I would say for now is that those main auction rooms can probably more easily attract "mainstream collectors", but given the ease of internet information on what is available at provincial auction rooms (particularly ones that have specialized "fine arts" sales) those outlets should not be overlooked.

Quote
I have some more items to collect over the next few weeks. Other then the mainstream big boys like Lalique, Daum, Galle etc, what glassmakers are off the radar, but sought after?
I have absolutely no idea.  :)

Quote
... the form of the glass is also unknown.
I am not sure what that means. Is it the overall shape, the way the colour is applied or the manner of cut decoration (looks like possible cut spirals to me, but would need better photos to see what it really is), or something else?

(I will now move this thread into the British & Irish forum.)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: MHT on October 14, 2017, 06:13:19 PM
Re the number scratched on the bottom, if you look hard you should find the same number scratched on the 'plug', I believe it was a way of matching the two. I have the same thing on a green Varnish & Co salt. There is more about this in Manley if anyone has a copy to hand.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 15, 2017, 09:10:09 AM
I am not sure what that means. Is it the overall shape, the way the colour is applied or the manner of cut decoration (looks like possible cut spirals to me, but would need better photos to see what it really is), or something else?
Update for those interested

Antique house has confirmed incised initials/mark with further investigation going on this coming week via Christies, Bonhams and the V&A the train of thought being that this was a trial/sample piece as the form of the glass is also unknown.

If anyone has anymore information regarding this form, please leave me a message.

Many thanks
Andrew

The cutting on the shape is lovely - there are cut diamonds/curved triangles? all around the rim if I can see correctly and also there might be vertical panel cuts on the body, as well as the spiral cuts around the body and foot.

It reminds me of Bohemian cut goblets for some reason.
I wonder if it was cut by a Bohemian glass cutter?

Would it be possible to put a clear large photograph up please? Many thanks. 

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 15, 2017, 10:46:12 AM
Hi all

The etching to the base is to be further investigated.

MHT thank you for the information regarding the numbers to your base. I do not have a copy of Manleys glass book, and know very little about antique glass, this is my first foray into it really.

Its all in the hands of the dealer, I'm just trying to learn more.

Flying free, my apologies, this is the largest file I could send, when (and if) I get it back, I will take some more close ups for details.

Once again, thank you for your input

Andrew
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 15, 2017, 11:01:21 AM
hello Andrew, and thanks for your reference to the V. & A. collections and their pieces of Varnish mercury glass  -  good to have someone that does actually use this free and marvellous source of information, and I've now had a look at the museum's on line data - and pix -  for these pieces.

But, regret to say I am far from convinced that by simply adding comments such as  ..............   'attributed to James Powell'  or  'possibly made by James Powell'  -  that this is somehow definitive and unquestionable proof that E. Varnish patented pieces of mercury glass were made by Powell.
It's perhaps unfortunate that the museum haven't included the source of their information for this assertion  -  although to be fair most folk wouldn't be interested in that extent of detail.

The V. & A., certainly in past years, offered a drop in surgery once a month - on something like a Tuesday afternoon - and the public were invited to take along their glass for possible id  -  this may still be the situation.             Perhaps one of us should pop along and ask if they might share their provenance for the Powell attribution. :)

P.S.    Assuming this piece is your property still  -  very much hope you do get your glass back, eventually ;D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 15, 2017, 11:52:51 AM
Paul I agree with you.
It would be great to have the original reference source for the  'possibly' made by James Powell.

I've also wondered where the 'English Mercury Glass' was made.

Of course I can see that it was patented here but is that the same thing as being made here?
If it was a design and making idea that was patented here that might stop other makers here making it, but would that patent apply to America or Bohemia?

m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 15, 2017, 12:44:22 PM
There is a red monochrome one sold in May here
http://cotswoldauction.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yXssRgneo7A/WQs9x43pL-I/AAAAAAAADwg/SUpKsQoCDHMSHbvMzjRzLCoMu8op95lkwCLcB/s1600/original.jpg

Much plainer than your version and not a beautiful shape like  yours.



There are also five monochrome green versions on the net - both much plainer shapes than yours.  Two I think are Varnish,one I don't know as can't get through the link to the description and another Hale one here

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Rare-Hale-Thomsons-Patent-Green-Silvered-Mercury-Glass-Faceted-Goblet-Varnish-GB-/253170940688

and here
http://www.stylendesign.co.uk/guidepages/estoz.html

This one is blue cut to silver but is a similar shape to yours for comparison, and is described as a Campana form

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/reeman-dansie/catalogue-id-srree10000/lot-60edd3a8-1017-46be-913e-a3f500ec4962

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 15, 2017, 01:35:58 PM
Hi Flying free

That's excellent, thank you.

I looked at them all, but I still can't find the diamond cut moulding to the rim

I might phone the V&A, and as Paul suggested, go and have a look through what they have. I am wondering if the different designs were like lost leaders, throw a few out and see how they do.

I also agree with Paul that the "attributed to" and "possibly made by" James Powell statement to be very vague, as the records in the V&A also show the workbooks for the Powell company, and there is nothing there referring too commissioned pieces, trial pieces etc.

What other prominent glass makers were there trading at that time? Anyone got any clue please? I will do the donkey work, just point me in the right direction

I have found there are quite a few of the cut through items on the market, the closest so far being the link the Flying free has sent me, any more would also be appreciated.

Many thanks
Andrew
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 15, 2017, 01:37:38 PM
I am also pleased to say, that the item being offered on E-Bay has a scratch on the surface, while mine is immaculate ;D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 15, 2017, 02:23:53 PM
yes, agree it would be very satisfying to discover the maker/s of such pieces  -  when you think of their importance, rarity and attractiveness, it's amazing that this information on this silvered/mercury glass remains elusive.       I notice that C.H. also mentions W. LUND as a third patentee.            With hindsight, do we think James Powell to have been a likely contemporary maker to whom the patentees might have offered their invention for production?  -  the answer is, possibly yes, and it's this 'possibly' that in some people's minds wins the day.      Like another London house, Apsley Pellat, Powell was a highly respected maker at that time, and both companies no doubt had the skill to produce such material  -  it's just that positive proof seems hard to come by.              If you read C.H. (pp. 269 - 271) you can see the difficulties involved in  making silvered/mercury glass.
In view of the efforts by the patentees, to protect their invention, then do we think it's fair to say that in the U.K. this type of glass was truly new and a novelty, and not just a rehash of an earlier design?               From what I can gather, U.K. glass houses in mid C19 like Powell and Pellat - more so than say the Midlands group of makers  -  seem to have been keen on historic designs - think of the Venetian revival and on toward Salviati and art nouveau  ............    so might they have turned their noses up at novelty glass such as this, especially as it was far from easy to make?             Just thinking out loud here.
Being vastly less than knowledgeable about such things, I'm not qualified to comment, but find it difficult to support the Whitefriars attribution if for no other reason than the depth of research into that maker appears to have failed to find proof - but who knows. :)

Generally, if you are a patentee, what is the likelihood that you will be the manufacturer also?          Don't know - but it's a fairly safe bet that there's always a percentage of inventions that are related to both, but certainly being the patent holder doesn't automatically imply you are the maker as well.          I know we've discussed before to what extend a British patent or Registration - in the C19 -  gave design protection outside the U.K.  -  the answer is probably not a lot.

Coming back to Kevin's details about the auction of Michael Parkington's pieces of this glass  -  he did have a lot of this material and obviously purchased very wisely  -  maybe he had an astute and well informed adviser ;)  -  at any rate M. P. looks to have been trying to corner the market in the stuff.
My personal thoughts on the Christie's sale catalogues (two sales separated by over half a year), is that they were being economic with the truth in the matter of information regarding the family tree of this glass.           From what I can see, all pieces are stated to be from either Varnish or Hale Thomson - this might lead the unwary to imagine that these companies were also the makers  -  but then perhaps you shouldn't be at such auction houses if you didn't know otherwise. ;)

I might try and speak to the V. & A. and see if anything more specific can be discovered about the alleged Powell connection for this glass.
     
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 15, 2017, 03:59:06 PM
MP was not the first person to have a large collection of these pieces.
An actor prior to him also had a large collection from something I read.  (some got broken in  a shelf accident).
I wonder if some of MP's pieces came from him?

I wonder if the Varnish /Hale T glasses were made in Bohemia?  I'll just put that out there
 ;D
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 15, 2017, 04:31:51 PM
 ;D   nothing ventured, nothing gained.

C.H. says (and abbreviating a little)  ..............   "  ...   the majority of pieces from Varnish are scratched in diamond point with a No. appearing on the glass plug and on the foot.    Meaning of Nos. is unclear and don't always match  - but must have been used to assist worker in some way to match the seal to the opening"
C.H. uses the word 'must', so obviously feels confident about that statement.     

My reason for saying this is to query whether folk here might know if the script of these Nos. appears as Continental, rather than British - there is, usually, a difference.            The answer to this question might settle m's question.

Hear that Keith  ................   'shelf accident'  ......... ;D ;D

P.S.     don't think I have Manley any more, so don't know what he wrote about this material.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 15, 2017, 05:15:08 PM
I might also try a different approach, maybe looking at technical and industrial advances that might point to certain companies that had the facility to make such a product at the time.

I have read that mercury glass was being produced from 1840, but can neither remember where or if any company names were mentioned in the article.

It would be logical for the inventors to approach an established and competent company, as I have said, the workbooks for Powells shows no exceptional orders, or any indication looking into new ventures. Something like this would have been noteworthy I am sure?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 15, 2017, 06:32:02 PM
Paul keeps mentioning the word design. Can I just point out that that a patent doesn't protect a design. It protects an invention, which is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 15, 2017, 07:42:48 PM
thanks Christine - apologies if I have lapsed into wrong usage.             It's true that on the GMB the word design is reserved, usually, for an item that is a variation of an already existing invention  - milk jug, vase, salt etc., and possibly items that don't in the main have patent protection?        These new designs were/are Registered with the Board of Trade, and allocated a Registration No., but obviously are not patented as new inventions.           
Quite where the line is drawn between a new design which is simply an artistic/aesthetic variation, and something that is considered an improvement on the original invention, and thus more suitable for patenting, I've no idea. :)   

P.S    email now sent to the V. & A. requesting details of origin of the suggestion of James Powell as maker.           Their automated reply comments that they intend to reply within 30 days.   
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 16, 2017, 02:06:21 AM
I may have found the original source of J. Powell being said to be the maker of blanks glass for Varnish & Co. (and perhaps (Frederick) Hale Thomson).

The info has come from a meander through:
Manley ... Decorative Victorian Glass
Hajdamach ... British Glass 1800-1914
Haanstra, Bowey, Lytwyn, (Glass Museum Online) ...Mercury Glass - Silvered Glass from Europe (http://www.theglassmuseum.com/mercury.html)
Ending up with ...
Evans, Ross & Werner ... Whitefriars Glass ... as referenced in the Glass Museum article linked above

The reference in the Whitefriars book is to: "Beard, Mayall et al ... Tallis's History of The Crystal Palace ... 1851, P82"
I am not sure if the page number refers to Beard etc or to Talis's tome. But the basic info is: "indicated by a note in Tallis's History ... " which makes the claim that most of the glass was provided by "Messrs Powell & Co, Whitefriars".

I tried searching Tallis's History ... (it's available online), but my keywords were unsuccessful. Maybe that is a task for "m" (flying free)?

The Glass Museum article makes a positive statement that Whiterfriars Glassworks was the provider of the glass. However, the text in the Whitefriars book does not explicitly state that. Rather, it gives the information about the note in Tallis and goes on to offer additional information as to why Whitefriars Glassworks could have been the provider - based on consistency of colours of the glass used to case the "Mercury Glass" items.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 16, 2017, 02:10:48 AM
And a cople of other links for interest ...

W. Lund Ink Well  (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/fieldings-auctioneers-ltd/catalogue-id-srfi10026/lot-f8b7bb13-bd4a-47e3-b803-a44a00f710a2)

Varnish & Co Paperweight (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/stroud-auctions-ltd/catalogue-id-srstr10046/lot-b5485d76-3d7f-4fd2-8148-a5fc00bd3f09)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 16, 2017, 03:01:38 AM
Just for completeness ...

In Reply #25 Mike said:
Quote
Re the number scratched on the bottom, if you look hard you should find the same number scratched on the 'plug', I believe it was a way of matching the two. ...  There is more about this in Manley if anyone has a copy to hand.

And in Reply #35, Paul said, with regard to the numbers:
Quote
P.S.     don't think I have Manley any more, so don't know what he wrote about this material.

Having reviewed Manley's book for references to Varnish & Co etc., I can say that I saw no information about "matching numbers" relating to the "plug" used for Silvered Glass items.

So, Mike, were you thinking about a general reference to "bottles and their stoppers" or was it specific to "plugs"?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 16, 2017, 03:32:01 AM
Another point to clarify:

From the source material I have been through, it seems that everyone takes it for granted that (Frederick) Hale Thomson was a partner to Edward Varnish, at least in 1849 when the Patent for [whatever] was granted. Is there anything to confirm that?

For example, In the Evans, Ross and Werner Whitefriars" book, it is stated in context of the Crystal Palace 1851 Exhibition:
Quote
... Mr Varnish and Mr Mellish, Hale Thomson's second collaborator ..."
This could suggest that we accept that Mr Varnish was Mr Thomson's first "collaborator" and all ties between Thomson and Varnish were broken when Thomson began collaborating with Mellish.

Put another way, do we know when the Hale Thomson impressed plug was first used and was it in collaboration with a) E Varnish b) Mr Mellish c) neither of the preceding?

From the information I have seen I am thinking that "a second Patent of 1850" taken out by Thomson was when his own embossed plug was used. But is that correct?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 16, 2017, 06:36:25 AM
Paul you are still confusing design and patent. Design merely concerns its form, patent is about what it is used for or how it is made, i.e., function NOT form.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 16, 2017, 08:47:18 AM
Dear Christine  -  obviously I misunderstood the implication of your words  -  please be gentle with me. ;)         

Kevin  -  does the info. from C.H. -  in my reply in post No. 35 - not help you with the matter of scratched Nos.?

Fieldings description of the maker/type of their 'W. Lund & Co. varnish glass ink well', is surprisingly poor, assuming it was in fact their choice of words  -  no point in contacting them as the item is no longer available, and they seem to have an aversion to replying to my to requests for information.         Perhaps you are intended to fill the ink well with varnish? :)

Kevin's extract from Tallis's History etc.  ...      " which makes the claim that most of the glass was provided by "Messrs Powell & Co, Whitefriars", could well be the sort of comment that might start the ball rolling and make for permanent mis-attribution.         Not that subsequent researchers all delve back into archives  -  rather it's the usual scenario whereby statements that sound as though they have some legitimacy of fact are simply repeated in later books etc.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 16, 2017, 09:46:51 AM
I think some digging is needed in terms of who made this glass.
If there is no pattern book or concrete reference then ... well ... too many assumptions have been made in the past.

Do we know for sure that E Varnish and Hale Thomson were dealers/suppliers/retailers etc but NOT makers?
That would be my first question.

If the answer is that they were NOT makers then someone else did the making.  And at the moment there is no concrete evidence as to where they were made.

Also if E Varnish applied for a patent and then H Thomson applied for a patent later, what exactly were they patenting?  What process?  Their names both appear on double walled cased glass.  Not together but as separate patents.

Also, was any English (?)  'mercury' glass made after the pieces with the Varnish or Thomson plugs in them?
If not why not?  I think there was Bohemian 'Bauernsilber' or 'mercury' glass made after the 1850s.  (need to double check my references for that but I'm pretty sure there was).
Also American versions - I'm sure I've seen some dated post 1850s.

I'm not near books or able to research anything for a few days now unfortunately. 

m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 11:05:07 AM
I think the problem I am coming up against, is the fact that all roads will lead back to the V&A, and the information that is there, simply because they would have acquired a piece or pieces after the Great Exhibition 1850, and therefore, the information prior to 1850 would be of very little concern for them?

I have however some news for you ALL, E.Varnish, 48 Berners Street, 1850 Exhibit stall 27!, showing plateaux,vases,salvers in silvered glass, glass globes,ornamental stands and so on........

Powell & Sons, Whitefriars Glass Works, Exhibit stall 31! painted and patent pressed glass for windows. Glass pipes with patent joint. Chandelier with glass pump and same joint.

 This is taken from the list of exhibitors and CLEARLY shows that they are not only unaffiliated but manufacture completely different products.

I WILL state that E.Varnish not only invented and patented it ,with Thomson at first, whom he seperated from after the 1849 patent, to then register his OWN patent, to allow him to manufacture and display at the 1850 exhibition.
This will also explain why some have Hale Thomson and some Varnish seals, the difference in some people saying there are numbers inscribed and others letters.

I apologise to the V&A, and all others who were under the impression it was James Powell who manufactured for Thomson and Varnish!!

But, I solved a riddle

Any comments peeps?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 16, 2017, 11:22:48 AM
I'm not sure you have clarified anything because the address for Varnish, 48 Berners Street, was Hale Thomson's address in 1845 and he was a surgeon and presumably an investor! See  here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0mU3AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA199&lpg=RA2-PA199&dq=E.Varnish,+48+Berners+Street&source=bl&ots=pzrkdplWOj&sig=prfysNT9JSchSfpBB-GDGUoG3mc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMqeLagfXWAhWMExoKHc0IDT0Q6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=E.Varnish%2C%2048%20Berners%20Street&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 11:48:12 AM
Of course I have,lol, If Thompson-Halewood & Varnish were working together as a company in 1849, they would have exhibited as that in the Great Exhibition 1850.

Varnish exhibits on his own, under his own company name
 
I think that's a little more definitive than "possibly by" or "attributed to"

This can all be checked.

Actually, I could not find Thompson exhibiting anywhere
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 12:56:51 PM
I tried to find Varnishs partner in crime, and this is all I could come up with

F.H.Thompson, 10 Brandon Pl, Glasgow....Works in precious metals, South Gallery, stall 25, but it's a Thompson with a P, and an address in Scotland, so either they had 2 shops and a misspelled name or Hale-Thomson did NOT exhibit at the Great Exhibition.

I have only looked at the two areas I would think would be reasonable to achieve the end product, maybe Thomson is somewhere else, but he is not in Glass, nor Precious metals.

There were over 15000 exhibits.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 12:57:59 PM
Of course I have,lol, If Hale-Thomson & Varnish were working together as a company in 1849, they would have exhibited as that in the Great Exhibition 1850.

Varnish exhibits on his own, under his own company name
 
I think that's a little more definitive than "possibly by" or "attributed to"

This can all be checked.

Actually, I could not find Thomson exhibiting anywhere
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 02:26:02 PM
If anything, Hale-Thomson broke from Varnish and either sold his patent to Powells, or allowed them to manufacture under licence.

It makes no sense that a company already set up to manufacture tubular glass, candlesticks, chandeliers etc. to change course, drastically,
add the elements of danger and expense, set up a new processing area, requiring new staff, new equipment etc, and all post 1850, to finish by 1855.

By what else I have read, the manufacturing process only lasted between 1845-1855, this is a relatively short time span, for an established company like Powells, to not only undergo a post 1850 transformation, but to also manufacture the same product for two different patentees?

I will probably go with my initial thought at the top.

Over to you
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 16, 2017, 08:11:11 PM
Before I add any other comments, I need to admit to some misspellings of "Thomson" in previous posts - I used the form "Thompson".

My main reason for the error was that I was adding posts at 3 am, which was probably not a good way to ensure accuracy. However there are some instances of the same mistake being made in the literature I was researching - probably either because of type setting errors or because of an error in the source information. One such case is in Hajdamach British Glass 1800-1914, page 54 where there is a reference to:
Quote
... the silvered glass of Varnish and Hale Thompson ...
and that was the first index record I followed up.

I will amend all such errors in the previous posts (not only in my text). And I will check for occurrences of "Hadjamach" too (I often get that one wrong!)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 16, 2017, 09:07:30 PM
I'm confused by drewfinds posts - sorry I'm tired, but I'm finding it hard to follow the thread.

I don't think we can make assumptions when trying to work out who manufactured these items.  In the past assumptions may have been made based on best evidence available (no internet, very hard to find original sources etc)  but as Frank would say I'm sure, without pattern references or an original source you cannot definitively state a maker.

As an aside I thought I'd add this link to a vase in the V&A - I found it quite intriguing because there seems to be conflicting information in the description.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

Firstly it says it's a Hale Thomson, F. vase. 
But then under info it claims the inventor as Thomson ... and then inventor as E Varnish. 
And the vase is inscribed E Varnish & Co Patent London.

So where exactly does 'Hale Thomson, F.' feature in this? 

Then it says 'James Powell & Sons (manufacturer) ' but also says:
'Place of origin: London (probably, made)'

Did James Powell & Sons manufacture outside of London?
If James Powell & Sons did manufacture outside of London then I can see how the query on place of origin arises. 

If JP&Sons did not manufacture outside London then how come the V&A don't know whether or not it was made in London if they are sure it was made by James Powell & Sons?


(has anyone ever seen another James Powell & Sons vase that looks like this by the way?)




Then there is more information under the V&A heading Materials and Making where they make two points :

1) 'The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849.'
and

2) 'A number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks. '


Source info V&A:-
'Vase
Hale Thomson, F. Enlarge image
VaseVase
Explore related objects

Category

Glass
Vases
British Galleries
Style

Victorian
Name

Hale Thomson, F.
James Powell & Sons
E. Varnish & Co.
Place

London
Gallery

British Galleries, Room 125c
Collection

Ceramics Collection
Vase

Place of origin:
London (probably, made)

Date:
ca. 1850 (made)

Artist/Maker:
Hale Thomson, F. (inventor)
James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)
E. Varnish & Co. (inventor)

Materials and Techniques:
Ruby and white glass, silvered

Museum number:
CIRC.248-1965

Gallery location:
British Galleries, Room 125c, case 3'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 16, 2017, 09:27:02 PM
1) Second confusing example here in the V&A
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3409/varnishs-patent-goblet-hale-thomson-f/

This one doesn't call Hale Thomson and Varnish the 'inventors' but calls them the 'patentee' instead.


It also claims the patent was from both Hale Thomson and Varnish and ran from 1849-1860:
'Descriptive line
Goblet, England (probably London), possibly made by J. Powell and Sons under the patent of F. Hale Thomson and E.Varnish, 1849-1860'




2) Then there is this last one pictured:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2949/varnishs-patent-vase-hale-thomson-f/

Note that both of the above examples say in the header 'James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)'
 but then under the detailed descriptions merely say:
'...possibly made by J. Powell and Son ...'




3) There is one more example with no picture that mentions only Hale Thomson:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3599/varnish-patent-goblet-hale-thomson-f/
Again at the header they say Manufacturer James Powell & Sons but under Description it actually says:
'Descriptive line
Goblet, England (probably London), patent of F. Hale Thomson, attributed to J. Powell & Sons, 1849-1855, C.23-1961 .
'




There are three more searching under E Varnish.  This one with a picture:
4) http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3080/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/

Also only attributed to James Powell & Sons

'Descriptive line
Glass Vase, England (probably London), patent of Varnish & Co, attributed to J. Powell & Sons, 1849-1855

Production Note
Attributed to James Powell & Son'





and two more with no picture also saying 'attributed to James Powell & Sons':

5)   http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3203/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/

and this apparently paperweight:
6)  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3537/varnish-patent-paperweight-james-powell-sons/



That's an awful lot of possibly made by's and attributed to's ?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 16, 2017, 10:06:17 PM
............  and now you deserve to go to bed. ;D         I think it's very confusing of the V. & A. that they give conflicting info. within the same page and for the same item.       I agree, they start by making a definitive statement, and by the time you've reached the end they become vague and use words like possibly and probably.

I've always thought that one of the most important aspects of archive information is the reference source for a given attribution  ...........  the vast majority of us, including academics, don't have the time or resources to spend months ploughing through reams of academia to locate an important but difficult to find data.       It's also a dangerously possibility that with the passing of time even the museum will forget or lose track of the source of their attribution, and the greater the passage of time, the greater is the likelihood that people will be less able to research archives to find attributions for historic material.

I think I'd tend to agree that perhaps Andrew was getting himself a little confused  -  not difficult with a subject such as this  -  and it helps sometimes to stand back and try to simplify what we know to avoid overcomplicating matters.

second time I've amended this post. :-[             you'd think that it was easy to convey facts - but obviously not, and probably too much woolly thinking giving rise to confusion.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 16, 2017, 10:09:23 PM
yes :)  I do .

There is a page on the Glass Board about Mercury glass here:
http://theglassmuseum.com/mercury.html

On that page it states that Edward Varnish and Partners were retailers and glass dealers and says
'... their glassware was made at James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks in London (and possibly elsewhere).'

It's slightly confusing in that the '(and possibly elsewhere)' could infer that James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks was in London AND elsewhere ...  (I know there are authorities on JP&Sons who will be able to clarify this point hopefully)

or ...

 it could read that the glass was made at James Powell's Whitefriars Glassworks in London with the '(and possibly elsewhere)' meaning  glassworks other than JP&Sons.

Ok, for anyone who just read this post, I've just corrected it!  there IS a reference source in that article:

Source:  ' Evans, Ross and Werner  Whitefriars Glass: James Powell and Sons of London page 30' !!



However -

Charles Hajdamach says in British Glass 1800-1914 (1991, reprinted 1993) pp271:
'These firms were retailers and dealers and the glass was made for them, presumably, at one of the London glassworks.  Some authorities give James Powell and Sons as the probable makers but there is no conclusive proof.'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 10:57:32 PM
I'm not confused, maybe I am having trouble getting across my point.

There are 2 different seals, one Varnish the other Thompson, why 2? from the same company (Powells)

Why would E.Varnish use Powells, when their company was already manufacturing and exhibiting at a time when Powells were not, if Powells were already making silvered glass objects, why did they not exhibit alongside Varnish?

Why was Hale-Thomson not mentioned in either stall exhibits description?

I understand that there are loads of books, etc, but the information that nearly everyone refers too is the same as the V&A, attributed too, and possibly by.

There seems to be little evidence that Powell was involved prior 1851.

Only 4 stalls separated Varnish from Powells at the Great Exhibition, I should imagine that could have been first point of contact between the two companies.

Check out the exhibitors list for 1850, page 127, Glass, scroll down too 27, then look at 31, you make your own minds up.
Also, while you are there, try and find Hale -Thompson on any stalls.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 16, 2017, 11:22:40 PM
Ok, to make it more confusing, I went back again to check, I zoomed in and there is "pat" at the end of the Varnish introduction?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 16, 2017, 11:23:11 PM
Quote 'Why would E.Varnish use Powells, when their company was already manufacturing and exhibiting at a time when Powells were not, ...'

Drewfind some of your information may be very useful in drawing evidence together on who actually made the glass.
But where is your evidence that E. Varnish were 'already manufacturing ...' glass?

The evidence from other sources says E. Varnish were retailers and dealers, not that they were the manufacturers of the glass:
one source being Charles Hajdamach (British Glass 1800-1914) pp 271.  Charles is a noted authority on glass http://www.hajdamach.com/

If there is a source that says E. Varnish was a manufacturer of glass could you quote the source please?

Many thanks
m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 17, 2017, 12:32:50 AM
Just a small addition to the questions:

Some sources state that J. Powell, as makers of the mercury glass, provided "blanks" to the retailer / dealer (such as E. Varnish) and it was they who poured in the silver nitrate solution and affixed the seals to the base. But was the cutting part of the "blanks", or was it outsourced to yet another "maker" somewhere?

Nobody in the books mentions the design and working of the cutting!
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 07:22:18 AM
Kev in your sentence here - when you said 'they' did you mean the retailer?

'Some sources state that J. Powell, as makers of the mercury glass, provided "blanks" to the retailer / dealer (such as E. Varnish) and it was they who poured in the silver nitrate solution and affixed the seals to the base. '


Question 1:
And if the seals were affixed after the solution had been poured in, and the solution was poured in by the retailer, then who made sure the holes in the bottom of the glass, and the exact size of the seals, fitted together perfectly, so they could be sealed perfectly after the retailer had poured the solution in.  I'm sure I have read in relation to 'English silver glass'  that the seal was made to fit the glass hole left and that a glass seal was then placed over the named seal.



Question 2:
To which end, are every single one of the the Hale Thomson patent, E Varnish Patent and Lund patent seals marked with scratch numbers to match numbers which have been scratched into the bottom of the glass piece?




Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 17, 2017, 07:42:12 AM
Can anyone tell me what was the Lund/Mellish patent?

These two were associated with Thomson, Varnish and Powell.

I still think that E.Varnish glass was either made or finished inhouse, or another glassmakers, not Powells, as it does not make sense that these two companies would exhibit two entirely different products at the Great Exhibition?
Powells were showing glass pipes and joints, while Varnish was showing silvered glass. This was, at the time, an eye catching product. You exhibit to catch the eye, why are these two unaffiliated in 1851?

There are 2 James Powells exhibiting glass, one is in the Strand, the others Whitefriars. Does anybody know anything about this other company?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 17, 2017, 07:53:40 AM
There is nothing in Leslie Jackson's edited collection of essays 'Whitefriars Glass - The Art of James Powell & Sons', to suggest that Powell's were involved with this material, neither does Jackson provide indexed links for any of the names being used here.        Unfortunately, I don't have the bigger W/Fs book so can't comment as to whether that volume does or doesn't reference any of this material or names mentioned above - perhaps someone is able to check the larger book please.          Something as distinctive as silvered/mercury glass would surely have warranted a mention somewhere along the line in one of them, even if Powell themselves weren't involved in the silver nitrate side of things.

What are the sources of your comment Kevin that Powell cut the blanks of those pieces that were later filled with silver nitrate by retailers/dealers (E. Varnish, for example).         

