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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Murano & Italy Glass => Topic started by: curvature on April 14, 2009, 06:45:43 AM

Title: pink and white snail
Post by: curvature on April 14, 2009, 06:45:43 AM
Hi,

I've just bought a very pretty art glass snail from a private collector, and I'm interested to find out more about it.  The guy I bought it from said he'd bought it several years ago from someone else and doesn't know its history.
 
I've done searches on the net and can't find similar images of snails, or of the sticker on it's back, although there is a similar one in the labels 101 gallery, but with different wording.

I've attached an image from the seller, but I can take more if you want to see detail.

http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/99/83909699_full.jpg

This sticker says 'ARTE VENEZIANA GRAN CANAL' around the top, and 'MADE IN MURANO ITALY' in the middle.

So my main questions:

I mainly bought it because I think it's beautiful, but I don't want to tell people I have a Murano piece if I don't really - if it is just a pretty thing that someone has put a sticker on, I'd like to remove the sticker.

The writing on the bottom is a bit hard to make out even in person, but it looks to me like it says:

Murano
ht. quality

I did a pencil rubbing and it looks like it might just as easily say 'bt. quality' or 'lot2 quality' or 'W. gratini' or 'L. gratigi" and I'm not having much luck working it out definitively.  I'm not expeciting it to be made by a master but it would be nice to know who did make it if anyone recognises the signature or style.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to building my collection, and I'm really pleased to have stumbled across this forum!

Thanks   :D

Moderator: Linked images changed from display to links
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 14, 2009, 02:08:39 PM
It is a beautiful snail and it does look like Murano. Definitely leave the sticker on! Glass from around the world looks very similar, so once the label is off there is often no way of knowing where the glass comes from.

Snails are very popular with glass people. Yours is one of the nicer ones I have seen. It has a simple elegance that is very appearling. You made a good purchase.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: soledivo on April 14, 2009, 07:47:06 PM
i would be really chuffed if that was in my collection, its a beauty,

love to know which maker it came from
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 15, 2009, 01:11:06 AM
It is made from a type of glass known in Murano as opalino. Both the pink and white are apparently opalino. Maybe you can take a picture of the signature and someone will be able to help with it.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: curvature on April 20, 2009, 09:07:28 AM
Thanks for that, although I've looked up opaline and I don't think that this is what it's made of, based on the description of it.  There's no irridescence or pearly effect in it.

I think maybe it's 'alabastro' or something like that?

Mind you, some people seem to interchange the terms, and I couldn't find any good definitions for the difference between them.  I'm pretty new to this stuff so it's probably something else completely.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: Lustrousstone on April 20, 2009, 09:40:37 AM
Opalino, doesn't have iridescence or a pearly effect, neither does opaline glass. The word doesn't seem to derive from the qualities of opals
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 20, 2009, 08:38:58 PM
Christine is right. White opalescent glass is milky, instead of opaque. Colored opalino is translucent. I thought that your snail looked translucent, but after looking again, you may be right about it being alabastro. Is the glass opaque when you hold it to light?
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: Ivo on April 20, 2009, 09:12:09 PM
Watch out for misnomers and mistranslations. The Italian Opalino is a colour cased lattimo, while opaline translates as Albastro. Both have the same semi-opaque quality - only opalino is composed of 2 colours (one milk, one colour), albastro is one single semi transparent colour.  Confused? Wait until you see Toso's satinated version in black & while or in lemon & milk!
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 20, 2009, 09:39:30 PM
In the USA, we are probably influenced by what Leslie Pina wrote. In her book on Archimede Seguso, she defined alabastro as "an opaque glass made to resemble alabaster stone. Seguso often combined white alabastro with a color." She defines opalino as "translucent milky glass in white or color."

I have a few pieces of Archimede Seguso alabastro around me right now. I've been buying some pieces since the prices have been low. One thing that strikes me about it is that it has the appearance that you might be able to see through it, but you can't. Not even at the edges.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 20, 2009, 11:32:45 PM
...I have a few pieces of Archimede Seguso alabastro around me right now. I've been buying some pieces since the prices have been low. One thing that strikes me about it is that it has the appearance that you might be able to see through it, but you can't. Not even at the edges.

Well, I better add an exception. I just washed my A Seguso alabastro bearded collie. The crimped cane hair on the mouth is translucent. I guess because it is thin enough to let light through.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: curvature on April 21, 2009, 12:35:53 AM
Ok well the more I read the more confused I'm getting.  There doesn't seem to be any definitive descriptions that I can find to help me know the difference, and in photos of things that are opaline/opalino/alabastro, the terms seem to be interchanged, sometimes referring to identical items.

