Glass Newsletter May 2009 from Angela

Here is my May Glass Newsletter - thank you for all the encouragement you sent after my last one. This time I would like to share with you some interesting information about Schneider glass, about Bimini and Pirelli, and about glass rolling pins. I want to ask your help in locating some very rare Bagley glass items; and there's also information about forthcoming glass conventions, shows, and other events; some recently published books on glass that you might have missed; and our own glass publications. I do hope you find something here to enjoy.

Did you know that for a short time after the first world war the great French art deco glassworks Schneider used to embed a tiny (about 6mm long) piece of glass twist cane in blue white and red in the base or the side of their glass creations. This was a patriotic symbol of their pride and loyalty to France, and it was called a Berlingot. I have tried to translate that word, it seems to mean "Carton" but maybe somebody could tell me why it was named a Berlingot and what that word really means.

In a short span of just 15 years, from 1918 to 1933, Charles Schneider designed and created art glass using just about every known decorative technique and a huge spread of styles of glass. To quote Tom Karman "With Art Deco the transformation burst forth like a flood, an elementary force, spontaneous and vigorous, changing concepts and challenging limits, leaving in its wake glorious tributes to human creativity." You can see examples of many of Schneider's styles and decors in Tom Karman's article on our website "The Glass Museum On-line" at

Bimini and Pirelli
These are both great names in the art glass world, Bimini for its origins in the Wiener Werkstatte and Pirelli for its close association with the Ysart family and their Scottish glass. Yet both ended their days as lampworking factories in London after the second world war. For some time now I have been working on my next book, which will feature the lampwork glass animals and art glass produced by Bimini/Orplid and Pirelli in the London area. There is a huge difference between simple lampwork items that can be produced after a few days of training and practice, and the highly skilled work of lampwork artists like Ginny Ruffner and Robert Mickelsen. Recently I heard about a lampworker who made tiny glass animals for inclusion in the stems of Stevens and Williams wine glasses. His name was Billy Swingewood and he may well have been the only lampworker employed by a major UK glass works in the 30s. One distinguishing feature of these high-end lampworkers is that their work was often signed or labelled. I am always keen to hear of other London lampworkers.

Glass Rolling Pins
Did you know that there was a superstition in Victorian times that if a glass rolling pin was broken the sailor who had given it to his sweetheart or wife would not be returning safely home? Sailors used to bring glass rolling pins filled with salt or tea and sometimes elaborately decorated, back from overseas as gifts for their loved ones. Their origin seems to have been even earlier, when they were made to store salt, with a stopper in one end and a string around the neck so they could be hung near a fire to keep the salt dry. Salt was highly taxed and valued in those days. When empty they could be filled with cold water and used for rolling pastry. And sometimes it is said they were even used for smuggling, but I'm not sure what!

An article in "All About Glass" recently reported on an auction sale of glass rolling pins in Ohio. Have you ever heard of "Potichomanie" decoration on glass? Two of the glass rolling pins in this auction were decorated with "Potichomanie" (sometimes spelt with an "a" at the end). It was a popular Victorian pastime which started in Paris and was picked up enthusiastically by English ladies. Its effect was to make the glass look like porcelain, and copies of Sevres and Dresden china were made by glueing decorated sheets of paper onto the inside of a glass vessel, usually a vase, and then filling in any gaps either with white paint or with white plaster. Later something similar was acheived by glueing paper patterns onto the outside of white pots and vases and then varnishing them. Needless to say, not many of these objects have survived in pristine condition! Potichomanie was even referred to by Charles Dickens!

Rare Bagley Glass items
Although I have been writing about and researching Bagley glass for the past ten years and more, there are some rare items that I have never seen "live". There are now over ten thousand glass enthusiasts who receive this Newsletter, and maybe some of you have these rare pieces in your collections. So if you have, or used to have, any of the following please can you let me know. Here is the list of items I would really love to see: The pictures of these items in our book on Bagley Glass, are from advertisements or catalogues or design drawings. I am not even sure if some of them were ever made. If you have any information could you put it on the Glass Message Board so we will all be able to share the results. Or if you just email to me I'll share it for you.

While we are on the subject of Bagley Glass, I recently updated our CD about Bagley so that it now includes several original company catalogues including the rare coloured catalogue from the 1930s, the coloured Royal Visit Booklet and a series of coloured full page Bagley advertisements. I think its especially useful to Bagley collectors. Click here to read more about it.

