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Title: Old Glass and How to Collect it
Author: Lewis, J. Sydney
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              _OLD GLASS
                                  AND
                          HOW TO COLLECT IT_

                            [Illustration]


    _The Standard Book on the Subject._

    A HISTORY OF ENGLISH STAINED
    GLASS WINDOWS.

    By MAURICE DRAKE. Fully Illustrated in Colour
    and Half-tone. Foolscap folio. £2, 2s. net.

    “One of the most beautiful, nay, most sumptuous, books
    produced in recent years, and from that point of view the Author
    and the publisher, the artist and the printer, and, indeed, also
    the binder, are to be heartily congratulated. But it is also an
    interesting book to read, although the subject is not everyone’s
    subject, for it is written, not merely with knowledge, which one
    can find anywhere on most subjects, but with knowledge touched
    with humanity, which is the kind of knowledge that we want in
    a book.”--_Daily Chronicle._


    FIRST STEPS IN COLLECTING.

    By Mrs GRACE VALLOIS, Author of “Antiques
    and Curios in our Homes.” 64 Illustrations.
    Picture Cover. 6s. net.

    In this book G. M. Vallois has grappled successfully with the
    problem of how to give the amateur a slight general knowledge
    of a wide subject, without deluging him with technical details.


    ANTIQUES AND CURIOS IN OUR HOMES.

    By G. M. VALLOIS. 61 Illustrations. 6s. net.

In addition to being interesting to those who possess old furniture,
etc., it should appeal to young persons making a home, as, even though
they may not be able to buy Antique Furniture, it is of educational
value to them, inasmuch as it teaches in a most fascinating manner the
difference between Sheraton and Chippendale, between Wedgwood and Willow
Pattern, etc.

[Illustration: A fine specimen of Early Bristol Glass, with landscape
painted by Edkin.]



                           OLD GLASS AND HOW
                             TO COLLECT IT

                                  BY
                            J. SYDNEY LEWIS

                              ILLUSTRATED

                                LONDON
                         T. WERNER LAURIE LTD.
                      30 NEW BRIDGE STREET, E.C.4


The Author desires to express his best thanks to Miss Whitmore Jones, Mr
Cole of Law, Foulsham & Cole, Mr A. Edwards of Messrs Edwards Limited,
for their kind permission to include examples of old English and Irish
glass from their Collections, and to Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge
for allowing him to include the list of prices fetched by various
specimens at their Sales.

He is also desirous of acknowledging the assistance he has received from
the Authorities of the British and Dublin Museums, and also to the late
Mr J. Herbert Bailey, to whom and to “The Connoisseur” he is indebted
for several of the illustrations.

His indebtedness to the great work of Mr A. Hartshorne is one which he
shares with every writer who takes as his subject “Old English Glass.”



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                 PAGE

I. INTRODUCTORY                                            1

II. EARLY ENGLISH GLASS                                   27

III. EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY GLASS                             55

IV. MEMORIAL GLASSES                                      95

V. BRISTOL AND NAILSEA GLASS                             115

VI. IRISH GLASS                                          128

VII. CURIOUS AND FREAK GLASSES                           154

VIII. FRAUDS AND IMITATIONS                              166

IX. SOME HINTS TO COLLECTORS                             182

CATALOGUE OF PRICES OF PRINCIPAL PIECES OF
GLASS                                                    191



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


Early Bristol Glass; landscape painted by Edkin....._Frontispiece_

FIG.

1. Elizabethan Glass (Brit. Mus. Coll.) }
                                        } _To face page_ 42
2. Posset Cup (Charles II.)             }

3. Feeding Cup (William III.) }
                              } ” 48
4. Glass Panel (Charles II.)  }

5. Glass Tankard with Coin blown in Base }
                                         } ” 50
6. Coin blown in Base of Tankard         }

7. Air-twisted Stem Glasses.....” 62

8. Air-twisted Button and Baluster Stem Glasses.....” 66

9. Opaque-twisted Stem and Rose Glasses.....” 68

10. Double Ogee Bowls.....” 72

11. Ale Glasses and Sweetmeat Glasses.....” 74

12. Eighteenth-century Drinking Glasses.....” 76

13. Rummers and Baluster Stem Glasses.....” 84

14. Decanters and Salt-cellars (Eighteenth Cent.).....” 90

15. Candlesticks and Tapersticks.....” 92

16. Jacobean Rushlight Holder and Wine Glasses.....” 94

17. Jacobite Toasting Glasses.....” 96

18. Jacobite Goblets.....” 100

19. Jacobite Glass.....” 102

20. Memorial Toasting Glasses.....” 106

21. Memorial Glasses (Various).....” 108

22. A Nelson Glass and George IV. Coronation Glass.....” 110

23. Commemoration Glasses.....” 112

24. Tankards and Grog Glasses.....” 114

25. Old Bristol Glass Decanter and Mug.....” 120

26. Bristol Glass Vases and Candlesticks.....” 122

27. Bristol Glass Vases and Castors.....” 124

28. Early Nailsea Jugs.....” 126

29. Nailsea Jug and Mug.....” 128

30. Early Irish Glass.....” 130

31. Old Irish Salad Bowls and Celery Glasses.....” 132

32. Old Waterford Centrepiece, with Collar.....” 134

33. Old Waterford Preserve Jars and Bowls.....” 136

34. (1) Old Cork Decanters; (2) Old Waterford Decanters.....” 138

35. Old Cut Irish Decanters and Finger-basins.....” 140

36. Early Irish Fruit Dishes.....” 150

37. Masonic, Toasting, and Freak Glasses; an Early
Cambridge Yard Ale Glass      _Page_ 160

38. Saxon Glass.....” 30

39. Various Styles of Cutting.....” 7

40. Examples of Baluster Stems and Tear Glasses.....” 57

41. Tear Glasses.....” 61

42. Old English Glasses.....” 65



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY


The origin of glass is lost in antiquity. Pliny, indeed, ascribes its
discovery to certain Phœnician mariners who, being shipwrecked upon a
sandy shore, used a block of the natron which formed their cargo to
support a pot which they were putting over an improvised fire. The heat
fused the sand with the natron, and lo! the glass was discovered in the
ashes.

Since, however, Pliny’s authority was Rumour, and since, also, such a
phenomenon is a physical impossibility--for no bonfire could produce a
temperature at which sand would fuse--it is possible that Rumour in
Pliny’s day had a no greater reputation for reliability than in the
twentieth century. But the story, if not true, is at least well invented
and serves to show at how early an age in the world’s history glass was
known.

It is more than probable that the place of its origin was Ancient Egypt,
and that the Phœnicians, who were undoubtedly acquainted with its use,
drew their knowledge from the workers on the banks of old Nile. At any
rate articles of glass have been discovered in tombs of the fifth and
sixth dynasties--some 3300 years before Christ. This, the earliest known
glass, is generally opaque, and is chiefly used to form small articles
of ornament, such as beads for necklaces, etc. The “aggry” beads, found
in Anglo-Saxon barrows and made in our own time by the Ashantis and
neighbouring tribes, are of similar type. Some admirable specimens of
ancient Egyptian glass are to be found in the British Museum. Among them
is a turquoise-blue opaque glass jar of Thothmes III.--the greatest of
all the kings of Egypt--dating from about 1550 B.C.

At a later date glass was extensively made in Alexandria, the sand in
the vicinity being of exceptional purity and so, suitable for its
manufacture. The city speedily became celebrated for the beauty of its
output, and articles of Alexandrian glass were largely exported to
Greece and to Rome, where also, in the space of a few years,
glass-houses were established; and to Constantinople, which was, in
time, to become famous for the manufacture of coloured glass and of the
Mosaics so dear to the Oriental taste.

The Greeks do not appear to have developed the art of glass-making at a
very early age, but specimens of glass have been found in Grecian tombs,
and, in the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, when art and literature
reached their zenith under Pericles, glass was certainly employed for
purposes of architectural decoration.

In Rome, however, the art of glass manufacture found a congenial home
and was developed to a high pitch of excellence. So widespread was its
use that it is a truism to say that in Rome of two thousand years ago
glass was employed for a greater number of purposes--domestic,
architectural, and ornamental--than it is to-day, even though the
glazing of windows was in its infancy and the use of the material for
optical purposes was scarcely known. In effect, coloured and ornamental
glass held much the same place in the Roman household that china and
earthenware do among us to-day. Glass was used for pavements and for
the external covering of walls. The Roman glass-workers were
particularly happy in their combination of colours, both by fusing
together threads of various colours, or by fusing masses, so as to
imitate onyx, porphyry, serpentine, and other ornamental stones.

