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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Malta Glass => Topic started by: Patrick on September 12, 2017, 02:01:14 PM

Title: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on September 12, 2017, 02:01:14 PM
Hi,

I thought I would show a recent purchase I made from a dealer friend.........

He found it in as part of a lot in an auction house, with the signature only being discovered after felt pads on the base were removed.

Regards,

Patrick.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on September 12, 2017, 03:35:32 PM
A close up of the signature.........

and also the base pads.........
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on September 12, 2017, 11:06:57 PM
Lovely example of a cut ice, not entirely convinced by that signature though in my opinion.

 The 'G' on glass looks like it's been done with a vibro pen and MH signatures at Mdina were done with a diamond point etcher as I'm sure you know. It's also too thick when you compare other MH Mdina signatures, MH Mdina signatures are very thin and well excuted, it looks nievely done.. That and the signature appears to be over the top of the base scratch/ shelf marks which wouldn't be the case were it done at the time of production. Just my opinion though, happy to be proven wrong!

But again, lovely example, great colour!
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on September 13, 2017, 09:20:38 AM

 The 'G' on glass looks like it's been done with a vibro pen and MH signatures at Mdina were done with a diamond point etcher as I'm sure you know. It's also too thick when you compare other MH Mdina signatures, MH Mdina signatures are very thin and well excuted, it looks nievely done.. That and the signature appears to be over the top of the base scratch/ shelf marks which wouldn't be the case were it done at the time of production. Just my opinion though, happy to be proven wrong!


I think you are wrong........ Look at the signature shown in this Topic. http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,64876.msg363298.html#msg363298

It is very similar to the one on my vase.

Regards,

Patrick.

Ps. In my image you are looking at an enlargement......... look at the scale on the main image of the vase, it gives a clearer sense of scale.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on September 13, 2017, 09:37:15 AM
I have this image that I use as a definitive Harris signature.

I downloaded it from a topic on the GMB whick I can't seem to find. I have obviously used images that are not mine but I hope this can be forgiven in the interest of research.
 Again this is very similar to the signature being discussed, some ...dots................. can clearly be seen in the scribeing.

I also have a Chalice with a signature shown below. ( bought on Ebay from a house clearance dealer, so probably genuine :) )
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on September 13, 2017, 10:31:06 AM
The last 2 signatures are absolutely genuine, the chalice signature is remarkably similar to some early IOW MH sigs, I have no doubt about their authenticity. They tick all the boxes.

The other cut-ice signature though wider then I'd expect is again I believe genuine because all the charactistics of the letters, the form and precision of it. It's competently done and very much MH style.

What makes me doubt the first signature is the Michael Harris part mostly, it's not precise and the form of some of the letters, particularly the 'M' on Harris is wrong. He would have scribed his name many times and it just seems unlikely to me that he would form his 'm' and other charactistic letters like the 'H' and following 'M' on Malta in such a hesitant way. The more I look at it the more flaws I see compared to a genuine signature like the others you've shown.

Whilst I don't think it's a recent attempt at his signature I do think it's an older attempt that has just resurfaced. That's my view anyway, but it's a lovely piece regardless and if you're happy with it then that's good enough!
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on September 13, 2017, 11:53:28 AM
Luckily I can see more that is right and put some of the irregular letters down to the fact that holding the vase was not easy, maybe having to be done seated with it between his legs.

I will soon be showing it to a long time collector that has a good few signed Harris pieces.

Cheers,

Patrick.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on September 13, 2017, 02:06:32 PM
The glass itself looks absolutely right for Michael Harris' work, no matter who scratched some marks on the bottom.  ;D
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on September 14, 2017, 10:25:37 AM
For me there are no issues with the signature in question, every single genuine signature is different and will show some variation to a greater or lesser degree.

Attached are a couple more examples of MH's script, looks like his engraver had a nice fresh point in use on that day...