It's not perhaps easy to assess a makers full range of output as long ago as the mid C19, so we have to rely on people like Jackson etc. to publish their findings and hopefully give us a balanced view of what was being made then, and with this author it looks to have been apparent from both the b. & w. and colour pix that cutting was virtually non-existent at Powell's around that time.             The fashion seems to have been almost exclusively for Venetian, Roman and medieval styles  -  none of which show cutting - although believe there was some wheel engraving in the form of ferny pteridomania.            Perhaps they'd been listening to Ruskin. ;D

Were there other big London names that might have been more inclined toward cutting do we know?

apologies if any of my waffle has clashed or repeated with m's or Andrew's words.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 08:46:33 AM
drewfind, that is a good assumption except - and this is my opinion only:
Glassmakers were in it to make money. 
If someone asked them to make glass for them then they would. 
And if the company (retailer) who had asked them to make the glass, had a patent on an invention in their (company, retailer's ) name and asked the glassmakers to make the glass they are not going to say no if it makes them money. 
But they are also not going to be able to make it under their own name since the process had been patented by the client (i.e. company, retailer), which would preclude this.


I believe there is an example of other companies exhibiting glass at the 1851 exhibition under their own names (retailers) but that look possible to have been made at Richardsons for example. (Green? for example iirc - need to check CH British Glass as the source)

And perhaps in this 'mercury' or silvered glass example we are discussing,  by the time the patent ran out, it was discovered that the glass had gone out of fashion, or was too complicated and expensive/time consuming to make and would not be profitable so the company never made it in their own name.

However, having said all that, the lack of conclusive evidence that Whitefriars made this glass is stunning given all the references.
But in my opinion they cannot be precluded solely on the basis  that they had a stand 4 stands further on and didn't show any of this type of glass on their own stand.  It may had to the evidence against though.

Some sources state that this type of glass continued to be made in Bohemia and Germany and America after 1855 iirc.
Just adding that point.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 17, 2017, 11:00:18 AM
I too am concerned that we have no evidence of Varnish being a manufacturer. A glass factory was an enormous investment. We also know that Varnish Hale Thomson was a surgeon in his day job! See my previous post.

Retailers wouldn't have done the silvering; it's a nasty chemical process requiring heat http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Glass-Mirrors-With-Silver-Nitrate-Sugar-Am/

Has anyone seen the actual patents?

[Mod: Edited 07 Nov 2017 ... The surgeon was Thomson, not Varnish. So the last sentence in the first paragraph may be redundant.]
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 17, 2017, 12:07:53 PM
I have spent a lot of my life in the manufacturing business.

I have also delved into patents.

Lets step back and look, as I think Keith or Paul wrote.

Two companies would HAVE to work in extremely close quarters. We are looking at the merger, albeit tenuous, of two companies. This was for THE GREAT EXHIBITION, this was not Wembley Market on a Sunday morning.

As pointed out by lustrous, just setting up a glass making venture was expensive, let alone one that combines two different mediums.
Not only that, but I don't think Thomson and Varnish just knocked on the door a week before the Exhibition and said "hey, we got some mercury we want you to play with.

Powells were obviously quite established at the time and would have recorded this major re-shuffle, surely?

I am still trying to find out more about Mellish and Lund, as I think they may be another avenue which may lead to an answer.

Whichever way you look at it, there is a company or was a company that had some significant changes to its working practice, a new influx of funds, possible relocation due to hazardous chemicals, and I don't think Powells fits the bill somehow?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 02:11:25 PM
1)  This is a photograph I took of part of the Exhibitor listings in the Great Exhibition catalogue
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8tc1AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA203&dq=silver+glass+bohemia&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMoLTX5_fWAhXIDMAKHQ7WCrkQ6AEIPDAE#v=snippet&q=E%20Varnish&f=false)

Interesting to note that as well as mentioning 'silvered glass' under 27. E.Varnish
it also mentions 'or-molu and silvered glass chandelier' under 32. Green, J.G.

Now,  who knows if the 'silvered' word description in both 27. and 32. means the same technique? 
But if it does, then that was two exhibitors showing 'silvered glass'.


2) under 27. E.Varnish is also says they were showing 'silvered glass reflectors, applicable for artificial illumination' (Chance glass sprang to mind for some reason on reading that).
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 02:30:17 PM
3)  This is another photograph of the previous page in the Great Exhibition Catalogue.

It shows a company called R. W. Swinburne - pp125

it mentions silvered glass (though I have no idea if it was silvered using a similar process to the Varnish process)
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8tc1AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA203&dq=silver+glass+bohemia&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMoLTX5_fWAhXIDMAKHQ7WCrkQ6AEIPDAE#v=snippet&q=silvered&f=false)

Just a thought because Varnish mentions they showed 'Reflectors' in silvered glass so perhaps a company that could make industrial type equipment as well made their glass?
And if you read through Swinburne's production they look like a possible candidate for making Varnish silvered glass maybe?

Interestingly there was a link between Swinburne and Chance Glass (see link on GMB here)
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,18417.msg106531.html#msg106531

Worth reading.  He seems to have gone out of circulation for a bit at some points? maybe at the point where the Varnish glass stopped being made?  Just assumptions and surmises by the way!  Don't want to see these surmises quoted as facts anywhere  ;D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 17, 2017, 05:07:39 PM
I suspect that at least some of the "silvered glass" references are in relation to mirrors and other reflecting items rather than the "art glass" of the Varnish / Thomson / Lund variety.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 05:15:02 PM
Yes you may be correct.  Interesting though that Varnish was showing 'reflectors' as well as silvered double wall glass items.

Something has occurred to me.

According to everything I read ( no original sources yet), E Varnish and F. Hale Thomson patented this double walled silvered glass in 1849 in England.
I have read a couple of times (no original sources quoted) that double walled silvered glass 'was being made in the 1840s', e.g. written in this kind of way:

'Mercury glass was first made in the 1840s, and patented in England in 1849 and in the United States in 1855.'
http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/2010/05/06/mercury-glass-on-display-for-mothers-day/

When it's written in that kind of way, it implies double walled silvered glass was being made somewhere in the world during the 1840s, but finally patented in England in 1849 and then America in 1855 doesn't it?

I've tried to translate and read through my one source in German, and I can't see anywhere that there is proof this was being made in the 1840s in Germany or Bohemia for example before 1849.

Christine commented about needing to see the Varnish and Hale Thomson patent.  We need to see that as a starting point.  As that patent is quoted as the starting point for the production of double walled silvered glass in my German book (as far as I can make out).  i.e. it implies it all started with their patent.


We also need to see that James Powell book source 'Whitefriars Glass: James Powell and Sons of London' page 30.
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 17, 2017, 05:29:48 PM
I think we need another voice in this discusssion:
Diane Lytwyn, author of Pictorial Guide to Silvered Mercury Glass: Identification & Values

We have mentioned her article Mercury Glass - Silvered Glass (http://www.theglassmuseum.com/mercury.html) (co-produced with Ivo Haanstra and Angela Bowey) which deals with "European" examples, but our interest so far has only been for a couple of references. Maybe there is further info in her book. Anyone have a copy?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 07:43:22 PM
Tallis's History and Description of the Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of the World's Industry in 1851:
By Beard,Mayall, etc, etc.
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924021897255#page/n11/mode/2up/search/Varnish

Page 81 (photograph 1 ) says
'Specimens of the beautiful silvered glass lately become so fashionable, and which has formed so ornamental a feature at various public banquets, were exhibited by Messrs. Varnish, of Berners Street.
The silvered globes were already familiar to the public, but there were various other articles such as chess table, goblets, curtain poles etc which showed the great adaptability of the material to ornamental purposes'.

So, it seems the public were already familiar with this silvered glass prior to the Exhibition in 1851.




Page 82 has the reference about Powell making the Varnish glass (see photo 2):
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924021897255#page/n141/mode/2up/search/Varnish

'In the articles exhibited by Mr Varnish and Mr Mellish, these colours were well shown.  Most of the glass exhibited by them was manufactured by Messrs. Powell and Co., Whitefriars and this itself presented a notable peculiarity.  All the glass was double, the object of this being to enable the patentees to fill the inside with a solution of nitrate of silver , to which grape sugar was added,  when all the silver held in solution was deposited in a beautiful film of revived silver over every part of the glass. This silvering ...'

This does seem to say that Powell was responsible for making 'some' of the double walled glass for Mr Varnish and Mr Mellish.

But... they only made 'most of the glass exhibited by Varnish and Mellish'.

The point  is when Tallis says  ALL of the glass  was double. 
Does this mean that all the Powell glass was double (implied by the use of the words 'Most of the glass exhibited by them was manufactured by Messrs. Powell and Co., Whitefriars and this itself presented a notable peculiarity.') or does it mean all the Varnish and Mellish glass was double, therefore Powell made some of the double glass and another/other makers made the rest?



It also says that the idea was then that the 'patentees fill the inside with a solution of nitrate of silver.'

hmm.
m



Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 17, 2017, 09:32:13 PM
I have had a good dig

Varnish, Thomson and Mellish were all associated in the patent description.Varnish and Thomson patent : improvements to inkstands etc 1849, immediately underneath and associated to is Mellish : improvements in cutting,silvering and fixing articles of glass 1850.

1851 Varnish exhibits silvered goblets, atlases, etc, Thomson absent, Powells exhibit glass tube joint

Mellish, by 1850, already had the process in a workable form, this would only be possible if he was involved in the initial process, the person who Thomson and Varnish had to turn too, to enable their idea, therefore, all working together.
This was a new,dangerous and expensive process, not something you could pull off overnight

After they submit their patent, Thomson and Varnish have a falling out, it could be at this point that the two different seals come into play, still working with Mellish, but each with their own prefered cut, design and colour, and each having personal involvement in the production of their individual pieces.

Once the first set of samples/exhibits were finished, Varnish took his to the exhibition, Thomson was not there, and if he was, he was not exhibiting

Powells COULD have then invited Thomson, or Thomson introduced himself, with his samples, and then gone on to work alongside them, but, how long would it have taken Powells to gear up for such a change, when they are already successful in the window trade ( or so it says in their workbooks)

Why is there no mention in them regarding Varnish, Thomson, patents, possible expansion or reshuffle?

Everything points to Mellish being a close partner, and initial manufacturer of the Thomson/Varnish glassware, with Powells jumping on at a later date, maybe when silver nitrate made it safer, or just before.

I think Flying free reiterated something I mentioned in an earlier thread, that silvered glass was in production from an earlier date.
Why were Powells not involved with the previous product?

There are too many indications for Mellish and not enough for Powells.



Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 17, 2017, 10:43:02 PM
Do you have a reference source that Mellish was a manufacturer?

Possibly what might be plausible is that Powell's blew the glass and then Mellish added the silver nitrate after cutting the glass then plugged it.

But it falls under Varnish and Thomson's individual patent's because they were the original patentees of the process.  Mellish just improved it ... somehow?

What's also plausible is that Tallis is wrong and Powell's didn't blow that double walled glass.  Maybe it was blown in . elsewhere and finished with the above process by Mellish?


Can you provide a link to the patent information or write it out in full at all?  Is that possible please?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 17, 2017, 10:53:45 PM
Thanks, Andrew, for the additional information / thoughts.

Could you please give:
a) details of the reference material that you used
b) indication of any of the text that is a direct quote
c) indications of text that is your own thoughts and conclusions.

This will enable all readers and contributors to be able to crosscheck details and will also ensure that the various contributors to the thread do not unnecessarily delve into the the same details and simply repeat what you have found.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 18, 2017, 04:36:52 AM
More info on the patents ...

From books.google:
A General Index to the Repertory of Patent Inventions and other Discoveries and Improvements in Arts, Manufactures and Agriculture ...

The "1815 to 1845 Inclusive" edition of that book shows :
(but it includes later dates as well)

"Thomson F. H., of Berners street and Varnish E. of Kensington,
Improvements in the manufacture of inkstands , mustard pots, and other vessels
December 19, 1849"


and

"Thomson F. H. of Berners street and Mellish T. R. of Portland street,
Improvements in cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass
August 22, 1850"


Also, the 1852 edition of the book gives:

"Frederick Hall Thomson, of Berners street, of the County of Middlesex
and George Foord, of Wardour street, of the same County, chemist
For Improvements in Bending and Annealing Glass
September 25, 1851"


The entry above does actually give the name as "Hall", rather than "Hale".
F H Thomson does seem to have been a busy entrepreneur.

In both of those editions no additional information is given for Mr Varnish or Mr Mellish, and there is no information at all for W. Lund.

I will check more editions of the book later.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 18, 2017, 07:58:10 AM
Hi Kevin

You have the repertory info, as in your last message.
Just to add, I did look for F.H.Thomson in other areas of the exhibit, and in the precious metals section I came across F.H.Thompson, it might be the same chap.

Powells work order books and info can be found in the archives of the V&A

The list for exhibitors in google books, page 127 i think. It's alphabetical anyway.

I have looked at advertising for James Powell, circa 1852. At the very bottom is a sub headline which reads

"The company will be glad to furnish illustrations of their glassware, to make special designs in accordance with their clients wishes, or to match any patterns that may be submitted"

They had pictures of other wares as is evidenced in their adverts, why is there no decorative catalogue already available if they had been working with Thomson and Varnish since the patent of 1849, or 1850 when I should think production started in earnest.

I still maintain that the silvered glass that has a Thomson or Varnish seal, were the first samples, trials, show pieces made by and with Mellish.

Some were for Thomson and some for Varnish, and the Mellish patent 1851, attached to the pair of inventors, clearly shows he has much experience working with glass, and with the process of silvering glass.
Powells are not associated to any patent regarding silvered glass as far as I can find, therefore, were not set up for the process at the very start. Inventing things is fine, but you need prototypes, samples, daily communication, intense hours of work.
This is the work of about 2 years, you can't patent something you know nothing about.

As far as it goes for quotes, there are none, but the evidence is building up for the Mellish theory, they actually stack much, much better than the Powell "possibly by, or attributed too" train of thought.

As I said, post 1851 would have been the time Powells would have jumped on the band wagon. Thomson might not have fallen out with Varnish, because he was such a prolific inventor, his other endeavours would have kept him extremely busy, maybe selling his part of the patent to Powells or letting them work under licence.

You said that in 1852 Thomson and Foord submitted a further patent for bending tube and silvering glass, this leads me to believe that he was not one for manufacturing.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 08:26:30 AM
'I still maintain that the silvered glass that has a Thomson or Varnish seal, were the first samples, trials, show pieces made by and with Mellish.'

'Some were for Thomson and some for Varnish, and the Mellish patent 1851, attached to the pair of inventors, clearly shows he has much experience working with glass, and with the process of silvering glass.'


'Powells are not associated to any patent regarding silvered glass as far as I can find, therefore, were not set up for the process at the very start. '
[/u]

drewfind, the difficulty with your wording and phraseology is that these are all assumptions.

Tallis states that the public were familiar with silvered glass in globe forms, before the exhibition of 1851.  So silvered glass had already been produced by 1851.

I am not saying I disagree with some of your train of thought.  But it needs to be more circumspect.  There have been multiple evidences over the years ( including some pieces later exposed by research on the GMB as being from somewhere else), of mis-attribution of various sources of glass, based on peoples assumptions then written as fact at a later date.

My own view is that from what I have read so far, there does not appear to be a second concrete evidence of Powell & sons blowing these double walled silvered glasses. 

The only 'evidence' so far is a piece in Tallis.  Whilst I am suspicious of the wording in Tallis, it could be construed from the way it is written, that Powell and Sons did make some of the double walled glass for the Varnish exhibit.

But it is the only evidence so far.  And it is not written in a conclusive way ( in my opinion).



I have two points:

Was the patent to do with the silvering process only - i.e. not to do with the glass blowing process of making double walled goblets/salts/mustards etc.?

If so, then was this the first example of double walled glass goblets/salts/bowls etc being blown or had it been done before?

I ask question two because
a) blowing a globe leaving a hole where the pontil was snapped off, filling it with silver nitrate solution to silver it internally, then closing the globe with a plug, is a different process to ...
b) blowing a double walled goblet, casing it, cutting a design on it, then filling it with silver nitrate, then plugging it.

i.e. process b) appears to me to be much more difficult to achieve.


m


P.s. I am as guilty of more guilty of confirmation bias as than the next person - research has to start somewhere and with some thoughts.  ;D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 09:19:19 AM
with reference my previous questions -

See also this evidence (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8FdS4CscCG8C&pg=PA124&dq=mellish+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigyInH6fnWAhXEL8AKHbFVDCQQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=mellish%20silvered%20glass&f=false) (photo of item from catalogue attached):

In the Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations 1851
page 124
Item number 16.

'16.  Mellish, T.R. 118 Regent Street, Des. and Prod.- Glass silvered vases; glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, &c. Silvered by the pat. Varnish & Co Berners St.'


Please note, in my opinion the words 'Des. and Prod.' next to Mellish's name  might only refer to Mellish doing the silver nitrating and plugging the pieces.  It might not refer to the actual making of/blowing glass for the double walled vessels.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 18, 2017, 09:36:11 AM
and we know that it wasn't uncommon for those who claimed to be manufacturers to be merely wholesalers
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 09:56:30 AM
Indeed.

And funnily enough the description in that same link on the same page as above, of the items Varnish was showing at the Exhibition (no 32.) is not dissimilar to what Mellish was showing at 16. on that page.

Varnish is shown as 'Pat.' though, not as 'Des. and Prod' as Mellish is.


Mellish listing:
'16.  Mellish, T.R. 118 Regent Street, Des. and Prod.- Glass silvered vases; glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, &c. Silvered by the pat. Varnish & Co Berners St.'

Varnish listing:
'32. Varnish, E. 48 Berners Street. Pat, Plateaux. Vases. Salvers &c., in silvered glass. Glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, and ornamental stands.'

see photograph attached .
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 11:09:29 AM
here we go peeps!!

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18511124

See the Old Bailey no 60 for what happened to F.H. Thomson, Mr Mellish and where Powell's came into it hopefully.  And how they link to Mr Varnish.

It looks like Mellish was a prisoner??? (misspelt 'Hellish' in the article)

(you will need to scroll down to it.  If you can't find it on my link, then put control f and put in Mellish in the search box - it should come up)

I've not read it yet - hope it's interesting
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 18, 2017, 11:26:29 AM
W@W (sorry couldn't resist) M. Well done. You've solved it, I think., and it is interesting. At over 11,000 words it's too long to read online, so if anyone would like a nice pdf to print out, email me via the envelope under my name. Think you need to include your actual email address in the email for me to send you an attachment.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 12:02:49 PM
Thank you  ;)

I've read it now. 

Old Bailey Proceedings 24th November 1851

Basically, embezzlement by Mr Mellish and a Mr Douglas.  and embezzeling funds from Mr F. H. Thomson.

Mr Powell of Whitefriars glassworks gave Mellish a good reference;
Mr Lund of Fleet Street gave Mellish a good reference;
amongst others quoted in the court case who also gave Mellish a good reference.

Mr Lund appears to have had an unhealthy interest in Mr F. H. Thomson's silvering process - seems to have wanted to use it for his inkwells.

Mellish doctored the invoices from the workers to F. H. Thomson, and then only paid the invoicee the original amount they'd invoiced.  Presumably pocketed the balance.

There also appears to have been a payment made on an invoice that was wrong ie. Over by a huge amount from Powell's.  Perhaps Mellish was doctoring the bills from Powell's on the basis that he was the one with the relationship with them and Mr Thomson wouldn't know any different and wouldn't check them?  Funny how glass prices were reduced significantly once Mellish was sent into custody:

'Q. Do you know that Mr. Douglas, by any steps he took, was the means of reducing your expenditure at all? A. I know he has checked Powell's bills, and after Mellish left he did the same, and he reduced the bills certainly—we dealt in a small way with a person named Sago—I cannot say whether or not that it was at Douglas's suggestion, that we should save a considerable percentage, but we did get some things there, and saved a considerable percentage—I do not know that we got them seventy per cent below the price we were paying Powell's, but it was considerably less—Douglas had no authority to reduce the expenditure while he was under Mellish; but after Mellish left, I remember an instance of his checking a bill of Powell's, when there was a mistake of 20l., and it was immediately allowed, and I believe he was the means of reducing other expenditures after Mellish left.'


Poor old F.H. Thomson appears to have been scammed to pay for machinery, carpenters, desks, rents, trips to Paris etc, and also appears to have ended up overpaying for his glass (with the money going in Mellish's pocket?)

Mellish went down for 10 years.
His assistant Douglas went down for 7 years.




Funny (peculiar as opposed to funny haha) how Mr Mellish had an exhibitor stall at the Great Exhibition but poor old Mr F. H. Thomson whose invention the silvering process and double walled vessels was, and whose money appears to have paid for everything, seems to have not got a mention in the Catalogue?  I need to do some more searching on that because Mr F. H. Thomson says that he did exhibit:

'I took out a third patent in the conclusion of 1850, in my name, and that of Mellish—it was for improvements in staining and cutting glass for the purpose of silvering cutting it in a peculiar manner—I did not make articles under that patent—I am not aware that any were in the Exhibition. I exhibited some articles of double hollow work of every description—Mr. Deane has got the list of articles exhibited from our firm—Mellish had no joint-interest in any manufacture connected with the silvering of glass, that I am aware of; it was never carried out—I saw the patent that I and Mellish took out; the agent who took it out for us was Mr. Cartmell—I believe I and Mellish saw him previous to taking it out; we asked him his opinion; it was in the autumn of 1850—I cannot swear which of us described the patent to Mr. Cartmell, it was taken out conjointly—it was described as a patent for cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass—I cannot speak to the very words—I believe I understood the invention thoroughly when I went to Mr. Cartmell—I thought I did at the time—I had gone through the matter myself—I do not know that anybody told me what it was—I swear Mellish did not tell me the whole process, he might have suggested some portion of it, and I believe he did; he suggested some portion of the cutting, as a practical man—he had not been engaged in the silvering of glass for eighteen months; he had nothing to do with the scientific part—I did not direct Mr. Cookney to draw up a paper and present it for the signature of Mellish; the matter was talked over by Mellish, myself, and Mr. Cookney, but I am not aware that I gave any special instructions on the subject—Mr. Cookney did draw up a

paper for Mellish to sign after I bad got the last patent; Mellisb refused to sign it—I did not tear it op, I believe it is in Mellish's possession—I did not present it to him, I cannot say whether Mr. Cookney did—Mellish eventually refused to me to resign his interest in that patent, after telling me two or three times that he would—I was present when the agreement was presented to him, but whether it was tendered to him to sign, I do not know—I was not present when it was thrown on the fire—






Also interesting that Mellish had LEFT employment with Mr F. H.Thomson in May 1851! Funny that the Great Exhibition was held May 1851-October 1851:


contd/
'I did not say I had thrown it on the fire—it was about the spring of 1851 that he refused to relinquish his interest in the patent; it was at Berners-street—I think it was in May this year that he left my service, about a month or six weeks after he had refused to relinquish his interest—'



Mellish had a stand at the Great Exhibition as per the catalogue list:
'Mellish listing:
'16.  Mellish, T.R. 118 Regent Street, Des. and Prod.- Glass silvered vases; glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, &c. Silvered by the pat. Varnish & Co Berners St.'

I will cut and paste the information re the patents and who had them at some point.


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 02:12:22 PM
This is a different report - it is a later report of continuation of the case perhaps??? from 1852.
Christine if you do a pdf of this as well please may I have a copy?  Thanks so much.

This is important to read.

The sums of money involved are humongous. It appears Thomson was embezzled out of thousands of pounds.
It appears in this second report case, that Mellish was embezzling wages from the employees as well reporting them as having wages paid when in fact they were off sick and did not receive a penny.




Reference Number: t18520510-502

502. THOMAS ROBERT MELLISH and JAMES DOUGLAS were indicted for unlawfully conspiring to cheat and defraud Frederick Hale Thomson, and others, their masters.
MESSRS. CLARKSON, BALLANTINE, and DEARSLRY conducted the Prosecution.

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?name=18520510

scroll down to number 502.

1) It seems from this account that Powell and sons definitely made at least one inkwell, and that Mr Thomson did the silvering:

'...
Q. When you first became acquainted with him, had he not an inkstand which belonged to Mr. Lund, which he was desirous of having silvered on your plan?
(Mr Thomson speaking here)
A. Some inkstands were sent, as I understood, by Mr. Lund, for me to try the process of silvering on, which I did—I cannot say whether Mellish brought them, but he knew of their being there—I believe he was
busy about them for Mr. Lund before I engaged him—it was found that that inkstand, which was not a double hollow one, could not be so silvered as that the silver should resist the operation of the ink within it—Mulish did not then invent the double hollow inkstand which was afterwards silvered—I suggested it myself, in consequence of silvering Mr. Lund's inkstands and finding them fail—I suggested the idea of the double hollow to Mr. Mellish, and he, after a considerable period, did get one made at Messrs. Powell's by my direction—I then silvered it over; that answered—I believe Mellish was working for me at the time—I believe it was not before—I cannot quite recollect, but to the best of my belief he was working for me, carrying out this at Messrs. Powell's—I hired him to go to Messrs. Powell's.
COURT. Q. When was your first introduction to him by Mr. Powell? A, In the autumn of 1849; I had never seen him before—it was after that that this conversation took place about the inkstand—I believe it was after I had entered into the verbal agreement with him—I took him for the very purpose of making the inkstand and other things—I have no doubt in my own mind it was after, for I hired him especially to go to the glass house—before he came, I had been in the habit of silvering glass, but not enclosing it in the glass.'




2) It seems that the Thomson and Mellish patent was never put into operation anyway:

(this is Thomson speaking)
'...
in Aug. 1850, Mellish and I became joint patentees of an invention for improvements in cutting, staining, and silvering glass—it was understood if I look the patent out and paid for it, that he merely as my workman should assign it for a consideration—I asked him to fulfil the engagement he had made, and he declined to resign his interests in the patent—I may perhaps state that the patent was never completed, for the machinery to carry it out bad never been made- ...'



3) More evidence here that Thomson and Varnish glass was being made at Powell's
Varnish speaking here about Mellish
'...
in the evening he would go down to Messrs. Powell's glass works, and be there perhaps half the night, getting things made under his own inspection—they were things which he had designed, made drawings of, and carried out—that was perhaps three or four times a week—he was also obliged to examine every article which had been made under his direction by the outdoor workmen, and see that it was properly made and determine the price to be properly charged for it—he was constantly occupied in the business—...'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 18, 2017, 02:31:45 PM
Will do. This one requires a bit of tidying for easier reading. Both will be available later - ideal bedtime reading for insomniacs!!
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 02:42:54 PM
having got to the end of that report (skim reading)
it says

' (A great number of witnesses deposed to the good character of Mellish.)
NOT GUILTY .

NEW COURT.—Wednesday, May 12th, 1852.
PRESENT—Mr. Ald. KELLY; Sir WILLIAM MAGNAY, Bart., Ald.; Mr. Ald. FARNCOMB; and Mr. COMMON SERGEANT.
Before Mr. Common Sergeant and the Fifth Jury.
'


ooh! Presumably the case continues on Wednesday May 12th 1852.  And the words 'NOT GUILTY' is his plea rather than the final outcome??

uhh, that means we need to find the 12th May court proceedings.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 02:51:28 PM
I have edited my post above Christine.

There must be another transcript of the 12th May 1852 court proceedings.
sigghh - I'll have a quick look to see if I can find it but then I've got to go out.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 18, 2017, 02:53:07 PM
Well found m.  ;D

This all sounds like the making of a good TV drama.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 02:57:53 PM
Thanks Kev

Christine - ok I think I've got the plot,

There was a case in April 1852 to convict Douglas who pleaded guilty - I've only just found this and not read it yet.
Click here to view (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18520405-382&div=t18520405-382&terms=mellish_varnish#highlight)

'382. THOMAS ROBERT MELLISH and JAMES DOUGLAS . feloniously forging and uttering a receipt for the payment of 1l. 15s. 4d.; with intent to defraud: to which
DOUGLAS pleaded GUILTY .'



Douglas at the end of that case, appears to be trying to implicate Mellish:

'FRANCIS HAYES (policemen, E 82). I was at Marlborough-street police-court when Douglas was present after his examination—Mellish was sitting on a bench with his wife, crying—Douglas was standing by my side, and he said to me, "Mellish looks devilish ill; does be not?"—I said, "Yes; he looks very ill"—he said, "Ah, he thinks to put it all upon me, but he is as much in the mud as I am in the mire"—I do not know where sergeant Smith was at that time—we were both in Court, attending and keeping the witnesses together—I had not heard any statement made by Douglas upon any former occasion.
MELLISH— NOT GUILTY .'


I presume the 10th May case was about Mellish and he was found not guilty then.

Did I do him a disservice  :o

Thomson must have felt robbed.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 03:06:31 PM
This info is from the court case April 1852:

1)  Varnish says that he ceased to be Mr Thomson's partner from 17th May 1851
Click here to view (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18520405-382&div=t18520405-382&terms=mellish_varnish#highlight)

See case 382.

quote:
'EDWARD VARNISH . I live at Kensington. I was in partnership with Mr. Thomson—I ceased to be so about 17th May last—I become his partner just after Mr. Mellish came into the employment ...'




2) Earlier on in that case 382.
Thomson says this when talking about employing Mellish with reference Powell's making the glass:

'...
he was to go to Mr. Powell's glass works to superintend the preparation of the glass for silvering—that continued all the time he was in my service—every evening, at 8 o'clock, he was supposed to go down there to superintend the workmen—that would take him an hour, or an hour and a half—I have been there myself occasionally—I do not know how long it would take him; as soon as the pattern is made, I suppose the work is done—I suppose there might be twenty or thirty workmen under him, and sometimes, I believe, as many as forty—the arrangement with me was, that he was to relinquish his own business in Great Portland-street when he came to me—how far he carried that out I never understood—he had the general superintendence of the workmen on the premises, as well as the out-door workmen—after some time I established a shop in Regent-street for the sale of these articles—it was arranged that Mrs. Mellish should go there, with a relative of hers to assist, or a person whom she knew—it was one of the stipulations that Mellish should go and live there—it was principally at his suggestion that the shop was taken—it was carried on, I think, in Mrs. Mellish's name; Mr. Varnish principally arranged that—I had nothing to do with the taking of it, but I did not object to it.'