The most interesting of all was the famous cameo glass. A bubble of
opaque white glass was blown, and this was coated with blue and a
further layer of opaque white superimposed. The outer coat of blue was
removed from the portion which was to display the design, leaving the
white to be carved into whatever figures the artist’s fancy dictated.
The finest example extant of this kind of ware is the famous Portland
vase in the British Museum.

The art, thus brought to such perfection in Rome, naturally spread
throughout Italy and the Roman colonies in France, Spain, Germany, and
Britain. Probably workmen from the Italian cities also established the
first furnaces among the lagoons of Venice, and so laid the foundation
of what were to be the finest glass manufactories in the world. At the
end of the thirteenth century a guild of glass-workers was formed.
These sequestered their craft upon the island of Murano, and there
cultivated it with an increasing skill that in a brief space made
Venetian glass the marvel of the civilised world. The peculiar merits of
the Venetian product were grace of form and lightness of execution. Many
of the vessels are surpassingly thin. The quality of the metal, however,
leaves something to be desired. It is dull, frequently tinged with
yellow--due to the presence of iron--or purple--the effect of too great
a proportion of manganese. The workmen became so skilful that, carried
away by the _joie d’exécuter_, they produced not only the artistic
forms for which Venetian glass is famous, but all sorts of
extravagances--ships, animals, birds, fishes, and so on--whose only
merit was to testify to the excellence of a technique which could so
triumph over the difficulties of form and material.

Meanwhile, other European nations had taken their cue from Venice, and
glass-houses sprang up in various parts of the Continent, particularly
in France and in Bohemia; the latter, indeed, speedily became the great
rival of Venice.

In England, as we shall see, glass was made during the Roman
occupation. Under the Saxons, glass-workers were imported from the
Continent, but to judge from the number and variety of the specimens
found in Anglo-Saxon tombs, it is probable that it was also manufactured
to an equal extent at home. During the Middle Ages the art appears to
have fallen into abeyance, save in a few isolated instances to be noted
later, but in the sixteenth century the custom of using glass vessels
was introduced from France and the Low Countries, most of the pieces
being imported from Venice. To prevent the money thus expended from
leaving the country, efforts were made about the middle of the century
to establish the art by the aid of workmen from Murano, and the history
of glass manufactured in England may be said to have fairly begun. It
was undoubtedly stimulated by the religious persecutions on the
Continent, particularly the Spanish Terror in the Netherlands, for the
Low Countries were seriously endeavouring to rival Murano in the art,
and the craftsmen who fled for refuge to England undoubtedly did much to
develop their trade in the country of their adoption, as did the
Huguenot refugees at a later period.

[Illustration:

_Strawberry
Cutting_

_Hob-nail
Cutting_

_Diamond
Cutting_

_Fleur-de-lis
Cutting_

_Fan Cutting_

_Herring-bone
Cutting_

FIG. 39.]

In the seventeenth century the whole process was revolutionised by the
introduction of a large proportion of oxide of lead, making what is
technically known as “flint” glass--a glass much more brilliant than any
other, a quality due partly to its transparency and partly to its
increased refractive power, which renders it specially fitted for
“cutting”--a process which enhances its beauty by increasing the number
of ways in which the light rays falling on the glass are dispersed. The
discovery has given English glass a well-deserved pre-eminence for
beauty of metal--a pre-eminence which the glass-cutters of the
eighteenth century admirably sustained by the excellence of their work.

All this time the art of glass-making on the Continent had been
developing. In particular, the Venetian workers at Murano had perfected
the art of colouring and enamelling glass--a result which was later to
have its influence upon English artists. An admirable example of what
they achieved in this direction is an old spinet in the South Kensington
Museum, which once belonged to Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, the daughter
of James I. Whatever its merits as a musical instrument, its once
gorgeous gilt crimson leather case hides an interior of the utmost
interest to students of glass, for the interior of the lid is panelled
into eighteen divisions, each representing some classical
subject--Narcissus, Daphne, Andromeda, Argus, etc.--admirably done in
coloured glass. The front of the keyboard, the stretcher bar and the
keys themselves are also elaborately decorated in similar fashion with
coloured glass, silver or enamel. The keys are covered with ornaments in
coloured glass, the accidentals being faced with blue and white striped
glass and the naturals being fronted with the same.

Although it is no part of the purpose of this book to deal in detail
with the technical side of the manufacture of glass, yet some few words
as to the nature of the material with which we are dealing are not only
desirable but essential to the proper understanding of its various
qualities and kinds and the different stages of its manufacture.

The scientist will tell us that glass is a double silicate, being
compounded of a silicate of sodium (or potassium) and a silicate of
lime. For the benefit of non-scientific readers, we may remark that a
silicate is a chemical compound formed when silica combines with an
alkaline substance like lime, soda, or potash. Silica is probably the
most widely distributed substance in nature. Silicate of alumina is, for
example, the basis of all clayey soils, and silica, in the pure form of
quartz, is the chief constituent of the sand of the sea and of all those
rocks which are known as sandstones. Rock-crystal, amethyst, agate,
onyx, jasper, flint, etc., are all varieties of silica. Crystalline
silica is hard enough to scratch glass--a fact utilised, as we shall
see, in the sand-blast which is used for the purpose of engraving
patterns on glass. Silica is fusible only at a very high temperature,
but readily combines with alkaline substances to form soluble silicates,
which are known in commerce as soluble glass, or water-glass, because it
dissolves readily in hot water. Water-glass is used in making artificial
stone, in coating stone surfaces, _e.g._ walls of buildings, etc., to
preserve the stone from decay under the weathering influence of the
atmosphere, and in the manufacture of cement.

Ordinary glass has many valuable properties which make it of great
importance in the arts and manufactures. Among these may be mentioned
the fact that it can be made to take any shape with ease. It resists the
action of all ordinary acids, and hence is of the utmost value to the
chemist and the chemical manufacturer. Hydrofluoric acid alone attacks
it, by combining readily with its silica and so dissolving it. For this
reason, hydrofluoric acid is used in etching on glass. Again, glass is
cheap, being literally made from the dust of the earth; it is
transparent, and so can be used in buildings, transmitting light whilst
protecting from the inclemency of the weather. Its transparency, too,
combined with its high refractive power, make it of inestimable value
in the manufacture of optical instruments. It is this high refractive
power, too, which gives to cut glass its beautiful lustre and sparkle,
and one aim of the glass-founder is to increase this refractive power
and so enhance the brilliancy of his product. If glass could be made
which would refract light to the same extent as the diamond does, it
would exhibit the same “fire” as the king of gems. It is hard and close
in texture, and so is capable of taking a high polish. Its great
drawback is its brittleness, but this can be reduced to a great extent
by immersing it, whilst red-hot, in a hot bath of paraffin oil, wax, or
resin. A tumbler of glass so “tempered” may be dropped on the floor
without breaking.

It may be added, as a matter of common interest, that this brittleness
is largely a result of the fact that glass is an extremely bad conductor
of heat. Because of this, a mass of molten glass, when cooling, becomes
set on its outside surface long before the interior has become
solidified; hence the solid exterior prevents the molecules of the
interior portion from contracting. As a result, a condition of strain is
established, the interior molecules tending to contract, while the
exterior tends in the opposite direction; consequently a very slight
blow is enough to cause a fracture.

_Varieties of Glass._--As we shall frequently find it necessary to refer
to the various kinds of glass, it may be as well at the outset to
attempt to give a clear idea of their differences and of the meanings of
the various terms employed in describing them.

As regards quality, the chief kinds are crown glass, flint glass, plate
glass, bottle glass, and crystal glass, and the differences in
composition may be conveniently expressed in the form of a table:--

  +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |        |        |        |        |        |        |Oxide of|Oxide of|
  |        |Silica. |Potash. |Soda.   |Lime.   |Alumina.|  Lead. | Iron.  |
  |--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------|
  |Crown.  |   67   |   21   |   --   |   10   |    2   |   --   |   --   |
  |--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------|
  |Flint.  |   44   |   12   |   --   |   --   |    1   |   43   |   --   |
  |--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------|
  |Plate.  |   78   |    2   |   13   |    5   |    2   |   --   |   --   |
  |--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------|
  |Bottle. |   59   |    3   |   --   |   25   |    6   |   --   |    7   |
  |--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------|
  |Crystal.|   56   |    9   |   --   |    3   |   --   |   32   |   --   |
  +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

Cheapest of all glass is bottle glass, where the base is mainly lime.
The metal used for medicine bottles contains more potash and is purer
and clearer. The use of potash and soda makes the glass more easily
fusible; alumina has the opposite effect; lime makes a harder glass;
lead gives lustre, increases fusibility, and heightens the refractive
power. Hence in glass which is to be cut and polished the employment of
lead in sufficient quantity is a factor of the highest importance. This
is a point to be specially noted in connection with English glass.
Lead--chiefly the oxides known as litharge and minium--in small
quantities has long been employed, the introduction of the metal serving
as a flux, but lead glass was generally avoided as being too brittle.
Merret, writing in 1662, remarks that could this glass be made as tough
as crystalline, “it would far surpass it in the glory and beauty of its
colours.” It will be noted that the two kinds of glass in which lead is
used in quantity are flint glass and crystal. The larger the amount of
lead the greater the beauty and brilliancy of the product, a result due,
as previously intimated, to the increase in refractive power that is
brought about by its addition.