John
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on September 14, 2017, 11:58:58 AM
Sadly I'm still not convinced. Obviously there are variations in signatures and that's apparent when you compare the ones posted here. But however each of those genuine signatures like the two posted before this post have all got the form, style and precision that is present in every single MH signature, each letter is formed properly and in the very recongnisable style that we all know.

The signature in question, particularly the Michael Harris part does not and to me at least you can clearly see the odd signature out and there is, in my opinion,  a reason for that.

However the glass itself is beautiful and is just right for the MH period.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on September 22, 2017, 03:37:48 PM
Another example to compare with Patrick, very similar g's.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on September 25, 2017, 10:26:14 PM
I've noticed that they're all written the same way, the genuine signatures, at least on this post (minus the Goblet for obvious base related reasons), are written in 3 lines one below the other.

Michael Harris
Mdina Glass
Malta

Is this a recurring theme or are there Mdina MH signatures that are genuine and signed differently? Just a passing observation that seems worth pointing out.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on September 26, 2017, 08:24:22 AM
No there are several variations, probably depending on the flat space that was available for a signature on a given item. Globe vases tend to have a large flat polished base (where engraving will be much more straightforward), mine are signed towards the centre over three lines. One cut ice lollipop has a wide thin base and is signed in a continuous line along one edge. An early fish vase has a small footprint and is signed on both sides with the two lines facing each other on the outer edges.

Not forgetting Patrick's chalice where the signature runs in an arc around the base - a format determined by the shape of the base again.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on September 26, 2017, 11:16:24 AM
The second example in the above sequence looks wrong to my eyes.I am quietly confident that if we had a handwriting expert in the forum they would also dispute it.

Of course all this is personal opinion but I can't see how some struggle to accept the obvious differences in style, form and execution.

I wouldn't bid on such an item and I have avoided doing so in the past. There are most definitely a lot of fake signatures out there and more appearing on a monthly basis.

Each to their own I suppose but buyer beware is definitely a good mantra in this area.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on September 26, 2017, 12:40:22 PM
To be honest, I do not believe there is such a thing as a "handwriting expert".
Handwriting varies incredibly, even in an individual.
Most of my signatures these days look like I'm faking them. ;D No two are ever the same.
What needs to be analysed are the tiny variations in the pressures exerted while writing and the time-related fluency of execution, not the shapes of individual letters. That is more akin to phrenology (bumps on the head relate to personality) or physiognomy (if you look evil outside, you are evil inside).
I don't know how any of that could be analysed while engraving.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on September 26, 2017, 01:19:44 PM
To be honest, I do not believe there is such a thing as a "handwriting expert".
Handwriting varies incredibly, even in an individual.
Most of my signatures these days look like I'm faking them. ;D No two are ever the same.
What needs to be analysed are the tiny variations in the pressures exerted while writing and the time-related fluency of execution, not the shapes of individual letters. That is more akin to phrenology (bumps on the head relate to personality) or physiognomy (if you look evil outside, you are evil inside).
I don't know how any of that could be analysed while engraving.

I think there are, they work for the police and give evidence in court. I have seen it with my own eyes and heard with my own ears.

You are correct in that some aspects but they also look for consistency in lettering, spacing, slant, signs of hesitancy. All of which are evident in an engraved signature.

I think that until recent years all the signatures I had seen showed a great consistency in all these aspects. So either all the rushed signatures appeared recently or someone is faking them.

Logic dictates it is the latter.

 
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on September 26, 2017, 01:33:50 PM
Which is why I look at the glass itself, not at scratches on the bottom of it and avoid buying anything signed if I possibly can. ;D
The silly prices the scratches can make, make no sense to me at all. 8)
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on September 26, 2017, 02:57:01 PM
I certainly agree with you on that point.

I have been pleased to pick up some relative bargains just because they weren't signed and there was less of a bidding war.



Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on September 26, 2017, 03:04:44 PM
There are most definitely a lot of fake signatures out there and more appearing on a monthly basis.

Sorry but I think that is utter rubbish and born of paranoia. In the last ten years of collecting I have seen three or four faked Harris signatures and they were obvious, I have seen dozens and dozens that are genuine, that you doubt the signature on the cut ice lollipop amuses me, it just leaves the field open for the rest of us. As it happens and for a couple of reasons that is one of the more difficult examples of his signature to photograph well.

I bought that particular cut ice lollipop vase at a bootsale for five quid more than ten years ago, luckily for me it was my first piece of Mdina. The person I bought it from had had it in their family for many years, it was bought at the factory in the early 1970s and they knew no more about it than that. Which was more than I knew at the time - I was only really interested in Scandinavian glass and had hardly heard of Mdina. As far as I was concerned I was buying a pretty piece of glass, I had no idea of it's potential value.

How do you think MH's signature varied after lunch and a couple of glasses of wine? When tired? When stressed? When the engraving tool was blunt? There will be more reasons equally as banal for the slight variations we see, let alone the vagaries of signing on small and oddly shaped bases and along with that any development over time.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 02, 2017, 07:01:45 AM
You have only seen four?

No offence but that just means you don't know a fake from a genuine signature.

I have it on very good authority they are being faked and I also have a good idea of one of the sources.

I also know which style this particular source is producing.

I hope that explains my "paranoia" to you.





Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on October 02, 2017, 09:12:05 AM
Show us some evidence then, otherwise anything you have to say is worthless.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: WhatHo! on October 03, 2017, 07:10:03 AM
For what its worth I think this signature is fake as well, and I think (In fact i know) that lots and lots of Harris signatures are being faked by amateurs and professionals alike and also its very likely you have some of these in your collection!!  Imho there is a great deal wrong with Patrick's signature, letter shaping, gaping, fluidity etc, which most has already been discussed. Also I have never seen his sig written on 2 lines before with just Malta at the bottom before. This sig looks sloppy to me and with all the fakes about, for me it not good enough just to say, oh he was having a bad day or he must of been holding between his knees.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on October 03, 2017, 07:56:24 AM
Ah, his masters voice. Likewise your thoughts hold no weight Wolfie without any proof.

Where are all these fakes? Show them to us.

Patrick's vase has that layout because there is not space to squeeze Malta onto a single line. Have you seen the layout on my fish vase with two lines facing each other. Do you think that is a fake as well?
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 03, 2017, 11:27:30 AM
For what its worth I think this signature is fake as well,

It would be interesting to have your thoughts on when this 'fake' signature was applied...... ?
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 04, 2017, 10:48:07 AM
Is this one genuine?

Or did you include it in your two or three known fakes?

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/william-george-auctions/catalogue-id-wi410717/lot-d1a72fd0-e950-42ca-98c7-a6c500c31f1a

Does it remind you of any others you might have seen lately?

P.S I don't believe Patrick's to be fake (in my humble and paranoid) opinion. :)
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 04, 2017, 01:03:48 PM

P.S I don't believe Patrick's to be fake (in my humble and paranoid) opinion. :)


Thanks Denver,
I have asked the auction house if they could ask the seller for the history of my vase........ I think it is either from a house clearance or the estate of someone deceased. Certainly not from a glass dealer or a glass collector.
https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/peter-francis/catalogue-id-peter-10134/lot-ff569e0f-ce4c-4f06-9252-a7b600e95de9

The Hammer price was 110 for the 7 pieces. The other small lollipop is very interesting.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 04, 2017, 01:13:26 PM
I will report back.......
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: WhatHo! on October 05, 2017, 05:31:38 PM
Hi Guys, I have since being doing some further research and I have found another vase in this same 'less neat' style sig and on 2 lines. From this I must conclude that either that Patricks is indeed correct or that its the same faker doing a very good job. I will keep both opinions open and carry looking into it. If I'm wrong I certainly do not mind admitting it, it's the facts about the glass that matter not egos.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 05, 2017, 07:25:43 PM
But no images?
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 06, 2017, 05:49:45 AM
That is because it is currently a live auction. I am sure once it has finished a link will appear. ;)








Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 06, 2017, 12:21:55 PM
That's helpful to know, thanks.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on October 06, 2017, 03:23:24 PM
Nemmie,


This signature on the link you provided is genuine.

