Glass Message Board

Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: brewster on May 12, 2012, 05:01:47 AM

Title: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: brewster on May 12, 2012, 05:01:47 AM
British glass is not my field, but the purchase of Charles Hajdamach's 20th Century British Glass (wonderful book!) has caused me to look more closely at some long-overlooked items in the storage box that is labelled 'interesting glass but off-theme'.

Here is an Isle of Wight Studio bottle in the Seascape design, 113mm high by 110 wide by 35 deep. It is numbered and apparently signed by Michael Harris. I realise the question of Michael Harris signatures raises temperatures with collectors. However, on comparison with other examples of his signature on the GMB (http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,37393.msg204889.html#msg204889), it seems this signature is genuine. Is it so?

The IoW site says the standard height of a Seascape perfume bottle is 10cm. Does that dimension include the stopper? As you can see, the one has the stopper broken off inside.

The other strange thing about this specimen is that it leans at a similar angle to the Tower of Pisa (which is now 3.99 degrees after being pulled back from 5.5 degrees, according to Wikipedia).

I'm not complaining. It is very attractive, otherwise in good condition and cost me next to nothing. And it seems it might be more important than I thought.

Trevor
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 12, 2012, 10:12:12 AM
Not as neat as usual, but I do think it's right.
Interestingly, I have a small cylinder vase in Seascape - and it looks far more like the tower of Pisa than yours - the basic shape just lends itself to this description!
I wonder if it was anything to do with differential cooling rates in the annealling oven.....
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: glassobsessed on May 12, 2012, 10:42:40 AM
It leans because whoever did the grinding and polishing of the base did not get it spot on.

You could ask the Studio to remove the old stopper and make a new one to fit.

John

Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 12, 2012, 02:56:53 PM
That's not why my cylinder leans, John.
My cylinder has Peyronie's disease.  ::)

What do you make of the signature?
It looks (to me) about as "dremmelled" as the Mdina mark on the Cut-Ice lollipop we discussed just recently

http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,47497.0.html

- I've checked a few signatures, and found similar on a few Seawards.... and on a Japanese globe. I've compared the lines of the script with some Mdina marks, in Michael Harris' script which are definitely diamond point engraved - I have concluded that he must have had a vibrating pen thing at both Mdina and IoWSG - as well as a diamond point pen, and that he used both, in both places.

Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: glassobsessed on May 12, 2012, 04:31:24 PM
Eek, I really don't like the sound of that. :o

The signature on this bottle looks fine to me.
I don't follow, what looks dremmelled about it? There will be plenty of variation between signatures made by a dremmel or any other tool, various factors will no doubt make a difference. From tiredness of the engraver to how worn the engraving tip is. If the engraver drank too much coffee it will probably be all over the place.... If the engraving tool is drawn across the glass quickly then there will be fewer impacts over a given distance (and it can look more like the mark made by a dremmel). In the folowing photo (inscription on a charger) look at the words "one" and "to", where the engraving tip moved slowly at the end of a stroke or around a corner there is an unbroken line. Where the tip was moved quickly, especially between the letters,  you can see the individual impacts.

John

Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 13, 2012, 11:17:44 AM
The "fine" - line marks I'm referring to are the ones like this:-
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 13, 2012, 12:33:26 PM
And this
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: glassobsessed on May 13, 2012, 05:45:59 PM
They look like signatures made with a vibro pen or a vibrating diamond point engraver if you want to call it that, the mark is made by the tip as it jumps repeatedly forwards. A dremmel spins, so the mark is made by a spinning cutting head, probably a diamond on the end of a point.....

The first looks more like Dobsons hand to me and the second maybe Harris but they are so similar, much easier to be confident of one or the other when you have them in your own hands to study. Perhaps the line is fine because the tip is new and has not worn much.

John



Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 14, 2012, 11:38:30 AM
They're both MH, John.
The problem is that they're tiny - and when photographed and blown up, they look more like a different tool and the first one starts to look a bit Dobson-ish - it also looks as if it's been done with a ruler underneath it.

Do you know exactly what sorts of tools MH did use?

I thought a diamond point pen was simply that - a pen, with a diamond tip. I've seen and used these in art classes.
And now you mention vibro-pen with diamond point - do we know if MH had one of these?
That would make sense for the neater of the medium thick broken lines found...
(in both Mdina and IoWSG)

although they do appear (to me) to be similar lines to tohose found on dremmelled fake sigs in general

and what sort of tool would be making the very thick vibrating lines which seem to go from side to side?