Flint glass derives its name from the fact that in England the
silica, which is the main constituent of all glass, was procured
from flints which were calcined and pulverised. Being highly
refractive it is extensively employed in the manufacture of optical
instruments--telescopes, microscopes, etc. Quartz and fine sand are now
used in the place of flints. The glass is soft, and hence easily
scratched and dulled. It is essential that only the purest materials be
employed, and special furnaces and pots are needed. Flint glass was
known in quite early times. It was probably discovered by accident that
certain stones were fusible, for fossil glass is found in many places
where great fires have been. Volcanic glass--obsidian--is a well-known
substance, while there exist in Scotland ancient forts, the stones of
which have been fused together by the action of heat. The Venetians used
quartz in preference to sand, since the latter was liable to contain
impurities, and the Venetian craftsmen who settled in England were
accustomed to ensure the purity of their silica by calcining flints.
Crown glass is the finest sort of ordinary window glass. Plate glass is
the superior kind of thick glass used for mirrors, shop windows, etc. It
will be noted that it is the only kind of glass which contains soda.

The process of glass manufacture comprises three stages, mixing,
melting, and blowing. The various ingredients are first finely ground
and then thoroughly mixed by the aid of a mixer, forming what is known
as the “batch.” This is placed in melting pots. These are crucibles of
fire-clay, _i.e._ clay capable of withstanding the action of heat. The
clay must be of the finest quality, and be carefully freed from
extraneous matters which might affect the quality of the glass. Hence
the manufacture of the “pots” is itself an industry of some importance,
and as each costs some £10, they form an important item in the expense
of manufacture, especially as the pots are short-lived, some eight to
ten weeks being the average life of one of them.

The ordinary pot is an inverted section of a cone, the apex being
closed. For flint glass a covered pot is essential, the form ordinarily
adopted being a bell-jar closed at the bottom and with an arched
opening at the top. Each pot holds from ten to fifteen cwt. of the
“batch.” When full, the pots are placed in specially constructed
furnaces, holding from five to fifteen pots, and capable of producing a
temperature of from 10,000° to 12,000° F. The details of the firing are
intricate and interesting but have no direct bearing on our purpose;
their object is to produce complete fusion, to allow for the removal of
all impurities, and to ensure the homogeneity of the product.

The final stage with which we are concerned is that of blowing, since
all table glass, worthy of being called table glass, is blown. In other
words, every decanter, vase, tumbler, and wine glass of the better sort
begins its existence as a bubble of molten glass at the end of an iron
tube--the glass-blower’s tube--and owes its form to the delicate touches
of simple tools held in a skilful hand and guided by a trained eye. It
is this fact which gives glass its individuality. There is no
hard-and-fast rigour of line, no mechanical uniformity of shape, such as
is associated with machine-made goods; even the simplest wine glass is
an individual thing, which the taste of the craftsman has endowed with
artistic distinction whilst retaining its simplicity of form.

It is a matter for regret that the glass-blower’s art is seriously
threatened in these latter days of hurry and competition. The demand for
cheap glass has led to the introduction of blowing machines, in which
the bubble of molten glass is taken up by one of many blowing tubes, and
placed inside a mould, air being driven by machinery through the other
end of the tube and inflating the bubble until it touches the sides of
its mould. The budding craftsman thus loses the practice of blowing
these simpler forms, and as he is now forbidden to work at the furnaces
until he is over fourteen, he often fails to acquire that lightness and
dexterity of hand which are the mark of the first-rate craftsman, and
which can be most readily gained in early life. There is, of course, no
reason why common vessels should not be produced in this way, and
tumblers, decanters, and lamp glasses are so manufactured in large
numbers.

Needless to say, moulded or pressed glass has little value, either
intrinsic or artistic, in the collector’s eye, unless it has acquired
distinction on account of its age; for moulded or pressed glass has been
known from early times, and it is of the greater interest, since only
English glass, _i.e._ flint glass, or glass of similar characteristics,
can profitably be so dealt with. It will be readily understood that only
glass of a low melting point, which does not quickly solidify, and which
at the moment of solidification expands and fills out the interstices of
the mould, can be successfully treated in this way. One bar to the
extensive use of this form of glass was the cost of the essential lead
and potash. These are often now replaced by baryta and lime, with the
result that a very suitable glass is produced, which contains no
appreciable quantity of either lead or potash.

The art of glass-cutting in Europe dates back to the middle of the
sixteenth century, when it was extensively practised on the Continent,
particularly in Bohemia. The earliest examples were probably imitated
from the rock-crystal cups of ancient Greece and Rome. There is no doubt
that in both these countries the art was practised for the
ornamentation of the famous crystallinum, whilst some vessels were
undoubtedly cut out of the solid block.

The discovery of flint glass revolutionised the art of glass
ornamentation. The strong refractive powers of the new glass made it
specially suitable for cutting, which brought out a wonderful fire and
sparkle that even the finest art of Bohemia and Venice had not been able
to attain. At first, of course, the English craftsmen were far inferior
in artistic merit--both as regards design and execution--to those of
Bohemia; but the superior brilliancy of the metal atoned to a great
extent for the deficiencies of the workmen, and Early English cut wine
glasses and punch glasses are by no means to be despised. “L’article
Anglais solide et confortable, mais sans élégance,” spread the fame and
fashion of English glass throughout the Continent and, incidentally,
over the world.

The earliest examples of English cut glass are perhaps the
thistle-shaped glasses, originally fashioned in Bohemia but adopted by
Scotland as representing the national emblem. Apart from these, the
ogee-shape was most commonly selected as being more amenable to artistic
treatment than the bell.

The stem is usually knopped and cut into facets, and is invariably
hexagonal in shape. The cutting is continued beyond the top of the stem
on to the lower part of the bowl, so as to give a kind of finish.
Sometimes, indeed, the cutting is made to include the bowl in a scheme
of decoration, and the rim is engraved with conventional designs,
wreaths of flowers, etc. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the
facets became long flutes.

The process technically known as glass-cutting is essentially one of
grinding and polishing. The grinding is done by a wheel, made of
cast-iron, and made to rotate rapidly by a continuous band passing over
a revolving shaft. Above the wheel is a receptacle containing sand and
water, which can be fed on to the wheel as desired. Smoothing is done by
a sandstone wheel, similarly mounted, and polishing by a wooden one fed
with putty powder. The craftsman holds his piece in the hand, pressing
it against the rotating wheel.

Engraving is really very fine grinding, done usually with a copper
wheel or, rather, disk, whilst etching is done by coating the glass with
wax, or some similar protective substance, scratching the pattern
through the wax and then subjecting the piece to the action of
hydrofluoric acid.

It need hardly be said that only the best kinds of glass are cut by a
method which makes such demands on the time and skill of the workman;
the cheaper kinds of glass are all moulded or “pressed.” Pressed glass
is also essentially English, no other kind, save flint glass, being
suitable for treatment in this way. It is, in the first place, essential
to obtain a metal which has a low melting point, and one which does not
shrink in solidifying, as that would draw it away from the sides of the
mould, and so effectively spoil the design. The low melting point of the
metal enables the product to be “fire polished.” In this process it is
reheated to a point sufficient to melt a thin surface layer, and so
remove any roughness due to the process of moulding, and leave a smooth
bright surface. The art of pressing glass has been brought to a high
degree of perfection, elaborate decorations being produced with ease.
The cost of the process, too, has in recent years been lessened by the
use of baryta and lime, in the place of lead and potash, and in this way
the output has been greatly cheapened, while baryta glass, if inferior
in sparkle to lead glass, is yet far more brilliant than ordinary glass.