3) I'm out for the next few days but will try and draw together a 'family tree' of events (unless someone else wants to have a go), and then photograph it to upload on here,using the court cases as information of who worked with who and when they left etc.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 03:46:56 PM
This from 5th April 1852 case

Varnish says:

'Q. Do you know the cause of Mellish leaving? did he leave of his own accord, or was he dismissed?
Varnish speaking here:
A. Well, I think the notice came from him to leave; I have no doubt about it—Douglas remained in the service.
COURT.
 Q. Can you tell when it was Mellish left?
A. It would be about a fortnight before I left, before I agreed to leave rather; that was about the 3rd, 4th, or 5th of May.'

That would have refered to May 1851.  So Varnish is saying he 'agreed to leave' in May 1851.

So by the time of the Great Exhibition Varnish and Thomson were no longer in a venture together?




Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 05:03:16 PM
and this will be something like the Lund inkwells to which Thomson was referring:
Click here to virew (https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O11189/inkstand-unknown/)

However, this inkwell has a patent plug with W Lund on it as does another inkwell in double walled silvered glass found online.

I wonder why Thomson allowed Lund to use his patented double walled glass and silvering process and put his own name on the plug.

The V&A seem to suggest it might be because Lund may be patented a part of the inkwell:

'Materials & Making
The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849. A number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks. A vase or, as in this case, an inkholder shape, was formed, with the glass-blower stopping short of opening out the mouth. Instead, the top of the vase, still sealed as a bubble shape, was reheated and 'dropped' inwards to form a double-walled interior. This plain, undecorated object was then supplied to a retailer or dealer such as Lund, where it was filled between the walls from the foot end with a solution of silver nitrate and glucose (in the form of grape juice). The final stage was to seal the hole in the foot with a metal disc, in this example marked for Lund, who may have patented some further detail of the decoration or mount.'


Question:

How long did Thomson's first patent last?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 05:34:25 PM
Please see this article in
 Glass Shards - Newsletter of the National American Glass Club - Spring 2001 edition
http://www.glassclub.org/shardsspring2001.pdf

Page 4

'...
According to Gay LeCleire Taylor, museum curator (my words - she was curator of the Museum of American Glass it appears from the article) "silvered glass," often incorrectly called "Mercury Glass", was popular during the mid 19th century.  This mirrored glass was first produced in Bohemia, and then England. Frederick Hale Thomson and Edward Varnish ...'


There is no reference source for this statement unfortunately.  Obviously this is an old source dating to 2001.  However, so far I have not been able to find a reference to Bohemia producing this glass earlier than Hale Thomson and Varnish in my one and only book.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 18, 2017, 06:53:03 PM
Three pdfs of the three court cases are available on request.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 18, 2017, 07:19:05 PM
Thanks Christine, my copies have arrived.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 09:58:19 PM
ok, potentially an interesting new piece of information here as well:

The Spectator reported the court case from 1851
in their issue 6 December 1851:
http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/6th-december-1851/2/alttrofolto

'At the Criminal Court, on Friday, Thomas Robert Mellish and James Douglas were convicted of defrauding the Patent Glass-silvering Company, of which they were servants, by conspiring to make false entries in the books. Sentence of transportation against each ; Mellish ten years, Douglas seven.'

What's interesting about this report is that they used the company name of  the 'Patent Glass-silvering Company'.





Just a further note because I'm not sure I understand these court cases.  Is it possible that 1851 case was the big/main case against both Mellish and Douglas and on which they were both sent down, but then subsequent to that there were further cases brought against them for specific money embezzling incidents?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 10:23:33 PM
So the million dollar questions have to be:


1) Was Mr F. H. Thomson still commissioning double walled glass items to be made, so that he could silver it and have it cut with patterns and then apply a plug with his name and Patent impressed on the plug, after he and Varnish parted company (apparently May 1851), and after Mr Mellish left the company and then was shortly later sent to prison?
(there is some indication in the wording of one of the court cases that he was because Mr Thomson talks about himself (Mr Thomson) doing the designing for the patterns of the cut glass. And he talked at the beginning of the case about the fact that he himself did the silvering before Mellish joined.



2) Was Mr Varnish still commissioning glass to be made after he and Mr F. H. Thomson parted company in apparently May 1851?  and if so, how was he getting it cut and silvered if Mr Thomson did the silvering and used his (Mr Thomson's)  company workers to do the cutting and he himself (Mr Thomson) designed the patterns




3) If they both (Thomson and also Varnish) were still commissioning double walled glass after they parted company, was Powell and Sons still making silvered double walled glass for Mr F. H. Thomson and separately for Mr Varnish after they parted company in apparently May 1851?

Or was it being made by other companies?


Varnish was at pains to state during the court cases that the making of glass, the silvering process, the cutting etc was absolutely nothing to do with him and that he did not have any idea about glass or the processes involved.  He was at pains to point out that he was the 'commercial' arm of the company involved in meeting merchants etc.


Basically I am wondering if pieces with Varnish's Patent plug stopped being made after May 1851?

I also wonder if pieces with Mr F. H. Thomson plugs continued to be made after May 1851, since he seems to have been the one with the money, the cutting works, the workers to do so and the ability to apply the silver nitrate himself.?



Note:-

The Corning had an exhibition in 2007 called the Curiosities of Glassmaking.
They produced a pdf checklist of the items in the exhibition. Click here to view (https://www.cmog.org/sites/default/files/Curiosities_of_Glassmaking-Exhibition_Checklist.pdf)

On page 18 Under the title 'Silvered Glass and Dichroic Glass' they list 1 item for Thomson and 3 for Varnish, stating they were all made c. 1850-1860 and all made by James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd:

Quote:

'Footed Tumbler
England, London, James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. for Hale
Thomson,
about 1850–1860
Mold-blown glass, silvered, engraved
66.2.9, gift of Mr. Jerome Strauss
Silvered glass was commonly made with solutions of silver nitrate combined with some form of glucose. The silvering liquid was poured into the space between the walls of the glass vessel through a hole in the bottom, and it adhered to the glass.


Cased Goblet
England, London, James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. for E. Varnish
and Company, about 1850–1860
Blown and cased glass, silvered, cut
79.2.169, bequest of Jerome Strauss
In this goblet, the outer layer of blue glass has been cut away to reveal the silvered glass beneath.


Pair of Cased Vases
England, London, James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. for E. Varnish
and Company, about 1850–1860
Blown and cased glass, silvered, cut
2006.2.6, gift of Freeman T. Freeman


Cased Vase
England, London, James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. for E. Varnish
and Company, about 1850–1860
Blown and cased glass, silvered
60.2.43'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 11:26:39 PM
From the 25th November 1851 court case
Varnish was under examination and says they went to Paris and bought glass from Paris.  He also says they patented the 'double hollow' work in France:

'I went to Paris two or three times with Mellish; the last time was just before Christmas last (my words - this would have been Christmas 1850) —we went from Brussels to Paris, and were absent a week—the second time was April or May 1850; we were absent rather less than a week, because we were never absent on Sunday—the other time was in the year before ( my words - this would have been in 1849), we went to make purchases of glass—I am not quite positive, but I think we went three times; we went to the first establishments in Paris—purchases of glass abroad were very small in comparison of purchases of Messrs. Powell—I did not transact the business with Messrs. Powell, they sent in their accounts and were always paid by check of the firm—I went to France the first time to take out a patent there for the double hollow work—I attended at the police-office on two examinations; there was a third—I do not think I was at the first—I do not think I was there when Mellish was charged the first time—I was not there when he was allowed to go away on his own recognizances alone.'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 18, 2017, 11:58:30 PM
I think this is a really odd example of apparently (? the information on the V&A site is contradictory) Powell and sons (Whitefriars) production for E Varnish & co - marked to base.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

I mean, I know it's difficult to ascertain who made what but ...?

It is apparently marked on it's metal base rim around the foot and also on the pontil plug.

'Marks and inscriptions

'E. Varnish & Co. Patent London' inscribed on the metal rim and on an inserted metal plug in the base
Makers's mark



It is dated as c.1850.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 19, 2017, 12:39:02 AM
It's a shame there are no other photos of that vase.

As it is, each time I have looked at it, (probably a dozen times over the last few days) my instinctive reaction is, "It's not silvered glass, it seems to be a regular opal-cut-to-cranberry item from either England or Bohemia. But because it has the inscription to the foot rim, I keep trying to find the "silvering" - and I never do!

And why does the photo of the foot show the glass as, apparently, blue and without evidence of any form of glass which would lead up to a plug?

Surely that page just wrong!
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 08:19:01 AM
1) I think the engraved E Varnish mark is on the rim - the rim at the top, not the foot rim. 
And then they mention an ' inserted metal plug in the base.' is also marked

It looks a bit confusing because it also has a decorative silver-looking applied-looking edging around the base rim.  But I do think they mean it is marked on the silver rim collar at the neck.



2) I've just had a lightbulb moment - if you look at the vase in a download you can see that there is an applied metal collar in the stem.
If this is an 'epergne' then the metal collar may not be a damage cover-up but might be the metal insert for the upper vase body to sit in the base.
So by 'metal plug in the base' they might be the inserted metal plug for the vase upper body to set into?



3) I  think it looks as though it has a blue interior.  Could this be a reflection of the silver appearance of the internal layer of glass (i.e.surface facing the inside of the vase  where water would go for flowers) ?  if it is indeed silvered using the silver nitrate method.



4) If it really is silvered in the double wall process, then who knows how they did it because it looks like that could mean:

-  clear internal layer, doubled wall external layer
-  then double walled external layer cased in ruby,
-  then ruby layer cased in clear layer (see downloaded image to show the thick clear layer over the internal ruby layer especially at the foot stem)
-  then clear outer layer cased in white


5) But it just does not look like it was made by an English maker to the eye.
The cutting does not look anything like the cutting on the other E. Varnish double walled silvered glass. 
It has vermicular decoration on it.
The upper rim of the vase (not the foot rim) looks as though it is cut and bevelled underneath the silver collar doesn't it?




6) I wonder if this comment in the description is correct:

'Production Note

'E. Varnish and F. Hale Thomson patented the silvering process used in the manufacture of this vase.'

The vase does have silver applications on it but that is not the same as being a double walled vessel with silver nitrate poured between the layers to give a reflective surface to the glass.


Summary: Very strange piece of apparently Powell & Sons glass  :-\

Edited 21 Oct 2017 to add:
The V& A also have these comments about the vase:

'Materials & Making
The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849. A number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks. A stemmed vase or goblet shape was formed, with the glass-blower stopping short of opening out the mouth. Instead, the top of the vase, still sealed as a bubble-shape, was reheated and 'dropped' inwards to form a double-walled interior. This plain, undecorated vase was then supplied to E. Varnish & Co., where it was filled between the walls from the foot end with a solution of silver nitrate and glucose (in the form of grape juice). The final stage was to seal the hole in the foot with a metal disc, in this example marked for Varnish's Patent. '

So it seems this is sealed in the foot with a metal disc, not on the collar as I thought it might be.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 19, 2017, 10:08:30 AM
I have been speaking to the V&A, to a lady called Judith Crouch.

Ok,are you ready, the two original patentees were Varnish and Mellish, with Thomson joining up later. nothing to debate!

Powells and others supplied BLANKS, this is very important. still nothing to debate!

BLANKS were then sent back to Varnish and Thomson, who COMPLETED the process, silvering.sealing, marking.still no debate!

Tallis had Powells as MANUFACTURING most of the glass for the exhibition, in reality they just provided the BLANKS,no more, just blanks.

I used to buy "BLANK lengths of granite" I would cut, polish, and drill it, MANUFACTURING a kitchen worktop.

This simple phrase refering to Powells as the MANUFACTURER, is what all the contention is about.

Once again, I will say that the end user of any material in the way of production is the manufacturer.

I have suggested to Mrs Crouch that the description should omit "possibly by, or attributed too" to be replaced by "Blanks supplied by Powells and others",and "Manufactured by Varnish and Thomson"

This clears up all grey areas of WHO manufactured Varnish and Thomson, the answer was infront of us all the time.
At the time that Tallis wrote about the Great Exhibition the phrase "Manufactured by Powells of Whitefriars" should have been "Manufactured by Thomson and Varnish, blanks supplied by Powells and others"

I will post again once I have had a reply from Mrs Crouch.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 10:23:42 AM
I disagree regarding your explanation of what a maker of glass (manufacturer of glass) is. 
To my knowledge, the maker is the company that, or person who, blows the glass or presses the glass.


The process of refining the glass, i.e cutting, gilding, enamelling, silvering or whatever process is done to the the glass object after it has been manufactured (i.e. made by the maker) is called refining and finishing (as far as I know). There may be two names associated with a piece of glass, the maker of the glass and the refiner. 
I am open to correction on this.



I had already supplied the corroborating information that Powell's made some of the double walled glass items and that the 'refining' i.e. the cutting, silvering and plugging was done at Thomson's workshop in Berners Street,  in my previous posts about the court cases.

The information in the court cases gives further enlightenment as to who did what process at the Thomson owned workshop in Berners Street.
They seem to have had a number of people working there who seem to have done the refining of the glass.
It also tells the reader about what exactly Mr Varnish did and what Mr Mellish did.

Mr Mellish was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1851 for embezzlement.




I do not agree with these assertions in your post, from looking at the evidence given in the court case:

1) 'Ok,are you ready, the two original patentees were Varnish and Mellish, with Thomson joining up later. nothing to debate!'

Thomson did not join up later as far as I read. 



2) 'BLANKS were then sent back to Varnish and Thomson, who COMPLETED the process, silvering.sealing, marking.still no debate!'

According to Mr Varnish's evidence he knew nothing about glass and operated the commercial arm of the business.
Thomson did originally do some silvering and may have again done some silvering after Mellish went to prison but i seems  tMr Thomson employed a variety of finisher/cutters etc and it may have been they who completed the process.  He employed Mellish to help him do the process in the first place.  Varnish did not do this.



3) 'Once again, I will say that the end user of any material in the way of production is the manufacturer.'
In the glass world I would say this is an incorrect statement.


By the way, I'm no expert so am open to correction from people who have vastly more glass knowledge than I have.  This is just my understanding.

And I do not wish to be argumentative.  It's just that information on the GMB can be read worldwide so it is important that the information is factual. 

And is Judith Crouch aware of the court case evidence from the online cases from the Old Bailey, one in 1851 and then two in 1852?
I thought I had unearthed new evidence in finding those cases, but perhaps the V& A was aware of these all along and has the transcripts already?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 19, 2017, 11:19:14 AM
Flying free, I apologise for upsetting you.

You seem to think I am on a crusade of sorts.

One minute you find information you say supports my theory, the next, you are trying to pull it too pieces.
Not that I care really, I only have the one piece of glass.

But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!

I am not interested in court cases, embezzlement,shmezzlement.

You might be familiar with glass, but I have spent all of my working life in manufacturing, and whether you like it or not, the finishing of ANY workable piece, for display, sale or patent makes that company the manufacturer.

Powells supplied the blanks, only.

So you can dig up whatever you like, who his tailor was, what his favourite colours were, I don't really care.

I do know that Powells did NOT make the finished product, they just supplied blanks
Just as much as YOU know who didn't?

If you are so interested in this thread, why didn't you know more before, do you like being contentious?

Once again, I don't really care, but if someone, with absolutely no idea about antique glass can send you into this sort of spin, you want to watch out when you come across a proffesional,!!!

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 19, 2017, 11:28:08 AM
I find your response to M frankly offensive and perhaps you should read the court cases to find exactly who did what from the horses' mouths instead of relying on second hand reports.The V&A gets it wrong sometimes, we know they do. The glass museum (was Broadfield House) gets it wrong sometimes. There is a lot of firsthand detail in those court cases about the various processes involved, not just the embezzlement.

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 11:43:54 AM
drewfind, I have to correct this as I may be implied as being part of the 'everyone' in your statement:

'But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!'

a) I have questioned Tallis as not being clear enough in their description.
b) I have repeatedly on this board, questioned Manley information and never use Cyril Manley as a source of evidence.

c) I have to say I'm very surprised to hear that the V&A are quoting Cyril Manley as a source of their findings as you have said in that quote above:

'But if everyone is ready to quote Tallis and Manley, and stand by what they wrote, they should also stand by the information I have, direct from the V&A, as it's from the very same source, plus other sources Mrs Crouch mentioned, go and disagree with them!'



I do hope Judith has further information on whether she knew about the  primary source information given by Varnish, Thomson and Mellish in the court cases. 

I would be keen to hear her response and hope you come back and let us know.




Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on October 19, 2017, 12:57:08 PM
Sorry Lusturous, have I offended you too?

I have spent the last two weeks researching three names. I followed up on information, posted here by members, just through personal interest.

Various people have quoted different names, at different time to different articles. At no point was a court case mentioned, maybe it was, maybe it was not, regardless it matters not.

Tallis,Glass Museum, The V&A, and Manley, these were where I was told to refer.

I refer to them

You reply and say "they can all make mistakes sometimes", please, please,please make your mind up!

How would anyone else wanting to research the same thing, look at this link and think, oh yes, these are the places I need to refer too?? When you reply like that!

Whichever way you look at it. The glass was handled last by the Varnish, Thomson co. It does not matter about a court case, the plain fact is the glass went into Varnish & Co as one product and came out another.

That is a fact, not surmising, not disputed.

Sorry, if this offends too

I will not waste anymore of your time, or mine.

Keep an eye on the V&A description, if it changes, you will know the email from Mrs Crouch was agreeing with my point, anything else would be a waste of time posting as they might make a MISTAKE in what they say, if it does not, you can all relax, and feel secure in the knowledge that I will not be back to bother you.

Actually, if they do change it, I still won't be back.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 19, 2017, 01:17:34 PM
Actually your input has been invaluable because M might never have dug deep enough to discover the three court cases that revealed the detailed connections (in first-hand reports) between Varnish, Thomson, Mellish, Lund and Powells that have not been "joined up" before. It's what research is all about.

I will furnish links to the three court cases for reference and reiterate my offer to send easy(ier) to reads pdfs of the transcriptions to anyone interested

28 November 28th, 1851. Scroll down to Case 60
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18511124
5 April 1852
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18520405-382&div=t18520405-382&terms=mellish_varnish#highlight
12 May 1852 scrioll down to 502
https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?name=18520510

There is a continuation of the May 1852 court case still to find

[Mod: date of the April and May court cases corrected from 1952 to 1852]
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 19, 2017, 05:07:07 PM
In the original post, Andrew asked "... can anyone help?" with information on his "plain red/crimson goblet from the e.varnish mercury glass range". This thread quickly developed into perhaps a lot more than many of us expected. But from my viewpoint, I think it has been fascinating, if at times not easy to follow, and sadly sometimes rather contentious.

===============================-
I think we now need to take a bit of time out.

From the court case information, we have been able to confirm that Whitefriars did make and supply double walled glass items according to specification by Frederick Hale Thompson's company and that Thomson's company, with many workers, finished the glass items with silvering, sealing and cutting. We also now know that Whitefriars was not the only company to supply the double walled glass items and that some were even contracted out to a company in, at least, France!

The information gleaned from existing books etc. (and not just the few that have been mentioned several times in this thread) has been, for good reason, quite vague. In some cases specific wording in the general literature suggesting a definite point of view has been shown to be inaccurate but in some cases it has proven to be correct.

We cannot do much about the existing literature etc., but we can, for ourselves at least, aim to set out a list of factual points relating to the whole scenario of the double walled silvered glass items from Thomson's company and sold under the Varnish / Thomson / Lund identities. We can also set out a summary of how Thomson's company operated. In addition we can compile a list of points that may benefit from further research.

I recommend that anyone who wishes to assist in the above activities should take the time to read the court case information and prepare points that can be easily and briefly set out in this thread, with a view to later compilation [Which I can do with my moderator hat on.] The pdf files Christine has set up are, indeed, easy to read.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 05:15:24 PM
Kev, I hate to be a pedant but does it say that the glass bought in France was double-walled?

'We also now know that Whitefriars was not the only company to supply the double walled glass items and that some were even contracted out to a company in, at least, France!'


We don't know that the Regent Street Shop and the company was only selling double walled glass.

If I am wrong please feel free to delete this post.
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 19, 2017, 05:21:24 PM
It's a good point to start a list with. Thanks.

I will investigate why I said that. Might just have been an unfounded interpretation on my part. :)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 19, 2017, 05:50:00 PM
Two interesting points - there were quite a few out-door workers, i.e., in their own workshops, and I think mention was made of staining the glass.

If the information could be coherently assembled into mutually agreed a short article (I'm no good at that sort of thing), I will edit it and we can put it somewhere for posterity - perhaps the Glass Encyclopaedia

Perhaps the moderator should correct his misspelling of Arpil  :P too. My fingers kept wanting to put 1952... [Mod: corrected  ;D]

I don't think there is another case to find. After a bit of ferreting, I think Mellish was found not guilty in May
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 19, 2017, 06:16:31 PM
I can have a go at compiling the short article (as well as collating salient points in this thread - using my magic moderator's hat).
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 06:40:00 PM
I know this needs to go into a family tree article, but:

 Thomson talks about three patents during the courts cases. 

Kev had only listed two of the patents Thomson discussed in the court cases on here previously.  (A third patent was listed by Kev but that pertained to August 22 1852 i.e. after these court cases and so is not one of the three Thomson refers to.)

So I searched for the Thomas Drayton and F. H. Thomson patent as Mr Thomson appears to talk about this one as the first patent.

a) Thomson says re Patent 1 - 'I made an agreement to carry out the patent with a man named Thomas Drayton, about Oct. 1848' and later on he says
- 'the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfaces'

I looked up Thomas Drayton and there is a patent for silvering glass in his name only it seems for Dec 1848  (i.e. Mr F. H. Thomson is not noted here as being on it, neither is there any information on this source for this patent listed under Thomson's name although the other two patents have his name on them):
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fqRCAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA3-PA30&lpg=RA3-PA30&dq=silvered+glass+regent+street+1850&source=bl&ots=e_oxllKVt8&sig=8TY11lZK5p_UIlwHmXCzuyhPfzs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1xIfDpP3WAhVLmBoKHW9NBvIQ6AEISDAJ#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass%20regent%20street%201850&f=false)


I believe this is Patent 1 as discussed by Thomson:
 'DRAYTON, T., of Regent street; improvements in silvering glass and other surfaces, December 4, 1848. Vol xiv., p38.'



So it seems F.H.Thomson agreed to carry out the work involved in what this patent application was for, not that he was named on the patent with Thomas Drayton.

(Please note that online in other articles, I think I have seen Thomas Drayton referred to as Michael Drayton iirc - I suspect this is a mistake)



Source:

This is from the November 1851 trial and is Thomson speaking whilst being cross-examined by Mr Montagus Chambers:

'Cross-examined by MR. MONTAGUS CHAMBERS. Q. You say you are a surgeon? A. Yes; I have been in considerable practice—I was very much engaged in professional business until I embarked in this silvering of glass—I then gave up my practice to a considerable extent, but was still engaged in it at 48, Berners-street, Oxford-street, closely adjacent to the premises—I made an agreement to carry out the patent with a man named Thomas Drayton, about Oct. 1848—I had commenced working the patent, and had silvered a great many things before I was introduced to Mr. Mellish —the cause of ray introduction to him was not some ink-bottles or inkstands being sent to me by Mr. Lund, of Fleet-street, it was my speaking to Mr. Powell, the owner of Whitefriars glass-works, telling him I wanted a man to carry out the silvering—that must have been in the summer of 1849—I recollect Mellish bringing some inkstands from Mr. Lund to be silvered; that was previous to my entering into a written agreement with him, but he had been with me a good deal in my silvering-room—I learned afterwards that a person had suggested the idea of silvering inkstands, and that Mr. Lund had an interest in the patent—I

did not learn from Mellish that Mr. Lund had made him a present of his interest—I have not silvered any ink-bottles myself of that construction; my first experiments with Mr. Lund's inkstands were perfectly successful, as far as the silvering went; they were perfectly silvered, but the ink being poured in upon it, took off the silver—Mellish did not invent the plan of a double glass—I took out a patent for that very purpose; that was not the patent in which I had purchased an interest in the first instance—I never knew Mellish make any experiments in putting the silver between two glasses, he took my directions to make glass suitable for my patent which I had been at work at months before I knew there was such a man as Mellish in the world; I hired him for the purpose of going to Powell's glass-works, and making hollow glass for the purpose of the patent which I had been at work at for months—the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfacesI got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me—previous to getting out that patent, I had tried the experiment, and had shown it; it was perfectly well known—Mellish was engaged in making those experiments before I took out the patent'




I'll make a second and third separate post for the Patent 2. and Patent 3.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 07:05:31 PM
Following on:-

Mr F. H. Thomsons' Patent 2

Thomson says re Patent 2 (in the court case of 1851):

' I am by profession a surgeon; I purchased a share in a patent for silvering glass; Mr. Varnish was my partner.'
and
'Mellish did not invent the plan of a double glass—I took out a patent for that very purpose; that was not the patent in which I had purchased an interest in the first instance'
and
'I never knew Mellish make any experiments in putting the silver between two glasses, he took my directions to make glass suitable for my patent which I had been at work at months before I knew there was such a man as Mellish in the world; I hired him for the purpose of going to Powell's glass-works, and making hollow glass for the purpose of the patent which I had been at work at for months'
and
'I got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me—previous to getting out that patent, I had tried the experiment, and had shown it; it was perfectly well known'

and
'Mr. Varnish was the active man, and looked after the mercantile part, but had nothing to do with the silvering, he knew nothing about it—I knew something about it; I was the only person who did, I patented it—I suggested after conversing with Mr. Varnish, that we should take out a second patent to protect the silver entirely, by hermetically sealing it from the atmosphere, introducing it between two coatings of glass; but I want to explain to the Court, if I were to take this inkstand, silver it, and then drop this little glass-holder into it, it would be an inkstand silvered between two coatings of glass, but that is totally distinct—preventing the air from getting to it is what I call hermetically sealing it'



I believe this is Patent 2 as discussed by Thomson in the source below given by Kev in reply 76 on this thread:
 '

"Thomson F. H., of Berners street and Varnish E. of Kensington,
Improvements in the manufacture of inkstands , mustard pots, and other vessels
December 19, 1849"







Sources:

Source for patent 2 - From books.google:-
A General Index to the Repertory of Patent Inventions and other Discoveries and Improvements in Arts, Manufactures and Agriculture ...
The "1815 to 1845 Inclusive" edition of that book
(but it includes later dates as well)



Source for Thomson's own words:-

a) 1851 trial
60. THOMAS ROBERT MELLISH and JAMES DOUGLAS feloniously forging and uttering a receipt for 4l. 10s.; with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. CLARKSON and BALLANTINE conducted the Prosecution.

FREDERICK HALE THOMSON . I am by profession a surgeon; I purchased a share in a patent for silvering glass; Mr. Varnish was my partner.

b) This is also from the November 1851 trial and is Thomson speaking whilst being cross-examined by Mr Montagus Chambers:

'Cross-examined by MR. MONTAGUS CHAMBERS. Q. You say you are a surgeon? A. Yes; I have been in considerable practice—I was very much engaged in professional business until I embarked in this silvering of glass—I then gave up my practice to a considerable extent, but was still engaged in it at 48, Berners-street, Oxford-street, closely adjacent to the premises—I made an agreement to carry out the patent with a man named Thomas Drayton, about Oct. 1848—I had commenced working the patent, and had silvered a great many things before I was introduced to Mr. Mellish —the cause of ray introduction to him was not some ink-bottles or inkstands being sent to me by Mr. Lund, of Fleet-street, it was my speaking to Mr. Powell, the owner of Whitefriars glass-works, telling him I wanted a man to carry out the silvering—that must have been in the summer of 1849—I recollect Mellish bringing some inkstands from Mr. Lund to be silvered; that was previous to my entering into a written agreement with him, but he had been with me a good deal in my silvering-room—I learned afterwards that a person had suggested the idea of silvering inkstands, and that Mr. Lund had an interest in the patent—I

did not learn from Mellish that Mr. Lund had made him a present of his interest—I have not silvered any ink-bottles myself of that construction; my first experiments with Mr. Lund's inkstands were perfectly successful, as far as the silvering went; they were perfectly silvered, but the ink being poured in upon it, took off the silver—Mellish did not invent the plan of a double glass—I took out a patent for that very purpose; that was not the patent in which I had purchased an interest in the first instanceI never knew Mellish make any experiments in putting the silver between two glasses, he took my directions to make glass suitable for my patent which I had been at work at months before I knew there was such a man as Mellish in the world; I hired him for the purpose of going to Powell's glass-works, and making hollow glass for the purpose of the patent which I had been at work at for months] - the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfaces—I got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me—previous to getting out that patent, I had tried the experiment, and had shown it; it was perfectly well known—Mellish was engaged in making those experiments before I took out the patent'...
...'Mr. Varnish was the active man, and looked after the mercantile part, but had nothing to do with the silvering, he knew nothing about it—I knew something about it; I was the only person who did, I patented it—I suggested after conversing with Mr. Varnish, that we should take out a second patent to protect the silver entirely, by hermetically sealing it from the atmosphere, introducing it between two coatings of glass; but I want to explain to the Court, if I were to take this inkstand, silver it, and then drop this little glass-holder into it, it would be an inkstand silvered between two coatings of glass, but that is totally distinct—preventing the air from getting to it is what I call hermetically sealing it'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 07:30:04 PM
Following on:-

Mr F. H. Thomsons' Patent 3

Thomson says re Patent 3:

a) 'I took out a third patent in the conclusion of 1850, in my name, and that of Mellish—it was for improvements in staining and cutting glass for the purpose of silvering cutting it in a peculiar manner—I did not make articles under that patent—I am not aware that any were in the Exhibition. I exhibited some articles of double hollow work of every description—Mr. Deane has got the list of articles exhibited from our firm—Mellish had no joint-interest in any manufacture connected with the silvering of glass, that I am aware of; it was never carried out—I saw the patent that I and Mellish took out; the agent who took it out for us was Mr. Cartmell—I believe I and Mellish saw him previous to taking it out; we asked him his opinion; it was in the autumn of 1850—I cannot swear which of us described the patent to Mr. Cartmell, it was taken out conjointly—it was described as a patent for cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass—I cannot speak to the very words—I believe I understood the invention thoroughly when I went to Mr. Cartmell—I thought I did at the time—I had gone through the matter myself—I do not know that anybody told me what it was—I swear Mellish did not tell me the whole process, he might have suggested some portion of it, and I believe he did; he suggested some portion of the cutting, as a practical man—he had not been engaged in the silvering of glass for eighteen months; he had nothing to do with the scientific part

b) 'Aug. 1850, Mellish and I became joint patentees of an invention for improvements in cutting, staining, and silvering glass—it was understood if I look the patent out and paid for it, that he merely as my workman should assign it for a consideration—I asked him to fulfil the engagement he had made, and he declined to resign his interests in the patent—
I may perhaps state that the patent was never completed, for the machinery to carry it out bad never been made'.



