This issue has some news about cast glass, some information for collectors of Fostoria American pattern, and a personal tale about the television program "Going going gone!".
Welcome to all the new readers receiving my Glass Newsletter for the first time, I hope you find it interesting and useful.
I believe cast glass is the most magnificent and the most expensive glass being made today. The second half of the 20th century will be remembered as a time of major innovation in the technology of producing large sculptures in cast glass. The Czech Republic was where it all began in the early post-war years. But the restrictive government of that country for many years kept their innovations beyond the reach of non-comunist countries. In the eighties, glass artists from the Czech Republic began travelling abroad and teaching, for example, at the Pilchuk summer schools. Some of them took up posts in the UK and USA, and training in cast glass is now available from a number of major glass schools.
Quite independantly glass artist Ann Robinson in New Zealand (we tend to be isolated a bit down here) worked to resolve the technical problems of large cast glass pieces during the 1980s, and a generation of young glass artists have been trained here and now produce superb cast glass. Emma Camden has received international recognition for her cast glass work, and she is currently featured on the New Zealand $1.30 stamp. If you have not yet fallen in love with cast glass, do try to visit one of the exhibitions in the USA, the UK or in New Zealand which are listed below. And if you are in Auckland for the Americas Cup later this year, Emma Camden has an exhibition at Masterworks in the Viaduct Basin starting on November 15th.
1: Stanislav Libensky & Jaroslava Brychtova:
This husband and wife team of Czech glass artists have been prominent influences on several generations of glassworkers over the past fifty years. Their work has two main strands - a series of cast glass sculptures and their monumental architectural projects. This month there is a new book published about their work (click here to read more about it) and there is an exhibition at the Corning Glass Museum which features their work and other Czech glass artists (details below). The sad news is that Stanislav died earlier this year. Even in his eighties he was still a dominant international figure in the glass world. Emma Camden said today "One cannot over-estimate their contribution to the glass world". There is a new page on the Glass Encyclopedia about Stanislav Libensky and his glass, which you can see at http://www.encyclopedia.netnz.com/libenskyglass.html/ .
2: Fostoria American Pattern
Collectors of the Fostoria American pattern often write to me asking about differences and similarities to a pattern produced by Joblings in the North East of England in the 1930s. In actual fact the Joblings pattern is easy to tell from Fostoria American, because there is a large star shape on the side of the Joblings pieces. You can see Fostoria and Joblings compared on the Glass Museum page at http://www.glass.co.nz/icecube.htm . However, there are two other glass manufacturers who made an ice-cube pattern very similar to Fostoria American and they are much harder to identify.
Bagley's of Yorkshire, England, in 1931 made a jug, sugar bowl, honey pot, dish and butter dish in a pattern they called "Honeycomb". The cubes were smaller than Fostoria American, however. So if the two patterns were side by side it would be fairly easy to identify the Fostoria pieces.
Not so easy to distinguish are the pieces made by Indiana Glass, who acquired the Fostoria molds when their parent company, Lancaster Colony Corporation, bought Fostoria Glass in 1985. I collect glass manufacturers catalogues, and I recently acquired some Indiana Glass catalogs from the 1980s.
The 1982 and 1983 Indiana Glass catalogs show a pattern called "Whitehall" beverageware (footed tumbers) and apart from the fact that the foot is attached straight on the bowl (not even a short stem) the pattern is very similar to the American pattern "Footed Tumbler" shown in the 1982 Fostoria catalog. But the difference in the stems does make it possible to distinguish the Indiana tumblers from the Fostoria ones.
However the 1988-89 Indiana Glass catalog features a pattern called "American Whitehall" which was offered in 45 different items and from the photographs and from information reported elsewhere, these were made from the same molds as the Fostoria American pattern, and appear to have been identical. A few were offered in blue, a few an amber, but most were offered in Crystal. Indiana Glass was only marked with labels, which came off easily. So American Whitehall would be very easy to confuse with Fostoria's American.
Lancaster Colony Corp. stopped making lead-crystal glass around 1992, and changed the glass of some patterns from lead crystal to non-lead glass. So if the Indiana Glass American Whitehall pattern was offered in lead crystal originally, this would have changed in 1992. If anyone has any more information that would help distinguish the Fostoria American from Indiana American Whitehall I would love to hear about it, please.
3: Going Going Gone!
