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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: Jim Sapp on September 24, 2005, 02:56:20 PM

Title: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on September 24, 2005, 02:56:20 PM
Some time ago, a small group of glass collectors attempted to identify decorations found on Burmese ware made by Thomas Webb & Sons.  So that we could document the work I built a webpage to store the results and to allow for review by members of our study group.  The work is far from completion and there is still much to learn.  

If you are unfamiliar with the Burmese decorations of Thomas Webb & Sons, you will find this information interesting and informative.  If, on the other hand, you have knowledge of Webb Burmese decorations, we need your help.  Certainly, your confirmation of the accuracy of the work accomplished so far would be helpful and welcomed.  But, most importantly, we need additional examples of known and unknown decorations, authentic Webb or Barbe documentation of any kind, botanical references to help illustrate the flora, and of course, any information related to errors in our work.

The study results can be found at:

http://www.fairy-lamp.com/Fairylamp/WebbDecorationsFinal.html

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Title: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Bernard C on September 25, 2005, 02:51:15 AM
Jim — My congratulations to you and your associates on a most worthwhile project with promising results so far. I have a number of fairly obvious ideas and comments, which I expect you have already considered:-[list=1]

I have in mind the Walter Crane illustrations which J.G. Sowerby copied in 1877 for his press-moulded novelty vases.   I have seen Sowerby's use of Crane's illustrations described as "plagiarism", however it seems much more likely that Crane was fully aware of Sowerby's use of his illustrations, and may well have been both flattered by it and encouraged it as additional publicity for his books.   John Sowerby later collaborated with Crane's brother, Thomas, and his cousin, Ellen Houghton, on a successful series of children's books.   I hardly think it likely that this relationship would have taken place had there been any acrimony over John Sowerby's use of the Crane illustrations.

On the practical side, Barbe would have needed at least four copies of the original work (his office, Webb's office, London showrooms, USA showrooms), together with additional prints of the plates as working copies for his staff.    All of which indicates to me an expensively illustrated source publication that was in print in 1886.   Have any of your London members checked this, not at the British Library, but at the RHS Lindley Library (http://www.rhs.org.uk/learning/libraries/libraries_london.asp)?

The use of a suitably annotated book in this way may be the explanation for the missing design illustrations — they may never have existed as Barbe coloured drawings!   One additional benefit of of using the annotated book is that, for a suitable premium, a client, retail or wholesale, could have chosen his own exclusive design from the other illustrations in the book.

Always remember that, once a book is published, the publisher is only interested in one thing — sales.   Any rational publisher presented with a project like this could only have celebrated his good fortune.

Title: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on September 25, 2005, 05:51:55 PM
Thanks for the great advice!!  I really appreciate it!

It is indeed a mystery why no one has discovered the Barbe design book.  It surely must be out there somewhere just wanting for someone to stumble accross it.  I just hope someone finds a copy that appreciates its value.

Quote
I have found one image you may not have yet seen. Newby, Martine S., From Palace to Parlour, The Glass Circle, 2003, item 211. If suitable for your purposes, The Glass Circle may be willing to help you obtain an image of this nightlight.


I would appreciate it if you could help me get a photo of this lamp.[/quote]
Title: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Bernard C on September 26, 2005, 05:15:35 PM
Jim — If the Barbe design book was an annotated published book of horticultural prints as I suggested, that could account for its disappearance.   I would not be surprised if any copy that came on to the market was broken for the unmarked prints.    Fortunately today many dealers are aware that annotated works can be sold at a sustantial premium, but much important material has been lost in recent years.

Also don't forget that much archive material was lost due to bombing during WWII, both in libraries and company offices.

I think you should really contact the Glass Circle directly.   You might find that they are prepared to publish an article on your research in their newsletter, which could result in many more images from their members.    See http://www.glasscircle.org

Bernard C.  8)
Title: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on September 26, 2005, 08:16:30 PM
Thanks for the link to the Glass Circle.  I was not familiar with their organization until now.  I found their website very interesting and I will certainly contact them.

I was very surprised to see three fairy lamp bases in the very first photo I opened from their website!   One of particular interest was a large butterscotch colored Stevens & Williams bowl with what appears to be thorn or vine feet.  This bowl is often used as a fairy lamp base and, as luck would have it, I have the matching fairy lamp shade.  I would dearly love to know where the bowl is today.  I also have a simplier version of this bowl with a matching S&W fairy lamp in red.   See following link:

http://tinypic.com/e00p5t.jpg

The inset in this image is from the Glass Circle website.

S&W made several "crimped top" fairy lamp shades with matching bowls.  The bowls, however, were "multi-purpose" and offered for sale separately.  Fortunately, there are S&W design books available that illustrate when the were used in combination with fairy lamps.

