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Glass Identification - Post here for all ID requests => Glass => Topic started by: Ivo on November 02, 2008, 11:26:53 AM

Title: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on November 02, 2008, 11:26:53 AM
Can anyone please identify this enameled bird. It is on a blue vase most likely by Legras...
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 02, 2008, 08:05:24 PM
Of those three it looks most like a warbler, since cuckoos have curved bills and shrikes have hooked bills.  The bill is a little long for a warbler, though, so maybe it's not that, either.

I wonder if the artist took a little licence with it, at least with the coloring.  White backs like that aren't very common, probably for camouflage reasons - they are easily visible to predatory birds.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 03, 2008, 12:47:10 AM
I have just finshed an enjoyable browse through two large books, one covering Europe and the other North America. I can find nothing that fits the plumage of this bird.

But if it is a real one, or a close approximation, it may be a Thrush or a Wheatear or a Pipit or even a type of Flycatcher with long bill.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 03, 2008, 05:38:42 AM
I was thinking it looked quite thrush-like.  The body seems kind of long and the legs rather substantial for flycatchers or wheatears, but pipit seems like a good possibility.  Then again, I'm thinking in general terms for the groups - there could be all kinds of variants over there I don't know about.  Wish I had a guide to European birds to browse through, that does sound enjoyable!

Ivo, do you have a photo of the whole vase to share with us?  The glimpse is but a tease... ;D
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on November 03, 2008, 07:49:48 AM
First thing I did was of course check the Peterson, and next ask the expert.  Actually nothing matches the plumage - the light back and the dark eye stripe, so it may well be a bird painted by a Parisian city dweller with little eye for detail. There are a few birds of fame in French. The Merle (Thrush) is well known and can be found in urban areas. Le Traquet (wheatear) would not be known to most Parisians, and neither is Le Pipit. And so I conclude tentatively "Merle alors" ...

Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Bernard C on November 03, 2008, 09:04:16 AM
Ivo — Instead of looking in the books, I started with its rather strange posture, not typical of most birds, and immediately thought of the Nuthatch, Sitta europaea, as we had had one frequent the oak tree under which we pitched our tent this summer.   Ours had walked up the trunk, down the trunk, round it one way, round it the other, and then it did the hokey cokey, turned itself around, and that's what it's all about!

Everyone together now:
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
That's what it's all about.

Then it did it again, around a branch.

... and again:
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
Oh, the hokey cokey,     
That's what it's all about.

It's the only British bird that habitually and quite normally walks down tree trunks and along the underside of branches, so more or less any posture is OK.   Incidentally, the Treecreeper, Certhia familiaris, will do the same, but not very often, preferring to fly to a new location and work upwards (at least those I saw on the same Purbeck campsite did).

If you take into account a very limited colour palette, artistic licence, and that it was probably painted from a drawing, it's a fairly good likeness.   See the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds web page (http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/n/nuthatch/index.asp).

I hope you all joined in and enjoyed that little musical interlude.

Bernard C.  ;D

ps — In The Netherlands Sitta europaea has the wonderful name Boomklever — see here (http://www.birdguides.com/species/species.asp?sp=147001) for other names.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Glen on November 03, 2008, 09:36:05 AM
See the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds

Ouch! Please don't prevent them :o

We have a "tame" nuthatch in our garden which eats the seeds we put out. It does look a little like him! As an aside, and totally off topic  :-[ a neighbour's predatory cat yesterday fought with a squirrel underneath our hanging seed feeder (the squirrel hoovers up the seeds the birds drop). The cat won and made off with the limp squirrel in its mouth. Not nice!

