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Author Topic: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"  (Read 3187 times)

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #130 on: July 10, 2021, 06:00:03 PM »
Interesting shaped small pressed glass bowl c.1840 from 'probably Styria'  (seite 4 von 7 seiten)

https://pressglas-korrespondenz.de/aktuelles/pdf/pk-2019w-stopfer-becher-josefsthal-1840.pdf

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #131 on: July 10, 2021, 07:31:44 PM »
I've managed to find a snippet of information from a German book  by Franz Kirchheimer, Das Uran und seine Gesichte 1963.  Very difficult to tell what's going on as it's only a snippet view and I'm trying to understand half a story and translate -  so no quotes from this please.
However, it seems to me on trying to unravel it that there is some info about  girandoles made with uranium added to flint glass being presented to Queen Adelaide  written in Glass-making in England by Harry J Powell. 
It seems that these girandoles were never found in the British Museum or in the Royal Collection.

This book is well known.
I don't know how the description of these links with the candlesticks with topaz drops info given in the MOL book.
 I do think if there was a definite link between Powell & Sons and the bowl in the V&A then they would have made it surely?

I don't have the book so if anyone does and can corroborate or expand on that info that would be great.



I keep coming across another piece of information that 'LLoyd and Summerfield were the first to use uranium in commercial glass in 1857'. And it appears one author is talking about a butter dish (pressed?).  Another about Park Glassworks.  This L&S info is quoted in lots of snippets from a variety of books in cluding more recent ones.   I have no idea if it's true or whether it's just information that has been repeated on and on without there being hard evidence for it.


Also going back to the Birmingham Exhibition 1849 where it was said Bacchus and Rice Harris showed a piece of uranium glass.  Describing it as 'showing' doesn't necessarily mean it was made there does it?




Finally, in the Glass Museum article here
https://www.theglassmuseum.com/uranium.htm

it mentions  info on Riedel starting to make uranium glass in 1830,
on a visit by the French to Bohemia in order to encourage imitations of Bohemian glass in 1836,
and that Choisy-Le-Roi started producing it in 1838,
and that Baccarat started producing it in 1843.



I honestly cannot see that this bowl was produced at Davenport in 1837.







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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #132 on: July 11, 2021, 12:50:00 AM »


Also going back to the Birmingham Exhibition 1849 where it was said Bacchus and Rice Harris showed a piece of uranium glass.  Describing it as 'showing' doesn't necessarily mean it was made there does it?



I've found the Art Journal link again.  The author does seem to say that the uranium examples from both companies were productions from those companies:
See page 294 - Art Journal writing on the Birmingham Exhibitioni 1849
https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_art_journal_London/65BCAAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=uranium+oxide+cornwall+mine+1817&pg=PA137&printsec=frontcover




I don't know what the source of this is but in Pressglas Korrespondenz (page 120 of 160) here
https://pressglas-korrespondenz.de/aktuelles/pdf/pk-2000-2w-sg-annagelb-eleonorengruen-uran.pdf
It does say that ore was extracted earlier than the previous writings I've come across:
quote
'Already in 1846 were in Cornwall
4-5 tons of uranium ore extracted for coloring glass. It
arose there when the tin ore actually extracted was deposited, where it was mixed in as an annoying impurity. In another, long-disused mine in Cornwall, pitchblende was used from 1873 to 1898'


So it's earlier,  however it's still 1846 - 9 years after this bowl was supposedly produced/used in 1837.



On translating and reading through that article regarding the difficulty of processing the pitchblende in Bohemia and how the glass was only for luxury items , and looking at the timeline of production in Bohemia, and having read through all the other information available online (links on this thread),       I think the V&A bowl:

- Was not produced in 1837 ... unless it was produced by a Bohemian glass maker (possibly Riedel?)

It appears Baccarat didn't start until after 1837 - I read 1843 but would need to check that date.
It appears Choisy-le-Roi used uranium glass from 1838.

- Was not produced by Davenport.

- May have been made later on in the century for another VR event and then might possibly have been made by an English maker (although I now think the foot does have features of Bohemian glassmaking) .

- If it is actually correct that uranium was extracted in Cornwall for glassmaking in 1846, then I suppose it might possibly have been used in the production of the two items shown at the Birmingham Exhibition in 1849, one by Rice Harris and the other by Bacchus. 
Perhaps this V&A bowl was one of their productions?






