Glass News from Angela, 15th July 2001

If this is the first time you have received my Glass Newsletter, welcome and I do hope you enjoy it.

Contents: This week we cover new pages on the Glass Encyclopedia, some beautiful art glass on ebay, "did you know this" about cup plates, Chihuly, some new books on glass, current and forthcoming exhibitions and glass shows, and "did you know this" about Depression Glass.

1: We have two new pages on the Glass Encyclopedia this week - one about Caithness Glass which you can find at Caithness is Scotland's leading glassworks, making beautiful art glass and superb paperweights.

And the other new page on the Glass Encyclopedia is about Apsley Pellatt, one of the greatest English glassworks in the early part of the 18th century. They too made superb paperweights. You can find that page at

I hope you find it helpful. We have just passed the one and a quarter million visitor mark at the Glass Encyclopedia! Thank you so much for your support.

2: It has been some time since our last newsletter, so this week we have a few extra art glass pieces on ebay. I hope you can find something you like amongst them. From Garry Nash we have another paperweight which has a golden yellow base cushion with murrini's set around it, and a 22kt gold leaf fountain rising in the center, on ebay #1254817990.

From Peter Viesnik we have a superb paperweight with white cala lilies against a cobalt blue base. It would be a great asset to any collection. You can see it on ebay #1255585597. Also from Peter Viesnik, a paperweight in his "Sea-scape" series on ebay #1254817771.

As well as making paperweights, Peter Viesnik specialises in beautiful stoppered bottles, perfume-style. We have five of them on offer this week, first a very beautiful lilac frosted perfume bottle, spherical and with millefiori surface decorations set into the glass on ebay #1254818400; second, a similar one in stunning cobalt blue with yellow millefiori on ebay #1254818604; another one in shiny cobalt blue on ebay #1254818841; a red iridized perfume bottle on ebay #1254818979; a tall very elegant frosted perfume bottle with "secret" millefiori hidden inside on ebay #1254819471; and a delightful little frosted white vase with murrini insets on ebay #1254819604.

There are three superb millefiori paperweights by Peter Raos, the first a waterlilies paperweight with a lovely scene of a lily pond on ebay #1254818207 . The second is a very beautiful "Star o the Sea" millefiori flat paperweight on ebay #1255585068 and the third, one of his beautiful spring flower paperweights in the "Monet" series on ebay #1254817507.

And last but not least, there is a beautiful little "pulled feather" perfume bottle by Keith Mahy with a red background, on ebay #1254820874.

You can see a preview at and they are all put up without reserve. So far most of them do not have any bids.

3: Cup Plates: Most of you know that cup plates (usually round or square glass plates smaller than a saucer) were originally needed to hold the cup while the tea was drunk from the saucer. But did you also know that the reason people liked to drink from the saucer, back around 1820, was that cups were imported into the US without handles (cheaper that way) and the hot tea made the cup too hot to hold - hence poured into the saucer. And the reason cup plates were usually made of glass is that pressed glass had just become available and was cheap to produce, much cheaper than porcelain at that time.

The fashion for drinking tea from a saucer lasted until around 1850, and when the fashion changed the popularity of cup plates died. They were resurrected in the 1920s when glass companies started reproducing them. And some of the reproductions and late issues are even more valuable than the originals. If you want to read more about cup plates, there was an article in Glass Collectors Digest volume 2 no 1, August 1988 by Ernest B. Remondini.

4: Dale Chihuly: Recently I've been reading "Chihuly Projects" published last year, and I now understand more of why Chihuly is such a glass megastar. The book is full of the most amazing photographs of Chihuly's wonderful large scale projects around the world. So here's a bit of information so you can visit them when you are in the areas.

Amongst the ones I absolutely love are the ceiling at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (completed in 1998). The foyer of this hotel has an illuminated ceiling panel 70' long and 30' wide, filled with more than 2000 pieces of hand blown Chihuly glass - mostly the seaform or persians type - which I have seen for sale at over $30,000 for a set of 3! The effect is totally stunning! My next favourite is the Lap Pool at the Boat House in Seattle (Chihuly's own workshop). The beautiful pale blue pool has an inset section with some 300-400 hand blown Chihuly glass seaforms or persians at the bottom - a totally lovely concept.