We have a television program in New Zealand which features auctions, where they interview the seller of a collection and one or two collectors who are planning to buy at the auction. They make a good job of building up the excitement, taking the viewers to see the collectors in their homes and discussing with them which pieces they want to buy and how high they are prepared to go in the bidding. Then they film the auction itself.
I was asked recently if I would be their advisor for an auction of carnival glass, and of course agreed. In the end my friend Verna, from Kaitaia, and myself were the collectors they featured in the program as the bidders on this glass. This meant that a television camera crew came to see my collection in its new studio home, and spent four hours filming my collection and me! Fame at last! The whole process was great fun, and I really enjoyed it. I have an extensive library of books on glass, including a whole shelf on carnival glass. But under pressure, the books I found most useful were Dave Doty's paperback handbook "A field Guide to Carnival Glass" and the two coffee-table books by Glen and Stephen Thistlewood "Carnival Glass: the magic and the mystery"and "A Century of Carnival Glass". I recommend them to you without reserve!
One of the major benefits of facing the camera crew was that I had to get my studio all finished before they came. So now, if you are going to be in the Far North of New Zealand at any time, do contact me and arrange to come and see it. I will be delighted to share its magic with you.
And another advantage is that my collection is mostly out of its storage boxes, and I can see what duplicates I have. So I will be putting a few things on ebay like the Raos Monet perfume bottle that is listed below (click here to see it).
4: Nick Dolan: cloud glass collectors will, I hope, be pleased to hear that the book on Davidson's Glass which Nick Dolan and I are working on is progressing well - slowly perhaps, but we are getting there. Please be patient a little longer. Meantime, Nick has written two chapters in a book recently published by the Antique Collectors Club. I know we never mention pottery or china in our Glass Newsletter, but since Nick is "one of us" I thought I would slip in a quiet mention that the book is called "Susie Cooper: A Pioneer of Modern Design".
5: On ebay this week we have some superb art glass from New Zealand, starting with a perfume bottle by Peter Raos in the Monet series. I hope you can find something you like amongst these:
Peter Raos a millefiori spring flower perfume bottle on ebay #2037708450
Keith Mahy a classical gold ruby glass perfume bottle ebay #2037711037
Peter Raos a Star o' the sea marine paperweight on ebay #2037708780 -this one has a pink coral background to the rock pool full of marine life depicted in glass, and the one below has a black coral background.
Peter Raos a Star o' the sea black coral paperweight on ebay #2037709618
They are all put up without reserve and so far most of them do not have any bids. If you would like to see a quick summary, click here.
6: Exhibitions and Glass Shows:
a: Depression Glass Shows (click here) - a listing of depression glass shows across the USA - really useful.
b: Carnival Glass Events (click here) - details of Carnival Glass meetings and shows across the USA and the UK - up to date and covers a very broad area.
c: Glass Behind the Iron Curtain, 1948-1978 Corning Museum of Glass, 16 May 2002 - 21 Oct 2002, New York.
d: The Cast: New Zealand Contemporary Cast Glass at the Hawkes Bay Exhibition Centre, Hastings, 19 July to 8 September 2002.
7: Summer Schools and Training Courses:
a: Summer Intensive 2002 hands-on experience in glass forming, decorative mosaic technique and Egyptian faience, at the Fundació Centre del Vidre, Barcelona, Spain; July 29th - August 9th.
b: Sunderland University (UK) degree course in Glass and Architectural glass starts in September - click here to find out more.
8: Recent Books about Glass - for your information in case you missed them:
a: Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass: 4th Edition - click here to read more. Published June 2002; authors Bill Edwards, Mike Carwile.
b: The Inner Light: Sculpture by Stanislav Libensky & Jaroslava Brychtova - click here. Published July 2002 by Uni.Washington Press, author Robert Kehlmann.
c: The Big Book of Vaseline Glass -click here . Published May 2002 by Schiffer Publications author Barrie Skelcher.
d: Glass (from the Antiques at a Glance series) -click here . Published May 2002 by Sterling Publications author James McKay. This is a useful book for beginners.
I do hope there was something interesting for you this week.
Very best wishes
The Glass Museum at http://www.glass.co.nz/
The Glass Encyclopedia is at http://www.encyclopedia.netnz.com/
The Glass Links Page is at http://www.glass.co.nz/links.htm
The Glass Message Board is at http://www.glassmessages.com/
My glass at auction http://www.myglassauction.com/
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