G
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Sklounion on November 03, 2008, 10:55:58 AM
10 points to the cat,and an extra ration of Felix, if it was a grey squirrel..... ;D ;D
Boos and hisses, if it was a red suirrel.....
Regards,
Marcus
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on November 03, 2008, 10:57:45 AM
ps — In The Netherlands Sitta europaea has the wonderful name Boomklever

Thank you for this musical interlude, Bernard. Of course I am well familiar with the boomklever (sorry no boom, not clever - it translates as tree hugger and is fairly distinct from the drabber looking boomkruiper, or tree-creeper). I'm just not sure the artiste would have painted a blue bird brown, slimmed it down and stretched its legs. Maybe the bird had more talent than the man or woman who painted its portrait...
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Bernard C on November 04, 2008, 10:12:40 AM
Ivo et al — I've posted a query on wildlifebritain.com's forum here (http://www.wildlifebritain.com/wildlife_forum/viewtopic.php?id=756).

Bernard C.  8)
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 04, 2008, 01:04:04 PM
That's not a nuthatch, even allowing for artistic imagination!

A bird with its body arched upwards may suggest an alarmed state - which could be reasonable for this one if it had found out that its plumage is totally unlike any known bird. :o

Wings held downwards could suggest a young bird begging for food, or a mature bird in courtship behaviour.

The main colouring, grey and rufous, could suggest a form of Redstart or one of a few less common Thrushes, such as the Rufous-Tailed Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis, which does occur locally in a few parts of southern France.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 04, 2008, 03:04:06 PM
...Nor is it a treecreeper (or a tree hugger!), and I would venture to say it would take a great deal of artistic licence to turn it into a Rufous-Tailed Rock Thrush.  Body seems too short for a Redstart, and beak too long.  My vote is it's imaginary.  Look - it has white eyes!  Spooky.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Bernard C on November 04, 2008, 04:08:01 PM
Quote from: KevH
...   Wings held downwards could suggest a young bird begging for food, or a mature bird in courtship behaviour.   ...

Or, Kevin, that the artist was sourcing from a contemporary bird publication, see here (http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Monticola_saxatilis_NAUMANN.jpg).

Bernard C.  8)
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 04, 2008, 04:57:20 PM
He probably had a bird book right there, chose all the bits he liked best from the various birds, and put them together in this little feathered wonder!  Ach, I'm being silly.  There are so many birds in this world, who am I to say, without looking at bird books from around the globe, that this one isn't found in nature?  The coloring to me just doesn't look natural, though.

Maybe that's why the wing are shown as they are - to display the rump characteristics, like in the beautiful image in Bernard's link.   ;) To me, it just looks like it's going to launch itself off the branch.  Or doing the hokey pokey for his woman. 

How is it there are so many birdos on this board?  In America it's glass and rocks, in the UK it's glass and birds.  Cats straddle the Pond.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Bernard C on November 04, 2008, 05:41:29 PM
Quote from: krsilber
... like in the beautiful image in Bernard's link.   ...

Kristi — Not so beautiful, as that posture indicates that it was drawn from a dead specimen.

Bernard C.  8)
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 04, 2008, 07:36:25 PM
That's perfectly possible - natural history museums are full of them, having stuffed dead animals around the house used to be more acceptable, and it's pretty hard to get a bird to sit still long enough to paint it well and in such detail.  No nice color snapshots in 1905!  But I don't see how the posture indicates it.  If you mean the drooping wings, I think that was intentional in order to show the markings on the rump.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 04, 2008, 10:50:54 PM
The colouring in the image that Bernard linked to shows an interesting feature - for the male bird, the head and back are clearly blue rather than grey. And although the illustrations in my reference material show grey (to my eyes) the descriptions generally include: "blue-grey head and mantle" for the male Rock Thrush aka Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush.

The grey of Ivo's strange bird could have been intended as a "blue-grey". Descriptions also state, "... with white back ..." which, in video images I have (from Birds of the Western Paleartic - interactive version) shows as a white patch when seen from a back virew or as a white "double-stripe" when seen in profile view. And that white-in-profile is very much like the white in the queried bird.

Apart from some apparent distortions in the sizes of various parts, the overall appearance including a relatively short tail does make sense for a Rock Thrush.

What does not make sense for me is the colour of the upper parts of the head! And yes, the eye should be mainly black, not mostly white. And the bill seems to be very pale instead of dark. And parts of the wing colouring don't tie up too well either. But these are just mere details. ;D ::) ;D
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 05, 2008, 12:10:18 AM
You think it looks like the male rufous-tailed rock thrush?  Huh.  I definitely agree it looks thrushy.

