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Author Topic: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"  (Read 21441 times)

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #190 on: March 14, 2022, 12:39:33 AM »
The other thing that's been niggling is the way the Cypher or VR has been engraved, i.e. the design of the V with the round base.
So for example, this is an invitation to her coronation in 1838.
The way the V is pointed a the bottom is how it is on all the other monogram/cypher items I could find:
https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2021/collection-of-a-connoisseur-history-in-manuscript-part-2/queen-victoria-a-collection-including-two-letters

Bowl for comparison
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2170/finger-bowl-davenport--co/

This was a William IV cypher - ruled before Victoria
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/199718


From this reply onwards for a few replies we discussed the way the VR was oddly engraved on with the V seemingly having a rounded bottom so it looked like a 'U' rather than a 'V'.
I can't remember if I've already added this link but this is a link to a gilded china plate made by Davenports in 1837 apparently for the Queen Vic.  The monogram looks markedly different to the glass one... and so does the Guildhall emblem. So they clearly knew what the insignia/emblem and monogram should look like.  And given all the talk of how important this factory was, I'm a bit bemused about their engraving ability and quality  :-\

https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/plate-with-the-monogram-of-queen-victoria-reigned-1837-1901-davenport-co/hQEg68TUCU2QiA?hl=en&ms=%7B%22x%22%3A0.5222792959804466%2C%22y%22%3A0.527585810347094%2C%22z%22%3A10.684883483087775%2C%22size%22%3A%7B%22width%22%3A0.8822625220928658%2C%22height%22%3A0.4375282390195216%7D%7D

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #191 on: July 23, 2022, 10:09:28 AM »
Just adding Val St Lambert as a reminder to myself.

m

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #192 on: December 02, 2022, 10:08:38 PM »
For colour comparison - Example of Baccarat 1830s (If I have read this correctly) pressed glass in this Pressglas-Korrepondenz article:

https://www.pressglas-korrespondenz.de/aktuelles/pdf/pk-2018-1w-stopfer-vogt-sg-baccarat-pokal-1830.pdf

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #193 on: February 14, 2023, 05:36:44 PM »
snippet found in an Antiques publication:  No idea if this is correctly 'snippeted' or if the info is true, but if true it would be by 1837. 
Leighton wrote to him in 1839 about the Canary metal he'd seen there.

Obviously also no idea also if the 'canary metal' Leighton had seen there was actually made by John Ford of course.  It might have been a piece John Ford had from elsewhere.
But anyway, he wasn't appointed manufacturer to the Queen until after 1837 her coronation and the link doesn't imply the canary metal was around in 1837 at all.

In 1835 this firm was dissolved and John Ford carried on in the South Back Canongate under the name Holyrood Flint Glass Works . Two years later that glasshouse was appointed ' Flint Glass Manufacturer in Ordinary to the Queen.



Just adding this interesting tumbler for Gladstone with a sulphide of Gladstone - apparently dated 1880 and made by John Ford Holyrood Glass works- in the Bristol Museum collection stores:
http://museums.bristol.gov.uk/details.php?irn=122319

'Interesting' because the cutting on it is quite intricate and that along with the sulphide and calligraphy makes it look older than it is (I think) and it's dated 1880.


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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #194 on: February 17, 2023, 07:48:55 PM »
According to the information here John Ford was appointed Glass Maker to Her Majesty in 1855 - so the info in my quote above is incorrect.

' In 1839, his nephew, John Ford, took on the business and in 1855 Queen Victoria granted him the licence of being 'Glass Maker to Her Majesty', the place now assuming the title of 'The Royal Holyrood Glass Works''
Source:
https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2887234


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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #195 on: February 17, 2023, 07:56:06 PM »
With regard the shape of the V on the engraved VR on the bowl and plate, which has been under discussion on this thread as the V looks like a U rather than a sharp pointed V shape found on her cypher and other VR monogrammed articles:

This is apparently a sampler from the Biedermeier period, apparently identified as Austrian - it has an alphabet on it.  The V looks like the shape of the one engraved on the vase and plate,  i.e. with a curved bottom like a U:

https://www.samplers-berlin.com/en/sampler/biedermeier-1840.html

The R looks quite similar to that of the sampler as well.



