Glass News from Angela, 24th September 2000

Hi there,
No doubt we've all been staying up late watching the Olympics recently, so here is something to distract you for a while.

1: I have been doing some research on Nailsea glass for a short piece on the Glass Encyclopedia. Did you know that Flint Glass was the old name for Lead Crystal glass? And in the 18th century in Britain there was a heavy tax on Flint Glass for a hundred years until 1845. Excise men were employed by the Government to inspect the factories to make sure the tax was being paid, and factories had to choose whether they made Flint Glass or only bottle glass and crown (window) glass, which were not taxed. For a period glassworks in England were not allowed to make Flint Glass as well as non-flint glass. This was a time of huge increases in demand for both windows and bottles, and many factories sprang up to meet the demand. The Nailsea glassworks was one of them, set up as the Nailsea Crown Glass and Bottle Manufacturers in Nailsea, near Bristol, in 1788. And because of the heavy duty on Flint Glass, it was common practice for bottle factories to make tableware out of bottle or window glass, and to decorate it very simply with white dots or lines to make it more acceptable. And that's the origin of Nailsea-style glass, very little of which was actually made at Nailsea, it was made all over the country. I'm looking for a nice picture of a Nailsea flask or vase to use with the article, if anybody has one. I'd be very grateful.

2: On ebay this week we have 2 superb perfume bottles, one by Peter Viesnik (click here) and one by Garry Nash (click here). Also a millefiori mini paperweight by Peter Raos (click here) and a copy of an early book by Frank Habicht with some very humorous photographs and a few I suppose you'd call naughty ones. I sincerely hope nobody is offended by the book (click here).

3: Inspired by finding the Dale Chihuly DVD last week, I went hunting for videos on glass, and put up a page on the Glass Encyclopedia about Videos on Glass. There were some nice ones, like Alchemy in Light by Kenneth Grimes (1998), which is about making art glass (click here) and Chihuly over Venice (1998) which shows Chihuly working with European glass studios to make some superb pieces (click here). They were all available in the correct format for the USA and Canada, but I could not find any on-line locations for obtaining videos in UK-suitable format. So the two excellent UK videos I've recommended, The Crystal Trail about Stourbridge glass, and Reflections, about Caithness Glass, can be bought off-line only, so far as I know (sorry).

4: New books: There's a new (9th) edition of Gene Florence's popular book Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era (Sept 2000) - click here. And following up the Chihuly theme, he has produced a book about his major works called Chihuly Projects (2000) - click here. Marino Barovier has edited a book about Carlo Scarpa's glass (one of the major Venini designers).

5: I had some amusing feedback about last week. It seems to be a bit on the expensive side!

Hope there was something interesting for you this week. The Glass Encyclopedia went over the half million visitors mark last week!

Very best wishes