The problem how to distinguish real old glass from modern imitations is
one that besets the collector at every stage of his progress. A few
specimens supply their own testimony in the shape of a date, but it is
by no means impossible to engrave a date on a piece of specious-looking
real antiquity, and so give it a fictitious value, by making it appear
“the thing which it is not.”

As to the character of the glasses themselves, shape alone is no
criterion of age. Apart from the possibility of deliberate imitation, it
does not follow that because a piece is ponderous, clumsy in appearance
and, to a modern eye, unduly capacious, that it is necessarily an early
piece. Right from the beginning of glass manufacture in England, two
qualities, at least, were undoubtedly manufactured; the better to
ornament the tables of the great, and the poorer for service in kitchen
and tavern. Whereas articles of the former were as dainty and artistic
as the skill of the craftsman would allow, the latter were roughly made
and deliberately ponderous to bear the rougher usage to which they were
subjected. As the same practice continues up to the present day, it
follows that there is in existence a considerable quantity of common
glass with all the attributes, as far as shape and clumsiness of form
are concerned, of that of an earlier period.

Possibly the appearance of the metal and the style of workmanship are as
reliable guides as any others. The metal of the earliest glasses was by
no means perfect. Instead of the beautiful clarity and perfect
transparency we are accustomed to associate with glass, there is often a
streakiness or cloudiness visible in the material, together with
numerous bubbles and flaws. If the striations are horizontal, the glass
is of an earlier type than if they are perpendicular. The sides of the
bowl are often irregular, and the stems are often clumsy, uneven, badly
balanced, and altogether disproportionate in point of size to an eye
accustomed to the slenderer style of modern glassware. An important
point is the junction between the bowl and the stem. For some
extraordinary reason, the welding of the two seems to have given the
ancient glass-blowers considerable trouble, and the join is often too
clearly perceptible. Hence the collector who comes across an apparently
ancient piece bearing evident signs of clumsy joining should give it
more than casual attention. Sometimes, to obviate the difficulty, the
base of the bowl was made into a kind of knop, and at other times the
junction was hidden by an irregular band--the prototype of the collar
which so often appeared in glasses of a somewhat later period.

The bubble which appears in many stems was probably the outcome of
accident and possibly of an attempt to imitate the hollow stems of
Venetian glass. It is worthy of note that whilst the bubble is almost
invariably present in the baser forms of early eighteenth-century glass,
it is frequently absent from the finer varieties. Another point of
difference is that the better specimens rarely have the folded foot,
which is invariably present in the coarser makes, the turning under of
the rim, whilst plastic, to make a kind of welt, being an obvious
precaution against the rougher usage to which they were inevitably
subjected. Sometimes the feet were domed, but these were difficult to
make and the numbers were restricted. In some specimens ridges or ribs
are formed on the upper and lower sides of the foot.

The earliest glasses were devoid of any attempt at decorative engraving,
and these plain glasses may also be roughly classified by noting whether
the glass rests on the flat of the foot or on the rim only. The former
are of the earlier type.

Among the tests which the collector might apply are the following:--

Note whether the glass rings clear and sweet in tone. In twisted stems,
note whether the stem twists to the left or the right. The genuine
glasses have almost invariably stems twisted to the left. In
opaque-twisted stems, note particularly the colour of the spiral. In the
forgeries the opacity is less definite, the twist often having a kind of
translucent look.

Genuine old glass often has a cloudy tinge with frequently a tone of
steely blue. Forgeries may show a greenish tint.

In old glass the centre of the base, where the piece was, after being
finished, knocked off the pontil, is generally left rough; in the
imitations it is generally ground smooth.

The foot of a genuine old glass is never quite flat, there is always a
slope--sometimes a very pronounced one--from the centre to the edge. The
modern imitation, usually made abroad, often has a perfectly flat foot.

The edge of the bowl in a genuine old glass is always rounded, never
left hard and sharp.



CHAPTER II

EARLY ENGLISH GLASS


The early history of glass manufacture in Britain is decidedly obscure.
The earliest specimens of the art extant are certain coloured beads,
known as “aggry” beads. Many of these exist, some probably of Phœnician
origin, others dating from the Roman occupation of Britain--being made
either by the Romans themselves or by a British craftsman under Roman
tuition.

There can be little doubt that the Romans did introduce the making of
glass into this country, for glass was an indispensable adjunct to Roman
life. Moreover, it was the custom for the conqueror to train the
conquered in his own arts, and the Roman handicrafts followed the Roman
Eagle. In any case, the art of glass-making had, according to Pliny,
extended to Gaul, and there seems no reason why it should not also have
crossed the Channel. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that it did.

There is, however, evidence that glass-making was carried on in
Anglo-Saxon times--many specimens of Anglo-Saxon bead-work, etc., having
been found in barrows, tumuli, and burying-places in general. They are
composed of an opaque, vitreous paste--which in places approaches
translucency. Unfortunately, the materials employed were impure, and the
material has consequently disintegrated with time, making it a matter of
exceeding difficulty to determine its original texture and appearance.
The decoration, both as regards colouring and design, is primitive. The
colour is crude, and the patterns consist mainly of simple geometrical
figures, circles, chevrons, stripes, spirals, and so forth.

Possibly after the Roman withdrawal in 410, the art fell into abeyance,
as did much of the civilisation imposed by the Romans, reviving again
when the various Anglo-Saxon units began to develop a civilisation of
their own, and to pass through various confederacies into a single
kingdom.

Bede writes that in 675 “Benedict Biscop” sent for glass-workers from
France to glaze the windows of the church at Wearmouth, and that they
taught the English their handicraft, making not only windows but
vessels.

The art must, however, have survived in certain places, for numbers of
vessels which can be referred, on the authority of illuminated MSS.,
etc., to Saxon times, are in existence. Such specimens include (_a_)
vases, ornamented with ribs and applied lobes. These are probably of
German origin, and were introduced into Britain by the Saxon invaders.
(_b_) Trumpet-shaped cups, ribbed, or stringed, or fluted. These have no
base on which to stand, and are probably of English manufacture, dating
from the latter half of the sixth century, (_c_) The third type is the
“palm” cup, shaped so as to be conveniently held in the palm of the
hand, having no bottom on which to stand; and (_d_) bowls of various
shapes. The palm cups and bowls belong to the eighth and ninth
centuries, and later. It should be remembered that the dates given can
only be roughly approximate, and that the various periods fuse one into
the other, so that there is no definite line of demarcation. Moreover,
there is no definite proof that glass vessels were made in England
during Saxon times, save only such

[Illustration: FIG. 38.

_Saxon Glass._--1, 2, 3, Trumpet Cups; 4, a Ribbed and Lobed Vase; 5-9,
Palm Cups and Vases.]

statements as that of the Venerable Bede previously referred to. Only,
while similar vessels are found both in France and Germany, it is
claimed that a greater number and a greater variety are found in
England, the inference being that they were made in this country.

So remarkable is the paucity of evidence and so absolute the dearth of
authenticated examples in these Dark Ages of glass manufacture, that it
has often been asserted that no glass vessels were made in England
before the fifteenth century. Glass vessels were, of course, known and
used, but these were probably, in the main at any rate, imported from
Venice and the East. On the other hand, it is known that before the
thirteenth century window glass--blown glass too, and not cast
glass--was made, and very successfully. Indeed, old English coloured
glass was particularly fine, and this being so, it is not easy to
understand why the same art should not be applied to vessels.

Coarse glass vessels were certainly made at a very early date. The
records of Chiddingfold refer to Laurence _Vitrearius_ in 1230, William
le _Verir_ in 1301, and John _Glasewryth_ in 1380. The record, in its
transition from Latin to Norman-French, and then to Anglo-Saxon, has
its philological interest as well, but it may be mentioned that John the
_Glasewryth_ made both “brode glas and vessel.”

There is, too, in existence an ancient cup of glass, disinterred from a
tomb in Peterborough Abbey Church, which, from the records of the Abbey,
must have been buried there, in all probability, in the first half of
the thirteenth century. In the accounts of Henry, the second son of
Edward I., who died in 1274, there is mentioned the purchase of a glass
cup for the sum of twopence halfpenny, a fact which seems to imply that
to be sold so cheaply the vessel must have been of domestic manufacture.
It should not, however, be forgotten that this sum represented the daily
wage of a skilled artisan in the thirteenth century. In the Taxation
Roll of Colchester in 1295, three of the principal burgesses are
referred to as “verrers,” and it seems hardly likely that so many
important citizens were merely glaziers and not glass-makers. However,
it is more than probable that the use of glass was confined to the noble
and wealthy, while the common folk used vessels made of wood, horn, or
leather. The “Leather Bottel” has passed into a proverb, and the Black
Jack was so universal in its use that the French, naturally curious as
to English habits, referred to us as a nation of savages who habitually
drank out of their boots. It follows that the Black Jack of the
thirteenth or fourteenth century had few of the graces of its
silver-mounted and aristocratic descendant of the seventeenth century.
It might be further suggested that English habits and customs in those
early times were not such as to make fragile drinking vessels either
useful or acceptable. Those that did exist were probably rather valued
curiosities than articles of everyday utility.