Google images shows lots of them, apparently with and without white patches on the back.  If there, they are much less extensive than the one Ivo posted.  But it sounds like you're not really convinced, either, that it's a picture of a RTRT.  There's probably some little-known thrush endemic to a mountain in Sumatra that's the spitting image.
Check out the variation in head color:
http://www.animalpicturesarchive.com/view.php?tid=3&did=10443&lang=kr
http://www.surfbirds.com/media/gallery_photos/20080531043337.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7668450@N05/2352380031/
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2846514400033770101QmFeTH

Whoa!  Have a look at the posture on this boy:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Avigraphicon/TheBirdsOfEuropeVolsIThroughIII#5171730055532705986
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 05, 2008, 03:40:49 PM
Quote
You think it looks like the male rufous-tailed rock thrush?
No! I do not think the bird as featured on the vase looks like a Rock Thrush. I have stated my reservations about several features. But when I analyse the general features and each individual feature, including the comparitive size of body parts as well as the colouring of the various parts, my conclusion is that it may have been based on a description or an illustration of the Rock Thrush. Old images were often monochrome and people had to rely on descriptions which were often not as detailed and precise as we are used to today. And anyway, even today we can buy wonderful books full of coloured illustrations, or even photos, but find that the colours and descriptions vary between books almost as much as an actual plumage can vary for many species!

The bird on the vase may well be a complete fantasy. But if it is supposed to be a real one, and if it is one known in Europe, I suggest Rock Thrush (much distorted) as the model used.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 05, 2008, 05:11:01 PM
Oh, sorry, Kev, I got all that before, I should have said "similar to" rather than "like"...I was just surprised it was the male you were talking about; I thought you were comparing it with the female.  To me she looks more similar, but both are a stretch. 

Maybe it's a White-Eye!  Joking.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 15, 2008, 10:05:17 PM
I am currently visiting friends who have some good experience of these things and when they saw the bird, said immediately, "Wallcreeper".

Ok, head colour is not right and artistic allowance for the under body but the only bird of those colours seems to be Wallcreeper. But they do  add: "Unless it some oriental species they are not aware of".
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: krsilber on November 16, 2008, 04:39:01 AM
If you're talking Tichodroma muraria , I can't see it.  The beak and toes are too short, the coloring's wrong, the body is slimmer.  If it's real, my vote is "unless it's some oriental species we haven't heard of."  Or somewhere else in the world.  It's not Australian or American, anyway, or I'd recognize it.

But I think it's a figment of the decorator's imagination.

Mod: part details moved to Cafe thread "Some birding info ..."

Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 16, 2008, 05:28:38 AM
Quote
If you're talking Tichodroma muraria ...
That's the ony one I am aware of.

Mod: part details moved to Cafe thread "Some birding info ..."
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Frank on November 16, 2008, 09:21:04 AM
Not all glass research is directly about glass and this thread is fascinating to even a bird moron to the full astudy of a piece of glass. If the decorator used a French source book of bird paintings then it might make a better match. Trip to a large French library might help if someone is in Paris.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: KevinH on November 16, 2008, 01:36:05 PM
Yes, I agree that thoughts about the origin of the decorator's image is relevant. It is certainly true that many older (even up to early 20th century) images of birds were "somewhat representative" rather than a true rendition. And if a glass decorator's source was, say, a monochrome sketch with some textual detail then the end result could easily be quite unlike a modern photographic record (or even a sketch from an actual skin).

If a reasonable source could be found for a particular decoration, then it could help to confirm at least the period for an item.

But in terms of Ivo's original query, much of what I have said in my posts could be placed into a category of "speculation with reasoning" and the truth of the matter may well be, "It's a fictitious bird".