I believe this is Patent 3, as discussed by Thomson in the sources below, info given by Kev in reply 76 on this thread:

 "Thomson F. H. of Berners street and Mellish T. R. of Portland street,
Improvements in cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass
August 22, 1850"




Note: -
1) I don't quite understand the language used, but I think from reading that Mr Mellish was asked by Mr Thomson (and appears to have initially agreed to do so)  to resign or relinquish his part in this patent .  It appears from reading the cases that Mr Mellish in the end refused to relinquish his part in this patent.

2) It appears from Mr Thomson's wording that this patent was never put into action.









Sources:

Source for patent 3 - From books.google:-
A General Index to the Repertory of Patent Inventions and other Discoveries and Improvements in Arts, Manufactures and Agriculture ...
The "1815 to 1845 Inclusive" edition of that book
(but it includes later dates as well)



Source for Thomson's own words:-
a) This is from the November 1851 trial and is Thomson speaking :

'I took out a third patent in the conclusion of 1850, in my name, and that of Mellish—it was for improvements in staining and cutting glass for the purpose of silvering cutting it in a peculiar manner—I did not make articles under that patent—I am not aware that any were in the Exhibition. I exhibited some articles of double hollow work of every description—Mr. Deane has got the list of articles exhibited from our firm—Mellish had no joint-interest in any manufacture connected with the silvering of glass, that I am aware of; it was never carried out—I saw the patent that I and Mellish took out; the agent who took it out for us was Mr. Cartmell—I believe I and Mellish saw him previous to taking it out; we asked him his opinion; it was in the autumn of 1850—I cannot swear which of us described the patent to Mr. Cartmell, it was taken out conjointly—it was described as a patent for cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass—I cannot speak to the very words—I believe I understood the invention thoroughly when I went to Mr. Cartmell—I thought I did at the time—I had gone through the matter myself—I do not know that anybody told me what it was—I swear Mellish did not tell me the whole process, he might have suggested some portion of it, and I believe he did; he suggested some portion of the cutting, as a practical man—he had not been engaged in the silvering of glass for eighteen months; he had nothing to do with the scientific part—I did not direct Mr. Cookney to draw up a paper and present it for the signature of Mellish; the matter was talked over by Mellish, myself, and Mr. Cookney, but I am not aware that I gave any special instructions on the subject'

b) Court Case 3 10th May 1852 Reference Number: t18520510-502
Thomson being cross-examined by Mr Serjeant Shee

'MR. SERJEANT SHEE. Q. Was this shop taken for Mellish by your firm, or did he take it himself. A. I really cannot answer that question—Mr. Varnish had more to do with it than I had—I really do not know whether Mellish took it, or Mr. Varnish—it was done by my afterwards consenting to it—I went there sometimes—there was a regular stock book kept—I cannot of my own knowledge say whether when be left, the stock was checked by that book—Mr. Varnish and Mr. Dean can tell—in Aug. 1850, Mellish and I became joint patentees of an invention for improvements in cutting, staining, and silvering glass—it was understood if I look the patent out and paid for it, that he merely as my workman should assign it for a consideration—I asked him to fulfil the engagement he had made, and he declined to resign his interests in the patent—I may perhaps state that the patent was never completed, for the machinery to carry it out bad never been made—I believe I asked him to sign a paper, which had been prepared by Mr. Cookney, and be refused to do so—I was displeased at his refusal to do that which he had agreed to do—I did not express my displeasure strongly—I said very little about it—there was no coolness between us on that account at all—there was no coolness at all until within a very short period of his leaving the service—I do not recollect a coolness—some two or three months previous to his leaving me, I had spoken to him of the necessity of having a person who could take the higher grade of work, and that I should be obliged to associate such a person in the work, and that raised a great coolness—that was the only disagreement we had—my impression is that he left, in consequence of my telling him that I intended to associate a person with him who would supersede him—he told me he should go—I cannot say whether he said be wished to leave on the next Monday—he said, he should go immediately—he gave a week's warning—he was a weekly servant'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 07:57:02 PM
Question:

Was it Thomas Drayton who discovered using silver nitrate on glass instead of using, in his words, 'quicksilver' (is that mercury?)? [Mod: edited to confirm ... quicksilver = mercury]

Was this the same silvering he and Thomson was using?

Sorry, if this is irrelevant then please do say as I know nothing about chemistry. I just thought it might be interesting for this purpose.



This was patented in 1844:

https://www.google.com/patents/US3702

Publication number   US3702 A
Publication type   Grant
Publication date   Aug 12, 1844
Inventors   Thomas Drayton

'DESCRIPTION  (OCR text may contain errors)
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE. I

THOMAS DRAYTON, OF BRIGHTON, ENGLAND.

I Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 3,702, dated August 12, 1844.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, THOMAS DRAY'ION, a subject of the Queen of Great Britain, and now residing at Brighton, in the county of Sussex, gentleman, have invented or discovered new and useful lmprovemen ts in Coating Glass with Silver for Looking-Glasses and other uses; and I, the said THOMAS DRAYTON, do hereby declare that the naturelof my said invention and the manner in which the same is to be per formed are fully described and ascertained in and by the following statement thereof-that is to say: I

The invention consists of causing silver to be deposited onto glass from a solution of silver by deoxidizing the oxide of silver in solution in such a manner that the precipitate of silver will adhere to the glass without previous coating of metallic substances to the glass.

In order that the invention may be fully understood and readily carried into effect, I will proceed to describe the means pursued by me.

I would first remark that the invention is applicable in the manufacture of looking-glass and in other cases where it is desired to have glass coated with silver.

It is well known thatin silvering glass in the making of looking-glasses as at present practiced by the use of quicksilver the process is very unhealthy, and it is an important feature in this invention that this injurious and unhealthy process is dispensed with, and the glass is coated with silver deposited from a solution ter the same and combine therewith three ounces of spirit. I prefer spirits of ...'


/ etc...
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 08:37:05 PM
oh ...
1) see page 1 of this report (photograph attached)

http://www.svc.org/HistoryofVacuumCoating/Historical-Papers/Making-of-Reflecting-Surfaces_FleetwoodPress.pdf

Very technical (for me)  and skim read it but it is from 1920 and some of the discussion demonstrates the difficulty they had of making silvered reflective surfaces even up to 1920.


'...
DRAYTON stands at the head of this list with his patent of 1843, in which the reducing agent was composed of alcohol and oil of cassia. (May I remind you that oil of cassia contains an aldehyde group ?)  His invention proved a failure in practice, because his mirrors became spotted in time. 
In 1848 he modified his process, using grape sugar and alcohol in the reducing fluid and working at 160 degrees F
.'



I searched a bit further


2) In 1846 Mr Drayton's oil of cassia problem with spotting was discussed in:

The Journal of the Franklyn Institute on page 282 and 283
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nPpIAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA283&lpg=PA283&dq=drayton+grape+sugar+silvering&source=bl&ots=14C7ooFBXa&sig=CJXuDH3fxrEj1K0RJzF8brhv024&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqwYSix_3WAhWF1BoKHU9VCIIQ6AEINDAF#v=onepage&q=drayton%20grape%20sugar%20silvering&f=false)

Various experiments are described using different substances and one of the substances is grape sugar.  It says when unassisted by heat it takes a long time to dry, but assisted by a slight heat it forms in a few minutes.
The outcome in this instance appears to say that the result using grape sugar is much darker than Mr Drayton's result (using oil of cassia).

So at some point Mr Drayton presumably put two and two together and used part of his process and added grape sugar to make it work somehow along with working it at the right temperature (160 degrees F according to that report in 1920), and it worked. Hence the patent in 1848.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 19, 2017, 09:23:44 PM
From what I have read of the trial notes so far, I seem to recall that Thomson was at pains to make it clear the he (Thomson) was the inventor of the silvering process, and that Mellish was simply employed to manage the production.

So, from the info above about Drayton / Thomson, we need to
- carefully look into that relationship
- see if there is any reason why Drayton, before he contacted Thomson, did not take out (or be granted) a patent for his process in England as well in the USA.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 09:40:24 PM
ok
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 09:41:19 PM
Thoughts on the process of the making:

So process wise in the making of these coloured, cut, double walled, silvered internally, plugged at the bottom vases [Mod: edit ... items rather than just vases], from Mr Thomson's business - would this be right? :-

1) items designed at Thomson's some by Mellish (see court case 10th May 1852)

Varnish under examination said of Mellish:
my later edit  'he was constantly employed for us, from the morning till late at night frequently—in the evening he would go down to Messrs. Powell's glass works, and be there perhaps half the night, getting things made under his own inspection—they were things which he had designed, made drawings of, and carried out—that was perhaps three or four times a week'

and then designs taken down to Powell's (or other makers if it is proven other makers were used)

Then at Powell's (or other makers if it is proven other makers were used):

2) Blown in clear

3) In some cases, cased in colour
(perhaps not that easy even in 1850 as ensuring the colours annealed at compatible rates was important? and even in the reports of the Great Exhibition, whilst I think I've read some reports extolling the virtues of British Glass starting to compete with Bohemian glass in terms of colour, British glass was late to the market in terms of colour development wasn't it?)
[Mod: edit ... it was very likely that Powell's were chosen as a maker because of their skills with colours at that time.]

4) Double-wall effect to create a double-walled item then carried out by blower on the cased glass (v difficult) 

5) Foot needed to be formed - I've read somewhere (maybe CH British Glass in the experiment they did) that this was a difficult process.

6) Annealed  (see possible annealing rates issue above)

Possibly supplied to Thomson's at this point?

7) Pontil hole needed to be formed perfectly

8 ) Plug of glass(?) needed to be made to fit the hole exactly to go over the metal plug?

9) Item and plug to be engraved with numbers to ensure they fitted once the silvering process had been done

 Supplied to Thomson's premises?

10) Patterns for cutting designs drawn at Thomson's

11) Patterns cut (possibly by refiners at Thomson's, possibly by refiners working from home for Thomson?) - perhaps not an easy process on a piece of double-walled glass?

edited later by me to add 10th May 1852 proceedings Thomson said:
'...there were men engaged as glass cutters and glass polishers—they worked on the premises; at one period there were, I suppose, thirty men working on the premises, and perhaps seven or eight outdoor workmen'


12) Drayton's silvering process carried out at Thomson's - again a difficult process

13) Plug fitted.

14) Sold at Regent Street premises (or possibly by word of mouth by E Varnish as the 'commercial' partner?)

But.. none of Thomson's work would have been possible without the blown double-walled items in the first place.

edited to add - see also this thread where Tom Fuhrman discusses some of the difficulty in making these. http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65710.msg367529.html#msg367529
  See also the experiment in CH British Glass where the difficulty in recreating even a single layer (not cased) double-walled vessel is noted)

Thomson says the double walled item was his idea but...
finding someone to make them and who could make them successfully was not easy.
Powell's were at least one of the companies and, it seems, the first one for Thomson's, that did so.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 19, 2017, 10:33:30 PM
Just adding this link for future reference.  These seem to be unusual - they are gold (described as rare) and have engravings on them instead of having geometric cut patterns.  I thought they were unusual in light of the fact that in one of the court cases, Thomson seems to bemoan Mellish's designs and says they will improve once Mellish is gone (or words to that effect iirc). 
And given the discussion about whether Powell made all the double-walled glass or not.

http://www.antiquecolouredglass.info/Varnish%20Mercury%20glass.htm

Close up of the engraving here:
http://www.antiquecolouredglass.info/Mercury%20Glass%20Marks.htm

They are gold. (described as rare)
They have engraved birds and foliage on them.
They are described as 'A pair of Varnish Glass goblets' and it says 'both goblets marked'.
They are dated as 'no later than 1851'

'Provenance: The Cadman Collection, Brighton,'

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 20, 2017, 07:26:16 AM
Andrew has all of his silvered double-walled glass marked Varnish  and Hale Thomson sold as 'no later than 1851'.
http://www.antiquecolouredglass.info/Varnish%20Mercury%20glass.htm


So either:
-  these were all items that have a provenance as being bought from the Great Exhibition
or
-  they have proof of purchase/making attached to all of them contemporary to and no later than 1851
or
- he knows something about the fact that they weren't being produced after 1851.



It states at the top of his page that:
'Many items marked with the hale Thomson/Varnish patent seal were manufactured by the Whitefriars manufactory.'

(Varnish said in the court case that they bought items from France as well as from Powell's.)


By contrast, the V& A has four items (those with pictures attached) as 'c.1850'

Were any produced later than 1851?  and how do the V&A and Linehams know those were the dates?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 20, 2017, 10:56:47 AM
further to my note re my email to the V. & A.  -  have just received the following reply from the museum..............

""Dear Mr Stirling
 
Co-incidentally, I am in correspondence with another user of the Glass Message Board who seems to be researching the same subject.
 
In fact our Varnish/Thomson glass holding are a little more numerous than you have found. They are C.16 through to C.24-1961 and also Circ.248-1965. You can look all these up on our Search the Collections on our website. In essence, my predecessor who catalogued these items was of the view that Powells and other glassworks produced ‘blanks’ for Varnish to complete.
 
Here are excerpts from some of her cataloguing for our British Galleries:
‘The process of making double-walled silvered glass was patented by Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thompson in 1849.  A  number of glassworks, such as that of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London, made the blanks.  A stemmed vase or  goblet shape was formed, with  the glass-blower stopping short of opening out the mouth.  Instead, the top of the vase, still  sealed as a bubble-shape, was reheated and 'dropped' inwards to form a double-walled interior. This plain, undecorated vase  was then supplied to E. Varnish & Co., where it was filled between the walls from the foot end with a solution of silver nitrate  and glucose (in the form of grape juice).  The final stage was to seal the hole in the foot with a metal disc, in this example marked for Varnish's Patent.
 
The silvered glass exhibited by E. Varnish & Co. fascinated commentators on the 1851 Great Exhibition. Varnish's salvers,  vases, globes and goblets were bold in size and presentation, using non-tarnishing silver, ornamented with coloured casing,  cutting and engraving. The process 'added a richness and beauty of colouring to that material of which few could deem it  capable of receiving' (Illustrated London News ).’
 
She mentions one of our examples, an inkstand, as having been marked for Lund, whom she says may have patented some further detail of the decoration or mount. William Lund of Fleet Street, London was a family firm of retailers, not a manufacturer but a commissioner of work.
 
I am unable to advise the source of my former colleague’s reference to Powell as she does not mention it in her cataloguing record. However, it may be that she read p.30 of Wendy Evans, Catherine Ross and Alex Werner: ‘Whitefriars Glass: James Powell & Sons of London’, Museum of London, 1995. This gives a reference to ‘Tallis’s History and Description of the Crystal Palace’ where Tallis remarks:
‘…most of the glass exhibited by them [Mr Varnish and Mr Mellish, Hale Thomson’s second collaborator] was manufactured by Messrs Powell & Co., Whitefriars’.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Judith Crouch
 J. M. Crouch (Mrs.)
Ceramics and Glass Section
Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass
Victoria and Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL""

I don't know the identity of the 'other user' from the GMB, or even whether they are researching relevant to this particular thread  -  my thoughts are that it would have been courteous, bearing in mind that I had posted to the effect that I was contacting the museum, to have mentioned their efforts.            Two of us doing the same thing would be considered unnecessary, probably.          Of course, it may well be that their enquiries were in another direction regarding this material.

Anyway, you can see the museum's reply, which indicates only a speculative source of attribution to Powell, but does detail much that we were already aware of in terms of related names associated with this discussion. 

P.S.    I assume it was m (flying free) who contacted the V. & A., since it's in the post immediately prior to mine that there looks to be an identical extract from the museums email to me.
Please let me know, m, if I have that wrong :)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 20, 2017, 11:38:14 AM
The researcher in question was not M but Drewfind, who is no longer very keen on us! Read from here http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367664.html#msg367664


M's and Judith's quotes are from the V&A website and obviously the catalogue. Thank you for posting Judith's response, though, unfortunately, it adds nothing to the ongoing work
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 20, 2017, 12:15:44 PM
Hi Paul 
No, it was not me  :)

But thank you so much for letting us know what Judith Crouch from the V&A has said.

I appreciate it, because it is clear that Judith is not aware of the court case evidence from the three cases in 1851 and 1852 - primary source information that has been discovered on this thread.

There have been lots of posts on this thread as you will see :) 
Page 9 is where the info on the court cases was discovered and  started being discussed:

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367597.html#msg367597




Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 20, 2017, 12:42:17 PM
sorry m  -  I'm obviously guilty of not reading everything  -  in fact presently I've a very heavy head cold and brain not working too well.  apologies for accusing you. :-*
I agree with Christine, the museum's reply adds almost nothing in terms of a definitive conclusion.         I will of course thank Judith Crouch for taking the time to investigate on behalf of the GMB.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 20, 2017, 12:50:01 PM
 :) no apology necessary.

1) I'm glad Judith replied to you.  It helps to know where she and the V&A are at in terms of information they have regarding these pieces.

I don't suppose you could push your luck and ask her for a photograph of another item to do with this silvered glass could you?
Just out of curiosity I'd love to see the plug in the bottom of this particular vase (see link)
and I'd love to know why it appears to have a blue interior in the photographs online:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

If it feels too much to ask her something else then don't worry - it's just curiosity on my part as it doesn't look like any of the other vases.





2) By the way, for Paul and anyone else reading, there are some silvered glass items (at least one I've found) shown in the V&A under the  Powell and sons link.  They are probably the other item numbers Judith was referring to in her email to Paul.  But I've not double checked.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3297/vase-james-powell-sons/

Interestingly I've noticed on this one there is what appears to be a date next to the information supplied of (03/27/2003) - I wonder if that is the date the info was added - 15 years ago now?
That one has a Hale Thomson's Patent plug - they date it 1850-1860. 
None of this dating is any help at all in ascertaining whether Thomson was still refining and selling double walled glass after Mellish was arrested in 1851,as it's not based on any research as far as I can see and is just a c. estimate.

The info on this item (also found under Powell's) appears to have been added in 2009:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O250126/varnishs-patent-inkpot-and-cover-james-powell-sons/

I don't think the V&A are aware of the court cases evidence.



m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on October 20, 2017, 01:06:12 PM
 ;D  no objection in asking Judith Crouch for some more help  -  will let you know the lady's reply as and when.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 20, 2017, 01:14:06 PM
Thank you Paul  :)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 20, 2017, 01:24:34 PM
Re Kev's earlier comment in reply #120 http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367687.html#msg367687
about Drayton's silver patent using grape and silver nitrate and if it had been patented in England as well as in the USA:

I don't know any more about whether it was patented in England but having researched silvered glass in quite some depth last year before I lost my research,I remembered something - the silvering of glass was of particular importance to telescopes.


I have found this book published in 2013 by Springer and written by Neil English, Classic Telescopes A guide to Collecting, Restoring and Using Telescopes -
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MpWrx9kJwS0C&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq=mellish+silvered+glass&source=bl&ots=wPnlgLUNwL&sig=ybtnAEzKz6AO_079seEg3NdZBZI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii3viFov_WAhVDMhoKHYvpAmcQ6AEIVTAJ#v=onepage&q=mellish%20silvered%20glass&f=false)

On page 133 under the heading 'From Speculum to Glass' at the start of that chapter there is some relevant wording which might help.  It does appear from that wording that Drayton's patent for silvering was not well known elsewhere prior to the Exhibition 1851, and in the world of telescopes was not successfully done by someone else for telescope mirrors until 1856 by the German astronomer Karl Steinheil.


iirc, a patent for silvering glass was not given until 1855 to Thomas Leighton of New England Glass Company in America -
http://www.theglassmuseum.com/mercury.html

Not definitive, but might end up being helpful on when Thomson started, and particularly when he stopped, producing silvered double-walled glass (we know he was silvering single walled glass items before that).


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 20, 2017, 11:50:28 PM
In the 1978 book: Victorian Table Glass and Ornaments, [ISBN 0 214 20551 7] by Barbara Morris (at that time Deputy Keeper of Ceramics at the V&A Museum), chapter 2, pp 31-40 cover "Coloured and Silvered Glass". There is coverage of basic information relating to Thomson / Varnish / Mellish / Lund. There are three plates showing examples of Silvered wares.

The statement, "... probably made by James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars" is given but there is no reference to Tallis's comments for the 1851 Great Exhibition, although that was probably the source of the statement.

The chapter ends with a paragraph covering "Drayton's process ... introduced about 1850". A quote from the Art Journal 1 February 1853 is given, beginning  "... an ingenious mode of silvering glass ...".

What is perhaps new to us here is a company name: Plate 14 on page 33 shows three silvered glass items "acquired in 1851 from the Silvered Glass Company". One item has the "Varnish" plug and the other two have "Thompson's". Location of the items: Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, Paris

Do we already have a reference to the Silvered Glass Company?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 21, 2017, 12:02:38 AM
yes, I mentioned it earlier in the thread Kev, it was in the court cases somewhere!


I'll have a quick look back through the thread and check the cases to find it.


Secondly, very interesting that those items are in the Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, Paris (I will try and find those - I've used a French museum search site before so if I can find it I'll look them up) given Varnish and Mellish went to Paris (two or three times? - I remember Varnish saying he went the first time to register a patent)

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 21, 2017, 12:11:20 AM
I thought I had mentioned it - I definitely read it somewhere, and it was called the Patent Silver-glass company iirc, and that can only be in the court cases I'm sure.
I'll check through them.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 21, 2017, 12:21:09 AM
I found it here:

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367632.html#msg367632

It was called the Patent Glass-silvering Company by the Spectator.

I said on the previous post linked above:

'ok, potentially an interesting new piece of information here as well:

The Spectator reported the court case from 1851 in their issue 6 December 1851:
http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/6th-december-1851/2/alttrofolto

'At the Criminal Court, on Friday, Thomas Robert Mellish and James Douglas were convicted of defrauding the Patent Glass-silvering Company, ...  Douglas seven.'

What's interesting about this report is that they used the company name of  the 'Patent Glass-silvering Company'.''




So, in 1851 the Spectator called it the Patent Glass-silvering Company and in 1978 Barbara Morris called it the 'Silvered Glass Company'.

mmm, I  tried to search for the Patent Glass-silvering Company yesterday and didn't find anything, but then I have no idea or access to company records.  Anne is excellent at finding these things and I had yesterday been contemplating asking her to try and check it out.  It might  be worth asking Anne as there is now a second reference to a company 'name'.

I am now wondering where Barbara Morris discovered that 'name'? Possibly from the records of the receipt of the items in the Conservatoire in France?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 21, 2017, 12:50:38 AM
The only collection I know how to search is the Musee d'Orsay (built in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition).
They have a good online site  but I have searched as well as I know how to and can't find anything on there for either of those company names or silvered glass. Obviously not the right search place.


I'll try using the 'Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, Paris' as a search.

ooh - this is the search link for it (http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/recherche?search_api_views_fulltext=vase%20verre&page=1&x=0&y=0):


edited to add - No, sorry I can't work out how to use the search efficiently enough. 
The link is here:

http://cugnot.cnam.fr:8000/SEARCH/BASIS/COLLEC/INTERNET/OBJET/SF

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 21, 2017, 11:28:08 PM
I also tried searching the Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, using a variety of keywords but failed to get a positive result. I think we need somebody fluent in French who also has an understanding of the item we are looking for.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 12:07:57 AM
I think I did get a result Kev but iirc I ended up with 7000 to search through and I just haven't got the time.
It would not reduce the search any further for me.


We might just have to accept this evidence from Barbara Morris' book for now and, if used anywhere, we should state we cannot corroborate it, and should also quote the Spectator article using a slightly different company name, for consistency:

'What is perhaps new to us here is a company name: Plate 14 on page 33 shows three silvered glass items "acquired in 1851 from the Silvered Glass Company". One item has the "Varnish" plug and the other two have "Thompson's". Location of the items: Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, Paris'

and

'The Spectator reported the court case from 1851
in their issue 6 December 1851:
http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/6th-december-1851/2/alttrofolto

'At the Criminal Court, on Friday, Thomas Robert Mellish and James Douglas were convicted of defrauding the Patent Glass-silvering Company, ...  Douglas seven.'
'


Barbara Morris clearly knew the items had Varnish and Thomson plugs, but somehow she also had information that those in the CNAM were acquired from the 'Silvered Glass Company'.  What we don't know is how she got that information - i.e. was it from the purchase documentation held by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, from the 1851 acquisition?

She Ms Morris actually uses a different company name to that used in the Spectator article so presumably she hadn't got the name from that. For now, we might have to assume she got the company name from the CNAM paperwork.

(I'm idly wondering, if they went to Paris to register a patent, as Varnish said in the court case that he and Mellish did, then perhaps they 'deposited' some of the evidence of the patented work in the CNAM?
Iirc (and my memory is not briliant at the mo) I have read about CNAM previously to do with French Glass, and I think it might have been the place where new arts were 'lodged' as it were, and was used for those types of acquisitions from what I have read, if I am not confusing it with another organisation which is possible of course).
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 22, 2017, 12:58:25 AM
[This post may seem a bit over-complicated or unclear in some of the text. If so - sorry. ::)]

Another book find that sounds interesting but might not be very useful ...

English Glass ... by R. J. Charleston, 1984, ISBN 0-04-748003-3

From Pages 213/4:
Quote
... ... 'gold enamel' ware introduced by Thomas Hawkes of Dudley (pl. 58a). This designation too was a misnomer, for the technique ... seems ... to have called for a double-walled vessel. The outer skin decorated by cutting and the inner by applied gold and colours. ... ... Hawkes's double-walled gilt glasses may have suggested ... ... the double-walled silvered glass for which Frederick Hale Thomson and Edward Varnish took out a patent in 1849.
The plate 58a item shows a splendid lidded vase with wonderful curved lines in a "solid" shape and a "heavy" look to the outer cutting. It is 37.2 cm (14 5/8 inch) high and attributed as "Probably Dudley (Thomas Hawkes); about 1830-40".  V. A. M.

So of course I went straight to the V&A search page and found - nothing to match! What is frustrating about my failed search is that in the book, the next image is connected via the above quoted text to a ruby Varnish &  Co vase (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3080/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/) which is easy to find in the V & A pages.

The double-walled Hawkes (probably) vase was suggested by Charleston to be linked to Hawkes's "gold enamel" wares (see quote above) but those wares seem to have been a single layer of glass with cutting to the upper surface and gilding [also with enamels?] to the underside. The cutting revealing the underside decoration through the upper surface. [But I could have misunderstood the details.]

Hajdamach, British Glass 1800-1914, page 66, discusses Hawkes's glass and covers the "gold enamel" wares. He also says, in the lower half of the page:
Quote
A variation of the technique, in the form of a double-walled vase and cover in the Victoria and Albert collection is also attributed to Hawkes ...
The text goes on to suggest two separate items are blown, one bigger than the other; the larger decorated on the inside and the smaller on the outside; after which, they are fitted together with the decoration sandwiched between the two parts. It is not stated how final shaping of the joined parts is achieved. But the text continues with:
Quote
It is quite common to find the decoration peeling away from the glass where air has entered the interior space.
I am not clear in my mind about the actual processes required for that form of "double-walled" ware! But Hajdamach is confirming the general ideas stated by Charleston. What Hajdamacjh does NOT state ,anywhere that I can find, is the idea of the Hawkes's double-walled pieces being a possible hint for the Thomson-Varnish pieces.

It would be interesting to find examples of Hawkes's "gold enamel" wares and the (probably Hawkes;s) "double-walled items.

Perhaps the (probable) Hawkes vase is no longer in the V & A? Or maybe it has been re-attributed. It would have been good to see an image with better detail to see if Charleston's "forerunner" idea could have been reasonable. However, as yet, I cannot find other references to that sort of work by Thomas Hawkes of Dudley.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 01:15:41 AM
That double walled process that Charles Charleston is describing,  imho, is nothing like Thomson's double walled pieces i.e those blown and then manipulated to form double walled pieces with a pontil mark hole left in the bottom of the hollow double walled item.

What is does sound VERY much like again imho, is the double-walled glass made in Bohemia (and I think iirc and I'm sure I do,that they were made by one Russian glass maker as well).  They are sometimes called Zwischengold glasses and I am not referring to the ones with the 'medallion' set in.  These were made in the way you described above iirc, a small glass blown and decorated and then dropped into a slightly larger glass.
I'll try and find some examples to show you and post again separately.
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 01:19:08 AM
here we go

https://www.cmog.org/glass-dictionary/zwischengoldglas

This is a good example:
https://www.cmog.org/artwork/beaker-zwischengoldglas
you can see the decoration is still totally intact, it is done on the outer surface of the inner beaker, then the inner beaker is set inside a slightly larger beaker of the same shape, then the join at the rim, or sometimes below the rim with the outer beaker being shorter than the inner, then sealed with 'cement' of some sort.

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 01:55:50 AM
OMG!! Look what I just found!! (full source at bottom of post) - this was written in 1853

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Pantropheon or, History of Food, its Preparation, from the Earliest Ages of t, by Alexis Soyer



https://www.gutenberg.org/files/51259/51259-h/51259-h.htm

This appears on page 406 and page 407 of the linked book. (the page numbers are very very small on the right hand side)

The York Banquet which from reading the previous paragraphs appears to have taken place 25th October 1850 in the 'gothic Guildhall of York':

Quote
'...
 We will now resume our description of the York Banquet. In front of the principal table, on a raised platform, covered with purple cloth, was a collection of maces, swords, &c., estimated by competent judges to be worth £12,000. The most conspicuous ornament was placed immediately behind the great circular table; it was designed by the author, and is represented in the accompanying engraving. It consisted of a large emblematic vase, twenty feet in height, painted and modelled by Mr. Alfred Adams. Around the base are Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, presenting specimens of industry to Britannia. From the centre of the base springs a palm tree, surrounded by the arms of the cities of London and York; medallion portraits of her Majesty and Prince Albert, encircled by the shields of the principal cities and towns of the United Kingdom, form the body of the vase; two figures of Ireland and Scotland the handles; the Prince of Wales’s emblem the neck, and the royal arms the apex. Appended were graceful wreaths of flowers, in which the symbols of the Houses of York and Lancaster (red and white roses) predominated; and when a brilliant flood of gaslight, aided by powerful reflectors, was thrown upon this splendid decoration, the effect was truly magnificent.