Thanks again,
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: carolglass on October 11, 2012, 03:20:33 AM
Hi, just to add my interest- picked up this cute miniature and identified it through the decorations on the web site mentioned in Jim Sapp's posting. It is 6.5cm high and the widest diameter is 5.7cm. Started off looking at Harrach, then Fenton and lastly Webb-bingo!! Am happy to be corrected though.
Pictures for your perusal as usual.
regards Carol
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: carolglass on October 11, 2012, 03:22:27 AM
Also a base shot and top- too much sunshine- I forgot!.
regards Carol
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Lustrousstone on October 11, 2012, 04:00:57 PM
Looks good to me Carol. A not uncommon shape but a less common decor
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on October 11, 2012, 04:38:32 PM
Carol,

Very nice Webb Burmese vase with an authentic Ivy decoration.  I am pleased you were able to identify it.  The Ivy design, while not as common as Hawthorn (prunus) or Woodbine, it does show up occassionally on most of Webb's shapes, including fairy lamps.

It is interesting to note that I have not seen any Ivy decorations being reproduced on antique Burmese ware.  Should anyone have any examples of modern applications of the Ivy decorations on antique Burmese ware, or any other art glass, I would like to see it. 

Jim.
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: carolglass on October 11, 2012, 07:36:05 PM
Many thanks Christine and Jim for making the attribution as solid as it could be.
regards Carol
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on October 26, 2012, 10:40:50 PM
Jim, did you see this one?  It is marked but my pieces have the decoration with 'shadow' leaves on and this one doesn't seem to have that.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEBB-QUEENS-BURMESE-GLASS-ROSE-BOWL-HAND-PAINTED-/320983931489?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abc221a61&ssPageName=RSS:B:SHOP:US:101

I have two rose bowl pictures I can put on if you need them.  One with Ivy the other with Prunus
m
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on October 26, 2012, 11:05:54 PM
Yes, I have seen the decoration on this and other Burmese shapes.  I believe it to be one of many modern decorations applied to antique Burmese ware.

I would like to see your rose bowls.

Jim.
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on October 26, 2012, 11:17:02 PM
rose bowl with prunus I think?
m
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on October 26, 2012, 11:21:40 PM
rose bowl Ivy
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on October 27, 2012, 12:08:49 AM
Excellent examples of authentic Webb/Barbe decorations.  While Prunus is a commonly used name, I think the official name is "Hawthorn" which was used both by Mt. Washington and Webb. Prunus was a name coined by Ruf in their book "Fairy Lamps" with no other basis that it looked like an Apple/Fruit blossom.

Jim
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on October 27, 2012, 02:45:46 PM
Thanks  :)  I did wonder about the name as there seems to be two designs, one with more 'bunched' leaves that look slightly different to this one to me - so Hawthorn it is - thank you.
Please use pics if you wish to .
m
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on October 27, 2012, 03:31:17 PM
It is rare that I express an opinion without some supporting information.  I think that is a good practice for anyone who has an interest in Victorian-era art glass.  With that in mind, I thought you might find useful the information I used to support the conclusion that the name should be "Hawthorn" instead of "prunus".

Some time ago I wrote two articles for the Fairy Lamp Club Newsletter related to the name change.  The first, in 2006, was the basis for the name change.  The second article, in 2009, added additional supporting information.  I have put both articles on-line for your information.  I recommend you review them in order. 

The following links will take you to the articles:  (You may have to cut-n-paste the URL into your browser.)

http://fairy-lamp.com/Fairylamp/Prunus_Hawthorn_2006

http://fairy-lamp.com/Fairylamp/Prunus_Hawthorn_Redux_2009
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on October 27, 2012, 04:20:27 PM
fascinating!  thank you so much for linking it.
m
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: carolglass on October 27, 2012, 07:40:27 PM
Jim, the articles are really interesting and very informative. Many thanks for your expertise and willingness to share.
regards Carol
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on November 29, 2012, 09:14:05 PM
Jim you may have seen this already but I came across it looking for enamellers for Webb
http://www.84f.com/chronology/1900s/1903%20Industry/190308jb.htm
article from
The Industry & Railways of the South West Black Country
STOURBRIDGE INDUSTRY
JULES BARBE,
Glass and China Painter, Gilder and Enameller.

on the internet by Tom Cockeram 1998


m
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: Jim Sapp on November 29, 2012, 11:31:31 PM
Thank you for leading me to this article.  I had not seen it before.

Jim.
Title: Re: Burmese decorations by Thomas Webb & Sons
Post by: flying free on April 12, 2013, 12:20:34 AM
Jim, I've sent you a direct mail through the site - I hope you received it?
Someone has contacted me asking about another piece that appears to have new decoration on an original piece.
Many thanks
m