Glass Message Board

Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 09:33:17 AM

Title: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 09:33:17 AM
I just received this gorgeous iridescent perfume bottle bought recently here in Australia. The seller had highlighted the signature of A S Clarke - or possibly A J Clarke - on selling. However on just trying to take some photos to post here I have also found a signature to the base of Peter Layton - which looks to me identical to the authenticated ones on this site. How excited was I  ;D

The perfume bottle has a silver butterfly stopper - hallmarked - as far as I can tell from my Googled research - Northern Goldsmiths, Edinburgh,  1979 . See photo.

So - is it an early Peter Layton piece? - stopper seems to fit well so looks original - if that is 1979 presumably so is the glass?  And who is Clarke? I wondered if he/she perhaps made the stopper? although it would seem odd to engrave the glass with that signature - why not engrave the stopper?

I am thrilled - never thought I could afford a Peter Layton piece - I must have been good at some time  :angel: and this is payback.

Would appreciate any information about this piece - and confirmation that i am not dreaming......

JAK




Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 09:41:38 AM
sorry - forgot the size

Base is smooth but not polished - just dull looking

8 cm (or 3 1/4 inches)  tall without stopper - stopper fits in quite deeply so adds only about 1 cm to height when fitted.
The colours are much more bluey silvery amethysty pinky  in reality than it appears in the photos - it is not nearly as amber looking as it appears.

Silver and enamelled butterfly top is quite tarnished - the silver looks black - should I clean it or leave it ? anyone know?

JAK

Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Greg. on August 03, 2011, 09:45:57 AM
Hi Jak,

I would presume the A J Clarke is probably N S Clarke. Norman Stuart Clarke who is a key British studio glass artist. I believe that Norman worked with Peter Layton quite a few years ago, which would probably tie in with your piece, in some way a joint collaboration I would Imagine.

Nice item, hope this helps.

Greg
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 10:06:49 AM
The signature looks okay-ish for Norman Stuart Clarke - I've just compared it with two I have - which are both slightly different - this fits in nicely with them though.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 10:10:56 AM
Thanks Greg and Sue. I will look up NS Clarke. - does having both signatures make it more interesting?

Also realised I didn't post the hallmark photo.

JAK

Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 10:23:15 AM
The hallmark should give you the year - it also appears to have maker's initials NC on it - for Norman Clarke?
Personally, I prefer things with Norman Stuart Clarke on them to things with Peter Layton on them.  >:D
I have a belief that I'm holding something actually made by the signatory, not just designed.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 10:31:21 AM
Yes Sue - I have identified the hallmark  - appears to be Edinburgh 1979. makers mark looks like NG rather than NC. There is a metalsmith company called Northern Goldsmiths - and the lettering looks like their mark.

So I am a little confused now - who would have made this ? Layton or Clarke? or would it be a collaborative effort as suggested earlier?

Found a signed N S Clarke paperweight just sold on Ebay  - but the signature on that doesn't look anything like this one?
And if Clarke and Layton were both south of England  based how come an Edinburgh hallmark ?

I am more confused by the minute here  :-\

JAK

Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 10:42:29 AM
The date might help you to find out if it was likely to have had Peter Layton's hand in it - if you can find out when he went from making stuff himself to getting others to do it - try writing to him or NSC about it?

Silver can be added to things at any time after they're made, the hallmark only tells you where and when it was assayed.
(I avoid things with silver stuck on them, sorry, not much use here)
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Frank on August 03, 2011, 10:49:58 AM
Peter Layton's first studio was in Scotland. Ask him about it as I would guess this was probably made in Scotland - so quite a significant find indeed!!!! :rah:
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 03, 2011, 11:18:27 AM
Thanks Frank - if you are excited then I definitely am!

I have emailed some photos and a link to this to Peter Layton and will pass on any reply I get.
Thanks

JAK
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Greg. on August 03, 2011, 11:45:59 AM
I see N S Clarke graduated from Middlesex Poly, sometime in 1976, a few years prior in 1969 Peter Layton help Sam herman set up the Glasshouse in London and thereafter set up his own small studio in Scotland. I gather Peter Layton also set up or helped develop the glass department at Middlesex Poly a few years later. So it is possible that both Peter and Norman crossed paths at Middlesex Poly or if not then, quite possibly at London Glassblowing a few years later.
I have seen one other piece somewhere before with both signatures on. My gut feeling is that both Peter Layton and N S Clarke would have each had some hand in your piece and probably blown in London around the date of the hallmark. If its not produced in London, its not beyond the realms of possibilities that N S Clarke visited/worked at Peter's studio in Scotland. I'm sure the email response will reveal all!

 :)
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: rosieposie on August 03, 2011, 11:56:47 AM
What an exquisite piece....I adore butterflies, and feel very envious indeed. To have both signatures on the bottle must be a bonus.....I am thrilled for you JAK.  :sun:
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 12:07:54 PM
 :thud:

Greg, you've got some serious misinformation there! I don't think Peter Layton was involved with the setting up of the Glasshouse.
I have the book from the exhibition "The Glasshouse and its Tree" here in my sticky little mitts, and I quote from the introduction by Sam Herman:-

"It has come to my attention that some people have incorrectly claimed involvement in the establishment of the Glasshouse. The only people actually invoved were Graham Hughes, Suzanna Robins, myself and a few of the graduating students who helped build the furnace and kiln. Hopefully, this will finally set the record straight."

