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Glass Identification - Post here for all ID requests => Glass Paperweights => Topic started by: mmarc77 on May 17, 2012, 10:22:24 PM

Title: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mmarc77 on May 17, 2012, 10:22:24 PM
This weight is 2/14 diameter by 1 5/8 high with an unusual cane on the bottom that is white with a long black shape inside it. White stars on blue field with white straight canes all around the edges. It's hard to photograph but it is very well done. Any help on maker or age is appreciated.
Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: Derek on May 18, 2012, 07:34:17 PM
Hi and welcome to the board.

The photos are not brilliant but good enough to say that it looks like a Whitefriars monk cane.

The Whitefriars name was bought by Caithness in 1980 but this style is quite unlike any of the
Caithness/Whitefriars weights therefore unlikely to be one of these.

I have checked out the Whitefriars paperweights collectors guide but can cannot see this design
which would seem to leave two possibilities:

1) Its a Whitefriars trial piece
2) Its by an unknown maker who has incorporated a Whitefriars monk cane into the weight.

There are several members of the board who are Whitefriars experts and I am sure one of
them will be able to give you more information and a more definite answer

Best regards

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mmarc77 on May 19, 2012, 12:06:29 AM
Hello Derek and thank you for the warm welcome. :)

I don't know anything about trial pieces but I assume after they were made if they looked good they were a regular issue? So would they be one off pieces if not selected as part of a run? I wish I could get a better picture but the cane is half an inch up from the base of the weight and it's hard to get a good photo.
Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: Derek on May 19, 2012, 09:23:23 AM

Yes trial pieces are just that - there is an idea for a new design or technique and it is tried out.

If it looks promising then maybe another trial piece is made with a slight alteration. This process will continue
over many iterations until the design team either reject the design or put it into full production.

So all trials are one-offs and according the the collectors guide - discarded trials were sometimes sold as oddments at staff sales   

Best regards

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: jamalpa36 on May 19, 2012, 02:39:58 PM

I must say all I can see is a Blue and White blob.
I cannot see anything to do with Whitefriars in the weight, the base or the blob.

Is it Me???

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mmarc77 on May 19, 2012, 08:42:51 PM
It is difficult to see Roy so here is a better picture taken by seller. The round circle is an air bubble and although the picture makes it look like there is a letter inside there is not. The cane is more visible but there is a scratch right over where the blob cane is in the picture. It clearly appears to be a cane placed on the base in hand.

Here is also a picture taken through a loupe.
Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: KevinH on May 19, 2012, 11:19:06 PM
Doesn't look like a Whitefriars cane to me.

Might just be a small section of an inner white core showing through the blue at that point.
Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: jamalpa36 on May 20, 2012, 07:40:32 AM

I agree with Kevin. As a Whitefriars collector (120 plus) and a cane collector, from the photographs supplied I cannot see a cane.

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mmarc77 on May 20, 2012, 08:35:28 AM
Thanks guys I really appreciate the input. I'm just trying to identify the weight manufacturer and will defer to you experts on the mark on the base. It does looks a lot different in hand through a loupe than in the photos provided.

Does anyone recognize the 8 pointed white star cane used throughout or is that a standard cane used by many makers? Having looked through a dozen books the only image that seems close is on page 171 (fig. 176) of Paul Hollister's "Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights". The profile 2 ( page 167) also looks like the profile of this weight and per page 30 of the book "Paperweights of the World"  by Monika Fleming and Peter Pommerenke, the comment is made that Whitefriars paperweight bottoms look as if they are open which this weight certainly does.

I'm probably reaching at straws but I am determined to try and figure out what I can about this weight. Thanks for any help.

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: Derek on May 20, 2012, 10:11:12 AM
Hi Mike

Now you have sent the better pictures, I have to agree with Roy and Kev that the cane looks unlike a Whitefriars monk.  You mentioned that it was black although in the new pictures it looks definitely blue to me so as Kev says it could be a cane pushed through and distorted . However, it seems odd that all the other canes were even enough not to push through. Good luck with your investigation

Best regards

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: KevinH on May 20, 2012, 02:25:14 PM
Hi Mike,

Star canes can look like many others. The example you refer to from Hollister are separate star canes, whereas in your weight the star is a central section within a thick blue surround. It is not the same type of cane. Also, it is unfortunate that earlier books, such as Hollister's from 1969, show examples of weights as "Whitefriars", which are now known to be later (1920s - 1950s) "Old English". All three images on page 171 of Hollister are examples of this error in identification.

The description in Flemming & Pommerencke, page 30, is sadly not very useful. Many people these days refer to the typical Whitefriars base finish as a "button" - which is better but still not too meaningful until an actual example has been seen.

Derek showed a photo of a Whitefriars base in another message - see here (,22918.msg129329.html#msg129329). There is a definite concave and polished central section with a distinct indented ridge around the central area leaving a thick, rounded outer rim.

Your weight has a flat basal rim around the outer edge and the whole interior is a shallow concave area. There is no separate area within a ridged rim as with the Whitefriars finish.

Derek's comment about a cane being "pushed through" might be correct, but is not what I was suggesting. If the blue colour is simply a thin outer layer over a white core (white is often used as a base upon which colour is applied) then it may be the white core that is showing through. However, using photos, it is not easy to say what has actually happened.

Your weight, with its "basal rim finish" is interesting as it suggests an older piece but its identification may take a while. I do not recall another like like it in any of my books or for real.
Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mmarc77 on May 20, 2012, 08:21:02 PM
Thanks for the great info Kev and Derek. This hobby is fascinating because of all the effort and information required to identify a weight's makers and age. It's interesting that even the publications can be inaccurate and outdated making the task even more difficult.

This forum adds a huge amount to the hobby for new collectors like myself who can get great information from experts almost instantly. The beauty and intrigue of paperweights are really a well kept secret but one I'm glad I discovered. The diversity of collecting options is amazing from antiques to moderns, abstract to millefiori to lampwork and of course country of origin.

In the past two months since I started collecting I have a learned a great deal and have made some purchase mistakes but this forum has allowed me a venue to ask questions that is invaluable. Thanks again!

Title: Re: Whitefriars cane?
Post by: mjr on May 21, 2012, 07:13:42 PM
definitely not a cane.  also the base treatment - polishing is not typical, and of course it is not made using the whitefriars button.   I have a number of whitefriars trial and experimental pieces and they still have the characteristics of whitefriars which this one does not.