Discussion about Hokey Cokey and variations moved to Cafe
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on July 10, 2012, 03:12:16 PM
Ivo I don't know if you ever did definitely id this as Legras, but I was looking at Cappa today and there is a Baccarat water set on page 179 with enamelled flowers on it that remind me of your vase.  It's probably the case I guess that they all did similar enamelled styled flowers and you've probably seen it anyway, but I thought I'd mention it :)
m
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on July 10, 2012, 03:53:40 PM
Thank you for bringing that to the table. I must have seen it because it is on the opposite page of my blue Baccarat grape vase - but the enamel decoration never registered in my state of distraction. And yes, not just the branches "japonisant' but also the colour is really uncannily close.  Which makes the Japanese Nightingale a candidate for bird of the week....

http://www.luxlyfe.com/beauty/exotic-beauty-treatment-wishlist/

BACCARAT ALWAYS +1
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on July 10, 2012, 04:17:41 PM
is your bird not just a plain Nightingale then? albeit with slightly stylised browns in the enamel?
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/nightingale-info.htm
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on July 10, 2012, 04:37:42 PM
I think it is only the droppings of the Japanese nightingale that you can smear all over your face to eliminate your complexion.  But of course, a high fired nightingale would be entirely feasible for an enameled vase from Baccarat.   
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on July 10, 2012, 04:54:00 PM
I'm not sure I'd want to 'eliminate' my complexion Ivo  :o
Although I guess it might be cheeper than a facial peel  ;D
m
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on July 10, 2012, 09:11:32 PM
irrelevant to this topic Ivo but I'd love to see pics of your grape vase when you are able to photograph it, is it the same colours ?  also something that roused my curiosity, the 'Bambous' vase next to it is nicely photographed on a dark background to show of the gilding but it also shows the very bad water staining.  Is that a rare vase do you know?  In another book I have I noticed a chipped vase in a museum collection.
m
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: TxSilver on July 11, 2012, 04:15:35 AM
The stance and bill remind me of a wren. We have a musical wren in the southeast US -- the Carolina wren. It is a little bird with a huge voice and an equally huge personally. I wake up every morning to their song. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Wren

And here is a French wren: http://yvon.toupin.oiseaux.net/eurasian.wren.2.html.
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on July 11, 2012, 06:52:27 AM
irrelevant to this topic Ivo but I'd love to see pics of your grape vase when you are able to photograph it, is it the same colours ?  also something that roused my curiosity, the 'Bambous' vase next to it is nicely photographed on a dark background to show of the gilding but it also shows the very bad water staining.  Is that a rare vase do you know?  In another book I have I noticed a chipped vase in a museum collection.
m

For photographs of the grape vase see new topic.

I don't think glass with the sig "A 'Escalier de Cristal"  is very common. "In the glass staircase" was a furniture shop who commissioned glass decoration pieces. Cappa seems to think it is executed by Baccarat - I'm less sure.  I seem to remember they sourced a lot of luxury glass from Svres - often gold engraved.

Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on July 11, 2012, 11:46:03 AM
Thanks Ivo, you jogged my memory I recalled reading something about the Crystal Staircase.  I've just been and had another read ... Freres Pannier took it over shortly after 1874 and had a workshop there as well, apparently getting their glass from the Freres Appert and decorating it in house for sale in the shop, if I've read correctly (Art of French Glass - Bloch-Dermant page46) - apparently the pieces had a diamond point signature of "Pannier-Escalier de Cristal".  Presumably they sold pieces from others as well.
m
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: flying free on December 04, 2012, 11:31:49 PM
Ivo, I couldn't think where I'd seen this info before but tonight I came across it again.
This listing has a picture of a signed Eugene Rousseau vase that  is also in Cappa with very similar enamelling.  They attribute their Blue vase to Eugene Rousseau rather than Baccarat.  Possibly Baccarat made the glass, Rousseau did the enamelling

http://www.rubylane.com/item/623546-5021/Eugene-Rousseau-Blue-Clair-de

Unfortunately it is too difficult to tell from your photo how close the design is, but you may be able to having it to hand.
m
Title: Re: warbler, shrike or cuckoo?
Post by: Ivo on December 05, 2012, 06:51:59 AM
Fascinating! The item itself is in storage but I've made a good note of it.