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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Malta Glass => Topic started by: Anik R on June 10, 2011, 12:14:42 PM

Title: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anik R on June 10, 2011, 12:14:42 PM
I got my very first Mdina mushroom today...  it's a handsome little thing (8cm tall) but quite heavy at 395g.  It's orange with some yellow, red and brown cased in quite a thick layer of clear.  Though I did search the board, I haven't seen another one in the same colours.

Could someone tell me more about it?  I've included a photo of the label.  Thank you!  :hi:
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: chopin-liszt on June 10, 2011, 12:34:46 PM
Nice one, Anik!
Unusual colourway, and fairly sophisticated splodgy, I'd reckon it's probably early '70s, possibly "post-Harris, but before Said took over in '75, while Eric Dobson was in charge", at a guess.
 
I tend to put the "yellow and orange together splodgy" in a different class to other later splodgy stuff which uses far simpler colour combinations - yellow and orange are both notoriously difficult colours to work.

I have no confirmation that the yellow/orange combination is Dobson period, it is pure speculation and observation and my own judging of the quality of the pieces from the different periods.

It's a lovely shape too, I like the bulgy bottom.
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Paul S. on June 10, 2011, 12:59:08 PM
congratulations Anik  -  a very nice find, and lovely colours :)
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anik R on June 10, 2011, 05:29:53 PM
Sue, thank you for your observations... you're exactly the person I was hoping to hear from. :kissy:   (I even had a good giggle -- early 70s and bulgy... just like me  ;D)

And Paul, thank you for the kind words as well.  Zbyś also thinks the colours are lovely.  He even offered to find the perfect place to display the mushroom.  After some contemplation and looking at the living room shelves from different angles (with more maturity than I ever thought a 10-year-old boy could muster), he decided to put the piece on the shelf which is at eye level when we sit on the couch.  Beside a little glass hedgehog. In front of two wooden bowls with outdoors scenes carved into the sides. A perfectly good place. :)
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Carolyn Preston on June 10, 2011, 10:40:12 PM
After some contemplation and looking at the living room shelves from different angles (with more maturity than I ever thought a 10-year-old boy could muster), he decided to put the piece on the shelf which is at eye level when we sit on the couch.  Beside a little glass hedgehog. In front of two wooden bowls with outdoors scenes carved into the sides. A perfectly good place. :)

He's making a scene. I LOVE it! What a lovely boy you have (okay, you might argue that on occasion, but...)

Carolyn
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anik R on June 11, 2011, 03:35:41 AM
 ;D  Nothing like a child to give you great joy and ulcers...  :24:
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Nemmie on June 11, 2011, 12:18:22 PM
Since when has Mdina been British glass?

 :huh:
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anik R on June 11, 2011, 02:13:29 PM
I greatly apologize for assaulting your senses by posting my Mdina piece into the British glass section.  I wrongly believed that since the founder of Mdina was British, this was the board to post in.  I'll know better next time. 

 :hi:
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: chopin-liszt on June 11, 2011, 02:18:32 PM
And Charles Hajdamach saw fit to put Mdina on the cover of his 20th Century Glass book.
(It's a real shame though, that none of the bits featured on the cover are actually from the period he was still there. :spls: )

I agree, as Michael Harris was a British artist, his work and designs are also British, even if actually made in Malta.
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anne on June 11, 2011, 02:19:47 PM
Mdina is one of those oddities which is included in British because of Michael Harris - it shows up the difficulty of categorising glass by place of making, something which the board's Committee is reviewing. Meanwhile, we carry on as before...  :ha:
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Nemmie on June 11, 2011, 02:49:50 PM
No need to apologise Anik it just puzzled me. The explanation still doesn't make sense though as Harris only worked there for a short period of time and the items are made in Malta.

I wonder what nationality the Boffos or the other owners were. Perhaps glass from their periods should be placed in the section appropriate to their place of birth if the logic is followed through.

Still I am grateful for the explanation and will not scratch my head next time I see some Mdina in here.



Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: chopin-liszt on June 11, 2011, 03:01:37 PM
The Boffos were Italian although they'd worked at whitefriars for a long time before going to Mdina. Ettore died before Harris left Malta and Vicente.... may have stayed at Mdina for a short while, (this information is proving very difficult to find out) before being forced to work for Malta Decorative Glass - a very short-lived company, set up by the Maltese government with Chinese backing. They had assumed that as MH could get a glass industry going with just one glassmaker and a few completely naieve apprentices, that anybody could.   :thud:

Harris may have only worked there for a short time - but the business has survived and still thrives using his original designs, (although there is no recognition given to him by the factory at all) and it was he who taught the apprentices there (before the Boffos arrived).
Said has owned it outright since '85, he is Maltese.
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: glassobsessed on June 11, 2011, 03:09:58 PM
I think I should muddy the waters some more. >:D

I can see the logic of putting Mdina in this section while Michael Harris was involved but after he left in 1972 and Eric Dobson a few years later it is harder to justify, especially in terms of personnel, geographically, well :nogos:.

As long as there is somewhere to call home...... ;D

John
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: chopin-liszt on June 11, 2011, 03:37:00 PM
I tend to agree - thinking of it as British-ish until circa '75. After that, it's Maltese (unless it's Michael Harris' designs)
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Lustrousstone on June 11, 2011, 05:21:57 PM
Malta was also part of the British Empire for 164 years 1800-1964.
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: chopin-liszt on June 11, 2011, 05:27:44 PM
But there were still tax advantages to British folk for setting up industries when Michael Harris went there in '68. Mintoff even let Eric Dobson stay on, after MH went, as his business accumen was still needed.
Nobody knows how long he did actually stay on. He has also been impossible to track down, nobody knows where he went or what he did after Mdina.
Title: Re: My first Mdina mushroom... :)
Post by: Anik R on June 16, 2011, 12:51:46 PM
My Mdina mushroom has now got a little birdie friend, in the same colourway.  ;D