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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #133 on: July 11, 2021, 10:31:47 AM »
Correction to some information in my post above (see bold):



      I think the V&A bowl:

- Was not produced in 1837 ... unless it was produced by a Bohemian glass maker (possibly Riedel?)
 Journal of Glass Studies article 2005, says Harrach didn't start producing uranium glass until 1839 - will check their book to see what that says.

It appears Baccarat didn't start until after 1837 - I read 1843 but would need to check that date.
It appears Choisy-le-Roi used uranium glass from 1838.



Correction:  I'm adding a source reference for information that
Harrach produced some partly opaque 'Chrysoprasglas' uranium glass  in 1831 and later perfected a uranium yellow glass .


Source - 
See page 77-79
The Legend of Bohemian Glass - Antonin Langhamer

And also see page 71 for more information

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Legend_of_Bohemian_Glass/UwLCa_h3hTEC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=riedel+topaz+glass&pg=PA111&printsec=frontcover

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #134 on: July 12, 2021, 12:11:48 PM »
On page 185 here
Farbenglas Band I - Dr Walthraud Neuwirth

You can see a Topaz coloured lidded goblet produced by Harrach prior to 1839 :)

http://waltraudneuwirth.at/Buecher-Selbstverlag-Bilder/1993-1998-Farbenglas/1993-Farbenglas01-184.jpg


and compared to (N.B. Different lighting may alter the true daylight colour of the two pieces however the Harrach version looks to have a browner tint)
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2170/finger-bowl-davenport-co/finger-bowl-davenport--co/
https://www.cmog.org/artwork/finger-bowl-15?search=collection%3A87ed4dbdb52f7abbeb70ee8d4edef98d&page=53

On Page 179 of Farbenglas I, Neuwirth shows a "chameleon glass" jug (listed as vase) plate 124.  It is panel cut and dates prior 1837.  It looks as though it might be uranium glass but this is not stated - it was made by J. Meyr, Adolfshutte (Bohemia) 'yellowish-green cut glass; height: 26cm - Technical Museum Vienna inv. no. TH 12103 (acquired from Rohrbeck, Vienna)'

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #135 on: July 12, 2021, 11:37:05 PM »
If the 1 dozen topaz 'finger-glasses' listed does in fact mean finger rinsing bowls, wouldn't they be more likely to be a shape that was just a rounded bottomed bowl with highish sides? 
Something like this:
https://scottishantiques.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=4938

rather than these:
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2170/finger-bowl-davenport--co/
https://www.cmog.org/artwork/finger-bowl-15?image=0

With reference the shape of this uranium glass finger bowl, the V&A show a set of designs 1824 from  France and this shape is fairly similar to one of the bowls:
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O168063/modeles-et-tailles-de-cristaux-design-unknown/

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #136 on: July 13, 2021, 05:56:41 PM »
I think I might have got to the bottom of this.


1)   I mentioned Cornwall mines producing uranium earlier in this thread.  I decided to search a bit further.
 In searching I came across a book written in 1817 by H.C. Gill called ‘An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall’ where he mentioned uranium being found in pitchblende in mines there.  He mentions in his book, in that chapter, that it is used for colouring glass and gives the colours as Apple Green, Brown and Emerald Green.  See page 269
https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/An_Historical_Survey_of_the_County_of_Co/fflRAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=an+historical+survey+of+the+county+of+cornwall+uranium&pg=PA269&printsec=frontcover

2)  It seems this information had already been found in the glassworld as in
Journal of Glass Studies
Vol. 37 (1995), pp. 140-145 (6 pages)
Published By: Corning Museum of Glass

I came across an article by F. Peter Lole, Didsbury Manchester, who mentions this book by HC Gill and the information on uranium in the book.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/24190783
F. Peter Lole, by my reading of his article, makes the assumption that H.C. Gill is familiar with glassmaking because of the way Gill mentions the glass making in his chapter but then makes no further recommendations as to the use of the pitchblende.
It is my opinion that Lole’s article also implies or seems to make a connection with uranium glassmaking in England at that time. Or at least that the way he's written his information could be 'misconstrued' like that.

I wondered whether actually H. C. Gill was not in fact familiar with glassmaking at all, but had read that information about the uranium glass colours elsewhere in earlier literature and so included it in his book in ‘passing’ if you like.
However, as Lole did, I also wondered why Gill mentioned the pitchblende mines as he didn’t give any other explanation for it’s use.

3)   I then came across a long article written in 1917 (see page 165 and 166)
copyright 1915 Society of Economic Geologists, Inc. Economic Geology, v.10, pp161-171
https://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/RESUGGA-Mine/South-Terras.pdf
The Pitchblende of Cornwall, England – R.A.F. Penrose Jr.