Are we setting ourselves up for having to have a major discussion with bits in our mitts in November? ;D
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: glassobsessed on May 14, 2012, 12:08:26 PM
I am pretty sure Ron said he had a vibro pen, that is what looks like produced the inscription on the charger that I posted earlier.  You could always ask Ron via email.

The 'side to side' stuff I think is a dremmel (with quite a blunt head). As it is spinning, when it comes into contact with the glass it pulls sideways. A vibro pen will just bounce straight back at you.

John
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on May 14, 2012, 02:54:17 PM
The two "Mdina"s I've just put in look to me as if there was no vibrating element at all - just a straightforward scratch with a diamond tip...
The first one has suffered from age-related wear to the mark. It's on the bottom of an inside-out, which may help to put the proper size into perspective. The second image is of the "Mdina" in a polished out pontil mark on the bottom of an ink pot.
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: glassobsessed on May 14, 2012, 05:44:31 PM
I would need much closer photos to make that kind of judgement.

I have similar here and with 30x magnification I can see individual strikes.
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on March 05, 2015, 11:59:59 AM
Trevor, apologies for your thread dissolving. :-[
Your bottle is most certainly not in the bread and butter category, and while a "standard" production piece, the bigger bits odf Seascape (such as your bottle) were limited editions. Seascape is a particularly complicated and expensive thing to produce, I suspect they might have been less stringent about chucking a bit that went wonky.
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: brewster on March 06, 2015, 11:09:24 AM
Thanks, Sue. You are likely right about the signature on my Seascape bottle.

My comment (in the other thread) about the discussion in this thread having "dissolved" seems on reflection to sound petulant, which was not the case at all. Simply, I didn't want to raise hopes unduly that this thread would provide answers for that other thread. I'm keen on studying signatures on glass, and grateful for the insights from the discussion.

Trevor
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: chopin-liszt on March 06, 2015, 11:31:01 AM
No worries - I did not think you were being petulant at all. It was a shame we didn't really finish there - I had hoped somebody else might chime in, it sort of fizzled out.

But in answer to your original question. Yes, you do indeed have something just a little bit special. It would be worth getting the stuck stopper seeen to. You could always ask the new IoW studio to make a new one for it, which would be the best way of fixing it - at least keeping it within the family as it were.
It depends it you want to sell it or keep it and how you want to go with it.

Signatures are trouble.  ;D
They're either impossible to read or potential fakes, they add absolutely nothing to the beauty of the glass but often add arms and legs to the price.
Pics of my bent cylinder. It's just a small thing, not one worthy of a pawmark, unlike your bottle. ;)
(It was still very expensive, even in the secondary market, but that was before the recession hit.)
Title: Re: IoW Seascape bottle signed by Michael Harris?
Post by: brewster on March 08, 2015, 01:30:44 AM
Quote
Signatures are trouble.  ;D
They're either impossible to read or potential fakes, they add absolutely nothing to the beauty of the glass but often add arms and legs to the price.

At the risk of taking the thread on another detour, here's a tale for the amusement of Sue (and anyone else who reads it)

A glass artist, whose signature I know well from older work I've collected in the secondary market, operates a gallery in which she sells her own works and those of other local artists. I indicated interest in a small piece by one of these others, and commented it's a pity it is not signed and dated, because his other works on show were marked that way. I was told that it could be arranged, if it was collected a few days later. I agreed, but was surprised when I saw it was engraved with his name in her handwriting.

My first thought was 'fraud', but I reconsidered. The attribution is correct and there was no attempt to imitate the form of his signature. It was never said that he would sign it, just that it would be signed. The piece in question is small and inconsequential - tourist ware really. As such, it might be considered generous to provide me with an enduring record of the maker and year. In addition, I have a conversation piece for those in the know.

I see all manner of (mostly hypothetical) questions here about values - both the ethical and pecuniary kinds - and of the definition of when something is "signed". But it would be a mistake to rekindle those controversies here.

Perhaps the whole tale says more about me than anything else. I'm not sure I quite agree with Sue on the role of signatures. Sometimes I suspect my collecting habits are less glass-works-of-art and more autographs-in-glass.

Trevor

[Mod: Quote from Sue's previous post added to the start of this post to make the context clear. This was done after I had made several "Mmmm" noises as a reaction to a possible need to shift this post into the Cafe! If there are further general comments about "prices and stuff" we may need to create a Cafe thread instead.]