At the Sleeping Lady Conference Retreat in Leavenworth Washington, there is a stunning icicle chandelier standing on top of a boulder with over 1000 elements. It even has its own heating element so that the snow can melt to form real icicles dripping from the glass ones. There's another fantastic display at the Union Station in Tacoma, Washington; on Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas; and in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; and many more. And talking of the Victoria & Albert Museum, if you are going to be in London any time between now and the 21st of October this year, there is a new exhibition of Chihuly projects that just sounds fantastic - more about that in the next section on exhibitions and shows.

5: Exhibitions and Glass Shows:
a: A date for your diary: many of you attended the Glass Art Society's Annual Conference at Corning last month. Next year it will be in Amsterdam, Holland from May 30 to June 1, 2002. Click here to read more about it.

b: If you are in or near Bath in the UK this month, there is an exhibition of Swedish glass by Bertil Vallien and Goran Warff, two of Kosta Boda's leading designers. They will be there in person at Harrington Glass, 2-3 Queen Street, Bath between 10am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. For more information contact Philippa or Julian Sondheimer at (UK) 01225 482179.

c: Twice a year one of the largest/greatest Glass Fairs in Britain is held at the Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, always on the second Sunday in May and the second Sunday in November. Well this year they have changed the date, so if you are planning to fit in a visit to this Glass Fair - make a note that the date this year is NOVEMBER 4th.

d: From October 13th to 21st, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Corning Museum of Glass, the 15th Congress of The International Association for the History of Glass (AIHV) will be open to the public. AIHV is the largest international organization dedicated to the history of glass. The congress starts on October 13 at the Met and transfers to Corning on October 18. It sounds as if you can just turn up if you are interested. The address to email for more information is:

e: And the greatest event of them all must surely be the Chihuly exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London. This exhibition starts from the main entrance of the Museum, where Chihuly's five meter high Chandelier has been remodelled to twice its size. From the dome foyer a Medieval Treasury tunnel features an overhead Persian ceiling leading to a Macchia Forest in the Pirelli Gardens. Chihuly's installations are always breathtaking and startling, and this one sounds fantastic. The dates are June 21st to October 21st 2001 and it is open from 10am to 5.30pm with a late evening every Wednesday until 10pm, but closed on Mondays. Entry five pounds, but normally free after 4.30pm. The number to ring for more information is: (UK) 020 7942 2000. email:

6: Depression Glass: Did you know that the reason Depression Glass often has a raised pattern of lines or what looks like etching raised above the surface, is because the mass-production techniques which made DG so cheap extended to the production of the molds as well as the glass? Prior to the 1920s molds for pressed glass were usually made by craftsmen cutting out the pattern into a metal mold or making a metal cast from a plaster model of the eventual piece.

In the 1920s and 30s machinery became available to automate the process of pressing glass. In addition semi-automated techniques were developed for making the molds. Acid-resist transfers were placed inside blank metal molds and the metal not protected by the transfer was etched away with acid. This left the pattern indented into the mold which was then pressed thousands of times onto molten glass pieces, where it was transferred as a raised pattern. I hadn't realised that was a feature of Depression Glass.

7: And last but not least, here are some new Books about Glass - for your information in case you missed them:
a:  Tom & Neila Bredehoft's extended new book published in June 2001 Heisey Glass 1896-1957 : Identification and Value Guide. Click here to read more about it.
b:  Stefano Carboni's new book (May 2001) Glass From Islamic Lands: The al-Sabah Collection about the extensive collection in the Kuwait National Museum - Click here to read more.
c: Torsten Brohan & Martin Eidelberg's August 2001 book: Glass of the Avant-Garde : From Vienna Secession to Bauhaus - covering a collection in the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid, Spain - click here to read more about it.
d: Willy Van den Bossche's new book (June 2001) Antique Glass Bottles : Their History and Evolution (1500-1850) - a comprehensive illustrated guide with worldwide bibliography of glass bottles - click here to read more about it.

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

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