There was, undoubtedly, produced during this period considerable
quantities of window glass, much of it highly decorated, and exhibiting
characteristics peculiar to the period to which it belongs, so that
experts find little difficulty in distinguishing between the vigour of
the thirteenth and the brilliancy of the fourteenth century. It would
appear, too, that the home product won an increasing appreciation from
the architects who employed it in their buildings; for whereas in 1547
the contractor binds himself not to use it for the windows of the
Beauchamp Chapel at Warwick, in 1485 it is mentioned in such a way as to
imply that it was either better or dearer, or both, than “Dutch, Venice,
or Normandy glass.”

In the sixteenth century, however, the fashion of using vessels of glass
became almost universal in the west of Europe. Most of these came from
Venice, and, spurred by the desire of establishing so lucrative an
industry at home, the rulers of various countries--notably France,
Holland, and England--sought to induce Venetian craftsmen to settle in
them.

The glass-workers of Murano--the great glass-making centre in
Venice--were, however, a close corporation, the workmen being
stringently bound, under penalty of death, not to carry their trade
secrets to any other country or to teach them to foreigners. In spite of
this, eight Muranese glass-workers were induced to settle in England in
1549, and built their furnace in the monastery of the Crutched
Friars--one of the minor orders. They derived their name Crutched
(_i.e._ Crossed) from the ornamental cross which adorned their habits.
Of the eight, seven returned to Venice in 1551, having previously
petitioned the Council of Ten to remit the penalties against them. It is
a reasonable assumption--but still only an assumption--that during their
stay they did much to further the art of glass-making, although they
merely produced glass and sedulously refrained from teaching their
“mystery.”

The “Breviary of Philosophy,” published in 1557, remarks:

    “As to glassemakers they be scant in this land
     Yet one there is as I doe understand,
     And in Sussex is now his habitacion,
     At Chiddingfold he works by his occupacion.”

Evidently, therefore, the old Sussex industry had survived. The product
of the Chiddingfold furnaces was probably, however, a coarse green
glass, and by no means to be compared with the Venetian article.

In 1564 Cornelius de Lannoy, an alchemist from the Netherlands, came to
England, at the invitation of the Government, to teach the art of
glass-making as practised in the Low Countries. He took up his abode and
set up his furnace in Somerset House. He failed, however, with the
materials then available, to produce any very effective results; in
particular, the clay used for the pots failed to withstand the great
heat required to produce transparent glass. Moreover, de Lannoy proved
to be more alchemist than glass-maker, and left various persons in
England the poorer for their quest after the philosopher’s stone which
they had undertaken under his guidance.

In 1567 Pierre Briet and Jean Carré sought a licence to make glass after
the French fashion, and to teach to English craftsmen the art of its
manufacture as practised in Lorraine and Normandy. Elizabeth, always
with an eye to the main chance, made no difficulty and, joining forces
with a rival licencee, Becker, set up in opposition to the English
glass-makers in Sussex and later at Stourbridge and Newcastle. The fact
that the native workers openly confessed their inability to compete with
the French craftsmen did not prevent their stirring up a strong
opposition against them, which found vent in popular tumult and, in at
least one instance, in a conspiracy to murder the workers, pillage their
stores and destroy their furnaces. There seems little doubt, however,
that their presence must have influenced the quality of English glass
and given an impetus to its manufacture. So did the advent of political
and religious refugees from the Low Countries and from France, and also,
though, of course, to a far greater degree, the influx of French
artisans in the seventeenth century after the revocation of the famous
Edict of Nantes. In spite of their efforts, however, it does not appear
that the importation of fine Venetian glass was in any way checked; it
continued, indeed, on an extensive scale for a long time after.

The most famous name in the history of Elizabethan glass manufacture is
that of Jacob Verzelini, who came to London in 1575 and stayed for the
remainder of his life--about thirty years. He obtained a patent giving
him the monopoly of manufacturing glass after the Venetian style for
twenty-one years. He set up his establishment in the hall of the
Crutched Friars, where the eight Venetians had built their furnace in
1549, and there made “glass of divers sorts to drink in.” There is
little doubt as to his success, although, with one possible exception,
no tangible evidence of it remains. But if one may judge by the very
considerable outcry that arose at this period against permitting
foreigners to practise the art of glass-making to the detriment of
native practitioners, he succeeded sufficiently well to arouse a strong
feeling of jealousy. This was intensified by the traders who had
hitherto sold imported Venetian glass, and the seamen who carried it in
their vessels and who now saw their livelihood menaced.

The general public, too, showed itself greatly concerned over the great
consumption of wood in the glass-houses. Indeed, during this period the
wasting of the woods was a general complaint wherever furnaces were set
up. So strong was this feeling, indeed, that in 1584 an act was passed
against the making of glass by strangers and outlandish men and for the
preservation of woods spoiled by glass-houses; and in 1589, the year
after the Armada, it was proposed to reduce the number of glass-houses
from fifteen to four, transferring the rest to Ireland, where the loss
of trees did not matter so much, the timber not being urgently needed,
as in England, for the purpose of shipbuilding. One curious fact is that
for a long time--from the twelfth century at least in unbroken
record--English window glass of a high order had been produced, as
witness the windows of King’s College Chapel at Cambridge, which date
from 1515-31; and it seems impossible to conceive that, with Venetian
and Eastern glass to copy, the craftsmen who produced the windows should
not have also turned their skill to the making of drinking vessels,
particularly as the fashion for vessels of glass had strongly set in.

“It is a world to see in these our daies wherein gold and silver most
aboundeth how that our gentilitie as lothing these mettals (because of
the plentie) do now generalie choose rather the Venice glasses both for
our wine and beere than anie of those mettals or stone wherein
beforetime we have beene accustomed to drink....

“The poorest also will have glasse if they may but sith the Veneccian is
somewhat too deere for them they content themselves with such as are
made at home of ferne and burned stone, but in fine all go one way that
is to shards at the last.”

On the other hand, when Sir Richard Mansel applied in 1624 for a patent
to manufacture glass and to train Englishmen in the art, it was opposed,
on the ground that fifty years before a similar patent had been granted
to Jacob Verzelini and that it had been altogether neglected, and very
few Englishmen had been brought up in the art. Mansel, in his reply,
stated that he himself had brought many strangers from beyond seas to
instruct his fellow-countrymen in making all sorts of glass,
crystalline, Murano, spectacle glasses, and mirror plates.

I have stated these facts in the early history of English glass at some
length not only for their intrinsic interest, but also to illustrate the
curious fact that just as there is from Saxon times to 1550 a gap in the
history of its manufacture, which no authenticated examples assist to
fill, so from the accession of Queen Elizabeth to that of King Charles
I. there exist to-day very few indisputable examples of the English
glass-blower’s art of this period; and yet it is hardly possible to
believe that they were not produced in considerable quantity. For, in
spite of specimens bearing the Tudor rose--an ornament, by the way,
largely employed at a later date--and of others with detailed and more
or less accredited histories, “Elizabethan glass,” so glibly spoken of
by some collectors, is chiefly conspicuous by its absence. Happy,
therefore, the collector who acquires even a dubious example.

One famous specimen which may safely be assumed to be authentic is that
from the British Museum Collection shown in Fig. 1. This drinking cup or
goblet stands about 5¼ in. in height and bears the initials G.
S.--probably those of the person for whom it was made--the date 1586,
and the motto, “IN: GOD: IS: AL: MY: TRVST.” Experts generally concur in
attributing it to Jacob Verzelini.

Four years after the Armada, Elizabeth granted to one Thomas Bowes a
monopoly to make drinking glasses “to be as good cheape or better cheape
than those imported from Venice.” As to the success of his venture
history is silent. In the reign of her successor--that British Solomon,
James I.--glass-making seems, however, to have made considerable
progress; for in 1610 a licence was granted for “the invention of
coal-heated glass-houses,” and in the following year Sir Edward Zouche
expended no less a sum than £5000 in erecting glass-houses in Lambeth
and perfecting the production of glass with sea-coal. This change is a
momentous one in the history of glass-making, inasmuch as it became
necessary to cover the pots, and this brought about various
improvements. They are mainly associated with the name of Percival, and
it is to be presumed that they included the introduction of oxide of
lead into the frit in quantity, with the result of producing a more
brilliant crystal than had yet been produced. From this time English
glass began to acquire fame, and the industry became a definitely
British art.