It's been done with a diamond point etcher and is in every way a Harris signature of his time at Mdina. Lettering, spacing, style and fluidity are spot on.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 06, 2017, 03:32:02 PM
Are you referring to the one on the large "ming" vase in the auction?
I didn't see it, I could only access the single first image, (Links are never as good as posting proper images directly, and the images vanish at a later date anyway.)

I would personally very much doubt a Michael Harris signature on such a piece. I'm not even sure these larger bottles were made while he was still there; they overlap so much with what was made at MDG I suspect they are post-Harris.
I haven't any evidence, that is just what I suspect from my 20 odd years' experience of collecting Mdina.


Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 06, 2017, 04:55:46 PM
If you are referring to the Ming bottle the reason I posted it is I don't believe it to have been made whilst Michael Harris was at the glass works.

Which makes it highly unlikely to be his signature in my opinion.

I also disagree with you on the similarities, I see very little if any resemblance. It is a poor imitation to my eyes.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on October 06, 2017, 04:58:31 PM
Definitely yes to the big Ming bottle vase, one in the American importer George Briand's 1972 Mdina collection.

Signature is fine too.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 06, 2017, 05:08:14 PM
I really don't think it is. And not just because of this bottle.

I am not sure how anyone can definitively say it is right but I certainly believe that it is a lot more likely to be wrong.

Buyer beware as I originally said.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 06, 2017, 06:01:09 PM
I couldn't see the mark on the Ming bottle John, (my computer won't let me see anything other than the first image) but I did feel the piece was a bit late for Harris being there and didn't think it a likely contender for a signature, unless the person buying it originally, specifically asked for and got it done at the time.
It's a real shame the Briard catalogue is '72.
If it had been '71 or '73, we'd have been more sure. '72 leaves more room for doubt either way.
It's not an impossible notion that it could be right. ???

Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on October 06, 2017, 06:14:08 PM
I am indeed referring to the large Ming bottle vase.

How can anyone be absolutely sure, apart from the obvious designs, that Michael didn't make them while he was at Mdina? There are no records aside from photos of the stock shelves of what was made at all. Earth tones is considered post Harris, but he developed it while at Mdina, I have an experimental tricorn in that colorway with a broken pontil.

What im trying to say is that it's not beyond the realms of credulity that Michael made a piece like this while he was there, the signature is absolutely right. I've seen hundreds of Mdina pieces in the 19 years I've been a dealer and collector, and all manner of signatures both genuine and fake. This for me is a genuine signature, it's been done in a diamond point etcher, not vibro pen (though sometimes this was done by MH), it's fluid, has the correct form and style. If you look at Mark Hill's book on Michael Harris, the Mdina singatures shown on page 137, the ming bottle signature is almost identical in style and form.

I also saw in February at the National Glass fair in Birmingham a MH fish vase with a signature like this one done in diamond point and absolutely right. no question. Perhaps some of you saw it if you attended?

I agree that buyer beware is absolutely relevant, particulary more recently. The number of fake signatures I've seen this year alone is well into double digits. This Ming bottle however is not one of them, not to me, but each to their own.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on October 06, 2017, 06:22:12 PM
Is that also not a polished pontil base in the photos i see? That dates it to the Harris period for sure? It was used from 1969 and discontinued easily before 1972? So in reality that makes the piece absolutely of the period does it not?
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on October 06, 2017, 11:35:08 PM
Not sure when they stopped with polished pontil marks entirely, it might turn out to be a bit later.