'Having illustrated this volume with a murrhine vase, belonging to the House of Brunswick, and a curiously worked crystal cup, as gems of ancient production, we give here, as modern works of art, an engraving representing three superb drinking cups,—one for his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and one each for the Lord Mayors of London and York: the first is in ruby glass, a portion of the stem and base internally checquered with silver, and on the sides bearing white sunken medallions of her Majesty and the Prince Consort, and the royal arms of England. The other two cups were of the same size and shape, but, instead of being ruby and silver, the colours were emerald and silver; and on the sides were the private arms of each of the Lord Mayors, together with the usual heraldic emblazonments of the cities of London and York respectively. They were presented by the author of this work in the name of the Patent Silvered-Glass Company. This banquet was of so interesting a nature, that we could not omit giving some particulars of it in this work; at all events, the pomp and splendour of modern times, as far as banqueting is concerned, must prove that—from the Greeks and Romans, down to the middle ages—we have not been exceeded, except, perhaps, in waste and extravagance. The national entertainments given within the last fifty years, to commemorate striking events, are too fresh in our memory to pass them ...'

Image here!  plate 35 (the title to the plate is listed under each of the glasses in the photo as follows:

LORD MAYOR OF YORK’S CUP.    HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ALBERT’S CUP.    LORD MAYOR OF LONDON’S CUP.


https://www.gutenberg.org/files/51259/51259-h/images/ill_pg_407_sml.jpg

A goblet in green and silver apparently matching one of the green goblets described in this book is shown on page 260 of Charles Hajdamach's British Glass 1800-1914.  Charles say on page 272 that the ruby goblet described above (I think) is in the Osborne House collection.

This information is new information as Charles does not mention the third glass for the Mayor of York and does not say the banquet was held in York.  Neither does he mention the Patent Silvered-Glass Company


I'll take a bow now  ;D



Source:
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Pantropheon or, History of Food, its Preparation, from the Earliest Ages of t, by Alexis Soyer

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org/license


Title: The Pantropheon or, History of Food, its Preparation, from the Earliest Ages of the World

Author: Alexis Soyer

Release Date: February 21, 2016 [EBook #51259]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PANTROPHEON ***
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 22, 2017, 03:34:16 AM
 :) hmm. Nice find. How do you do get search results like that???
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 09:41:50 AM
I don't know  :)

Here's your V&A listing for the possible Hawkes lidded vase:

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O249611/vase-and-cover-thomas-hawkes-co/

No picture unfortunately but I'm sure it described the piece you refer to.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 22, 2017, 05:10:09 PM
Yes, that's it. Shame about no image for online viewing.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 10:35:36 PM
This link to the Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition has more detailed explanation of what 'Varnish & Co' showed.  It described the items with the colours of some of the pieces.

No information on Mr Mellish in this version.

'Varnish & Co' were on page 701 as no 27.
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kj6fz7beMrwC&pg=PA701&dq=silvered+glass+great+exhibition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjShLv9m4XXAhWLL8AKHQt0B7YQ6AEIMDAC#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass%20great%20exhibition&f=false)


photograph of Varnish & Co entry attached
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 22, 2017, 10:45:51 PM
[Mod: This post has been reconstructed from parts of this and later posts covering discussion between “m” and “KevinH” on the meaning of part of a newspaper report. Following agreement that there is confusion, the full discussion has been removed in favour of this condensed version.]

What ever happened to Mr Mellish?

Spectator April 10, 1852

Mr Mellish was found Not Guilty but suspicion of doubt was cast about that outcome. He was given the benefit of 'very great doubt'!!
So there you go - not guilty but maybe not really.

The newspaper report (see link and photo below) finishes with:
Quote
The Jury consulted for half an hour, and then gave a verdict of “Not Guilty”; the Foreman adding, that they gave the prisoner “the benefit of a very great doubt.”  So one supposes that the first sentence on the first trial will probably be carried out.

An exact interpretation of those last two sentences is hard to determine – was the “very great doubt” relating to guilt or innocence? And it seems very strange that the Spectator surmised that a prior trial result could stand above a later (re)trial verdict.


For reference, the dates of the trials and Spectator reports are I think as follows:

Trial 1:
28 November 28th, 1851. (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18511124) Scroll down to Case 60 

The Spectator reported the court case from 1851
in their issue 6 December 1851 (http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/6th-december-1851/2/alttrofolto). Scroll down to end

Trial 2:
5 April 1852 (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18520405-382&div=t18520405-382&terms=mellish_varnish#highlight)

10 April 1852 Spectator report on case of 5 April 1852 (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=d7g-AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA337&dq=mellish+silvered+glass+great+exhibition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjahM_tpYXXAhVMIMAKHdfQB0o4ChDoAQhTMAk#v=onepage&q=mellish%20silvered%20glass%20great%20exhibition&f=false)

Trial 3:
12 May 1852 scroll down to 502 (https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?name=18520510)


Reminder note re the third trial
Kevin H said:
Quote
In Reply #109, Christine said: "There is a continuation of the May 1852 court case still to find". Is that correct?

M replied:
Quote
I have not been able to find anything further on another trial for Mellish.  The trial on 12th(?) May 1852  had 'Not Guilty' written at the end of it.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 12:18:25 AM
Thomson's making of the silvered glass in the Great Exhibition, recorded here:

I just thought I'd add this record I found of the Great Exhibition, written 1851 by Charles Knight.
It mentions that the silvered glass items were made by Thomson.  Finally Mr Thomson had some recognition in his own right.
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kSxRAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA20-PA1539&dq=drayton+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL1pmx-4fXAhVkI8AKHUr0AbkQ6AEIOTAE#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass&f=false)
page 1540

Photograph added - First one appears at the bottom of the left hand column, and the rest of the para concludes at the top of the right, so had to add two photographs so it can be read in full.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 12:49:16 AM
Topic - Coloured Bohemian glass vases recorded at Mr Drayton's premises at 310 Regent Street having been silvered.

Recorded in the 'The London Literary Pioneer' Saturday 26th August 1848 on page 311 of link below
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sjQFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA311&dq=drayton+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4u9vH_4fXAhWrLsAKHZv9BzY4ChDoAQhSMAk#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass&f=false)


My comments:
I do not know if these were double walled or not.  I wasn't sure from reading but I don't think they were (this was 26th August 1848).  From reading the description I think they may have just been silvered on the inside of the vessel i.e. for example where the water would go in a vase, but I can't be sure.
But they are recorded as being Bohemian and in Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. 

I add this to show:

1) that there was a record of Bohemian coloured glass being used (albeit maybe not double walled glass)

2) and because the article does talk about other items being silvered such as hollow tubes.

3) the article talks about Drayton's silvering process being silver nitrate and oil of cloves or cassia.

 I thought by this time he'd have been using grape juice as it had turned out by then that oil of cloves meant the silvering quickly ended up with brown spots on it?  This article does also say that he was given a gold medal for it, by Prince Albert (see next post as that might have been given in 1847?).  But does this mean that his use of grape juice and nitrate came after August 1848 (or 1847 if this article was based on the info re medal perhaps being given in 1847 - see next post?)



Note

- This article was written in August 1848
- According to Thomson ( from Trial 1) he got on board with Drayton in 'about October 1848'
- Thomson talks in trial 1 of 'the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfaces' and says he had been working on it for months before he took on Mellish
- According to (trial 1 evidence) Thomson engaged Mellish in Autumn of 1849
- From something else Thomson said in trial 1, it looks as though Mellish started in October 1849:
Thomson said 'I got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me'
- Thomson appears to say that the double walled glass items from Powells came into being after he trialled a Lund inkstand and realised double walled would work so the double walled seems to have come about c. Dec 1849.
- That could imply that Drayton's coloured Bohemian glasses (vases.cups etc) were single walled in 1848.

But nevertheless, it shows they had access to coloured Bohemian glass from somewhere. 
Which means the Bohemian glassmakers have to have been at least in the running for making double walled items presumably?
And possibly means the silvered globes may have been Bohemian glass?  (because they might not have needed to be 'double walled', they could have just had the silvering poured inside them and then been sealed couldn't they?)

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 01:26:29 AM
On page 203 of this link, this Drayton process is discussed in great depth.

Practical Mechanic and Engineers magazine vol 6:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-Lc5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA202&dq=drayton+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-2uGBiojXAhWqDcAKHV2OBFw4FBDoAQg6MAQ#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass&f=false)


Topic: - Drayton  was sending glass to Paris to be silvered at the point this article was written (not dated so unsure when this volume was published - a bit of digging shows it comes up as 1847 on search so it might have been then?) and it was being returned dry within 48 HOURS.



On page 233  it notes he was given the gold medal for silvering glass and those were given on '10th June last' (I'm presuming 1848)

Topic:  it also talks about silvering the INSIDE of capillary tubes.

And it says that within the 'last 4 mths' between 500 and 1000 large glasses (presume this means mirrors) had been silvered in Paris,of which a shipment of 25 went to China. 
I add this, because it does seem that it wasn't that slow to get glass silvered and back from Paris.

So, this may be why they went to Paris to patent the silvered glass vases?

Whilst the double walled process was difficult to blow, Paris also seems to have been within the grasp of getting items made and back quite quickly.  So Paris must also be in the running/potential as a maker of their double-walled glass perhaps?


Neither this post nor my post previous proves they were using French or Bohemian double walled glass items, but surely must indicate that both those countries were possibles for making the glass, not just Powell's?
Having said that, at the trials the only places they (Varnish and Thomson) talk about visiting, were Brussels (not sure whether Varnish and Mellish went here together or just Varnish) and Paris (where Varnish and Mellish went together), and VArnish only mentioned Paris as where they bought glass and where they lodged a Patent.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 01:49:26 AM
oh ...  The Art Journal 1851 see  page 76,

Topic:   describing the process of how Powell's made the double-walled glasses, and how they looked gilt inside and how they were engraved. 

Errm ... any comments on this ?  (they seem to say they were made in two pieces after being engraved (on the interior??) and actually talk about the 'touch' being so perfect that the outer wall appears perfectly smooth - eek  (see photograph of a snippet of the article for their description) and they also seem to imply that Mr Hale Thomson (their usage) used grape juice instead of oil of cloves or cassia and make the distinction that this was what Mr Drayton used.
They keep referring to the fact they covered in great detail Mr Drayton's silvered glass process in their 1848 volume.

They also talk about being particularly impressed by the gold ruby glass used - that will be why the Queen and Prince Albert had a red goblet (gold ruby) and presumably the Lords Mayor of York and London had green ones (cheaper than gold ruby) maybe?

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZxA8AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA75&dq=drayton+silvered+glass+art+journal+1848&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitntukkIjXAhVHFMAKHbeyCu0Q6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal%201848&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 24, 2017, 02:52:11 AM
Notes on DRAYTON:

1. Presentation of a gold medal by HRH Prince Albert (president of the Society of Arts) to Thomas Drayton for his "new process of silvering glass" was reported in the June 1847 edition of The Agricultural Magazine and Farmers' Journal (page 267 Google numbering (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OsEEAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA276&lpg=RA1-PA276&dq=prince+albert+gold+medal+drayton+silvered&source=bl&ots=4xqeC9ZPV6&sig=lMtcN5UEUB9T_qBe3ocBaI_fY7U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV6OKQlIjXAhXsA8AKHZTGAqUQ6AEINDAF#v=onepage&q=prince%20albert%20gold%20medal%20drayton%20silvered&f=true))

2. "Drayton's New Mode of Silvering" was reported in Notes and Notices of The Mechanics Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette
Edition No. 1089, Saturday, June 22, 1844 (Google page number 432 (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=prMAAAAAMAAJ&pg=PT3&lpg=PT3&dq=gold+medal+drayton+silvered+glass&source=bl&ots=z09K6A5nG5&sig=b_QC2YrOYUv_bNmIz_7TSEBNETU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMv_7JlojXAhWKJMAKHQCwClYQ6AEIPjAH#v=snippet&q=drayton%20silvering%20glass&f=false))

So it seems that Drayton had been developing his silvering process since at least 1844 and was successful enough by 1847 to be awarded a gold medal at the Society of Arts.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 10:48:19 AM
On page 76 of the Art Journal Report dated March 1851, they make the distinction that Mr Hale Thomson's silvering process used sugar and in that respect differed from Mr Drayton's process of using essential oils.
They say they are very careful of describing the process used. (see photo of relevant paragraph )

but best to read the preceding paragraphs as this explains Drayton v Hale Thomson process.
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZxA8AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA75&dq=drayton+silvered+glass+art+journal+1848&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitntukkIjXAhVHFMAKHbeyCu0Q6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal%201848&f=false)


So it might be possible that Patent 2 (Dec 19 1849 - Thomson F. H.  and Varnish E. of Kensington) as described in reply #116 on this thread linked below, referred not only to double walled glass being used but also to using grape juice by Hale Thomson, rather than essential oils as used by Drayton in his silvering process?
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367682.html#msg367682

Note:
This article in the Art Journal was written in March 1851. 
Remember the York Banquet was held 5 months previous to this in  October 1850 at which point three goblets had been presented to Prince Albert and the the two Lords Mayor (York and London) on behalf of the Patent Silvered-Glass Company.
source: http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367784.html#msg367784
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 11:25:34 AM
Topic:  gilt interior on silvered double-walled glass items

I've queried this before.

1) Diane Lytwyn says in this article:
http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/mercury_glass.htm
 that the gilt interiors are found on English silvered glass items and Bohemian silvered glass items, not on American made items.
The article says the 'the vast majority of these'  were 'gold-washed':

'[b]In addition, the gold wash effect on the interiors of the vast majority of compotes, beakers, goblets, pitchers, salts and vases were achieved with the use of chemical stains.[/b] The contrast of the gold to silver resulted in a piece of extraordinary brilliance. It is found on silvered glass made in Bohemia and on some English pieces, but silvered glass made in the United States, however, was never gold washed.'

Note, DL does qualify this by saying 'the vast majority'.





2) The Art Journal seemed to imply that the gilt interior on the Hale Thomson pieces was achieved by using 'brilliant yellow glass' for the interior surface (see page 76 middle column):

'...
As the inner part of a goblet is made of brilliant yellow glass, the tint varying as iron, or silver, or charcoal is employed, this, when silvered, looks as if it were gilded, and we have the effect of a silver cup gilt within.'


Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZxA8AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA75&dq=drayton+silvered+glass+art+journal+1848&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitntukkIjXAhVHFMAKHbeyCu0Q6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal%201848&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 11:33:05 AM
Just giving this query a topic of it's own as noted in my reply #152

Topic:  describing the process of how Powell's made the double-walled glasses


Errm ... any comments on this ?  (they seem to say they were made in two pieces after being engraved (on the interior??) and actually talk about the 'touch' being so perfect that the outer wall appears perfectly smooth - eek

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZxA8AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA75&dq=drayton+silvered+glass+art+journal+1848&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitntukkIjXAhVHFMAKHbeyCu0Q6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal%201848&f=false)

Edited 23 Nov 2017 to add ...
see Reply #206 for a likely answer to the question
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 12:20:11 PM
Topic:  Drayton's patent in the UK for silvering glass

From Kev's query in reply #120  about ascertaining if Thomas Drayton took out a patent in the UK as well as the one taken out in 1844 in the United States:

'So, from the info above about Drayton / Thomson, we need to
- carefully look into that relationship
- see if there is any reason why Drayton, before he contacted Thomson, did not take out (or be granted) a patent for his process in England as well in the USA'



Answer:

According to page 136 of this book, Justus Von Liebig (William H. Brock, 1997 Cambridge University Press) ...

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=VugoemP2th0C&pg=PA136&dq=silvered+glass+company+1850&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2yuOfm4nXAhUkAsAKHdDvAP4Q6AEIUTAJ#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass%20company%201850&f=false)


... Drayton took out a patent for silvering glass in 1843:

'In 1843 an English operative chemist Thomas Drayton patented a process for silvering glass. Silver was precipitated by adding an alcoholic solution of oil of cassia to ammonia and silver nitrate.(note 59).  Although the patent (BP 9968, 25 November 1843)  drew attention to it's possible use for mirrors, it's sole commercial use until the late 1850s was in the artistic ornament of goblets and other glass vessels with silver braids.'


So in this topic of patents,  Drayton had a patent taken out in 1843 (see above)
And  then again in 1848 :
Source - http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367681.html#msg367681

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 02:55:40 PM
See page 125 for a description of the patent process Drayton used for Patent in 1843:

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=m084AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA125&lpg=PA125&dq=patents+silvered+glass+1843&source=bl&ots=5bwL8TccZh&sig=vbgXoXkBm7S7sD8FcC2YmmmicF8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjm_NjNwYnXAhWEIMAKHXUzBY8Q6AEIPzAK#v=onepage&q=patents%20silvered%20glass%201843&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 24, 2017, 05:52:03 PM
Re: Reply #156 ...

I think the author of that 1851 Art Journal article was mistaken about the process of making the items. His description sounds more like he had seen the "Hawkes double-walled vase" (that we can't see online) and concluded it must have made in two parts and joined; then he decided that double-walled silvered items must have been made similarly.

As for "to the touch they are smooth on the outside" I cannot think which type of item he was considering. It sounds like a description of an undecorated (or plain outer with "gold wash" interior) item!
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 06:26:28 PM
mm,I'm not convinced Kev.

The Author gives a very good description of the yellow interior glass used as well.
These were the days of no photos, so the Author would have had to have seen the glasses to have described them so well and to describe the feeling of them being completely smooth to touch.

Unless Thomson/Varnish sent a PR release round, which has been misconstrued in it's retelling?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 06:49:52 PM
Art Journal 1851 -  3 pieces pictured here.
Art Journal edition appears to be a later date in the year than the one I referred to just above (which was from March 1851). Difficult to know from the pictures whether they have a smooth exterior (i.e completely uncut) or not.

However .... one vase seems to have a similar applied silver collar as that on that 'Bohemian looking' marked Varnish glass vase in the V&A - doesn't it?

Two vases and a salver on a stand silvered by Mr Thomson's process and described as being from 'the establishment of Mr Mellish', here described and pictured as engravings:

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HodMAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA21&dq=art+journal+thomson+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSyval9YnXAhXKKcAKHchVC-EQ6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=art%20journal%20thomson%20silvered%20glass&f=true)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 24, 2017, 09:47:29 PM
Re: Reply #159

Kev, - no, got to disagree based on this article (however,I honestly don't think what they are describing here or in the Art Journal is what I am reading it as, or if it is what I'm reading it as, then it's not possible).

Chamber's Edinburgh Journal vol 15 (January - June 1851) page 63 (bottom of middle para on right hand side) makes it very clear that:

'The thing is, it is true, an optical delusion.  To the touch the apparently raised or sunken surface, dead or frosted, cut or burnished, does not exist.  But the eye nevertheless beholds such results'.

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WX1TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&dq=thomson+silvered+glass+art+journal&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtvJ2ImorXAhWpAMAKHZk6AncQ6AEIOTAE#v=onepage&q=thomson%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal&f=false)

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WX1TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&dq=thomson+silvered+glass+art+journal&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtvJ2ImorXAhWpAMAKHZk6AncQ6AEIOTAE#v=onepage&q=thomson%20silvered%20glass%20art%20journal&f=false


But this listing is a good example and can be enlarged and the cutting on the exterior I think (?) can be seen?
http://www.dreweatts.com/cms/pages/lot/13856/461


So, I have three Bohemian pieces with gilt interiors. I have no English versions and have never seen one in real life.
Has anyone else? 
Are they somehow cut with patterns on the interior surface and then havea plain smooth clear casing or sleeve over the outside?

By the way unlike the Art Journal, the Chamber's article praises highly the mirror globes, towards the end of that article, and says some of them were 30" in diameter!

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 25, 2017, 12:42:23 AM
Quote
Kev, - no, got to disagree based on this article (however,I honestly don't think what they are describing here or in the Art Journal is what I am reading it as, or if it is what I'm reading it as, then it's not possible).
Wow m! Now I am really confused.  ;D

Keeping it simple ...
You pointed out that the image of the pair of vases from the Dreweatts sale can be enlarged and the cutting on the exterior can be seen. That is correct ... they are intaglio cut on the outside or (to use somebody else's wording) "cut-to-silver". The thickness of the colour casing can be seen and the neatness of the sloping edges of the cuts can also be seen. They are formed in basically the same way as all cut-to-clear items of 19th century Europe including England. The only main difference in method of decoration is that of the double-wall to accommodate the sealed silvered interior.

I can confirm the method of cutting with my rather vague memory of holding one of those actual vases at Christie's salerooms in 1998. I also held a couple of the larger items - very chunky, very heavy and also with normal cutting through the external colour to the revealed silvered interior.

[What I did not take note of when I examined the Christie's' items was the depth of the inner wall (or "bowl"). If I had thought at that time I might be discussing them nearly 20 years later, I would have paid more attention. And that would have helped me understand the way they were formed. :)]

The three images in the Art Journal show items that were also intaglio cut on the exterior to reveal the silvering. But they are all really well cut items - very intricate.

I have also had in my greasy paws a couple of uncased versions of silvered glass, probably Bohemian. They had some external, lightly engraved or etched floral decoration against an all silvered background. The depth of the clear glass did produce a form of optical illusion, when viewed at certain angles, rather like having double vision, with a second image reflected off the interior silvering. But I would not call it an "embossed" effect, although perhaps that what those Victorian reporters meant. Those were probably the closest I could get to describing as having a "smooth to the touch outer surface".
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 25, 2017, 07:20:12 AM
 ;D

ok so I/we? think the author is talking about the reflected second image that happens with internally silvered glass which has been cut or engraved/decorated on the outer layer.

Maybe that too is what the Art Journal were describing hence deciding they had to have been made in two pieces in order for the 'apparent/perceived' cutting on the internal surface to have taken place.

The general public don't seem to have had much experience with mirrors at that point from reading those description and reading around generally on the developments for making plain flat reflective mirrors.  So perhaps  plain mirrored surfaces were not readily available, therefore reflections might have been quite difficult to perceive and describe?

I do actually remember coming across this conundrum on a piece of cameo glass that had been cut on an outer layer of frosted clear glass layered on top of a translucent opaline layer.  Even in 2012 I perceived it as an amazing effect, and had to do some close looking.

Thanks Kev

m


Edited 26 Oct 2017 to add text originally with the next post ...
P.s. I meant to add in my post above, that on the three pieces I have (Bohemian) the internal wall of the bowls (where the liquid in a goblet or salt in a salt would go) all go right down to the bottom of the bowl, i.e. if so wished, they would be fully functioning pieces.

They are all good quality antique original pieces, gilded (somehow) on the interior bowl, no signs of mold blowing, all double walled and silvered, and one has a makers mark impressed on the seal in the foot.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 25, 2017, 08:26:32 AM
Topic: dissolution of Patent Silvering Glass Company   (note name - different to that previously documented in an 1853 report about a banquet held in 1850 - see reply #143, where it was documented as Patent Silvered-Glass Company. )

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5hpKAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PR78&dq=frederick+hale+thomson+and+cooke+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijlsKNrYvXAhVMtxQKHd8wCGUQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=frederick%20hale%20thomson%20and%20cooke%20glass&f=false)


Quote: The London Gazette page 2522 (Sep 2, 1851 - Dec 30 1851)

'Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, Edward Varnish, Frederick Hale Thomson and James Thomas Cookney, as the Patent Silvering Glass Company, carried on at No. 48, Berners-street and No. 134, Regent-street in the county of Middlesex, under the name of firm of Edward Varnish & Co., was dissolved on 27th day of September instant, by mutual consent. All debts owing to and by the late firm will be received and paid by the said Frederick Hale Thomson, who will continue to carry on the said business.- As witness our hands this 29th day of September 1851.
                Edward Varnish
                Jas.T.Cookney.
                Fredk. Hale Thomson.
'





Notes:
1) In one of the court case reports,  it reads that Mellish went in May 1851 and Varnish appeared to say in the court case that Mellish went 'two weeks before he did'. 

I  therefore assumed Varnish had gone in May 1851, so had been wondering how Varnish was exhibiting these pieces at the Great Exhibition (held from May to October 1851) if he'd gone.
As an explanation of this discrepancy I had assumed the reports of the Great Exhibition were most likely from the opening stages of the Exhibition anyway (i.e. May 1851 when it first opened) and therefore Edward Varnish & Co would have still been the name of their Stand at the opening of the Exhibition.

2) From this listing in the London Gazette, it seems Edward Varnish & Co were still operating as the firm's name  until 27 September 1851 but that the company partnership was registered as the Patent Silvering Glass Company.

3) This listing makes clear that the partnership has been dissolved however the business continues under the ownership of Frederick Hale Thomson from 27th September 1851.

4) So ? this may have been the end of:

 a) the Patent Silvering Glass Company
b) Edward Varnish and Co

because:
- Edward Varnish had no idea about glass by his own admission. 
- Thomson had the money and the premises and the staff and the contacts at Powell & son to have the glass manufactured, and the knowledge to carry out silvering double walled glass.
- Mellish (who had been shown how to silver glass by Thomson) had gone from the company in May 1851


5) I wonder if 27th September 1851 was the date the last double walled glass pieces  had the lozenge in 'Varnish & Co Patent'?
   
6) I wonder if 27th September 1851 was the date the first double walled glass pieces had the lozenge in the base 'Thomson Patent'?

7) James Thomas Cookney may have been a money man, or investor, rather than a glass knowledge type person?

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rfYwAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA497&dq=james+cookney+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi84tn4uYvXAhUJ7RQKHfGUAaQQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=james%20cookney%20glass&f=false) the Spectator listing where he  is listed as a trustee of the Aegis Life Assurance Company.


8 )  It seems  that some of Drewfind's 'assertions' and 'statements of fact' in his posts early on in this thread may not be correct.


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 26, 2017, 07:53:19 PM
I think we need to try and put together a timeline of events/people/partnerships so far.
I can't promise anything but will try to remember to write something up at least listing dates and events.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on October 26, 2017, 09:54:41 PM
Yes, timelines etc. are the next stage. They will help to form the basic structure of an article.

You draw up your timelines and I will draw up mine. Let's try to keep the details brief with a simple text reference to the source of the info. No links; they can be extracted from the source references as and when needed. We can then compare results and modify as necessary.

I have colour-coded my copies of the details of the trials so that I can more easily find and link together basic facts for: People, Places, Dates & Times, etc. I estimate a week to get my first draft produced, spending an hour or two per day.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 07:30:28 PM
Topic:  Who devised the silvering process that Mr Thomson was using?


According to the Art Journal part 1 1851 page 75 and 76, they note that in 1848 they discussed Mr Drayton's process for silvering glass and had thought it was the process that would be successful and stop other makers from using previously used injurious substances to silver glass.

They note in this 1851 journal that in fact, dark spots started appearing on Mr Drayton's mirrors and so his silvering process was not in the end successful (using oil of cloves and cassia with the silver nitrate - as far as I understand it).

The Art Journal then says that a Mr Stenhouse 'then of Glasgow,but who is now about to occupy the chemical chair at the College of Civil Engineers, at Putney, also published a paper in the Memoirs of the Chemical Society, in which he gave a list of a great many articles, which had the property of precipitating silver from it's solution. Gum Arabic, starch, salcine, saccharic acid and Aldehyde were there named, as were also the essential oils of pimento, turpentine, laurel - and the peculiar property of grape-sugar was particularly named.  Upon this last substance Mr Stenhouse had instituted a great number of experiments, which were clearly the first indications of it's use now included in the patent  process of Mr Thomson,of which we shall presently have to speak.'


So, it seems Mr Thomson was not using Mr Drayton's process, but using a nitrate and grape-sugar process publicised it seems by Mr Stenhouse, or at least it was Mr Stenhouse who conducted experiments with the grape-sugar and wrote an article bringing this process to the wider attention.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 07:43:32 PM
Topic:  Evidence of whether Whitefriars blew many of the double walled glass items and whether they blew the items that were double-walled and cased.


Do we have any evidence at all that Powell's were able to produce 'double-walled cased glass' in colours at this time? (Kev I know you mentioned their expertise with colours previously - was this to do with stained glass windows?)



We have two pieces of court evidence:

a) Mr Thomson asked Mr Mellish to go to Mr Powell's  to get a double-walled inkwell blown.  This seemed to take an inordinate/lengthy amount of time according to Mr Thomson.

There is no indication the inkwell was cased, and  as it seems to have been the 'aha' moment for Mr Thomson, i.e. the first one made, perhaps it took so long to make because it was the first one and therefore might not have been a cased version of double-walled glass.



b) Varnish says in the first court case that the amount of glass they bought from France was less than that purchased from Powell's. This indicates they bought from Powell's

But it also indicates they bought from France: 

- Varnish also says they when they went to France they went to 'the first establishments' indicating they purchased from more than one place.

- Iirc Varnish says he/he and Mellish also visited Belgium (and  Birmngham ?- but can't find that wording at the moment)

- France was capable of producing cased on clear and cut to clear cased glass at this time.

- Thomson also says in the first court case that they dealt with someone else, and it seems implicit by his phraseology, that was about  purchasing glass from someone else.  That person was called 'Sago' according to the transcript but who knows if that has been copied over correctly into modern font?



c) I have seen mention that the glasses made with a Varnish plug are heavy.
-  I have a St-Louis goblet from c.1850, cased in red, cut to clear - it's heavy and a 'chunky' design. 
   I have another green pressed beaker also from that period I believe, also
   heavy, and I have a number of Bohemian goblets from that period cased, also heavy.
-  The St-Louis goblet I believe was made using gold-ruby glass casing.