Like this one which is listed as both alabastro and opalino: http://www.rubylane.com/shops/murano-glass/item/107
But it looks like it irridesces to me, and then when I tried to find a defnition of opalino I found stuff that said it had flecks of crystaline stuff in it that made it react to light like an opal.  They also have this one: http://www.rubylane.com/shops/eyesnglas/item/2265 but again the colour seems to change on different angles and my snail stays the same colour no matter what angle you're looking at the glass.  That was why I thought maybe it's not opalino.

So then I stumbled across alabastro in my searches, and it seems to fit a bit better (to my completely novice eye): 
http://antiquehelper.rfcsystems.com/Full/224/56224.jpg
http://www.20thcenturyglass.com/images/items/murano_glass/archimedeseguso_glass/segusoglass_mexicans01.jpg
(these are labeled 'mexicans' for some reason. they don't look Mexican to me..)

On this chart though, the alabastro ones (pale white, light rose, and medium rose) seem more like my snail than the opalino examples:
http://www.beadfx.com/catalogue/glasschart.html

On my snail you can see the light passing through it, as if you were looking at it through slightly watered down milk, or really smooth fine wax.  The thin edges of the snail's body and it's little 'horns' are a bit more seethrough but still cloudy. 

Anyway, thanks for your help everyone - I guess I'll never know unless I find an expert here in New Zealand who can look at it in real life, and it's not that big of a deal :)

Moderator: Linked images changed from display to links
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 21, 2009, 02:25:12 AM
 :) I'm afraid that our words can get a bit confusing. You picked out excellent examples. The swan and bowl look opalino. Something I read about alabastro from a glassworker is that it tends to crack when it is cased -- something about incompatibility of glass, but that goes beyond my knowledge. One will rarely see alabastro that is completely cased if this is true.

The pictures you showed are alabastro. I love the bird. It looks like a baby, the way it is holding its mouth. The people look like Chinese figures by Archimede Seguso. They did many of these.

Sorry for the confusion. You have the snail in hand, so you can tell if it is alabastro better than we can. As I said before, when I looked more carefully, it looked like you could be right. You seem to know your alabastro and opalino, so don't let me confuse you. Thanks for posting the chart.
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: curvature on April 21, 2009, 03:08:13 AM
Thanks :)

I found this forum thread as well: http://www.fossilfly.com/Forums/showthread.php?p=3536
Some of the stuff they've said about it is really interesting, including some further discussion on 'casing' alabastro glass.

I'll try out the trick with the light tonight and see if it does anything interesting..
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: Ivo on April 21, 2009, 07:09:58 AM
It is not that difficult.

The French first made opaline - which is a solid opal glass in soft pastel tones - in the 1820s. It was often mounted with gilded bronze trim and was very expensive.

The Italians discovered that the same colour effect could be achieved much cheaper by casing a thin transparent colour over a lattimo (milk glass).  It allowed lighter and larger hollow vessels to be blown with relative ease, it was ideally suited for lamp shades, and additional surface treatments were possible (iridescence, satination, enameling etc.). This, they named Opalino. 

Italian glass makers also made true opaline - known as either Opalino or Albastro.  Opalino just denotes a pastel semi-opaque glass but says nothing about the technique: coloured in the mass or cased.  Albastro is coloured in the mass by definition. The colour cased opalino was used a lot in Empoli. The more difficult solid colour was favoured in Murano.



Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 23, 2009, 12:09:46 AM
So then I stumbled across alabastro in my searches, and it seems to fit a bit better (to my completely novice eye): 
http://antiquehelper.rfcsystems.com/Full/224/56224.jpg
http://www.20thcenturyglass.com/images/items/murano_glass/archimedeseguso_glass/segusoglass_mexicans01.jpg
(these are labeled 'mexicans' for some reason. they don't look Mexican to me..)Anyway, thanks for your help everyone - I guess I'll never know unless I find an expert here in New Zealand who can look at it in real life, and it's

I discovered why the figures may have been called Mexican. Leslie Pina has two Mexicans and one Chinese figure in one of her pictures in Archimede Seguso. The first sentence has the figures called "Mexicans." If one were not to read further, one could end up thinking that it is what the Chinese figure is. The Mexicans have sombreros much different than the Chinese pointed hat. Sometimes people can read just enough to get the wrong answer. Sounds a lot like me -- I like to look at pictures. ;D
Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: curvature on April 23, 2009, 12:26:55 AM
True, but I was basing it on the name of the image itself: segusoglass_mexicans01.jpg

Title: Re: pink and white snail
Post by: TxSilver on April 23, 2009, 01:22:14 AM
Oh, I wasn't talking about you, curvature. I was referring to the link. I should have been more clear.