Broadfield House Threatened Closure
In my last newsletter I told you of the threat to close the Broadfield House Glass Museum in the Midlands, England. There was a petition which many of you signed, and at the end of March the petition was handed in with over six thousand signatures, many from around the world and 62% of them from the local West Midlands area. No decision has yet been finalised, I believe the Council are undertaking a "Feasibility Study" at the moment, and the local resistance to the closure is very strong. You can read more about it here:,24552.0.html.

If the links don't work in your email copy of this newsletter, you'll find another version with all its links working here:
And while we're on the subject of links, we have a great page of Glass Links at - hope you find them useful.

Designer Searches
There's a very useful list of Designer Searches of eBay to be found at I use it myself when I don't have much time and I want to make sure I'm not missing something!

Glass Things for Sale

Usually I put some glass items for sale when I send out my newsletter. But tomorrow I am setting off for a visit to Europe, so I won't be able to handle glass sales just now. Instead here are some of my glass publications that I will be carrying with me, hoping that some of you will buy them! Here goes:


Upcoming Events in Carnival Glass can be found on Dave Doty's website at:, and many thanks to Dave.

Depression Glass Shows in the USA click here- - a listing with dozens of depression glass shows across the USA - really useful.

The Broadfield House Glass Museum (near Birmingham, UK) has its Paperweight day on Saturday June 6th 2009 (including demonstration by Willie Manson) and children's activities throughout that weekend; open from 10am until 4pm and admission is free.

Also at Broadfield House between now and 29 August 2009 there will be exhibition days of Glass Hand-casting with Allister Malcolm, where you invited to make a treasured memento, a hand or foot cast in glass. From 12 noon to 4pm on the 23rd May, 20th June, 25th July and 29th August, the charge is 17 and this includes one hand or foot. You need to pre-book so here is the phone number: 01384 812745

And whilst you are at Broadfield House, take a look at the exhibition Petrol Heads which continues until the 1st of November. This is a new exhibition featuring 17 petrol globes, a bubble car, motoring memorabilia and interactive activities for children. Open from 12 noon to 4pm and admission is free. You can check out events at Broadfield House here - or here -

The Glass Art Society's 39th Annual Conference will be held in Corning, New York, June 11-14, 2009. The theme is: Local Inspiration, Global Innovation and you can find out more details on their website at

The International Carnival Glass Convention takes place on July 15th - 18th 2009 at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport, Iowa. The theme this year is Magnificent Marigold and the program promises a great experience for carnival glass collectors!!! More information is on their website at

Events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are listed on their website at


- in case you missed them. Click on any of these titles to read more about the book.

Making Handmade Lampwork Beads & Glass Jewelry by Danny & Hava Ronat. 128 pages published by Creative Publishing international (September 2008)

Middle Eastern and Venetian Glass Beads: Eighth to Twentieth Centuries by Augusto Panini. 312 pages published by Skira (September 2008)

Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass: 6th Edition by Mike Carwile. 239 pages published by Collector Books (January 2009)

Chamber Lamps: 19th Century Patterned Art Glass : Identification & Value Guide by Ron Gibson. 223 pages, published by Collector Books; 1st edition (April 2009)

Pioneers of Contemporary Glass: Highlights... by Cindi Strauss. 96 pages, published by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (April 2009)

Venetian Glass: From Modern to Contemporary by Marino Barovier, 400 pages, published by Motta (English and Italian edition) (May 2009).

Art of the Barovier 1866-1972 by Marina Barovier. 213 pages, published by Arsenale Editrice (October, 2008).

Venetian Glass: The Magnificent Mosaics 1860-1917 by Sheldon Barr. 200 pages, published by Antique Collectors' Club, Ltd. (October, 2008).

Kitchen Glassware of the Depression Years, 7th edition by Gene and Cathy Florence. 272 pages Publisher: Collector Books (October, 2008).

Voices of Contemporary Glass: The Heineman Collection by Tina Oldknow & Cristine Russell. 382 pages, published by Hudson Hills Press,U.S. (June, 2009)

Encyclopedia of Colbalt Glass Identifications and Values by Tom Felt, Gene & Bernadette Girard. 304 pages, published by Collector Books; 1st edition (July, 2009)

I do hope there was something interesting for you this week.
Very best wishes

Useful links:

The Glass Museum at

The Glass Encyclopedia is at

The Glass Links Page is at

The Glass Message Board is at

Glass Seek - Designer Glass Searches are at

To join this list:

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From: Angela Bowey - archive of my Glass Newsletters