So, is it possible that the description of 'heavy' is used as comparative to Bohemian silvered glass, which might seem to be lighter ? I have no idea why but I can confirm the three I own are much lighter than my St Louis goblet . 
But in terms of 'weight' perhaps not that different to 'normal' cased Bohemian and French glass of the period (allowing for the fact that it will be double layered and have a silvered interior so will automatically be heavier than say, my pieces.
 


Do we know of any Powell glass items from this period?  Are they inordinately heavy?

-  Birmingham makers were also producing cased glass (see Great Exhibition descriptions).
-  There is no indication in the Great Exhibition descriptions of 'cased glass' from Powell's.
-  Iirc I did find one description of a new stained glass process from Powell's, mentioned in the Great Exhibition descriptions somewhere, involving
   colour though.


I'm asking because whilst I know that similar shapes were made 'everywhere', I searched high and low for a stem to match that on my goblet and the nearest I came was Bakewell or Bakewell Pears in America I think ? and then France. It has a peculiar 'heft' in it's design as well,it's 'clunky'.
The shape of the stem and the 'flat' foot on the blue goblet on this set of English silvered glass, just reminded me of my goblet so much:

http://www.antiquemercuryglass.com/Page24.html

of course, I could have just been unlucky in searching and probably similar design elements were in fashion all over.  But ... maybe not.


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 08:32:11 PM
Correction:

I mentioned much earlier in this thread that if I had recalled correctly, Thomson said HE devised the double-walled method.  He did say something like that, but later in the case, Varnish contradicted this by saying in his evidence:
Court Case 1

Quote from Thomson giving evidence:

I have not silvered any ink-bottles myself of that construction; my first experiments with Mr. Lund's inkstands were perfectly successful, as far as the silvering went; they were perfectly silvered, but the ink being poured in upon it, took off the silver—Mellish did not invent the plan of a double glass—I took out a patent for that very purpose; that was not the patent in which I had purchased an interest in the first instance—I never knew Mellish make any experiments in putting the silver between two glasses, he took my directions to make glass suitable for my patent which I had been at work at months before I knew there was such a man as Mellish in the world; I hired him for the purpose of going to Powell's glass-works, and making hollow glass for the purpose of the patent which I had been at work at for months—the first patent in 1848, was for silvering glass and other surfaces—I got the second patent for introducing silver between two glasses, in Dec. 1849, two months after Mellish had worked for me—previous to getting out that patent, I had tried the experiment, and had shown it; it was perfectly well known—Mellish was engaged in making those experiments before I took out the patent—the inkstands sent by Mr. Lund were not with a double hollow—


Court case 1

Quote from Varnish giving evidence:
'it was before I went that he failed in silvering the inkstands for Mr. Lund—I know that Mellish afterwards succeeded in doing so, that was in consequence of the glass being inverted in such a way that it presented two surfaces, and the solution of silver was put in, Mellish at my suggestion tried the experiment and was successful, and that was the reason my name was put in—I think some of the inkstands of Mr. Lund were done so, but I suggested a mustard-pot or cream-jug—Mr. Lund had a patent for the inkstands, which failed—I think Mellish had an interest in them with Mr. Lund—afterwards at my suggestion, we found we could put silver on inkstands of this description by making the double glass; it was perfected and you may see them to-day—I believe the patent was taken out in my name, I am not quite sure—I know nothing of the glass trade—Mellish had no interest in it, he carried it out for his master; he was not one of the patentees—I think it was in the name of Thomson and Varnish, but the patent will show—


So ... a bit of conflicting evidence perhaps. But it seems Thomson and Varnish somehow together worked out that a double-walled vessel would work.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 08:48:36 PM
This is my Saint Louis goblet just to show that stem and foot:

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,60736.msg352516.html#msg352516

I'm probably wrong and similar styles were being made everywhere, except that I know I could not match it to a Bohemian piece no matter how much I searched.  I think sometimes there are odd things that maybe peculiar to certain countries but I couldn't explain that really.

Ooh, and just to be a little argumentative  :) Saint Louis seemed to have used a kind of spaced out cut pattern design with big gaps between their cut patterns.  Difficult to explain but CH makes the point in British Glass 1800-1914 on page 83 where he talks about the tumble up and decanter in white on clear in Colour plate 5.  That effect is what SOME of the cut patterns on the Varnish items reminds me of.

I'm going to take a look through CH British Glass now and prove myself wrong  ;D
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 10:02:07 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

This goblet
https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/chiswick-auctions/catalogue-id-srchis10385/lot-beb28f46-d879-45e8-85dd-a7a80120530d

is veeerrry similar in shape and exactly the same height (10.5cm) as a goblet in Leon Darnis Baguiers et Verre a Boire page 162 plate 114 - 'Saint-Louis. Verre a piedouche, overlay bleu (it's actually blue on white on clear) - vers 1840-1850. '

The blue over white on clear goblet has been cut in circular bands on the foot but the foot is squat and is the width of the bottom of the glass and the shape of the glass is very similar to the green one, perhaps a little more squat in perceived shape a little less shaped inwards towards the bottom if yswim, but that could be because one is double walled and the other has been twice cased and then cut.

I have pictures of Saint Louis red and blue and green cased items dating to c.1840-1850.



mmmm
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 10:25:18 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

From reply #143 in this thread:

The York Banquet - Note that Alexis Bénoit Soyer (French coincidentally) wrote this in 1853 and his wording is spare regarding who made the goblets:

'...we give here, as modern works of art, an engraving representing three superb drinking cups,—one for his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and one each for the Lord Mayors of London and York: the first is in ruby glass, a portion of the stem and base internally checquered with silver, and on the sides bearing white sunken medallions of her Majesty and the Prince Consort, and the royal arms of England. The other two cups were of the same size and shape, but, instead of being ruby and silver, the colours were emerald and silver; and on the sides were the private arms of each of the Lord Mayors, together with the usual heraldic emblazonments of the cities of London and York respectively.
They were presented by the author of this work in the name of the Patent Silvered-Glass Company.'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 10:35:53 PM
Topic:  'Thomson's meaning of glass patterns'

I have just realised something I think ...
When Thomson was moaning about the glass patterns and saying (possibly - I think he denied saying it)  that the patterns would improve once Mellish was gone, I 'think' he might have meant the designs of the items/pieces, not the actual cut patterns on the items?

Quote by Thomson from court case 1:

'... before Mellish left, I had a conversation with Douglas about Mellish's patterns (Mellish used to draw the patterns for the glass)—I may have said to Douglas, that now Mellish was going, he would see a great improvement in the patterns; I do not remember it—I spoke continually to Douglas, of course—I have no doubt I said there would be an improvement—I am not aware that Mellish said, "If so, you shall begin afresh for yourself, and shall not have my patterns (or sketches) to work with," and throw them into the fire—to the best of my belief nothing of the kind passed—nothing certainly was said about Mellish's patterns; they were not his, they were mine, and if he had thrown them into the fire I should have given him into custody—I afterwards improved upon those patterns very much indeed—I said, three weeks before be (
sic ) went, that I should have a scientific person to improve the work, and that he was incapable of it—it was one of the great causes of his leaving, that I required a higher person to carry out the thing in a higher grade of art.'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 10:48:33 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

I wouldn't consider this clutching at straws, but it could be confirmation bias  ;D

The oval cut 'leaves' on the green vase look very similar to a Saint-Louis goblet page 119 of Baguiers et Verre a Boire
Click here to view (http://www.theantiquedispensary.co.uk/stock-items/antique-glass/antique-varnish-mercury-glass-large-vase-prince-of-wales-plumes/)


The quatrefoil cutting is also similar to that seen on a Clichy goblet  on page 118 (I know quatrefoils and trefoils were used in Bohemian glass as well and therefore might also have been seen on British glass of the period) but also:

The  odd 'line' or 'wave' type cutting on these red goblets can be seen in a similar style on that Clichy goblet on page 118 as well
http://www.dreweatts.com/cms/pages/lot/13856/461
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 28, 2017, 11:58:04 PM
Topic:  Ink pot - this is what the V&A describe as a Thomson 'ink pot'  ( I wasn't quite sure what shape of item they were discussing in the court case where they referred to Lund's ink thingy'
Click here to view (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O250126/varnishs-patent-inkpot-and-cover-james-powell-sons/)

And it's amethyst glass - I couldn't see any amethyst of the period in Baguiers et Verres a Boire

I'll edit to add the lund version when I find it again.

Here is another amethyst piece (again the cut pattern repetitive portrait ovals is reminiscent of some glass from the Baguiers book)
Click here to view (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/fieldings-auctioneers-ltd/catalogue-id-srfi10026/lot-5c13a9fb-adfc-46a3-bf4b-a44a00f7101f)

By contrast this is a Lund inkwell KevinH already added this earlier but just for ease of comparison):
Click here to view (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/fieldings-auctioneers-ltd/catalogue-id-srfi10026/lot-f8b7bb13-bd4a-47e3-b803-a44a00f710a2)


and another here in green on Ruby Lane.  It has the inset plug stating W. Lund Patent and has similar cone shaped mitre cutting on it that can be seen on op's red goblet on the rim:
https://www.rubylane.com/item/549184-mp-mi/GREEN-Mercury-Glass-Inkwell-W-Lund


This is a paperweight added earlier:
Click here to view (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/stroud-auctions-ltd/catalogue-id-srstr10046/lot-b5485d76-3d7f-4fd2-8148-a5fc00bd3f09)


Here is a set of 4 Lund inkwells in silvered glass:
https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=48&id=253608


This one is in the V&A and some of the cutting is very similar to the diamond shapes around the top of my goblet:
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O11189/inkstand-unknown/


This one appears to be a plummy colour. The repetitive oval shapes remind me of the cutting on my goblet but again, I can't see a similar plum colour  in the book (the book has lots of items in it but obviously will not be exhaustive in terms of examples from all the factories):

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O3080/varnish-patent-vase-james-powell-sons/
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 12:40:11 AM
When Thomson said they dealt with ' Sago ' - maybe he meant Saint Gobain?

See page 5  (written in 1825 and discusses glass being made at Saint Gobain and then sent to Paris to be finished)
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PG3SAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA5&dq=sevres+paris+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_1YSiy5TXAhWM2xoKHdKVB_MQ6AEINTAD#v=onepage&q=sevres%20paris%20silvered%20glass&f=false)

I can get my head around Saint Gobain and Powell's supplying FLAT glass to be silvered into mirrors, but not goblets etc. no definitive evidence for double walled items yet.
I'll keep looking in the next week or so.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 02:55:20 PM
Topic:  Dates for the production of silvered glass silvered by Thomson (and or Mellish)

This was written in 1856.  - see page 65
Faraday gave a report on the development of using silver nitrate and other agents, not used by Thomson,  by M. Petitjean ( Petit-Jean , Petit-jean )  - think it was on the 13th June 1856.

This seems to be a turning point for using a different mixture, i.e. not Thomson's method. 

Newton's London Journal Vol IV  1856  pp65
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hEkEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA65&dq=petitjean+thomson+silver&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwityoWoiZbXAhWEcBoKHaN6AR8Q6AEILDAB#v=onepage&q=petitjean&f=false)



This (link below - see page 96) from The Chemical News was written in 1876 and talks about the newer processes (i.e. not using mercury I think) only becoming really feasible when M. Petitjean developed the method of using Tartaric acid as a substitute for the reducing agents 'formely employed'.

So this seems to back up the development of M. Petitjean noted in 1856 by Faraday. 

Of course that does not mean that Thomson did not switch and start using tartaric acid as a substitute reducing agent in his silvered products. 
But I don't know how feasible this might have been in reality?

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9eUEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA96&lpg=PA96&dq=petit-jean+mercury+glass&source=bl&ots=39Cc07GMGj&sig=BmeYW9w9KSh1KpyT9hoBPnmauqM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNzs3ygZbXAhWNzRoKHVWxBOwQ6AEIVjAL#v=onepage&q=petit-jean%20mercury%20glass&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 03:23:52 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?:


Two issues - 1) the blower needed to know how to make double-walled cased glass items.
                   2) the Varnish and Thomson pieces are colour cut to clear (with silver showing) so the maker needed to have access to coloured glass pots


- Is it possible the initial  inkwell for Lund  was blown at Powell's Whitefriars but was only one layer?
From the court case it does seem to  indicate that Powell's made the first one but it doesn't say it was cased and it does appear iirc it took a while to get Mellish to get it blown. 
Yes perhaps having made that they could repeat the process but could they do it with cased coloured glass?


I'm just wondering if there was a whole lot of single layer silvered glass inkwells around blown by Powell's Whitefriars, but that the double-walled cased glass items came from elsewhere?

I'm just really surprised there is no Powell's evidence for these patented Varnish and Thomson glass items.  One was given to Prince Albert.  If it had been made at Powell's wouldn't there be a record evidence of it somewhere?


Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 04:39:06 PM
Update to reply 63 (flying free) and reply 67 (KevH)
The chandelier I mentioned as noted as 'silvered glass' has been confirmed in this linked volume as being silvered by Varnish and Co.'s patent.


At the Great Exhibition under Class 24 Glass, Exhibitor no 32 according to this catalogue (see page 701),

GREEN, Joseph George, of 19 St James Street, Piccadilly - (Designer and Manufacturer),
exhibited:

  'Suspending or-molu chandelier, in Elizabethan style, fitted with glass, silvered by Varnish and Co.'s patent'


Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kj6fz7beMrwC&pg=PA701&dq=great+exhibition+catalogue+or-molu+chandelier&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-5OO_rJbXAhVDExoKHeuoBEAQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=great%20exhibition%20catalogue%20or-molu%20chandelier&f=false)
See page 701


In May Mellish 1851, Mellish went, presumably along with his wife who looked after Thomson's shop on Regent Street.

So perhaps Varnish had to find another method of retailing their wares? or perhaps Varnish sold their items to  Mr Green who I think I have read somewhere, is believed to have shown glass from Richardson maybe as well?



Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 05:57:54 PM
See also page 523 item no 94.

'Bywater, Witham M.  99 Piccadilly - Designer and Manufacturer

Single horse brougham harness, with patent silvered glass front, and rosettes. Improved Russian cavalry and other bridles.'

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kj6fz7beMrwC&pg=PA701&dq=great+exhibition+catalogue+or-molu+chandelier&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-5OO_rJbXAhVDExoKHeuoBEAQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass&f=false)


I'm beginning to suspect they were making many more silvered items than goblets, salts, vases.

So perhaps these items were being made at Powell's Whitefriars in great numbers.  But the smaller numbers mentioned as being bought from France in the court case, related to the more difficult pieces to produce?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 07:42:41 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

I seem to have reached a dead end for now in finding out further information re Powell & sons and their relationship with Thomson.

Note:-

1) Wiki says regarding the Powell & Sons archival information:

'Archives[edit]

The firm's archives are split between several museums:
 the business records are held by the Museum of London,
 their designs are in the Archive of Art & Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum,
 and their cartoons (or, preparatory drawings) are at the Rakow Research Library of the Corning Museum of Glass.[6]'


Whitefriars closed it's doors in 1980.

The V & A hold a number of items in their collection with Varnish & Co. plugs and Thomson plugs.

According to Wiki the V&A hold the Powell and Sons archive of designs.



2) In British Glass 1800-1914, Charles Hajdamach published 1991, page 271 it says re these silvered glass items from Thomson:

'Some authorities give James Powell and Sons as the probable makers but there is no conclusive proof.'



I wonder if the conclusive proof is in the V&A archives or in the business records held in the British Museum archives?

Seems a bit strange for the V&A to write 'probably Powell & Sons' next to maker of these items, when they are sitting on the archives of said maker.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 08:03:17 PM
Topic:  Patent Dec 1849 description    and     evidence they used single wall glass and double-walled glass

- longer description of process used for this patent
- says they used double-walled glass where necessary and single wall otherwise


Source: Mechanics Magazine, Museum,Register , Journal and Gazette, January 5th - June 29th 1850
Page 518
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SxIFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PR13&dq=Thomson+patent+1850+france&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirle2dzJbXAhVCcBoKHTv4BA0Q6AEIVDAI#v=onepage&q=thomson&f=false)


See photograph of evidence
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 09:32:51 PM
Topic:  Thomson Mellish Patent no 3  in my list - Patent dated 22 Aug 1850 (which Thomson said in the court case was never put into production (as they didn't make the machine to do it iirc?))

- Very long detailed  description of the patent

- seems to be for cutting patterns on glass and silvering them

- Very interesting idea (thinking Thomas W. Kidd silvered glass plate here)
[edited for correction of name - see Reply 231]

Source: Mechanics Magazine, Museum,Register , Journal and Gazette, January 4th - June 28th 1851
Page 179
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HYpfAAAAcAAJ&pg=PR20&dq=thomson+patent+silvered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXyJLu4ZbXAhWKWxQKHTf4D9kQ6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q=thomson%20patent%20silvered%20glass&f=false)


See photograph of evidence
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 09:56:44 PM
Topic:  how long were patents granted for?

Have I read correctly that patents were granted for 14 years here in England?

If so, then would that mean that  Patent 2 (i.e. Varnish and Thomson double-walled glass idea) which was patented in 1849, would have been applicable until 1863?  and possibly another 7 years prolongation in exceptional cases?

This would mean that using double-walled glass to silver would not have been possible even if a competitor had got the silvering process right, until 1863 in England.

I don't know how long patents were granted for in France, but Varnish said he went to France to register a patent.


Notes:-
I have seen a paleish green silvered goblet for sale through Woolley and Wallis that has a 'P' in the plug.
They said this was for Petitjean but I don't know if this is true.
This would be the Petitjean who worked out a way of creating the right solution for silvering using Tartaric acid (think that's what it was) 
I have no idea if they are correct. 
Just musing on the fact that there is a goblet out there which is silvered and has a P marked on the plug and is using double-walled glass. 

And Petitjean was French.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 10:28:20 PM
Topic:  Mr Thomas Robert Mellish - yet another patent

This information comes from a document seemingly published 1854 and entitled
Subject-matter Index of patents of invention from March 2nd 1617 to October 1 1852

On the 7th May 1851 (number 13624) it seems Mr Thomas Robert Mellish patented:

' Instruments and Apparatus for the admission of light into carriages and buildings:  also the exclusion of light from the same.'

Also appearing in that document on a separate page:
On the same date 7th May 1851 (number 13624)

'Decoration of articles of furniture'

and again on another page the same date and number

'Manufacture of Reflectors'

and yet another:

Apparatus for the admission of light and air into carriages and buildings; also for the exclusion of light and air from the same
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iArKCvphWicC&pg=PA379&dq=mellish+patent+1850&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjI18Xl5JbXAhXGyRQKHaCdBjMQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage&q=mellish%20patent%201850&f=false)



I need to just double check against the 3 patents already listed on this thread, but I thought it a bit strange this patent falls right at the date that Mellish apparently decided to leave Thomson's employ?

(source: see this link https://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367602.html#msg367602 )
and this link gives a more specific set of dates for Mellish leaving ... i.e. BEFORE 7th May 1851

https://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367619.html#msg367619



Kev's tv drama comment has me thinking all sorts of conspiracy theories now about exactly what Mellish was doing down at Powell's in the evening 'overseeing' the glass being made apparently for Mr Thomson.


How come Mellish left on the 3rd, 4th or 5th of May and suddenly on 7th May 1851 appears to have registered a long patent? And it appears from the court cases that Mellish allegedly threw his book of patterns in the fire? seemingly at the time he manufactured a row with Mr Thomson.



None of this adds up correctly to me.  But perhaps I'm just misunderstanding it all.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 29, 2017, 11:49:49 PM
Topic:  Thomson and Varnish patent 19th December 1849  - FULLY described and some items being made in TWO separate parts with the rim being fixed together


some of the items WERE designed to be made of two parts and  have the interior and exterior parts separate, 'the rim being fixed together with a metal edge, or by other convenient means'

full description :  SEE from Page 143
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pEcEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA191&dq=thomson+patent+1850&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPmaP9_5bXAhUJ2RoKHRSSDbEQ6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q=thomson%20Frederick&f=true)


This MIGHT tie in with the curious vase in the V&A which has a silver rim around the rim  and the edge of the foot.

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/


The outstanding question is:  Where was this double-walled glass made?

Varnish patented 'double-hollow' glass in France as well:
see link to post  on this thread for the evidence of that:
https://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367642.html#msg367642

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 30, 2017, 12:07:42 AM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

My post directly before this one i.e. reply #187
shows a full description of the patent of Dec 1849 which describes using two layers of separate glass to form one piece and then fixing the rim with whatever material was appropriate.

This making description seems to perhaps tie in with a marked vase in the V&A:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

That vase is a very curious piece of glass to have been made  in England to be honest.  The cutting on that vase is quite Bohemian in style,but to be fair is also similar to a couple of pieces in the Clichy book - the tall top to bottom pattern design type cutting of the moorish windows.

However, it also has a gilded vermicular pattern all over it.
According to Charles Hajdamach in British Glass 1800-1914, page 113:
'The vermicular, or vermicelli pattern as it is sometimes called, was registered on 24 August 1854, number 96703, on a trefoil lip jug (Plate 85).  The double twist loop handle on this jug was another Richardson innovation.'

Now, I have no idea what that vermicular patent was for.  The jug appears to have it etched on to it.  That is different to gilding, so was the patent for  etching the pattern?  not for the actual pattern per se?

Edited 21 Nov 2017 to add ...
Gulliver, Victorian Decorative Glass, page 261, shows two Registered Design entries by Benjamin Richardson, for the "Vermicular pattern", the first shown on a jug, the second shown on a vase.
96703, August 24, 1854, "Pattern upon all kinds of table glass."
98170, November 16, 1854, "Pattern for all kinds of glass globes, or shades or pedestals etc."
No comment is given on how the vermicular pattern was applied.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 30, 2017, 01:26:43 AM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

1) Something must have been made in Paris.  Varnish speaks here about Mellish being in Paris.  Varnish is at pains to say that Mellish was responsible for the purchasing of glass items, that he, Varnish, was the commercial man and that he and Mr Thomson knew nothing about glass.  So as I say, something must have been made in Paris else why would Mellish have been there with Varnish?  He wouldn't have been selling the glass as that was part of Mr Varnish's 'commercial' bit about bringing in the money.  So he must have been needed to negotiate the buying.

From the Court case 12 may 1852

Edward Varnish being examined and talking about Mellish:

'...it was not my department to attend to the taking of the stock, but I examined the accounts from week to week of money paid, and when the stock was taken I examined it twice, and it strictly agreed—I have no reason now to doubt that it was fairly conducted—I have no doubt that he conducted himself honestly and fairly in our employment in the transactions at Paris and elsewhere—he was constantly employed for us, from the morning till late at night frequently—in the evening he would go down to Messrs. Powell's glass works, and be there perhaps half the night,
getting things made under his own inspection—they were things which he had designed, made
drawings of, and carried out—that was perhaps three or four times a week—he was also obliged to
examine every article which had been made under his direction by the outdoor workmen, and see that it was properly made and determine the price to be properly charged for it—he was constantly
occupied in the business—his employment was quite general—he had the sole management—Mr.
Thomson and myself had no control; we left it entirely to him—I had no knowledge of the trade
myself, nor had Mr. Thomson—I simply brought in capital, and was not bound to he there at all, but I
used to attend to the counting house department—Mellish saw the persons with whom we had to deal with respect to articles wanted to purchase—he was the only person that could answer—
his time was quite occupied, I think a great deal more than the eight hours which he had engaged to devote to it—he had to superintend between thirty and forty workmen on the premises—he also, to our knowledge, carried on his business in Great Port-land-street during the time he was so employed by us—we objected to it, and wished him to get rid of it as soon as he could'



2) I also noted elsewhere that Thomson and Varnish both mention Mellish being in York, Thomson says it was something to do with some glass he sent and mentions a banquet iirc. The York visit is thus probably explained by the fact that Mellish was taking up the goblets to be displayed by Soyer at the York Banquet.

But in addition to this Varnish also says they went to Stourbridge.


3) To balance this, it is also noted that Varnish and Thomson both mention Mellish having to go to Powell's in the evening to supervise their requirements there. I should also bring in here the patent description I've listed in the post two previous to this.  There are many items described in that patent list that they say the process would be suitable for, some straight single wall, others double-wall where necessary.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 30, 2017, 11:04:21 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

A possible interesting aside here -
Re Mr Drayton's process of silvering glass.

His process involved using silver nitrate and oil of cassia and cloves.

This report from The Magazine of Science and School of Arts 1849 - page 245 and 246 details Mr Drayton's process and says that it could be seen on a great variety of richly cut glass at Mr Drayton's Regent Street premises, including vases, decanters etc.  It also mentions some items being exquisitely engraved and the fact that the process could be applied to Bohemian glass.
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DegTAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA245&dq=Drayton+silver+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMz__ltJnXAhUDtxoKHVkGCawQ6AEIMDAC#v=onepage&q=Drayton%20silver%20glass&f=false)


I don't know how long it was before it was discovered that using oil of cassia and cloves meant that the silvering process broke down and developed brown spots (no time to search for the evidence which I think was in the Art Journal), but it can't have been very long as one of the journals reported on it I believe by 1851.

Just wondering how many of Mr Drayton's (presumably single walled items, since it was Thomson who developed the double walled items) were bought by unsuspecting purchasers only to have them disintegrate rapidly. 
Mr Drayton received a medal in 1848 for the new silvering process. 

Thomson went in on this process patent with Drayton.


Presumably Thomson  was also involved in the glass items that could be seen in Drayton's Regent Street premises?

Where did they come from? Did they just buy ready made transparent glass items and silver them?

Or did they come from Powell's since Mr Thomson appeared to know Powell as he says in the court case that it was Powell who recommended Mellish to him? 


Thomson talks in the court case as though the development of refiners of the glass at his premises in Berners-street (sic) was something that happened after he employed Mellish  and Mellish was in charge of the workers.

So where were Thomson and Drayton getting their 'richly cut' and 'exquisitely engraved' glass from, before Thomson appears to have amended the silvering process so it didn't break down, and  to have struck out on his own with Varnish?

Was this where the Powell/Thomson relationship started maybe?

m



Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 01:24:17 AM
Topic: where was the glass blown? 

It does seem as if there are definite connections with France.  As far as I have read (and I am open to correction) they were big into making mirrors so would have been interested in any new silvering process.  That doesn't mean the glass articles WERE blown in France.  I'm just pointing out that it's not beyond imagination that if Varnish and Mellish found a maker able to so do, then some of their glass could have been made in France.


Source: Chambers Edinburgh Journal, page 281, 1st November 1845:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=u1gyAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA281&dq=drayton+silver+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj99eW91JnXAhWM1RoKHdQzCoU4ChDoAQhNMAg#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silver%20glass&f=false)



After discussing Mr Drayton's patent taken out in 1843 and asking the question as to why this had not become more widely known, it was determined this was because Mr Drayton was having a not easily resolved technical problem with his process.

'... In this emergency, M. Tourasse, to whose working Mr Drayton had committed the patent he had taken out for France, has succeeded, after a year spent in experiments, in perfecting the process.  M. Tourasse submitted the invention to the Academie de Sciences, who appointed a commission to inquire into it's merits, which it fully confirmed. 
On the 20th August last, Mr Drayton's agent experimented before a committee of the Society for the Encouragement of the Useful Arts and succeeded in silvering a double glass in half an hour.'
  (my words - I think this Society might have been Scottish?)


I don't know where in the process Mr Drayton was at this point - maybe still at the oil of cassia and cloves stage, but the point remains that he patented in France and worked with a Frenchman on this.  Makes it sound not that difficult to be doing business with France.


p.s.  I have re read Tallis.
In my opinion Tallis mentions that Varnish was showing wonderful blue red and green glass.  They mention that British glass was by 1851 matching the previous colour superiority of Bohemian glass.  They mention that some of the Varnish glass was made at Powell's.  They mention that the Varnish glass items shown were double-walled.
They do not draw all these points together and do not present as a statement of fact, that 'Powell's made double-walled glass in red, blue and green for Varnish.' 
That might be 'interpreted' from the separate comments they have written.  Indeed it might be true in the end.  But it is not presented as a statement of fact.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 07:43:47 AM
Topic: Dr Stenhouse's discovery that using grape sugar and heat improved the silvering process - March 1845

In the Philosophical Magazine of March 1845 Dr Stenhouse reported on the difficulty of Mr Drayton's process patented by Mr Drayton using oils of cassia and cloves. He reported that brown spotting appeared with weeks (answering my question in reply #190) and that this was a serious problem with Mr Drayton's process using oil of cassia and cloves. He reported that he had experimented and that using grape sugar and heat produced a good item, but says that the 'coating is much darker than that produced either by aldehyde or Drayton's process'

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AL4Re4iioHkC&pg=RA1-PA233&lpg=RA1-PA233&dq=drayton+silver+process+1845&source=bl&ots=i0-FMqIT-0&sig=T9hrzVMrHPJ44a9unO4FWm8nol8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWyd_dqJrXAhXFMhoKHXDDDH8Q6AEINDAF#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silver%20process%201845&f=false)


So it seems that Mr Stenhouse's process worked but produced a darker effect. 

This was in March 1845.


It seems Mr Drayton continued to experiment using M. Tourasse in France to do these experiments and in August 1845 M. Tourasse apparently resolved the difficulties and presented to the Academie which was then reported on in Chambers in November 1845.

I don't know if Mr Drayton refined Mr Stenhouse's process which had used grape sugar and heat.  But if Mr Drayton and M. Tourasse did, it was presumably to overcome his own problem of oil of cassia, and also Mr Stenhouse's problem of the darker surface result ( a dark surface presumably being no good for mirrors and for reflectors etc).

This would have been the state of play for Drayton on silvering process as of 1845 November.

Therefore by the time the The Magazine of Science and School of Arts 1849 - page 245 and 246, details Mr Drayton's process and says that it could be seen on a great variety of richly cut glass at Mr Drayton's Regent Street premises, including vases, decanters etc.  and also mentions some items being exquisitely engraved, and the fact that the process could be applied to Bohemian glass, this problem with the spotting seems to have been resolved (answering my comment in reply #190)


So  as reported in 1849, Mr Drayton was selling wares silvered, from his premises in Regent Street, and it seems by then the process did not cause brown spotting. 

