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Glass Identification - Post here for all ID requests => Glass Paperweights => Topic started by: heartofglass on May 04, 2006, 06:14:49 AM

Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: heartofglass on May 04, 2006, 06:14:49 AM
My first foray into posting on the paperweight forum!
Here is a beautiful weight that I bought from my favourite op shop, it was $20.
It is inscribed on the base Royal Flourish Caithness Scotland 91-250.
I'm assuming that the number refers to it being 91 out of an edition of 250.
I'm curious to find out it's date of manufacture & current value (I'm pretty sure it was a bargain for me! :D )
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: Lustrousstone on May 04, 2006, 06:37:07 AM
As a non paperweight person and not knowing the exchange rate but as a paperweight board reader I'd say you got a bargain. It's lovely. Do they do day trips to your op shop, I'm sure we'd all sign up  :lol:

Edit: I've just checked the exchange rate £8.35 !!!!!!!!!! :shock:  :shock:  :shock:
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: Simone on May 04, 2006, 09:57:25 AM
Wow Marinka - you got a real bargain there!  :shock:

It was a Willie Manson creation, made in 1989, in a limited edition of 250 although only 99 were made (so it's rare).

The original sale price was £130 and the 2004 valuation was £300.

Because it's 91-99 ever made, then you should put the valuation higher than the £300 in the book. If you have the box and certificate, you should value it about £50 higher.

I can't understand why everyone wanting Caithness goes by the 2004 book value instead of looking at the quality and workmanship and paying today's prices.
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: Jenny on May 04, 2006, 12:00:11 PM
I’m in Australia too but my local OP shop never gets anything as lovely as this and I am forced to buy from overseas, and pay the huge postage costs.

I am very jealous and you are very lucky!
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: heartofglass on May 04, 2006, 01:35:02 PM
Thanks Simone for the very amazing valuation :!: & info!
And thanks also Christine & Jenny for your compliments! :)
This op shop is my very favourite, it always has a lot of interesting things,glass or otherwise. The Russian silver salt cellar & Stuart Strathearn vase I have posted in the Glass forum over the last few months have all been from the same place.
I get "feelings" about when to go there-& they almost always pay off.....
Jenny, as you are in Australia, I will reveal the secret- the op shop is St Vincent De Paul store in Mortdale,in southern suburbs of Sydney.
I'm so happy to have found such an excellent weight, it just was so lovely in terms of colour (the purple canes around it are stunning) & the skill in that beautiful lampwork flower.
It is actually my first ever lampwork flower weight!
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: Simone on May 04, 2006, 07:26:22 PM
Hi Marinka,

The information is in the Charlton catalogue of Caithness paperweights. And I do think that as some of the better ones are such great lampwork, that they should be priced more on a par with some of the American ones.

Enjoy it - and hopefully this will be the start of a very nice beginning to paperweight collecting. :)
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: KevinH on May 04, 2006, 07:59:23 PM
I agree that, visually, some of the best Caithness (and other Scottish) weights are on a par with work from the USA. But for a proper comparison, and hence thoughts on pricing we should consider the differences in how they are made.

And it would be useful to know whether any of the Scottish work has been made in the "American" way.

In the US, many makers construct the whole of the weight by "torchwork", using billets of clear and coloured glass at every stage. This does not involve the use a furnace, in the way the general Scottish (etc.) "lampworked" items do.

As a very broad generalisation, "lampworked" pieces use pre-formed flattened elements which are added to a shaped gather, then covered wth more clear and finally the extra clear for the dome is gathered and shaped.

But in the Ameican way, because of the standard use of what I'll call "laying on" of the clear glass required, it has become natural to also build up all the coloured elements (of a full 3D flower, for example) by working every individual element of colour and clear until the design is fully constructed. This is a very labour intensive process and it can take several days to make just one weight if it is a complex form.

The "lampworked" method has its labour intensity at the stage of creating the coloured parts, but because most of this work is, as I suggest, more of a 2D form, a weight can be made more quickly.

Speed of construction = cheaper production. Hence the price differential bewteen much of the American and Scottish (etc.) work.

What I have said above is my own understanding of the processes and is straight out of my fingers and onto the keyboard. I have not even checked out books such as Larry Selman's The Art of The Paperweight for comfirmation. I therefore accept that there may well be points of error or confusion in what I have said. But I think, in general terms, the labour intesity is the main difference we should be thinking about.

It would be very interesting to learn from Bristish lampworkers, such as Allan Scott, about how the better (and often 3D) elements of "lampwork" are actually formed and how much time and effort is required in comparison to the American method.
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: mjr on May 05, 2006, 07:36:39 AM
I'm sure Allan will correct me if I am wrong, but I think all his pieces are done via the Scottish Method as described pretty accurately by Kev, and his lampwork is incorporated into weight by others. Me and the Mrs did the Willie Manson course a few years ago, and the difference in production methods was discussed as one of the attendees wanted to make paperweights at home using the American method. For Scottish weights, as Kev says, a glass gather is shaped and then this picks up the lampwork/canes etc which can be 3D rather than flat but are still at one level (the molten glass does flow around the lampwork to fill the gaps). Then another gather, then maybe another layer of lampword, and so on. One of Willies big fishes in a jar weight may have 3 or 4 layers.  US weights are made using small billets of glass - Willie showed us these, and its all then done with lampwork and melting bits of the billet into the gap. It does mean that no furnace necessary. This is why when looking at a Stankard for example, there are no layers as such. just one 3D design.
So whereas for a good Scottish weight it may take up to an hour to do the lampwork - less for this Caithness, and all in all less than an hour to do all the other bits, the US weights will take days. Watching Willie do lampwork, from nothing to a rose or an insect takes 5 minutes. Its the same with Allan - when you're good its easy.  

Also - re Caithness weights - I find that Charlton is generally optimistic on prices - particularly for the more highly valued lampworked weights.  Those valued at the £70 mark tend to get close on ebay or at auction. Those at £150 - £200 dont go that much past £100
Title: Caithness Royal Flourish paperweight
Post by: Frank on May 05, 2006, 08:29:46 AM
There are also cultural differences at play. US collectors generally have a higher disposable income, larger homes and a penchant for LARGE collections. UK collectors seem more price conscious and quicker to run out of space and thus turn over. German collectors are generally more concerned about condition and tend towards larger collections. Dutch collectors do not seem that active but perhaps I do not know that many. One thing is for sure, Amsterdam prices are extremely high and low-end is extremely low end. I have been told that things are cheaper in the South but as I don't have a car... French collectors are delightful, full of love and joy - much more so than any other collectors I have met and France is a wonderland for antique fairs and the like. My little contact with Italian collectors has been very positive but they are the most impatient when waiting for post!

Prices often reflect these factors and the middle to high end of collecting is largely driven by US collectors. There is a noticeable difference in prices realised between similar items, like paperweights, when there is a US collecting base.

Some dealers exploit these cultural differences and do there buying in one country and selling in another. There are many UK firms that buy only for the US market and ship by container - no doubt in other countries too. I knew one Dutch Delft dealer, when I was at Portobello, he would buy all week in Holland and on Friday night drive to London. Every Saturday he always took in excess of 10 thousand pounds and on a good day several times that.

Modern studio glass is more widely collected in Holland than in the UK and such glass appears to be generally pricier than in England where many glass artists seem to be obliged to sell at very low prices.

I could go on... collecting motivation is one of my side interests :?