It seemed to me Penrose was intimating that Pitchblende was a substance that miners/smelters did not want due to it’s ‘nature and prejudice to copper ores’ , therefore the reason for including it in Gill’s book might have been so it was known which mines produced pitchblende and therefore were ‘not valued/useful’ at that point. 
I may have misunderstood this, but anyway because of my understanding of reading the Penrose article, it led me to investigate further.


I wondered whether Gill had ‘paraphrased’ his casual info on the use of Uranium in glass producing Apple green, Brown and Emerald green from somewhere else.



4)   So I looked back to see if there was information earlier than the 1817 of Gill’s book, from Klaproth.

According to The Estimation of Uranium in Colored Glasses , Sheilagh Murray and John Haggith, pp184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/24188153
In 1786, M. H. Klaproth Professor of Chemistry at the University of Berlin, isolated from pitchblende a new substance called uranium.

This led me onto finding the Pantalogica dated 1813 (i.e .4 years prior to Gill’s book and written whilst Klaproth was still alive (d.1817):

Pantalogica Vol VII U- ZYT   dated 1813   - Printed by T. Davison, Lombard-Street, Whitefriars
Under ‘URA Uranium’
It discusses M Klaproth and uranium oxide and colours and in writing out Klaproth’s actual mixtures it mentions the colours ‘apple green, brown and emerald green’:
https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Pantologia/Jco6AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=uranium+glass+finger+glass&pg=PP200&printsec=frontcover



Conclusion
a)   I surmise that F. Peter Lole’s possible assumption, that H. C. Gill writing of Cornish mines in 1817 knew something about uranium glass being produced, was probably not correct. 

b)     I think Gill had read the information from Klaproth and copied/re-wrote it in his book as a descriptor for what the Pitch blende could be used for in the absence of anything else.

c)   Please also take good note of where the Pantalogica dated 1813 with the information in it from Klaproth regarding the use of Uranium oxide in glass was printed!  It was printed  by T. Davison, Lombard-Street, Whitefriars
  So this MIGHT go some way to explaining the assumption that this bowl was made by Whitefriars?






With reference my comments above:

There was obviously knowledge about Klaproth's discovery.
Klaproth was a Professor of chemistry.
Experiments at this time were carried out by chemists ( and later to determine how uranium oxide could colour porcelain)
However they also used borax beads to determine constituents in metal.  Could this have been the 'glass' that Gill was referring to?
And the colours being the colour spectrum seen during the experiments?
See here under URA the description of Klaproth's experiments in the Pantplogia:
https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Pantologia/Jco6AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=uranium+glass+finger+glass&pg=PP200&printsec=frontcover


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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #137 on: July 13, 2021, 08:31:31 PM »
Apsley Pellatt 'amber' glass c.1840 perfume bottle with sulphide of Princess Charlotte:

https://www.lotsearch.de/lot/an-apsley-pellatt-amber-cut-glass-scent-bottle-and-stopper-24965221?page=4

described as 'amber' by Christie's.  Very pale straw coloured yellow looking at pic.
Just wondering if this was part of his topaz collection that shattered and had to be replaced but no idea if this is uranium glass.

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #138 on: July 13, 2021, 09:38:06 PM »
1835 Vienna Exhibition
Harrach Candlesticks in "goldtopaz"

page 241


and toilet bottle (perfume?) in goldtopaz page 242

written in Gothic script but not that difficult to read:

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Bericht_%C3%BCber_die_allgemeine_%C3%B6sterreich/R-RKAAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=chrysopras+glas&pg=PA242&printsec=frontcover

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #139 on: July 24, 2021, 09:46:18 PM »
Just wondering to myself here :)

Page 364 of Charles Hajdamach's British Glass 1800-1914 shows a uranium decanter cut glass in a similar colour to the bowls (i.e. yellow uranium glass.  Obviously print quality will mean it's impossible to compare the real colours).  It's panel cut,honeycomb cut neck lots of cutting on it.   He says the decanter is 'Stourbridge, c. 1870s, height 12 1/4"'. I'm looking at it and thinking yep, I thought the bowl could be later in the century and it also has quite a lot of cutting on it.

Now the obvious sticking point is that he had access to the glass in his book I presume so it's possible he could do a better side by side comparison of the bowl in the V&A, which he also shows in the book,and the decanter.

However, it had occurred to me when thinking the bowls could be later in the 19th, that her 50th anniversary i.e. 1887 would be the Golden anniversary.  What better time than to produce 'gold' coloured bowls?

As I said, just thinking out loud.

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