One outcome of this change in the method of manufacture was that the
industry became localised, the glass-houses springing up in those
districts where it was easy to obtain fuel as on the coal-fields, where
the sand was of exceptional quality as at Reigate, or where there was an
abundance of clay suitable for making the pots as at Stourbridge.

One of the most interesting discoveries in connection with the history
of the glass industry in England was made some sixty or seventy

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--AN EARLY ELIZABETHAN GLASS, DATED 1586.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--AN OLD ENGLISH GLASS TANKARD AND COVER.]

years ago at the little Hampshire village of Buckholt Wood. Excavations
here brought to light fragments of glass, some clear, others with a
greenish or bluish tinge, evidently portions of broken vessels of
various kinds--drinking glasses, jugs, bottles, and so forth. These were
in such quantity that it was evident chance had brought to light one of
the old glass-houses, which were founded in well-wooded districts, and
kept going as long as sufficient wood remained to burn.

We have seen how, in the beginning, English glass-workers were a nomad
race. As the woods in one place were exhausted they moved to fresh
fields and forests new--much to the annoyance of the populace, who
depended upon those woods for their household firing, and of the
Government, who sought to preserve them for the maintenance of the
fleet.

In 1615 a proclamation was made forbidding the use of wood for glass
smelting, the furnaces being in future compelled to burn sea-coal or
charcoal or other fuel. The same ordinance prohibited the importation of
foreign glass or the immigration of foreign glass-workers.

In the same year Sir Richard Mansel, a man of considerable standing in
the realm, who had been experimenting in glass-making with the aid of
Venetian workmen, was granted a licence for making glass with coal, and
set up furnaces in London and at Purbeck, Milford Haven and Newcastle.
It is a matter for regret that no product of his furnaces is known to
exist to-day, a fact the more surprising in that his licence was renewed
at various times, and so covers a considerable stretch of the most
interesting period of the art. At any rate we find him petitioning in
1641 that he might be protected against persons importing glass from
abroad, whereas he was paying a rent of £1000 per annum for his
monopoly. His name is mentioned as late as 1653, so that for nearly
forty years he controlled, more or less, the business of glass
production in England.

It is a matter for some congratulation, however, that Mansel employed,
in some kind of managerial capacity in his Broad Street works, a certain
James Howell, who enjoys the reputation of being one of the liveliest
and most pleasing writers of the period. In the famous Howell’s
letters, “Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ,” which were published between 1645 and
1655, we have a delightful commentary on the events of his time, and
incidentally a number of curious and useful sidelights on the conduct of
glass manufacture both in England and on the Continent.

It is said that Sir Kenelm Digby, of Royalist fame, invented in 1632 the
art of making glass bottles to contain the wine which hitherto had been
drawn straight from the wood. But Fame which credits him with this
discovery would seem to have forgotten that in Elizabeth’s time ale was
sold in glass bottles, and a quaint old volume yclept “The English
Housewife” refers in 1575 to round bottles with narrow necks for “bottle
ale,” the corks being tied down with stout string.

The Commonwealth, save for what may be gleaned from Howell’s pages, adds
but little to our knowledge of glass. The Puritans were, perhaps, more
addicted to smashing it, in the form of stained-glass windows, than
manufacturing it for domestic utilities. But with the Restoration there
came a great change. The then Duke of Buckingham, who appears, like
others of his name, to have had a keen eye to the main chance, started a
glass furnace at Greenwich. In 1663 he petitioned the King that he might
be granted a licence to make mirrors, he having been at great expense in
finding out the art and mystery thereof--“a manufactory not known nor
heretofore used in England”--a curious contradiction to Mansel’s claim
in 1620, and one which seems to imply that the Duke was by no means
particular as to what he said provided he might gain his ends.

There were numbers of competitors at the time all claiming to be the
inventors of crystal glass. The authorities, however, awarded the palm
to one Thomas Tilson, who in 1663 was granted a patent, in which he is
described as the inventor of crystal glass. It appears clear that Tilson
had produced a material of greater merit than any of his predecessors or
contemporaries. It is probable that this material was lead glass--flint
glass as it was and is still called. One point in support of this theory
is that it was too brittle to be used in making vessels, and Tilson
consequently confined himself to the manufacture of mirrors, windows for
coaches, etc.

Specimens of the work of this period may be found in many
places--country houses, mansions, halls, etc.--throughout the country.
At Hampton Court Palace there are, for example, several magnificent
mirrors that testify to the skill of the craftsmen--Venetian and
English--of this period. Some of the window glass is of the same date
and may be readily distinguished by its mauve tinge--a possible result
of the action of light on the peroxide of manganese, which was one of
the constituents. At a slightly later date other glass-houses were
founded in Lambeth, Stourbridge, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and other places,
notably in Surrey and Sussex.

All this while, however, there was a great trade in imported Venetian
glass, which the Council was, time and again, petitioned to prohibit.
Fortunately both for the future of the art of glass-making in England
and for the cheapness and quality of the ware, which was now in great
demand, the efforts of the protectionists were unavailing.

Much of our knowledge of the glass of the period is due to the discovery
of the trading books and order sheets of one John Greene, who seems to
have dealt in imported glass, ordering from the Venetian furnaces
vessels to his own specification and design. Fortunately some specimens
of these are still in existence, but it need hardly be said that
examples of the seventeenth century, both home manufactured and
imported, are of the extremest rarity. He would be a fortunate collector
who should discover, say, “a speckled emerald coverd beere glasse” or a
“milk-whit cruet” either with or without “feet and ears of good hansom
fashion.”

In point of shape the Venetian and English glasses of this period differ
very little, but there is a considerable difference in the character of
the metal. The glass from Venice is colder to the eye, whiter and softer
than the English, which is more brilliant and of a peculiar steely
lustre, while it is far weightier--a fact probably due to the use of a
considerable proportion of lead. The English glasses, too, are heavier
in appearance, with stems, thick and lumpy, of the baluster type. Often,
too, the bulbous stem is blown with a bubble,

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--AN EARLY GLASS FEEDING CUP.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A SIXTEENTH CENTURY PANEL GLASS, WITH PORTRAIT
OF CHARLES II.]

often of considerable size--a primitive attempt at ornamentation. Not
unseldom a coin is inserted in the bulb of the stem or the knop of the
cover. One famous example of Caroline glass is the magnificent posset
cup in the possession of Miss Whitmore Jones, which is shown in Fig. 2.
This unmistakably dates from the time of Charles II. and is a genuine
example of English art. It was probably, as to design, copied from a
Venetian model, but the texture of the glass and the weight of the piece
are strong evidences of its English origin. With the accession of
William, the craft was further stimulated by the importation of many
models, and possibly craftsmen from the Low Countries. Speaking
generally however, the vessels of the reigns of William and of Anne are
but improved specimens of those of Charles. Some, however, have spiral
lines cut round the stems, and are, to this extent, the prototypes of
the twisted stems of the eighteenth century.

The illustration of a feeding cup (Fig. 3) provides an excellent example
of the work of this period. Its admirable shape and style and its
exquisite workmanship will readily appeal not only to connoisseurs but
also to all who are capable of appreciating artistic merit.

In Fig. 5 we have portrayed the prototype of the modern tankard. Judging
by the shape and style it was probably an ale glass. But that it was
intended rather as a specimen to be preserved is evidenced from the fact
that a coin of the period has been blown into the base. Fig. 6 is a
photograph showing the coin. Such a piece has almost the value of a
dated specimen, for though it was, of course, possible to insert a coin
of any previous date, the reason for doing so is by no means obvious. It
is hardly likely, for example, that anyone living in William’s reign
would have so enthusiastic a regard for Charles II. as to cause a coin
of that monarch to be embedded in a piece that he had made as an
heirloom. This specimen is in the British Museum, whose mark appears to
the right of the photograph.

The quaint glass panel seen in Fig. 4 is an interesting relic of the
attention paid to glass-working at this period. The portrait is that of
Old Rowley (Charles II.) himself, and the piece was in all probability
made at Greenwich, possibly in commemoration of his visit

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--THE CENTRE SHOWING THE COIN BLOWN IN THE STEM OF
THE TANKARD SHOWN ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE.]

there. It was taken from a house in Purfleet and is now in the National
Collection.