By contrast this sampler is dated 1850 and attributed England and whilst the R still looks similar the V is a sharp pointed V.
https://www.antiques-atlas.com/antique/victorian_childs_needlework_sampler_1850/as527a684

These samplers are all with a pointed V dating to c.1840 English
Ellen Kingscote's English Sewing Book Samplers Wisdom and Honour circa 1840s
https://farmgirldrygoodsshop.com/ellen-kingscotes-english-sewing-book-samplers-wisdom-and-honour-circa-1840s/


I wonder if the engraved 'V'R was done by a Bohemian engraver? 

(or Russian? I've not looked into that yet but would like to as something about the way the insignia lines are decorated with leaves reminded me of monograms on Russian glass but could be misremembering.  Also something about the cutting on the bowl.
Monogram style like this is what it reminded me of:
https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2020/russian-works-of-art/a-porcelain-plate-from-the-orlov-service-imperial
)

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #196 on: February 18, 2023, 12:42:41 AM »
On the topaz-coloured glass:  What is meant by 'topaz-coloured' ? (see Examiner list of items for the 1837 banquet noted at bottom of post)

On the description given below I'd assert that the uranium glass bowls shown in the V&A and Corning do not meet the definition of 'topaz-coloured glass':

Topaz glass - taken from The Practical Mechanic and Engineer's Magazine Vol IV 1847 from an article taken from the Annals des Mines 1843:
Page 266 - Under the Chapter Heading 'Chapter VIII - Of Coloured Glass'
Quote:
'Yellow There are five distinct yellows:-
1. Topaz-yellow - prepared with charcoal dust
2. Antimony yellow...
3. Orange-yellow...
4. A peculiar-yellow...
5. Greenish-yellow - this colour provides a fine effect in daylight;  by candle or gas-light it appears of a dirty yellowish-white.  It is prepared with the yellow oxide of uranium of commerce; but as this material always exhibits traces of the presence of iron, the yellow glass made by it always presents on the edge a light greenish tint'

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Practical_Mechanic_and_Engineer_s_Ma/lbc5AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=topaz+neuwelt&pg=PA219&printsec=frontcover




'The Examiner list:

 'The decanters, claret jugs, champazne, hock and other glasses, were all richly cut, and ornamented with a vine border, varied with the rose, thistle, and shamrock, and the Royal arms. The supply for Her Majesty's table consisted of three dozen wine glasses, three dozen small claret glasses, three dozen large ditto, three dozen champagne ditto, two dozen liqueuer ditto, two dozen goblets, two dozen carafes and tumblers, two dozen hexagon massive decanters, one dozen claret ditto, 18 wine-glass coolers, two dozen topaz-coloured hock glasses, six water jugs, one dozen topaz-coloured finger glasses, two dozen ice-plates and four antique earthenware jugs with the Royal and city arms in relief.'
(the rest of the Examiner list for the general entertainment glass is the same as the Birmingham Journal and also only mentions 350 wine glass coolers.)'



Just came across something which might help regarding what is meant by 'topaz' coloured:
From Walter Spiegl
Farbige Gläser

http://www.glas-forschung.info/pageone/pdf/farbglas.pdf

Scroll down to page 30 under the Heading 'Rosa Rubin und Topas-glas

'Mit dem Goldrubin verwandt ist das »Topasglas«, das man in Neuwelt schon 1829
herstellen konnte und bei Lötz und Schmidt in der Goldbrunnhütte etwa seit 1830.
Neben der Goldauflösung wurde der Schmelze eine kleine Menge Antimonoxid
beigegeben, das dem Glas eine rötlich gelbe Färbung verleiht.'


using google translate this says:

'Related to the gold ruby is the »topaz glass«, which was found in Neuwelt as early as 1829
could produce and at Lötz and Schmidt in the Goldbrunnhütte since about 1830.
In addition to dissolving the gold, a small amount of antimony oxide was added to the melt
added, which gives the glass a reddish-yellow color.'


