Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > Malta Glass

Info on Mdina Ornament - Axe head?

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David E:
Just a thought: the signature isn't 'Boffo' is it? A photo of this would help.

Thank you David and DenCill ... the flash has gone on my camera so I'll try taking a pic of the signature in daylight tomorrow ... appreciate the welcome all.


Isn't a fish vase round with two bubbles like eyes - that is what I am getting?
I have looked at about ten axe-heads in books and they are all spade shaped - some are rounded off I have to admit.

Your vase seems irregular for an axe head - I am not saying it isn't

It could be a 'hammer-head' or a free form piece - or ... it could be an axe-head.                        

I have about 20 pieces of Mdina, but favour faceted and textured pieces. As TC and David say,  Sue will know better as she has many pieces I think and has researched Mdina and IOW well.

Adam P


Hello! I'll try to clarify things a little!

This is definitely a Mdina "Fish" vase. The signature is most likely to be that of Joseph Said. (His signature is pretty illegible). Michael Harris' signature is small, neat and easily read. I do not know of a Boffo ever signing a piece, but if there is one, keep away, IT'S MINE!!!! :twisted:

As far as I know, (info from Lesley Jackson), Mdina made what were called "Fish" vases and "Lollipops". (no mention of any weapons)

The Fish vases were meant to look like Manta rays, from above, and are the ones where the casing is applied heavily to both sides of the vase, with strapping crossing over, like this one. The way the shoulders are finished off on this one are fairly typical of Said. Michael Harris' ones tend to have more sloping shoulders than bumpy, but these are all individual hand made pieces, and there is no hard and fast rule. (I'm not shooting you down about anything, David!). Lollipops are the rounded ones, fully cased.

However, I have seen certain particular lollipops described as fishes. These are the very big, flattened and faceted ones with three colours internally.

I also have a round vase, but it has strapping crossing over it, fish style.

Mark Hill has told me he thinks he may be responsible for describing these as axeheads, a very accurate description, and one I do not think will ever go away!  I believe it is the axehead description that has spawned "mallethead" and "hammerhead" to attempt to describe other shapes along the same sort of theme.

The signature will add value to this piece, which is very nice indeed. Personally, I like these brown fish vases the best. I don't know why.
They're doing quite well on eBay at the moment. I do not think a reserve of £150 would be unreasonable.

Thanks for the excellent info Sue and all ... I've added a couple of pics of the signature to the webpage now ... they're the best I could do with my camera ... the sig doesn't look like Said ... there's a clear upper loop at the beginning of the sig and definitely what looks like two r's in there but the rest is scribble ... i think it will take someone who is familiar with the various known sigs to identify it


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