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 gave a vast impetus to
glass-working as to other crafts. This measure, and the terrible
persecutions which followed it, cost France a number, variously
estimated at from 250,000 to 600,000, of her best citizens. Great
numbers of these immigrants settled in England, and founded in their new
home the industries which had become famous in the country of their
birth. Among them came glass-workers from Paris, Lorraine, and other
parts of France, who were deservedly famous for their skill in their
craft. Coming as they did at a time when the discovery of the brilliant
so-called flint glass gave to English glassware a distinction possessed
by no other, it is small wonder that the next half-century saw such
developments in the art of glass manufacture in England that English
glass became superior to all other kinds, even to the famous glass of
Bohemia, which seemed dull and lustreless beside it.

For these reasons the close of the seventeenth century is an epoch in
the history of English glass, and the period which followed it saw the
art of glass manufacture in England attain its zenith.

It is therefore with eighteenth-century glass that we are chiefly
concerned, and as the great bulk of eighteenth-century glass consisted
of drinking glasses, a great portion of our space will be devoted to
these.

At the outset some attempt at classification is desirable. We may refer
the reader to the very exhaustive list of varieties which that great
authority, Mr. Albert Hartshorne, has made in his standard work on this
subject. For our purpose it will be sufficient, however, to make a broad
and simple division of drinking glasses into wine glasses, ale and beer
glasses, and cordial or spirit glasses. It is the custom, too, to draw a
distinction between the rude vessels made for common household or tavern
use and the finer and more highly finished examples designed for the use
of better-class people. Here, however, the distinction is rather one of
quality than of kind.

The three great groups to which we have referred fall into various
classes according to the diversity of shape in bowl and stem and, to a
less degree, of foot.

The bowls are variously funnel-shaped, with straight sides, or waisted,
that is, with the sides curved inward to form a waist, bell-shaped, and
ogee or double-ogee shaped--the last named showing in section the ogee
curve, so widely employed by the architect for his mouldings.

The stems are of two great classes--drawn stems or stuck stems. The
former are parts of the same lump of molten glass of which the bowl is
formed; the latter consist of a separate piece fused into the bowl.

As regards shape, stems may be plain rods, rods with knops, rib-twisted,
faceted, air-twisted, air-drawn, or opaque-twisted. We shall deal with
each variety in its appropriate place.

With regard to the foot, the generality were folded, that is to say, the
edge of the rim was turned under to form a fold or welt, so that the
glass stands on the rim, and not on the flat of the foot. Apart from
this, the only variations are those bearing on the flatness of the foot
and its diameter. In old glasses the feet were never quite flat. There
is always a perceptible slope from the centre to the rim, and very often
the central portion rose up into a dome. The foot was also wider in
comparison with the width of the bowl than in the modern type.

The decoration is of two kinds, engraved and cut. The character of the
engraving is little to the credit of the native designer or craftsman.
Indeed, both as regards artistic design or skilful execution, English
glass ornamentation is distinctly inferior to that of the Continental
pieces. The usual design is the rose, at first heraldic and
conventional, and then more and more natural, with at first a butterfly,
which gradually dwindled to a moth, and then finally disappeared.
Other designs are based upon the nature of the liquids drunk, or
refer to politics, domestic or business affairs, or to some
famous personage. The largest group of designs is associated with
Jacobitism--“Charlie-over-the-water-ism,” as some one has wittily called
it. In rare cases these bore a portrait; more commonly the emblem
selected was the use of two buds--the latter explained as referring to
the two sons of James II., or to the two sons of the Old Pretender,
Charles Edward of “Charlie-is-my-darling” fame, and Henry, who died at
Rome in 1807, as Cardinal York.



CHAPTER III

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY GLASS


The eighteenth century is the “Golden Age” of the collector of English
glass. At the beginning of the century glass manufacture was already a
flourishing industry. Vessels of all kinds for ornament, keepsakes, and
for domestic use were being produced in great quantities, and there was
a strong and growing competition between the native craftsmen and the
glass-workers of Venice, Bohemia, Germany, and the Low Countries, a
competition which, thanks to the superiority of the new English “flint”
glass, was steadily trending in favour of the English product.

As a result, the collector is at once on firmer ground. His knowledge of
earlier periods had been gleaned haphazard from drawings, paintings,
tapestries, mosaics, and historical documents, with only here and there
a specimen, and that of dubious authenticity, to guide him. From this
time he is able to observe at first hand, compare, classify, note
differences, excellences, and defects. There is no longer any lack of
material, either of the finer sort suitable for the tables of the great
and wealthy, or of the coarser kind whose only merit was utility.

With the growing profusion, however, came a veritable confusion of
types, which renders any attempt at classification a matter of very
considerable difficulty. To a great extent this arose from the toping
habits of our forefathers in perhaps the most convivial period of our
history. There was a vast improvement in social conditions and
amenities, and the variety of glasses that sprang into existence affords
ample testimony to this, as well as to the variety of drinks in favour
and to the ingenuity of the times in devising toasts and sentiments, no
less than to the skill of the English craftsmen and the individuality of
the various makers.

At the beginning of the century, however, the use of different glasses
for different kinds of wine had not yet arisen. A bowl of water was
placed on the table in which the drinkers rinsed their glasses when a
new vintage made its appearance. Subsequently each guest had

[Illustration: FIG. 40.

Examples of Baluster Stems and Tear Glasses.]

his special bowl for this purpose. These bowls are exceedingly rare, and
are generally described as wine-coolers. Their modern equivalent is the
finger bowl.

There was naturally a vast difference between the glass of the early
part of the century and that of the later part. Speaking very broadly,
the order of progress was as follows:--

  1. Heavy glass with baluster stems.
  2. Lighter glass with air-twisted stems.
  3. Drawn stems.
  4. Opaque-twisted stems.
  5. Cut glass.

Many of these glasses are still in existence and it is even possible for
the amateur collector to acquire an occasional specimen. This early
eighteenth-century glass is of remarkable quality, both as regards form
and lustre. It is true that it is less perfect in shape and texture than
the products of to-day, but it is superior in artistic merit, in
originality of design and softness of outline. The lack of perfect
symmetry is one of its charms, as it is in the case of old lace which,
so far as absolute and meticulous perfection of detail is concerned, is
often far behind the modern machine-made product. But what it lacks in
symmetry and precision is more than compensated by artistic feeling.

Mr Hartshorne in his monumental work on “Old English Glasses,” a work to
which the present writer and every other writer on the subject must
acknowledge a vast indebtedness, makes an exhaustive classification of
the various types of eighteenth-century glasses. To his order one is
bound closely to conform, although it is far from the province of the
present work to attempt to deal exhaustively with the various types he
so fully and admirably describes.

The earliest examples have funnel-shaped bowls with tall stems. These
are of great variety of shape. Some are quite plain, others are twisted,
others ribbed. Some, again, are “baluster” shaped, _i.e._ formed after
the pattern of the columns of a balustrade. Many have a knop or button
in the middle, others are ornamented with twisted lines, either hollow
or filled with glass of different colours, interwoven in spirals,
twists, networks and plaits in all kinds of ingenious ways.

Of course, all these things being distinctive are imitable, and here the
peril of the collector begins. The expert is rarely deceived as to
whether any specimen is genuine old glass; but so pervasive and so
perfect are the imitations that exist, and so plausible the conditions
under which they are found, that it behoves the amateur to use the
extremest caution. I propose to deal at some length with some of the
more obvious and frequent frauds and fakes in a subsequent chapter. But
for the moment it may be said that the best test of genuineness is
neither shape nor any particular design--for these can be closely
imitated--but the colour. There is a curious tint in old glass which the
new never quite achieves. The would-be small collector will be well
advised if, before riding his hobby, he goes through a brief course of
eye-training under the guidance of an expert, until he gets the exact
tone of the old glass firmly impressed upon his memory. As an additional
factor, it should always be borne in mind that the old glass is
invariably heavier than its modern imitation.

It will be desirable at this point to describe in brief detail the more
important of the types of eighteenth-century glass enumerated on page
59.

_Glasses with Incised and Ribbon-twisted Stems._--The incised or
ribbon-twisted stemmed glass

[Illustration: Tear Glasses

FIG. 41.]

as shown in Fig. 36, is usually about 6 inches high with, generally, a
flanged or outward curved top and a comparatively slender stem. A series
of ribs was impressed by a mould on the stem whilst yet plastic. The
stem was fixed to its bowl, heated till soft, and then gently twisted
and, at the same time, stretched. The result was a twist, produced in
exactly the same way as in a stick of candy--close at the top and
gradually loosening toward the bottom. Near the foot, by the way, the
spiral generally disappears entirely as the effect of the heating
process necessary when the foot was joined to the stem. The bowl was
almost invariably waisted, that is, its sides were bent inwards. The
foot was folded and there was a characteristic lessening in the diameter
of the stem as it neared the bottom, which the “puller” of toffee will
readily understand.