So - was the set of topaz glasses referred to in the list quoted above actually a reddish yellow glass rather than a uranium yellow glass?

If it was, this might preclude these uranium glass bowls in the V&A and the Corning from being part of the ' one dozen topaz-coloured finger glasses' in the list quoted above?



The becher in this link mentions topasglas so could be the kind of colour referred to perhaps - the seller has this listed as dated 1836:
https://antikes-glas.de/neuwelt/becher-silberbeize-geschnittenen-ansichten-neuwelt-p-1293.html

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #197 on: February 18, 2023, 09:53:17 PM »
i.e. could topas-glas or topaz be a different earlier name for amber glass?
Something like this perhaps?
https://www.exhibitantiques.com/item/2067/exhibitantiques/Antique-Georgian-Regency-Amber-Wine-Glass-c1830.html
or these?
https://scottishantiques.com/amber-decanter


There is a cut glass Stand in the Harrach book page 77, heavy cut and with a portrait of Emporer Franz I sulphide.  The stand is a similar colour to the becher I linked to from Antiques Neuwirth.  Dates 1831.  Unfortunately there is not  a description of the colour or name of it.

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #198 on: February 19, 2023, 01:04:44 AM »
Note:  Is it possible that glass denoted as 'topaz' or indeed 'topaz-coloured glass' doesn't necessarily have to be made with uranium in the batch.  Could the yellowish colour or amber colour of topaz can be achieved without using uranium?




Topaz glass 1849 made by Messrs. Bacchus and Sons.  Specifically noted and highlighted in script as Topaz in the description in the catalogue -
Quote:
'179.  Water Jug and GOBLET in Topaz , richly cut, manufactured and exhibited by Messrs. Bacchus and Sons .'

in the:
' Catalogue of Specimens of Recent British Manufactures Received in Competition for the Society's Special Prizes
Session 1849 - 1850 '

See page 14  Item no 179

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Catalogue_of_Specimens_of_Recent_British/nkbp-Bq5qDQC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=english+opal+glass&printsec=frontcover



See also - Art Journal report on the 1849 exhibition in Birmingham
Page 294 where Bacchus and Rice Harris are noted as exhibiting Uranium glass.

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





With regard to the question over whether 'topaz' in colour would imply made with uranium glass, see my posts #196 and #197.

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Re: Info on James Powell Topaz glass - "The Queen Victoria Topaz bowl"
« Reply #199 on: February 20, 2023, 12:30:29 PM »
According to the information here John Ford was appointed Glass Maker to Her Majesty in 1855 - so the info in my quote above is incorrect.

' In 1839, his nephew, John Ford, took on the business and in 1855 Queen Victoria granted him the licence of being 'Glass Maker to Her Majesty', the place now assuming the title of 'The Royal Holyrood Glass Works''
Source:
https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2887234



About the letter dated 1839 that Leighton sent to Ford asking about uranium glass, it seems Holyrood was making uranium glass in May 1841:

Source:  Jill Turnbull, The Magic and Misery of Glassmaking:  Researching the history of the Scottish Glass Industry
https://booksfromscotland.com/2017/09/magic-misery-glassmaking-scotland/

'...One early venture was the production of uranium glass, called canary or topaz. In May 1841, pot number one (of eight) in the furnace was charged with 545lbs of their clear ‘flint’ (lead) glass[1] to which 6lbs of ‘oxide of uranium’ was added. It ‘turned out very good’. '

I don't know why it's referred to as 'called canary or topaz'.  I don't have the book and do not know whether that is her interpretation of the colour name of uranium glass.  It seems strange for a glassmaker to name their glass colour as 'canary or topaz'.

And it's still 4 years after the 1837 banquet given for the coronation.




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