I don't believe Peter Layton was one of those students - his name does not appear anywhere on any of the "branches" of the tree illustrated with all the appropriate names.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Greg. on August 03, 2011, 12:17:54 PM
Hi,

Looking at Peter Laytons website, 'Peter helped Sam Herman build the first furnace at the Glasshouse in Covent Garden and he subsequently established his own small glass studio in scotland"

http://www.londonglassblowing.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=4


Also came across this link on the web which might help a little with the piece in question. Seems NSC had been working in the West End in the early 80s and had been working at Peter's studio and others in the East End, which would fit nicely with the hall marked date on the piece in question.

http://cornwallartists.org/cornwall-artists/norman-stuart-clarke

Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 12:23:04 PM
I think we need a bit of help from Adam A here, to sort this out!
It has to be said, Wayne Filan isn't mentioned in the booklet I have, and I do know he was there for a bit - it's been confirmed by Sam via Adam.
It's a possibility he was one of the un-named students.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Greg. on August 03, 2011, 12:25:48 PM
Sue, I know there's been much written about this time, little bit of a murky picture, which doesn't help
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Lustrousstone on August 03, 2011, 01:02:17 PM
I think Adam may be at SOFA, so someone may have to poke him when he comes back
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: rosieposie on August 03, 2011, 01:14:25 PM
SOFA ? :ooh: What's that Christine?  :-[
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 03, 2011, 01:37:06 PM
Massive arty event in the States.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Frank on August 03, 2011, 02:53:25 PM
see also http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,17186.0.html
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Greg. on August 03, 2011, 04:47:56 PM
Just looking at the link mentioning Charles Ramsey and Peter Layton, It looks like they are referring to the opening of the London Glassblowing Workshop, which both Ramsey and Layton were involved with in 1976. In terms of the glasshouse I gather that this was established in 1969. From reading Peter Layton's biography on his website, it would seem that Peter to some extent had a hand in helping build the original furnace at the Glasshouse. It is difficult to speculate to what extent Peter was involved and how much time he dedicated to this, without being privy to more detailed information.

In terms of the piece in question, I'm sure the email to Peter Layton will provide a little more clarity, London Glassblowing have been very helpful in the past when I have contacted them.

Greg
 :)
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Frank on August 05, 2011, 06:39:23 PM
A Little more detail on Scotland's Glass LINK (http://www.scotlandsglass.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=211:charles-v-ramsey-glass-artist&catid=20:scottish-glass-makers-n-s&Itemid=14)
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: flying free on August 06, 2011, 01:17:03 PM
I have a book produced in 1993 January to accompany the  exhibition 'The Glass Show' a Crafts Council touring Exhibition.  In it on page 48 under Norman Stuart Clarke it says
'Norman Stuart clarke studied at Middlesex Polytechnic.  After working at Nazeing Glassworks from 1976-1977 he joined Peter Layton at the London Glassblowing Workshop.  In 1983 he opened his own studio and in 1989 he opened his own gallery-studio at St Erth Cornwall.'
I have a piece of NSC work signed fully Norman Stuart Clarke 83 LGW so clearly made whilst he was still at London Glassblowing Workshop and was, I believe from AA, part of an exhibition held that year.  I also have an iridescent vase signed P Layton that looks to be similarish vein to your perfume bottle.  The email I received from Sylvie at the LGW regarding that iridescent vase, said it was probably made in the mid 80's whilst at Rotherhithe as at that time he did quite a lot of the iridescent work.  I would think therefore that it is not without possiblity that they did a joint piece earlyish to mid 80's whilst at Rotherhithe setting. 
m
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: flying free on August 08, 2011, 03:54:11 PM
I've just been reading through the catalogue for more information regarding who was involved in the Glasshouse and found the following -
source: Contemporary British Glass book, produced by the Crafts Council in Jan 1993 to accompany the Exhibition 'The Glass Show'-
page 15 middle of first paragraph
'....But the 'lumpy gobby shapes' that resulted from the experiments of the early 1970s soon gave way to a more disciplined style in Britain.  Dillon Clarke, in reviewing an exhibition by Sam Herman and Peter Layton at The Glasshouse complained in Craft Magazine (November/December 1976) about vagueness of form and sketchiness of concept, concluding 'it would have been a more satisfactory exhibition had we seen one or two ideas more thoroughly explored'.  (my bold)
Obviously this doesn't state that Peter Layton was working at the Glasshouse but does seem to imply it.
m
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: Ideasnetwork on August 23, 2011, 06:09:59 PM
Hello Jak,

I just wanted to get in touch regarding your query about the Peter Layton glass piece as we help look after his PR.

Peter has confirmed that the signature is indeed his, which is on the perfume bottle that he designed.  It was then made by Norman S Clarke which explains why there are two signatures.

Peter said that you are very lucky to have a piece signed by the two of them as it is pretty unusual!

I hope this clears up any mystery surrounding your glassware.
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: rosieposie on August 23, 2011, 06:53:57 PM
What an exquisite piece....I adore butterflies, and feel very envious indeed. To have both signatures on the bottle must be a bonus.....I am thrilled for you JAK.  :sun:

Well, I had a feeling this was something special Jak.....you are one lucky person.   :) :mrgreen: :thup:
Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 23, 2011, 11:29:38 PM
Thank you "Ideas Network" for responding. I am delighted to get confirmation that this gorgeous little piece is signed by both Peter Layton and N S  Clarke.

Is it possible to find out anything further about when and where it was made? ie as the stopper seems to be  hallmarked  1979 is that the year it was made?  and was it made during the period when he/ they worked in Scotland or was it made in England and  just the silver made (or maybe just assayed) in Edinburgh?

Thank you

regards

Jackie
Western Australia




Title: Re: Peter Layton signed perfume bottle - but who is A S or A J Clarke?
Post by: jakgene on August 23, 2011, 11:51:51 PM
Thanks Rosie - yes I am lucky :girlcheer:

JAK