I presume these were single walled items because:

- Mr Thomson went in with Mr Drayton in 1848 on the process

- Mr Thomson says he himself invented using double walled items to ensure the silver coating was not damaged by whatever liquid was used in those items that required to be used for liquids.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 08:03:24 AM
Question - In 1849, when reports referred to 'Bohemian' Glass, exactly what did they mean?


The report I discussed in reply#190 from The Magazine of Science and School of Arts was dated 1849 -(see page 245 and 246) and details Mr Drayton's process. It says that it could be seen on a great variety of richly cut glass at Mr Drayton's Regent Street premises, including vases, decanters etc.  It also mentions some items being exquisitely engraved and the fact that the process could be applied to Bohemian glass.

Quote extract:
'Bohemian glass also, maybe silvered within (sic), by the process, the brilliancy it imparts to cut-glass, leading it, we are confident, to it's frequent adoption in the manufacture of chandeliers, candelabra and table-lamp pedestals'.


They seem to imply (to me) that
a)  'cut glass' is known as 'Bohemian glass' - does anyone read that differently?
b) that in 1849 Bohemia was known for producing cut glass items as compared to England which generally wasn't known for producing items with cut faceted surfaces?

If so, then this could indicate that the goblets and vases and items produced by Mr Thomson, that had faceted surfaces, may not have been produced in England? The cutting on the double-walled pieces of Varnish & Co glass looks to me as though it was slightly 'old fashioned' for 1851.  For example, this style of cutting can be seen on Bohemian glass from the 1830s.  It can also be seen on designs from William Haden Richardson from c.1844. (CH British Glass 1800-1914 pg 82) . 

The shape of some of the goblets also looks quite French,   compared to some of the English glass of c.1850 (see above and also CH British Glass 1800-1914 page 87 for examples of Bacchus glass c.1850 and page 133 for examples of glass shown by W, Naylor at Crystal Palace Exh., and 135 for the examples shown by Green as just as a few examples).
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 10:25:25 AM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?


Would I be right in saying that in the 1840s there were only two glassworks in London - new Falcon glassworks ( Apsley Pellatt's glassworks) and Powell's Whitefriars?

http://www.glassmaking-in-london.co.uk/glasshouses


(a reminder to me - need to revisit the fact that Varnish visited Stourbridge)


I did find one other listed as A J Nash Glass Manufacturer in this London Street Directory but thought it odd it's  not listed on the above link.  However, subsequently I found the info in the second link (see page 15) which pertains to the name A J Nash and the author says 'they were surely retailers.  I'm not suggesting the author is definitely right, but it seems he might be.  They retailed Minton's china.) :
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_GRBAQAAIAAJ&q=Richardson%27s+glass+Lund+Stationers&dq=Richardson%27s+glass+Lund+Stationers&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjep6q305rXAhXH1hoKHdqTB28Q6AEIKzAB)

http://www.merchant-taylors.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/pdf-for-website-2.pdf


so it seems, only two makers in London in 1845-1851.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 07:07:53 PM
Topic:  The demise of Mr Thomas Drayton

Source:  The London Gazette Part 1 page 86
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6BdKAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA86&dq=thomas+drayton+regent+street&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisrua7xpvXAhWIPRoKHbhXBBEQ6AEIVDAJ#v=onepage&q=thomas%20drayton%20regent%20street&f=false)


On the 3rd January 1849  Mr Thomas Drayton was declared bankrupt.


That is such a terrible thing to happen to the man whose experiments changed lives so that mirror makers would not follow in the footsteps of all those whose lives were damaged and lost through making mercury glass.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 07:29:44 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

Source:  The Friend  (A Religious and Literary Journal), Vol XXXX 7th September1848 page 6  (it has a supplement first in the link so you need to scroll down past that first page 6 in the supplement, to the main papers)
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=clkQflTiSK8C&pg=RA2-PA6&dq=drayton+310+regent+street+1848&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd6avLyZvXAhWHOhoKHdz_BMAQ6AEILDAB#v=onepage&q=drayton%20310%20regent%20street%201848&f=false)
Page 6

It is copied from this 'The Literary Pioneer Apr 1948 1848 page 311:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sjQFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA311&dq=drayton+silvering+glass+Bohemian&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS_uee05vXAhVHvRoKHTkmDTEQ6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=drayton%20silvering%20glass%20Bohemian&f=false)



In the article (which I think I have linked before on the thread) they report of the glass they saw at Mr Drayton's premises, the following:

'...Some of the specimens of coloured Bohemian vases at the establishment are exceedingly beautiful.  The red, and blue,and green, and yellow colours, are made,by the process, to resemble precious stones, emeralds, garnets, rubies  and so forth, and exhibit a depth and brilliancy of tone scarcely to be imagined. ...'

Now, I don't know IF the glass was single walled.  It MIGHT have been all single walled. 

I don't trust the reports anymore totally: the terminology they use to describe things is different to that we would use now;  they often write things such as 'we have it on good authority' or 'we have been told' and it feels that sometimes they don't know what they are talking about so just write it up; I have seen it written in a scientific paper of that period, that ruby glass was made by taking it out the furnace when it wasn't coloured and leaving it in the sun to heat and turn red; lastly, note to self,  if the wording doesn't state something specific then I think we I can incorrectly read into a group of sentences what we I think they might imply.

The way they talk in this article, I would think the items were single walled, but I don't know, because it could be that they have made assumptions on describing it.  I am assuming that Thomson was the first one to have the eureka moment of the double walled glass idea when he was with Varnish.

Mr Drayton's big problem will have been the wrong additive to the nitrate and also that the silver was not 'water/ink/liquid proof' I would think.
Mr Thomson appears to have addressed both those issues.




Mr Drayton went Bankrupt 9 months after that article was published.

-  I wonder what happened to his Bohemian Glass?

-  And I wonder if Thomson knew how to get the Bohemian glass from the Bohemian glassmakers/sellers that Mr Drayton was using?

- And I wonder about the items which had two walls of glass joined together at the rim by whatever method appropriate, as described in Thomson and Varnish's patent and seen in that one item V&A.  Were Mr Drayton's vases all single wall?  Did Thomson keep some of the Bohemian items and have an inner layer blown to set inside them and finish at the rim?


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 09:57:57 PM
Topic:  What happened to Thomson?

Source:  Medical Times and Gazette - a report from 16 Nov 1872 (page 551) looking back on previous thirty years talks about Hale Thomson.
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=IUhbAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA551&dq=hale+thomson+silvered+glass+company&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB2cKo65vXAhXFLMAKHaxEBNY4ChDoAQg4MAM#v=onepage&q=hale%20thomson%20silvered%20glass%20company&f=false)


It says he sank a supposed £60,000 into the silvering glass business and it was a failure - he was a broken man.  He was found dead in his bed in Clarges Street having died of a chloroform overdose.  But I don't know if that was linked to the business failure really, or just a happened later on

(by the calculator I used it says that would be £5.85m today! that can't be right can it? 


I don't know what year this death pertains to yet.  I've not found the death announcement, this was just a report looking back on the department at the Westminster hospital where he was a surgeon.


Someone was taking his money.  It says in the court case that when Mellish left they asked Douglas to reduce the costs and he reduced the costs by 70% on what they had paid to Powells. 

So it does read as if someone (Mellish or Douglas)  was inflating the invoices and pocketing the money.
I found a patent that Mellish made for something else in 1853 as well.  Does anyone know how much it cost to patent things?  I read that it was enormously expensive up to ?1853??

It's a sorry tale actually.
All those lives saved by Drayton's idea and experiments, no more deaths from mercury poisoning, important developments in silvering glass were used for reflectors and many other things than objects of beauty, and a Medal and he went bankrupt.
All those glittering reports and goblets sent to Prince Albert and a Medal for Thomson and he was embezzled out of a fortune and died in sad circumstances.


p.s. I seem to have found a report from the Frankfurt Zeitung 1850  that intimates the glass was not being made in Bohemia - but I don't know how they would know that to be honest.  They just saw it being presented as 'English Crystal' with the silvering process.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on October 31, 2017, 10:27:08 PM
Topic:  What happened to Thomson?   UPDATE


He died on 22nd January 1860

https://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E003265b.htm


Part quote extract:

'In his profession his fault was excess of audacity, which occasionally made him neglect necessary precautions. As an operator on the eyes he was unsurpassed, and the combined delicacy and firmness of his touch ensured almost invariable success. He published only two courses of his hospital lectures on surgery - on "Diseases and Deformities of the Spine", which later appeared in the Lancet about the year 1845. At that time he had during some years devoted his attention to the study of these subjects.

After his retirement he engaged disastrously in a speculation called the 'Glass-silvering Company', and sank upwards of £40,000 therein. This affected his health, and he resorted to drugs in order to obtain sleep. Constantly and rashly raising his doses, he succumbed to an overdose of chlorodyne on Jan. 22nd, 1860, and was found by his servant lying on his back dead in his study.

In person Thomson was of about the middle height, strongly built, with remarkably dark hair and eyes and a florid complexion. People who knew him little thought him haughty and brusque, but he was a steadfast, generous friend, possessed of great personal courage, and was much beloved by his intimates. He was an early member of the Athenaeum Club, Consulting Surgeon to the West London Institute for Diseases of the Eye, Fellow of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society and London Medical Society. He resided at 4 Clarges Street, Piccadilly. He left a widow and several children.'


£40,000 is still going to be nearly £4m in current money by my calculator.  Oh my.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 01, 2017, 12:07:54 AM
Topic:  where was the glass blown?

What do we know about the Wood Brothers Glass company in Barnsley Yorkshire.

I came across this accidentally and remembered Mellish and Varnish had gone to York.  I presumed to present the goblets at the Banquet.

However I've just found this info on Graces:

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Wood_Brothers_Glass_Co

Part quote here:

'1834 The partnership changed when brothers John and James Wood arrived from Staffordshire to join Perkes. Richard Perkes was the glassmaker, James Wood the glasscutter and John Wood the manager, and all had worked in the Stourbridge glass industry. Their speciality was fine table glass, jugs, cruets, bottles and even lampshades - particularly flint glass cased with gold ruby glass with incised designs.

1851 Examples were exhibited in the Great Exhibition.

1854 Richard Perkes died and William Wood left the Baccarat glassworks in France to join his brothers. The business then became known as Wood Brothers.

1870 Another brother, Alphonse, who had also been at Bacarat, joined the partnership. He brought techniques of gilding and etching.'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 01, 2017, 01:51:35 PM
Topic: Where was the glass blown?   - notes re James Powell and Sons records


I found a note here in this online book (part available)
Guide to the Archive of Art and Design , Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001. Lomas, Elizabeth

It says:

Quote -
'RELATED MATERIAL
Archive and Manuscript sources
See also in this guide. Thomas Cowell, stained glass artist and designer, papers, (c.1880-1985)
     Thomas Cowell worked for James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd from 1884 to 1932,
     becoming the principle glass painter.
Records (1850-1973). Museum of London
Design (1871-1976).  Victoria and Albert Museum, Prints, Drawings and Paintings department.'  -  End.



- So, it appears that the records available as above date the earliest to 1850. 
- It is remotely possible that there might be a record in the British Museum, simply because F. H. Thomson first asked for a double-walled item to be made (asking Mellish to get one made, and where Mellish seems to have taken an inordinate amount of time to get the task done according to the court case) in 1849.
- Since the records start in 1850, I have to say I find it hard to believe that no-one has had a look and discovered whether or not Powell & Sons blew the Varnish & Co and Hale Thomson and co plugged items.  But anyway.




Source:

Guide to the Archive of Art and Design , Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001. Lomas, Elizabeth

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=c3M3kdI5Xr4C&pg=PA199&dq=james+powell+%26+sons&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKvZDUv53XAhXDVhoKHQdDDXQQ6AEIOzAE#v=onepage&q=james%20powell%20%26%20sons&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 01, 2017, 02:19:50 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?    -  BINGO


Well, at least for some of it.  And most likely for the piece exhibited in the V&A that Kev and I discussed earlier.

FINE BRITISH & EUROPEAN CERAMICS & GLASS
24 MAY 2006 | 12:00 AM BST
LONDON

Click here to view (http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.95.html/2006/fine-british-european-ceramics-glass-l06731)


'95
A rare and interesting Bohemian engraved part-amber stained and 'silver' lined goblet and cover
the glass probably Meistersdorf or Steinschönau, retailed by Varnish and Co., London, circa 1850

the globular form cut with a large large octagonal panel and engraved with a Turk standing beside his mount, the reserve cut with panels of hobnail diamonds and a lens, above an octagonal stem and foot with scalloped edge, the openwork domed cover in the form of a crown, the sides cut with cross-cut diamonds, ball and cross finial, the interior with mercurial lining
Quantity: 2
'E.VARNISH & Co. PATENT LONDON' repeated three times in the metal around the rim, the top of the foot incised '30 X'
40.5cm., 15 7/8 in.
READ CONDITION REPORTSALEROOM NOTICE
EXHIBITED
The Wallace Collection, London, 'From Palace to Parlour', 21st August-26th October 2003, no.212
LITERATURE
Exhibition catalogue, 'From Palace to Parlour', The Glass Circle, p.89
CATALOGUE NOTE
A very similar example, dated 1839, was sold by Fischer Auktions, Heilbronn, 22nd October 1994, lot 1129.

When this example was exhibited in 2003, it was suggested that the glass may have been made by James Powell and Sons, Whitefriars Glasshouse in London and engraved by a Bohemian artist working in London. However, as the glass appears not to contain lead-oxide it is therefore more likely to have been imported from Bohemia.

The patent for making silvered glass was taken out by Edward Varnish on 19th August 1849 but was discontinued in 1851 when the handling of raw mercury became illegal.'



It doesn't explain the double-walled items which are not glued or fixed together but it, along with no other current evidence, in my opinion places a  question mark against the constant refrain of 'probably made at James Powell and Sons.


Note: - The last comment in the quote from Sotheby's may not be correct based on evidence on this thread:
- They were not silvered using mercury
- The patent was taken out by Thomson and Varnish
- It seems they were discontinued because Thomson had been embezzled.

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 01, 2017, 03:00:34 PM
Topic:  Remember the York goblet?



Earlier in the topic (see reply #143)
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg367784.html#msg367784

I posted a report from Soyer about how he presented three goblets at the York Banquet in 1850, all from Thomson and Varnish, one for York (green), one for London (green) and one for the Prince (&Queen presumably) (Red)

The City of London goblet (green) is in CH British Glass pp260.
The Red one was according to  CH British Glass in the Osborne House collection

The York one (green) is in the Fitzwilliam:
Click here to view (http://webapps.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/explorer/index.php?qu=Egg,%20Augustus%20Leopold%20The%20Farmyard&oid=26051)


Accession:
Object Number: C.51-1972
(Applied Arts)
(record id: 26051; input: 2001-04-03; modified: 2016-08-11)


Note that the Fitzwilliam description says:

1) Firstly, James Powell & Sons probably,
then says
'May have been made by James Powell & sons.

2) the goblet is 'double-blown lead glass'
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 02, 2017, 01:06:18 AM
I am now 99.9% certain that Thomson was silvering Bohemian glass as part of their work.
I have seen an example with a rim marked E. Varnish and metal lined and that was made I believe by Harrach and later silvered and had a metal lining and rim put on it.  It dates many years earlier than 1849.

Of course it is possible that Harrach re-made more or less exactly the same pieces many years later.  Or that the dated version has been adulterated and an earlier date inscribed onto it at a much later date.  But I am erring on the side of not on both counts.

And that is what I suspect has been done to the one in the V & A which I also suspect is Bohemian probably made by Harrach. [ * ]

The fact remains that the silvering was the amazing addition to  these pieces, which were beautifully made and decorated in their own right.  But the silvering was an 'addition' or 'enhancement' depending on your artistic 'eye' I guess. This also explains the newspaper report I found in the Frankfort Zeitung - I hadn't been able to properly understand what they meant before.  Now I do.

Paul have you any feedback from Judith yet please?  I think they might need to amend their write up.

I do not think the others are from the same source though - i.e. the plainly decorated just by cutting (by comparison to the one in the V&A) coloured double-glass-walled items that have been silvered.

[ * ] Edited to add:
The V&A do not mention a metal liner in their vase, so they may have lined it differently.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 11:49:29 AM
Topic:  What happened to Frederick Hale Thomson?

1) On the 23rd June 1853 Frederick Hale Thomson filed for Bankruptcy.

2) I have also added in this post - his death notice which has some detail about him.

It's mainly about his his surgeon year but  refers to his glass company as the 'Glass-Silvering Company' and calls it a 'speculation'.
It links his death to this venture.


1) Bankruptcy notice in the Press gazette:
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/21455/page/1900/data.pdf


This led to the following posts, one about his death (reply#198)
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg368239.html#msg368239

And the other in memorium which talks about the failure of his business and how it affected him(reply#197)
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65670.msg368235.html#msg368235



So he may have still been making silvered glass items (I'm thinking more finger plates, plates for boxes, smaller more mass produced items possibly?) after September 1851 when the company (Thomson, Varnish and Cookney) was disbanded.



2) Death notice in the Lancet:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rYtMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA157&dq=frederick+hale+thomson+1849&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT2_mWr6LXAhXGBBoKHSj6Ccg4ChDoAQg1MAM#v=onepage&q=frederick%20hale%20thomson%201849&f=false)




m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 01:51:28 PM
This is interesting:

A silvered glass scent bottle with a cork stopper still sealed, in the Pitt Rivers Museum.

http://objects.prm.ox.ac.uk/pages/PRMUID25731.html

The story that goes with it (according to the museum) is the lady who owned it said it contained a witch and that it should not be opened.

I wonder if that story comes from the known effect of using mercury to silver glass.  Mercury poisoning was terrible and eventually killed.  Hence the caution for it not to be opened.

I'm just adding it because it is a silvered glass item in a shape I've not seen before.  I have no idea what process was used to silver it.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 02:12:26 PM
Topic:  how the glass was 'cut on the inside, coloured and silvered' - see reply #156 onwards for the start of this discussion

See page 179, under point 2  and under point 4 for the answer to this conundrum- it seems the Art Journal were talking about two flat pieces of glass being sandwiched together so in this instance they weren't describing double-walled vases I don't think (although Thomson says in the court case I think, that he never put the Thomson Mellish patent of 1850 into practice as the machine wasn't installed to do it, and he says he doesn't recall showing any of these items at the exhibition iirc).

I think this type of item might have been used for (or thought of for use for but then never made)  lids of glass boxes or for finger plates on doors for example (obviously not the part of two pieces being sandwiched together for the finger plates though)

And I think it is this type of item to which the Art Journal were referring in their descriptions.  So when they say they looked raised but were completely flat to the touch, they were in the instance of things like finger plates.

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Suc3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA179&dq=Silvered+glass+1850&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjp05fSx6LXAhUMalAKHTBRBkUQ6AEIUTAI#v=onepage&q=Silvered%20glass%201850&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 02:40:03 PM
Topic: Technical issues   

a) how did Sotheby's know that goblet was not lead glass?


b) how do they know the Varnish glass items are lead glass?


c) I wonder if this is how the goblets were silvered?






Discussion:
a)  Did Sotheby's carry out technical tests on that 'possibly Harrach' (my words) goblet to ascertain it was not lead glass? or is there some other way?

b) The Fitzwilliam says their goblet is lead glass - did they carry out technical tests to ascertain this, or is there some other way of knowing if their green cased glass is lead glass?

c) Is it possible that the bowl of the item was blown and cased and formed into a double-walled shape , then the stem and foot were blown and cased in a separate hollow shaped piece then attached to the bowl. And then, that Thomson's workshop cut the hole in the foot where the pontil mark would have been, and 'drilled' through the base of the goblets outer layer at the bottom, then poured in the silver.  Would that explain how they were silvered at least? Then the whole thing covered up by having a metal disc in the base covered by a glass cover. 

No one is going to undo the disc to have a check to see are they?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 04:46:11 PM
So the flat plates which were  'cut/engraved , 'stained' with colour glass and silvered on the reverse' of a 'flat plate, completely smooth to touch' type thing, might have been used for something like this example -

i.e. the surrounds to a mirror

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-north-italian-engraved-clear-and-cobalt-5338727-details.aspx


But not done in the same way as a double-walled vase.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 04:56:04 PM
Question:  The glass needed to be at 160 degrees for the silver process to work ...

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Suc3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA179&dq=Silvered+glass+1850&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjp05fSx6LXAhUMalAKHTBRBkUQ6AEIUTAI#v=onepage&q=Silvered%20glass%201850&f=false)


... So how?? did he keep/get the items to 160 degrees to make the silver process work?   Is that rubbish?

or is that how enamels were baked on as well?  is that the right temperature or similar ish?
or is it about the right temperature that would have been used by a glassmaker gilding glass on the exterior with gilded decoration?

and how did he do this? 


Re Reply #207 - next question - is it possible they are beautifully formed but all formed in one piece including stem and foot?  That seems to be the way my Bohemian goblet is made - I think it's made in one piece.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on November 03, 2017, 07:41:40 PM
It's not that hot: 71 deg C much lower than the boiling point of water
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 03, 2017, 10:35:23 PM
ah, ok, thank you Christine.  So they will have had ovens of some sort presumably?

Just going back to the records on Powell and Sons, some of the glass that has a Hale Thomson plug appears to be uranium glass (one piece definitely is).
Barry Skelcher says this :

'But who first thought of using uranium to colour glass? Some authors give the honour to Josef Riedel
at his glassworks in Bohemia in the 1830s. It may be that he was the first to produce uranium
coloured glass in quantity with his Annagrun and Annagelb - green and yellow glasses named after
his wife - but it is unlikely that he was the first to add Klaproth‟s discovery to sand and alkali. We know
from records held by the Museum of London that Whitefriars used uranium colouring in 1836
. '


Source:  Glass Association.org.uk 
http://www.glassassociation.org.uk/sites/default/files/Uranium_Glass_sample_article.pdf

So it appears the Museum of London do have earlier records on Powell and Sons (Whitefriars).  And it appear they did use uranium colouring.


Also in the same link

' However there is an interesting note in the Pottery Gazette and Glass
Trade Review (September 1891) which states that “fifty years ago it (uranium) was first used in glass
and we think then it was new, or at all events a scarce mineral, and our older readers will remember
the rage „canary yellow‟ had at that period in hock glasses, toilet bottles, etc. Amongst the early
makers of this colour in glass were Hawkes and Bacchus & Green, who priced it at 3s. 6d. per lb. It
was then only made in transparent glass
; now we find it in semi-opaque and ivory body, but like
everything in fancy glass it has had its day and is seen no more”.
'

So that would go back to 1841.




And on the glassmuseum website it says Choisy-le-Roix were making it in 1838 and in 1843 Baccarat;

http://www.theglassmuseum.com/uranium.htm

So basically, the uranium glass is not helpful in working out where unfortunately ;D
m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 04, 2017, 12:12:54 AM
According to this article published in 1867 (it seems to have been repeated from an earlier article in 1860 in the same journal ), it implies on page 192, Ures Dictionary of Arts...

that Foucault's new process of silvering glass had not at that point made it's way into production so they declined to comment on it, and it implies Hale Thomson's silvering process was still current at that time.

Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9TJRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA192&dq=hale+thomson+silvering+process&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjm1I7Iz6PXAhUIEewKHdxHA6IQ6AEIKzAB#v=onepage&q=hale%20thomson%20silvering%20process&f=false)


I need to caveat this by saying I think I've read somewhere that a German chemist was working on this after Hale Thomson patented the process.

And also that in American I have read that they started making silvered glass in the mid 1850s (iirc)


m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 04, 2017, 12:47:32 AM
The Art Journal Illustrated catalogue of the Exhibition page 26


Shows three items of Hale Thomson process silvered glass:

- The middle vase appears to have an applied silver rim the same as the vase in the V&A.

- The bottom vase looks like it is also 'adapted' from a previous item somehow.

- The top one is the only item that looks as though it was blown double-walled.

Art Journal Illustrated catalogue  link (date of Illustrated Catalogue not known to me):
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aUJPAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA21&dq=hale+thomson+silvering+process&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjm1I7Iz6PXAhUIEewKHdxHA6IQ6AEINjAD#v=onepage&q=hale%20thomson%20silvering%20process&f=false)



Note:
It seems to me that the PR information put out at the time was that Hale Thomson was silvering English glass: 
The descriptions are so in depth and compare the fact that Thomson is using double-walled glass ('... We understand  the glass comes from Powell and co'.. etc - for source see final Art Journal  link page 76 on this post),  and 'Mr Drayton was given to using Bohemian and German vessels, but Mr Thomson's vases... etc'.
Yet here we are with one vase previously in the Wallace Collection seemingly Bohemian, another in the V&A which looks remarkably Bohemian and one on this page linked, that also has a silver rim applied so appears not to have been double blown and appears in the Art Journal Official Illustrated book of the Exhibition.



Thomson may not have known any different - he was just silvering them apparently, (but his patent which talks about fixing two walls together by appropriate means implies he did).
Someone knew that some of them were not English glass.  Maybe.  Hence perhaps the oblique comments 'The colours employed in the manufacture of the glass,  which we understand is from the glasshouse of Messrs. Powell and co'? 

I'm not saying the double-walled items were definitely not made at Powells but there is some kind of smoke and mirrors (pardon the pun) effect going on here.

Barrie Skelcher mentions that the Museum of London had records that Whitefriars were using uranium in 1836, so there are records available of something.


The Frankfort Zeitung apparent article (if it really was printed there? I am beginning to question what was PR for the Great British digestion and whether it actually was printed in the FZ), I found reprinted in a journal, Little's Living Age, purporting to be a re-print from an article in the FZ, and seems to copy much of the text from Chamber Journal article I linked to previously (see page 63 of the Chambers link below).  BUT it  goes one stage further, as apparently it had a headline 'Bohemian Glass outdone' and also mentioned that some of Mr Thomson's silvered articles cost £500!, further, the article says 9/10th of this cost is down to design and making and talks about the richness and purity of British glass. It's over the top in fulsome praise.   And goes on to say that they hope their German makers at the exhibition will investigate this wonderful new silvered design, and that they suspect the large globes might be the most easily copied.  I wonder if that article really appeared in Germany?

Chamber journal link:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WX1TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&dq=hale+thomson+silvering+art+journal&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUp6761KPXAhVBahoKHcXbB6oQ6AEIPDAF#v=onepage&q=hale%20thomson%20silvering%20art%20journal&f=false)


See also FZ apparent article:

Page 276
From Little’s living age 2nd November 1850
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q3gkAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA276&dq=silver+glass+frankfort+zeitung&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwje3rbtgJ7XAhXF7hoKHcR8CXoQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=silver%20glass%20frankfort%20zeitung&f=false)



Art Journal (1st March 1851) link page 76 - giving effusive and glowing description in full detail of Hale Thomson glass items:
Click here to view (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PT0cAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA76&dq=mellish+thomson+powell+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjo07CdjZvXAhXNyRoKHeh-ATQQ6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q=mellish%20thomson%20powell%20glass&f=false)



It may just be that some of the items were put into the exhibition that were old stock from Drayton maybe?
It might be that Powell and Sons were making Bohemian style glass at the time?
But something is not as it seems imho.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 04, 2017, 05:04:04 PM
Topic:  Where were the items blown?

Here is another description from the Illustrated Exhibitor page 535 source digi.ub.uni-Heidelberg

Click here to view (http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/weltausstellung1851d/0589?sid=c5d9354661d4ddd431521cc4895d9efa)


Among other descriptions of Hale Thomson silvered items, it talks about a pair of 30" high amber coloured glasses silvered by Hall (sic)  Thomson's patent process,  cut in deep intaglia with wild horses and a panther about to attach on one side and a grizly bear attacking a horse on the other. 

Do not sound remotely like English glass to me.

So, that possibly seems to solve that one.  Some of the items he silvered appear to have been Bohemian despite the Art Journal reports suggesting otherwise.

Which just leaves the double-walled items  ;D

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 04, 2017, 06:18:33 PM
Quote
... wild horses ... panther ... grizly bear ...
Sounds North American to me (even if the "illustrated exhibitor" was printed in London.)

Perhaps the vases were Bohemian but engraved for the American market? And perhaps they were another example of the 'not-double-walled-blown' type of silvering?

Hmm. If I had ordered (or purchased) a perfectly good pair of Bohemian-made vases of thirty inches height, deep intaglia cut and with engraved wildlife scenes ... would I have risked their being silvered?
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 04, 2017, 06:27:27 PM
A week ago I estimated that I would, by now, have produced a timeline from the Court cases. I got distracted by a number of things. So no timeline yet. And no revised estimate.

I will however, go through the existing posts in this thread and tidy up line breaks in copied text.

I will also change long links to clickable text - they produce scroll bars for pc / laptop viewing but for mobile devices they can cause problems with the display.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 04, 2017, 06:37:17 PM
it's possible it might have been a wild board. 
Sometimes the rewriting of these things gets misconstrued somewhere along the way

August Bohm was a wonderful glass engraver and I think some of their engraved topics came from Rubens paintings etc. ( I think, and iirc from stuff I've read - no quotes please).

I don't know if these pieces were engraved by Bohm.  Just saying.  It might not have been a grizzly bear.

Talking of misquoting etc - coming back to Hale Thomson saying they used someone called 'sago'  - any ideas on that anyone?


Thank you for converting the links Kev.  I'm sorry, I know it's a problem when I link them, but I don't know how to convert them myself as I link them.


I haven't done a timeline yet.  But it might be easier now we know when he died and when the partnerships were dissolved.

I'm no closer on the double-walled glass.  There is one curiosity, apart from them being double-walled, that keeps me looking :)



m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 07, 2017, 01:48:28 AM
See also Diane's recent post, now moved into this forum.

Antique English Silvered Mercury Glass (http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,65853.msg368358.html#msg368358)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 07, 2017, 07:45:19 AM
Topic:  Grizly or grisly - reply #214 and #215

Kev, this has been nagging me  :)
with reference the Ill. Exhibitor description of the bear - I've double checked the quote v what I quoted and I made a mistake in my quote:

I incorrectly spelled the word grizly and therefore misquoted what I read and so it has an entirely different meaning.

It was spelled 'grisly'

Quote from Oxford Living Dictionary

'Usage
The words grisly and grizzly are quite different in meaning, though often confused.