Those big Ming vases are thin on the ground, only seen a few in the flesh, perhaps they dropped the shape after Harris left which would help explain scarcity, anyone got one in another colour, or dated and therefore definitely post Harris? Harris left Malta in Summer 1972, at that point glass had been in production for little more than 3 years.

Georges Briand was the American importer in the late 60s and early 70s, have to take this information at face value given it is in print in a couple of places. The photo of their 1972 Mdina collection has plenty of Harris era colours and shapes (I can't publish it - copyright would be a problem for the board) the chances are everything in that catalogue photo existed by late 1971 (which is interesting in itself given what is actually in there). Bottom right hand corner of that photo shows one of the big Ming vases, pattern number 7569.

So not really a surprise to find a large item made in the Harris years signed like that. No doubt or ambiguity as far as I am concerned.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 07, 2017, 06:33:48 AM
It seems that you used to agree with my opinions on this subject.

Interested to know what changed your mind John.

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php?topic=51890.0

These large ming bottles aren't that scarce. Shortly before this one appeared at auction, I saw one for sale at Detling that was unsigned with a similar pontil mark, you could say it was its twin. ;)

Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: glassobsessed on October 07, 2017, 07:02:32 AM
That was four years ago, I have since seen more of the same and discussed them with Ron W. Every example was on a bit of Seaward from IoWSG, apparently for what must have been a relatively short period of time a ''studio version' of MH's signature was used.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Nemmie on October 07, 2017, 07:34:45 AM
"His signature could vary a little, no surprise really. To judge I look for one made with a diamond point engraver, the expected format and usually beautifully engraved well formed characters"

Is what you said four years ago and that is exactly what I look for today. I don't see the expected format or beautifully engraved well formed characters on the Ming bottle or the many other items that have appeared with this type of signature over the last few years.

I think anyone who puts them side by side on their computer screen will be in agreement.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 07, 2017, 10:22:15 AM
My general obsevation, now that I think about it carefully, is that there are far more MDG large bottles around than Mdina ones.
I also trust John's opinion on the matter of pawmarks more than anybodys, including my own.  ;D

I have managed to photograph a genuine signature I have, it's not straight, the word glass actually curls over the side of the base and onto the body of the charger.
The size of his writing varies between different pieces too.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 07, 2017, 11:44:35 AM
Thank's for showing us that Sue,

I note that it is only on 2 lines.

Here is a not very clear image of the base of a lollipop I bought today.......

I will post a clearer image and an image of the vase it's self when I receive it.

cheers,

Patrick.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on October 07, 2017, 01:16:59 PM
The lollipop you bought today is the one I too was bidding on, absolutely right signature and remarkably looks like some signatures he did at IOWSG. The amethyst Pulled ears vase was particularly nice in that lot too!

A lovely purchase.
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 07, 2017, 02:08:37 PM
It is extra nice because of the different internal effect achieved that differs from my example at the beginning of this topic.
Similar to the one discussed here.........
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,64876.0.html
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Vitreo94 on October 07, 2017, 03:18:51 PM
They are all splendid, that's one of the things I find most appealing about his glass, they're all so unique and come in all manner of forms and colours! Perfect I think!
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 07, 2017, 04:25:21 PM
Here is link to the auction........
https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/tennants-auctioneers/catalogue-id-srten10440/lot-f58b8d78-e4e1-4551-a329-a80100ef56a0?utm_source=auction-alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=auction-alert&utm_content=lot-image-link
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: chopin-liszt on October 07, 2017, 05:50:14 PM
Kevin has very kindly sent me an image of the pawmark on the Ming bottle.
I agree with John, absolutely. Nothing wrong with it at all.

Thank-you Kevin! :-*
Title: Re: 'Ice cut' vase with Harris signature........
Post by: Patrick on October 12, 2017, 12:23:54 PM
My recent Auction house purchase arrived today.........