Grisly means ‘causing horror or disgust’, as in grisly crimes, whereas grizzly is chiefly used with reference to a kind of large American bear, and can also mean ‘grey or grey-haired’


Origin
Old English grislic ‘terrifying’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch griezelig. '


So, not a grizzly bear, but just a bear attacking a horse, a grisly scene.  There were /are bears in Bohemia but I think it's more likely to have come from a painting maybe?
https://www.britannica.com/place/Czech-Republic
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 07, 2017, 08:11:52 AM
Something else nagging me.

The Illustrated Exhibitor (20th Dec 1851 and as linked in #214) written description of the glass, doesn't seem to delineate the different types of glass it's discussing and runs it's section all into one as though the paragraph is almost entitled just 'glass' (see page 533-535)

 http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/weltausstellung1851d/0588?sid=fcfa58ce5d1cbdf1ba0d5ca0d89a779c

So this may be misinterpreting that writing, but just a few observations:

1) The first paragraph says they are going to talk about glass. 
First query - it says Mr Maes received a Council Medal for 'novelty of chemical application'. 
Mr Maes was Clichy.
 I have the book but my French isn't good enough to read it properly.  I'll double check what this was for if I can find it.



2) Second query:
The second paragraph says they were hoping to do a full description of Pellatt's glassmaking but didn't have space.
It then immediately goes on to discuss the beauty of the glass displayed by Naylor (a retailer I believe) and discusses the (Naylor's) glass shown on page 533 in the engraving (note the plate description under the engraving which says 'prize medal') with mid-sentence carrying on to page 535. 

Then on page 534 it shows an engraving of a large group of Bohemian glass

Page 535 carries on from 533 paragraph mid sentence, still discussing Naylor's glass.  It then mentions in the next sentence the Bohemian glass 'shown opposite' from various exhibitors (ie. page 534).  Carrying straight on in that para it goes onto discuss the beauty of Thomson's silvered glass.

I noticed two items in the engraving on page 534 (Bohemian glass items according to the plate description), which to me look as though they 'could' be silvered glass:
- the lidded goblet on the left of the right hand side 'group ' of glass
- the bowl on stand on the right hand side of that picture of Bohemian Glass on page 534. 

The lidded goblet has a familiarity about it to me. 
The bowl too.
  It looks very similar to a bowl on stand shown in another link I gave where I said it was the only piece that looked as though it was silvered glass. ( I need to re-find that link to give a comparison.  Will find and amend this post to include).
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Paul S. on November 07, 2017, 09:12:20 PM
quote from m  ......................  "I don't suppose you could push your luck and ask her for a photograph of another item to do with this silvered glass could you?     Just out of curiosity I'd love to see the plug in the bottom of this particular vase (see link) and I'd love to know why it appears to have a blue interior in the photographs online:    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

sorry to say nothing came back from Judith Crouch.           why don't you send the lady a separate email to the usual V. & A. queries address, together with your link -  might just jog her mind.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 07, 2017, 09:25:11 PM
aah thank you Paul for trying.

Kev (I think) did add some information that the description does in fact say when you click on details link, that there is a Varnish plug in the base of that vase.

So the outstanding question has to be why does the interior reflect as blue?   I believe it's a Bohemian vase, silvered on the inside which has then had an inverted glass v cone shape made for it, which has been silvered on the outside of the cone, then inset into the vase and both vase body and inset v cone sealed together at the rim with a silver band to finish it off.
I suppose the blue is probably just a reflection possibly.

The metal attachement round it's hips is interesting.  Did it get broken silvering it?  was it made that way?

It is a distraction to ask though as I don't know if it adds anything to this debate at the moment - I do feel that vase may not be English though. 
And if it is English (Rice Harris and Bacchus were making similar items and in red cased, or at least one of them was for the Great Exhibition), then where is the evidence that Whitefriars made it.

So far we have no evidence they made a single item that was silvered by F. H. Thomson, with the exception of one possible ink well.

m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 09, 2017, 01:01:06 AM
Re: the above post and my comment on the V&A details ...

The info about the plug is contained in the basic description, not via a link. It says:
Quote
The final stage was to seal the hole in the foot with a metal disc, in this example marked for Varnish's Patent.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 09, 2017, 01:06:05 AM
For general info, although I have been slow in preparing my own version of a timeline for who and what and where, I am getting much closer to a summary of responses, to various questions that have been raised in earlier posts.

My summary is based on details from the "big Whitefriars book".
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: drewfind on November 09, 2017, 12:06:57 PM
I humbly log back in today to mainly apologise to Flying Free, and Lustroustone, my comments were rash, rude and uncalled for, and there is no excuse.

The amount of research Flying Free has done is astonishing, and my gast has been flabbered, it makes my pitiful foray seem insignificant at best.
I have read through, and it is the most informative piece of work yet on the mercury glass process, anywhere! so thank you, not that you done it for me, but it has made me realise what an idiot I was too suggest that my research was an end to it, what did I know?Nothing, so it seems.

I am not, by nature, belligerent, confrontational nor controversial, and I have found it necessary to write this apology to anyone I have been rude to, but most of all Flying Free who has been the driving force behind this thread.

It was a case of too little knowledge in an arena which is multi faceted and indepth, and too little sleep trying to trawl my way through it.

I am hoping that you will accept my apology, these comments were really not in character for me.

Sincerely
Andrew
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: Lustrousstone on November 09, 2017, 12:10:53 PM
Apology accepted, thank you  :)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 09, 2017, 11:37:41 PM
Apology accepted.


Moving on to 'Sago'- 

Thomson mentioned in the court case that in order to reduce costs (after May 1851) they had dealt with someone called Sago.

I've not had any luck, but just in case this was a typo i.e. a misunderstanding of what Thomson said in the courtroom as it was typed up,  or a contraction of a name (such as being typed 'Sago' instead of 'Saint Gobain' for example - just an example, but the only one I could think of that was relevant),
I have found a looking glass 'wholesaler' called Zuccani who was listed in the Great Exhibition list and was based in Brick Lane.

One source I found (list for Great Exh) said this (see page lxiii):
'Ernest Zuccani, Brick Lane, Spitalfielcls; Looking Glass Manufacturer.'
click here  (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=55dDAAAAcAAJ&pg=PR63&dq=whitefriars+glass+birmingham+exhibition+1849&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5jpTDzrLXAhVlI8AKHb7pAbUQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=zuccani&f=false)

The other a more recent list of Italians in London has listed them as:
'Zuccani Ernest, looking glass manufacture, wholesale & for exportation, & plate glass wareho. 40 & 41 Brick la. Spitalflds.'

I think they were going for quite a long time but even so I suspect if they were 'manufacturers' of glass we might have known of them.
Therefore I think they probably 'silvered' the glass they bought and then wholesaled it as 'looking glass'.  Or indeed just wholesaled glass perhaps, which might be where Thomson bought some of the stuff after May 1851.


Note:

Zuccani may NOT be the 'Sago' referred to. 

and it does not help with who made the vases and goblets etc type items though.



Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 10, 2017, 12:22:56 AM
Topic:  Reply #139 regarding three silvered items in the CNAM in France -  Conservatoire national des arts et métiers

There are three Silvered glass items in the Conservatoire , one bearing the Varnish mark and two bearing the Thomson mark.

On reply #139 I said:
 'We might just have to accept this evidence from Barbara Morris' book for now and, if used anywhere, we should state we cannot corroborate it, and should also quote the Spectator article using a slightly different company name, for consistency:

'What is perhaps new to us here is a company name: Plate 14 on page 33 shows three silvered glass items "acquired in 1851 from the Silvered Glass Company". One item has the "Varnish" plug and the other two have "Thompson's". Location of the items: Conservatoire National des Arts et Mêtiers, Paris'
'[/b]

and

'Barbara Morris clearly knew the items had Varnish and Thomson plugs, but somehow she also had information that those in the CNAM were acquired from the 'Silvered Glass Company'.  What we don't know is how she got that information - i.e. was it from the purchase documentation held by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, from the 1851 acquisition?'


and I further mused:

'(I'm idly wondering, if they went to Paris to register a patent, as Varnish said in the court case that he and Mellish did, then perhaps they 'deposited' some of the evidence of the patented work in the CNAM?'



In fact under the heading 'Glass' on the attached link it shows that  M.Eugene Peligot was  Professor at Museum of Arts and Sciences; and was a Member of the Central Jury.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/21254/page/2602/data.pdf



I think it's possible the Museum of Arts and Sciences was or is the CNAM (see information in link below from page 692 as reference for this and where you can see M. Peligot is indeed listed)
click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=drRJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA693&dq=Eugene+Peligot+Museum+of+Arts+and+Sciences&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6xojC3LLXAhXmJsAKHe-GB6MQ6AEIRTAG#v=onepage&q=Eugene%20Peligot%20Museum%20of%20Arts%20and%20Sciences&f=false)

If Professor Peligot was a juror under the glass section then it is possible the three silvered items ended up in the museum as a purchase from the Great Exhibition in 1851 that way.



Again, no closer to knowing who made the vases and goblets, but Baccarat is in the mix possibly.




p.s. Re reply #220 - The Maes/Clichy award I think was for something not related to this subject.  So a sidetrack at the moment probably.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 10, 2017, 12:43:19 AM
Re:  my reply #220 above where I mentioned there was something familiar about the goblet on the left of the second group of items pictured here:

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/weltausstellung1851d/0588?sid=ab26db03e11467258d9f3c0d9754bb34

The familiarity I noticed was the strange shape of the stem,which together with the bowl shape reminded me of the Varnish goblet on the right in the group of this sale (once you've clicked on the link you need to scroll down to see the three goblets):

https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=46&id=253606
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 10, 2017, 12:58:51 AM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?


Two new potentially interesting items here - both mold blown

https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=49&id=253609

I don't know which of these in the group have the Varnish and Hale Thomson plugs (some do but not named), but the Parkington collection is named, so possibly they originated from that?

The interest is the gold one in the middle (CH British Glass 1800-1914 shows a mold blown item and specifically mentions it as of interest in this Varnish glass story),  and the green item on the right which has a familiar ribbed mold shape similar to a perfume bottle apparently made by  Buquoy featured on this board (and also possibly similar to French items in Gorge de Pigeon coloured glass).


With Kev's (??) access to the Parkington catalogue we may be able to ascertain which of those have the Varnish and Hale Thomson plugs.  And then we may have mold blown items  to add to the one in the Charles Hajdamach book, which we may have a good chance of matching somewhere along the line.

m

Edited 23 Nov 2017 to add ...
See Reply #236 for info on the only item of the nine in the above sale that was in the Parkington sale
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 10, 2017, 01:36:14 AM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

I know this is going to put the cat amongst the pigeons but I'm just leaving this here for future reference:

https://www.cmog.org/artwork/fathers-gift-maria-1860

The shape is reminiscent of the op's.  New England Glass company were making silvered glass using Thomas Kidd's W. Kidd's patent for silvering glass by 1854 (see page 143):

click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pdpNAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA143&dq=kidd%27s+process+new+england+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3PS76rLXAhVBD8AKHcIXAZsQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=kidd's%20process%20new%20england%20glass&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 01:50:39 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?



I'm going to leave some additional thoughts here :)

1) In this link the beautiful purple glass item colour is remarkably similar to a colour referred to as 'violet' in this reference (though that may just be a translation of 'amethyst'),  and produced  by Harrach (before 1839) and to a 'light sphere' made in Hungary, before 1837.   (ref: Farbenglas II , Neuwirth W, pp126)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/GroupMercuryCover3.JPG

Note - there is one other ribbed mold blown item by Count Buquoy Glassworks in Silberberg (item before 1836) shown on the page of that reference also in violet, but the colour is very slightly more blue it seems to me than either the Harrach or the Hungarian light sphere.

Were English glassmakers making a violet glass at this time?

Of course it may just be that all amethysts look remarkably similar when they've been silvered, and it's incredibly difficult to tell from photographs -  But just wondering.
So for example, the amethyst of the early 1800s that I think of appears to be quite bluey or browny rather than with that violet undertone of the salt on Wikipedia if you see what I mean?  I've added one example here to show it:
https://scottishantiques.com/amethyst

And these are the most similar in colour to the salt I've been able to find in that they are less 'blue or brown' but they still don't have that 'violet' type tinge:
https://scottishantiques.com/amethyst-wine-glasses



2) In this link the green salt on the right appears to have been blown into a ribbed mold.  This has similarities with a mold I've seen used on the violet glass from Harrach where the ribs are indented, but also to a mold used by Buquoy  where the ribs protrude outwards (ref:  see as above)

https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=49&id=253609

Here is another ref to a Buquoy flakon with protruding ribs to show what I mean.  It's not the same as the one in the book btw as the one in the book has a different cutting on the top of each rib but they protrude the same way and look the same ribs iyswim?

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,53466.msg303506.html#msg303506




3) I'm still curious about the gold inners to some of the items (especially see the two salts in the Woolley and Wallis link above.  Is it possible they were blown clear, shaped the stem of the item on the rod, then tipped the top in amber glass melt whilst still on the rod,  and then shaped the top inwards?
Just asking because the cross patterned mold blown item above seems to have been made completely in amber glass and then silvered inside basically.





4)  Is it possible the Art Journal misused the term of their description for the red glass? (I'll come back to that one).




5)  This piece is interesting.  It appears to be a hollow vase (hollow all the way down to the foot blown in one piece as it were) and appears to have a very large polished pontil mark left on it.  Then it appears to have had a hole cut in the middle to silver it and insert the plug.  So what I mean is, they didn't just cut a hole where a rough pontil mark was left.  The item was blown hollow, cased, a large pontil mark was polished in and then supplied presumably?

https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/dining-entertaining/glass/varnish-vase-blue-luster/id-f_1032800/







m

Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 11, 2017, 04:26:18 PM
A couple of extra links for reference, although I am not sure whether or not we have seen them before ...

Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Online (pertaining to the Royal College of Surgeons):
Thomson, Frederick J H Hale (1799 - 1860) (https://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E003265b.htm) (Note the extra initials in the name.)
The details suggest at least two sides to Mr Thomson's character. They also suggest some further information may be found elsewhere, such as for Thomson versus Sir Charles Forbes, and also Thomson versus Sir Anthony Carlisle. The comments also touch on the "Glass-silvering Company" being a disastrous speculation and the cause of Thomson's death.

Hunt's Hand-Book to the Official Catalogues of the Great Exhibition: Vol 2
This is a partial digitizing of a modern reprint by Cambridge Library Collection
End of page 588 and start of page 589 (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8vFWQy4PBFwC&pg=PP3&lpg=PP3&dq=Hunt%27s+Hand-book+Official+Catalogues+vo,+2&source=bl&ots=AEwoSpNG28&sig=qL6JU-5NXq-FZrM6CVlIxnN12rA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjCvbGDhbLXAhXRI-wKHSJ1D84Q6AEIOjAF#v=snippet&q=588&f=false)
Gives a slightly different perspective of "Drayton + hermetically sealed"! And shows that one of the "official" sources gives an incorrect overview of who achieved what with regard to Drayton / Thomson.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 04:45:27 PM
Hi Kev

Regarding your point one:
Yes I did link to the description of Thomson and his character I think in the post when I reported his death.  There was a long report of it in the Westminster hospital papers as well.


Regarding your point two,
In my opinion;
a) the process they are describing at the end of page 588 and going on to page 599 under the heading of Illuminated and Embroidered glass is  the Kidd's Patent of embroidered silvered glass  (see my explanation below) - and I have read numerous reports about this and the patent.

b) The next point down from there under the heading 'Silvered Glass' describes exactly what we know about Drayton and Thomson and the Thomson silvered glass and in the right way.  It is accurately reported in my opinion.


Re Kidd's Patent Embroidered and Silvered Glass:

- Examples of Kidd's patent embroidered and silvered glass was done that way from what I have read.
- There is mention iirc of a plate made of clear glass, then cased with white opaline glass then cased on top of that with ruby coloured glass (or it might have been clear glass as base layer, cased with white opaline and then with ruby glass and then topped (uppermost layer) with clear with the clear glass being the uppermost surface of the plate . 
- The top of the plate as far as I made out was completely flat to the touch. 
- The underneath of the plate had been engraved or cut through with a design, so some of it then showing clear glass from the top,some leaving red glass showing and some presumably leaving the white opaline glass showing.  Then some of it, presumably the bits that had been cut back to the clear top layer of the plate, would be silvered. 
So from the top of the plate you would see some silvered design, some red design and some white opaline presumably.


And it is to this Kidd's Patent silver embroidered glass that I was referring a little earlier in the thread, when I mentioned that the New England glass company were producing this type of glass using Kidd's Patent by 1854.


And now I have written that I'm wondering if Kidd engraved and silvered a Bohemian plate?


Thomson had competition for silvered glass, specifically for silvered glass FLAT items. 
The problem with him having competition for silvered glass flat items, is that they were the ones with the mass selling point in my opinion:
They could be sold to furniture makers for insets in furniture cupboards and doors, they could be used by mirror makers to surround mirrors decoratively, they could be used for finger plates on doors, etc.

However ... there was a problem with them.  I am not sure they were backed and hermetically sealed. 
i.e. Thomson's win was that he patented double walled glass and knew the items had to be hermetically sealed to prevent damage and the silver tarnishing I suppose.

I have no idea how he did not become more successful but I suspect it might be because he was embezzled out of what would now be millions of pounds and he simply did not have the money to progress his idea.
He felt it could be used for reflectors, lenses etc. and that is where there would have been lots of money to be made I suppose.

After he went bankrupt a German chemist worked on the silver idea further for use on telescopes I believe.



Kev, do you have the Parkington catalogue handy to see if any of those mold blown items are in there please?  Just curious to know what might have been said if anything.
Edited 23 Nov 2017 to add ...
See Reply #236 for info on the only item of the nine in the Woolley & Wallis sale that was in the Parkington sale


To all - No quotes please.  My words are all my own and this is just a summary from memory of all the articles I've ploughed through.




m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 06:04:15 PM
re Maes award - reply #220 and #228

the award was for the clarity of a lens:
Report by the Juries see page 532 bottom of page right hand column

click here  (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvjNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA521&dq=james+powell+whitefriars+glass+great+exhibition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQh9yRrbXXAhUGDxoKHU2lAB44KBDoAQg4MAQ#v=onepage&q=maes&f=false)



However, it also says 'Mr Maes has likewise exhibited some very beautiful specimens of coloured, and other ornamental glass ' .

(Mr Maes should have a double dot over the e in his name and was the Clichy person)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 11, 2017, 06:17:35 PM
Re: Replies #230 and #234

Of the nine items of silvered glass in Lot 49 of the Woolley & Wallis sale, 8 Oct, 2013, only the Ring Stand was part of the Parkington Collection sale at Christie's (it was in part II, 8 April 1998, as given in the Woolley & Wallis listing in the provenance note).

That Ring Stand had a "Varnish & Co," plug. And as far as I can tell from the Christie's image, it was a "monochrome" version without any moulding or cutting.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 06:43:08 PM
thank you.

Do we know if Whitefriars were using dip-moulds in 1850?
Thomas Webb's The Platts (1840-1855) had a diamond dip mold introduced in 1847 (Charles Hajdamach British Glass 1800-1914 pp 432).
They also had all the colours available including 'Chrysoprase' which I am assuming was uranium green but might not have been.



m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 07:18:10 PM
more about Kidd's Patent (he is W. Kidd I see from the Juries report document)

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,62490.msg350881.html#msg350881
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 11, 2017, 07:24:41 PM
Dip moulds at Whitefriars (for our period of discussion)? It will need careful reading of the big Whitefriars book to get a decent answer. I will add it to the list of things I am preparing this weekend.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 08:34:44 PM
Could we correct post #231 please?

Kidd's patent was not Thomas Kidd.  According to the Juries reports it was a W. Kidd.

Thank you.
[Mod: corrected]


The big Whitefriars book?  Sounds hefty - hopefully there is a good index?
It isn't one I have, so thank you for looking.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 11, 2017, 11:44:44 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown?

As per the other thread where I mentioned the CH British Glass 1800-1914 experiment about sucking on the pipe to make the bowls of the double-walled glass -
Apsley Pellatt of Falcon Glassworks London (one of the only two glassworks still in London at the time of the Great Exhibition I think -
 Falcon and Powell's) - had a worker who did this didn't he? Remember he mentioned it in his book, in the bit about making sulphides?

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-DdRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA14&dq=kidd%27s+patent+embroidered+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNq56HsLfXAhUBfhoKHV_iCawQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=kidd's%20patent%20embroidered%20glass&f=false

and we all laughed.  But now Tom has confirmed on the other thread that it is indeed possible, and so has Charles Hajdamach.

I'm not sure about how much coloured glass he was making though.  There is the Alhambra chandelier in red white and blue I suppose - that's mentioned a lot in the descriptions of the Exhibition glass from English glass makers.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 12, 2017, 12:46:09 AM
m, your link in the previous post is for W Kidd's patented "whatsit thingy", not to Pellatt's book.

Regarding the "sucking out of air through a blowpipe":
Quote
Apsley Pellatt of Falcon Glassworks London ... ... had a worker who did this didn't he? Remember he mentioned it in his book, in the bit about making sulphides?
In the book, Pellatt did not say anyone at the Falcon glassworks did that, or even knew how to do it. The reference was just to how he (Pellatt) explained (or made an assumption about) a Venetian process of "air sucking" to collapse a double walled structure around millefiori canes. His diagram appeared to be related to forming a millefiori Tazza rather than the "Venetian Balls" (paperweights) of the Bigaglia type, which was the main subject of that section of the book.

Edited 12 Nov 2017 for correction:
The text above, now with strikethrough, was based on a focus for "double walled" glass. The point about air exclusion for enclosing sulphides ("Cameo incrustation") was well stated by "m".  Page 120 of the Apsley Pellatt book describes and illustrates the process which includes:
   "The workman next applies his mouth at the end of the tube, o, ... but instead of blowing, he exhausts the air, thus perfecting the collapse ... causing the glass and composition figure to be of one homogeneous mass ..."

I apologize for my error in focus.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 12, 2017, 12:57:17 AM
oh sorry about the link  :-[- and sorry to make you check about the air thingy in Pellatt.
mm, I'll think on that.

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 12, 2017, 10:51:00 AM
This is a link to the ringstand and other items sold through Woolley and Wallis.
It's a Saleroom link so the pictures enlarges and then can be scrolled in to enlarge further.

This means it's possible to see the mold outlines on the amber silvered bowl in the middle and the green ribbed salt.

The ring stand was the only item in the Parkington sale however the blurb says that some items had Hale Thomson and E Varnish plugs.

There is another molded item (wineglass cooler) in CH British Glass in a similar cross hatch  molded decoration. Charles calls this 'honeycomb'.  There are two molds from Thomas Webb's (The Platts) one introduced in 1847 and one in 1850 that would have fit this design and they are called 'Diamond' and 'Large Diamond' (pp432) .  I'd say that is a better description of the molded design on both pieces than honeycomb?
So the one in the book is possibly from the same mold as the bowl in the Woolley and Wallis sale?

The molded decorated pieces in this sale MAY be Varnish or Thomson pieces so are worth investigating further as a possible source of maker id. 
The amber and green items appear to also both be cut, but no silver showing so it's possible they were single colour blown into a mold.

Sale room sale click here (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/woolley-and-wallis/catalogue-id-srwo10045/lot-c068b7ec-4e18-40c3-8327-a43d008d5f6a) for large pictures of group
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 12, 2017, 11:50:53 AM
Topic: Where was the glass blown -

Diamond Dip molds
:


They do not appear to have been a that scarce in the 1840s  :-\

Apsley Pellatt talks as though they are a kind of standard practice  - see page 112

click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OI80AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA112&dq=diamond+dip+molds+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC1c_S-7jXAhUGtBoKHQohD7wQ6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q=diamond%20dip%20molds%20glass&f=false)


Cased coloured glass:

See also page 127 for a description (book published 1849) that cased coloured glass cut through to clear was mostly the province of Bohemia, Bavaria and France but that Falcon Glass works had recently successfully achieved this:

click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OI80AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA112&dq=diamond+dip+molds+glass&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC1c_S-7jXAhUGtBoKHQohD7wQ6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q=diamond%20dip%20molds%20glass&f=false)


From CH British Glass 1800-1914:
There were cased and cut back pieces shown from Bacchus at the exhibition pp92 and pp87 (white over colour it seems) as well as a goblet engraved by Muckley at the Richardson factory in a red cut to clear cased item pp90 and some blue over clear pp83 and 84 c.1844 from Richardson; and possibly some from Rice Harris.

  Possibly others as well - I've not done a complete check or list,but some of the other pieces in the book seem to be written up as 'possibly by' or 'probably by' i.e. not definitive and there is a comment that deciding which were English, or rather Bohemian or French can be very difficult.


These are just my thoughts:

I suppose what I am thinking is that the Bohemians had at that point had decades of casing glass and engraving  and cutting it.
The French had had the political backing and the will to develop coloured glass and cased glass.

Was it that easy to case glass at that point?  The casing process, the annealing rates of the different colours etc.  all took experimenting to do and the English factories had been under the glass excise laws until, what, 1845?

iirc, Charles does say in the book that he believes the English were developing coloured glass around the same time as other countries were,  but I wonder how far forward that was by comparison, in terms of casing and colour development?  I mean, I can find you hundreds of Bohemian Biedermeier pieces in colour and in various different developments of casing etc.  and they are widely quoted in the literature around the Great Exhibition as a comparison of colour and how great it was and how  we were 'catching up' as it were. 
But I would be pushed to find you numerous examples of English cased coloured glass from that period.  If it was that developed where are they?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 12, 2017, 06:38:04 PM
Please see the correction in my Reply #242.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 13, 2017, 01:08:36 AM
A report here from the Birmingham exhibition held in 1849 mentions Rice Harris' coloured glass:
see page 314 and 315

click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EcNAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA315&dq=gold+ruby+glass+bacchus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTzcrirLrXAhWFC8AKHR3EABI4HhDoAQg8MAU#v=onepage&q=gold%20ruby%20glass%20bacchus&f=false)
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 13, 2017, 11:00:49 PM
Looking at the vase in the V&A again:

Why does it have a metal collar around the base of the trumpet before it meets the elongated knop area above the foot?


http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6482/vase-hale-thomson-f/

Did they have to cut it open to fill the knop with silver?

- The foot was presumably an open foot so easy to silver, add an inserted cone shaped piece in a similar shape and then seal the two foot pieces together with cement then add a silver foot rim to cover it. 

- The trumpet body of the vase would have been easy to insert a glass upside down cone shaped insert, after silvering the internal walls of the trumpet, then seal with cement and add a silver rim around the top to finish it.

- but no way of getting to the elongated knop without cutting the vase in half to expose an opening in the knop to silver it.  So perhaps that's what they did then resealed with a metal collar?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 14, 2017, 07:12:17 PM
Topic:  where was the glass made?

Drayton's process for silvering glass was reported in Belgium in 1850 and his patent ratified in 1849 was noted.
I think this report is from a Museum.
There is more information about another development of silvering glass based on Drayton's but improved/different as far as I can see with other names noted.
No Thomson is mentioned and it appears to be all about silvering glass, but not about double walled glass.

See page 169 and 210

click here  (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ighAAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA210&dq=Argenture+en+double+Paroi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_qO-V4L7XAhUEBsAKHfqMCcc4KBDoAQhiMAk#v=onepage&q=Drayton&f=false)

So the developments in silvering using silver nitrate were seemingly well known - note in the court case that  Varnish mentioned going to Belgium.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 14, 2017, 07:39:09 PM
Topic:  where was the glass blown?  the designs cut onto the glass

I noticed a few interesting cut design devices on some of the pieces - I will look some more links out but this is one example:

Two blue goblets sold via Woolley and Wallis - they have a sort of blob circle at the end of the curve cut. (scroll down once the page comes up on the link and then click on the vases for them to be in focus).
 I've seen this device on other pieces:
https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG081013&lot=47&id=253607

but interestingly I came across this piece as well, similar blob cutting, but in this case the device was a series of diamond shaped curved cuts with the blob at the point of each of the diamond points.
White overlay on red glass, attributed as Bohemian with a range of makers given: 
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/84/62/83/84628350c860dcb0205ddbcfb8529f7b.jpg

It is difficult to tell because the image is slightly blurred, but I think it is possible the curious gilding on the front of this vase would make me think it is Bohemian.  I have seen that type of gilding done on Harrach and Buquoy glass.  It is done in a particular way and I think it is a Bohemian thing.

Perhaps if they were cutting the ornamental vases/goblets/weights etc in the workshop, Mellish was copying the patterns from Bohemian pieces?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 14, 2017, 09:42:06 PM
Topic:  Where was the glass blown:  In 1845 Neuwelt (Harrach ) was producing flint glass and appears to be the only manufactory in Bohemia doing so at that time according to this:

page 267 (see right hand column, bottom chapter XV) of the Practical Mechanic and Engineer's mag vol 4 1845  (article on Glass in Bohemia by M. L. P. Debette - this article appears to have been laid out in three parts across this volume,so for the full article, please see from page 218-221, then 237-240 and 261-267. According to page 218 header it is an article translated in 1843)
[Mod: edited to correct page numbers for the three parts of the article]

click here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lbc5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA267&dq=silvered+glass+saint-gobain&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjw5rMgb_XAhVDIMAKHf3hCHY4ChDoAQhXMAk#v=onepage&q=silvered%20glass%20saint-gobain&f=false)

By flint glass did this mean lead glass?

And if it was lead glass would that feel heavier than say, more recent (1860 onwards) Bohemian silvered glass?

m
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: KevinH on November 21, 2017, 12:47:54 AM
Quick note to say ... I have added a comment to Reply 188 about the vermicular pattern mentioned in that post.
Title: Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
Post by: flying free on November 28, 2017, 12:22:14 AM
Thanks Kev.
I'm on something else at the moment so can't do glass, but will try and pull something together re the Apsley Pellatt reports when I get a chance.

Just in case it takes a while to get going again on this thread, I would like  to say that, in my opinion so far there is no evidence for any of these coloured pieces being made  at Whitefriars (Powell and Sons).

m