_Air-twisted Stems._--The air-twist probably began with a “tear.” The
tear of the glass-blower is a bubble of air blown into the centre of a
mass of molten glass, possibly at first by accident and afterwards by
design, as a form of ornamentation. When the stem was

[Illustration: FIG. 7--AIR-TWIST STEMS.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur).]

drawn out, the bubble elongated into a tube, and when the stem was
twisted, the tube acquired a spiral shape. Now as the tube was filled
with air, which had a different refractive capacity to the glass which
surrounded it, the effect of the light falling upon it was to produce a
kind of silvery radiance like that of quicksilver. The phenomenon is
familiar to anyone who has ever plunged a substance like wool, which
contains air-bubbles entangled among its meshes, under water. The
bubbles are transformed into drops like quicksilver. So with the tear
and the tube drawn from it in the air-twisted stem. Naturally the
decorative potentialities of this phenomenon were speedily recognised
and utilised, and the air-twisted stems are among the most
characteristic and the most beautiful features of all old English
glasses.

The bowls were usually of the same general shape as those with incised
and ribbon-twisted stems. The earlier varieties are “waisted,” the later
ones frequently assume the bell shape. They are often engraved, the
early ones with the Tudor rose, with its five petals, while the later
ones affect the Stuart variety with six petals. The earliest stems have
necks and collars--there was considerable difficulty in joining the
air-twisted stem on to the bowl without damaging the twist. Later
varieties have necks only. The collars are sometimes knopped, _i.e._
have knobs attached, and the stems themselves are shouldered.

I have dealt at some length with the air-twisted stems, since this is a
characteristic English variety, and one to which the brilliant English
flint glass was specially adapted. Consequently the type persisted for a
considerable period. The later varieties, however, achieve some little
distinction by the adoption of the bell-shaped bowl.

_Drawn Stems._--I have already suggested that the fusion of the
air-twisted stem, in order to join it to the bowl, not unfrequently
resulted in damage to the twist. It was an obvious solution of the
difficulty to draw the stem out from the surplus molten metal at the
base of the bowl. If, previously, a series of air-bubbles was introduced
into this mass, each in the process of drawing out became elongated into
a tube, and we have the possibility, by planting “tears” in effective
positions, and then

[Illustration: FIG. 42.

     The figures given above illustrate certain of the characteristic
     features of Old English glasses. Thus Fig. 1 is an example of a
     double-knopped stem, each of the bulges being technically known as
     a “knop.” The foot is “domed.” No. 2 is an illustration of a
     shoulder and collar, the shoulder being the bulge near the top, and
     the collar the ring above it, which was originally devised to hide
     any clumsiness in joining the stem to the bowl. No. 3 is a
     “flanged” bowl, No. 4 a “waisted” bowl, and No. 5 shows an
     air-twisted stem.
]

judiciously twisting the drawn stem whilst still plastic, of producing
an infinity of pleasing patterns. Thus a number of small “tears” close
together produced a spiral like a yarn of silk; or a central tear might
be blown, and side ones twisted round in encircling spirals.

_Baluster-stemmed Glasses._--The baluster stem is a reproduction of a
moulded pillar. It is by no means peculiar to eighteenth-century
glasses. Indeed it formed the almost invariable means of support for the
glasses of Caroline times. The early baluster stems are, to an eye
accustomed to the lighter modern glass, extremely heavy and clumsy in
appearance, and with the development of taste and skill, they were
speedily supplanted by the slenderer and more graceful drawn and
air-twisted stems. But the effect of the baluster moulding was soon
pressed into the service of this more dainty ware, the baluster becoming
more slender and symmetrical, and sometimes, indeed, being modified into
a slight swelling--either gradual or abrupt or a single ring round the
stem. The bowls of this period were almost invariably funnel-shaped, and
were often engraved--the appropriate figure of the vine leaf appearing
for the first time in the

[Illustration:

1. AIR-TWISTED STEM GLASS.
2. BUTTON STEM.
3. BALUSTER STEM WITH ROYAL MONOGRAM.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by
permission of the Connoisseur.)

FIG. 8.
]

history of English glass. The feet are almost always of the folded
variety. Occasionally, in the later specimens, however, the feet are
domed.

_Opaque-twisted Stems._--The opaque-twisted stem made its appearance
about the middle of the century. In this case, rods of opaque white or
coloured glass were alternated with rods of clear glass around the
circumference of a circular mould, care being taken to preserve proper
regularity.

They were then heated, and molten clear glass poured into the central
hollow, filling up the interstices between the rods, binding the whole
when cooled into a solid rod, with a clear centre surrounded by a
particoloured circumference. The mass, being softened by heating, was
then drawn out into slenderer rods, and twisted into spirals.

The ease of the process accounts for the infinite variety of patterns in
existence. Flat bars could be used, giving tape-like spiral bands, and
the rods could be of various sizes and colours. Many specimens came over
from Holland and from the north of France, generally of inferior
quality, the inferiority being displayed in the character of the stems
and the poorness of the metal.

The simplicity of the manufacture has also given rise to hosts of modern
imitations, largely from the Continent. In a great number of these the
spirals turn to the left, which has given rise to an idea that all
glasses with right-handed opaque spiral stems are modern imitations,
which is by no means the case. All such specimens, however, are
sufficiently suspect to demand careful scrutiny, and the amateur, before
purchasing a right-handed spiral opaque-twisted glass, will do well to
submit it to the judgment of an expert.

Points to be considered are the colour of the metal, the perfection of
the twist, its opacity, and the character of the foot. The colour and
weight of the glass are probably the best criteria. The forgeries are
generally light, and the beautiful mellow tone of the real old English
glass is replaced by a cold white tint or even a tinge of green. The
twist is often more translucent than in the genuine pieces, and is
frequently imperfectly produced, becoming looser as it descends, the
loosening being particularly pronounced just before its junction with
the foot.

The appearance of the foot is of the utmost

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--OPAQUE TWIST STEMS AND “ROSE” GLASSES.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

value. Before the nineteenth century the scar, where the piece after
manufacture was broken away from the pontil, was invariably left rough,
instead of being ground down. The foot in the genuine glasses is never
flat, there being always a slight slope downwards towards the edge. In
the imitations, too, it is apt to be less in diameter, compared with the
bowl, than in the genuine specimens, whilst there is frequently an
absence of “ring.” This last fact, however, must not be unduly
emphasised, since many undoubtedly authentic specimens of this period,
including some of the finest, share the defect. Another test is to note
the edge of the bowl, whether it is well rounded off or whether it has
been left hard and sharp.

Many of these glasses are engraved with flowers. The rose is so frequent
as to give its name to a special type, the “rose glasses.” The rose has
often a bud or two, and a butterfly is frequently represented as
hovering over the flower. In later specimens the butterfly degenerates
into a moth, and finally vanishes altogether. Other flowers engraved on
glasses of the same type and period were the Rose of Sharon and the St
John’s Wort. Rose glasses, with blue and white twisted stems, are in
all probability almost exclusively of English manufacture, and are among
the most valuable of the opaque-twisted type. The foreign importations
of the period were numerous but, apart from certain patterns of twist,
which may be considered exclusively English, the twisting of the Low
Countries was distinctly inferior. One type is characteristic of the
foreign product. This has a central tube of thin white lines, surrounded
by spiral twists. Where the stem is of the baluster type, this central
tube, more or less, follows the contour of the stem.

_Straight-sided Glasses._--The term “straight-sided” may be used to
designate a whole series of glasses, of which the bowls are of the shape
of a truncated cone, the narrow end being, of course, downward. In
process of time the sharpness of the section at the bottom was more and
more rounded until it attained the shape of the ogee curve. The earliest
of the straight-sided glasses had bulbed stems, with a shoulder and
knop. The better sorts of tavern and household glasses were of this
type, the larger specimens being used for wine and punch and the smaller
for cordials and strong waters. Two points are worthy of notice: the
folded foot was practically invariable, and the diameter of the foot was
always substantially greater than that of the bowl, thus ensuring a
sound support.

The bowls themselves were at first plain. About the middle of the
century, however, we find them decorated with conventional flowers and
vine leaves, etc., which were gradually replaced by closer and more
artistic representations of such natural objects as roses, as a matter
of course, lilies of the valley, tulips, and sprays of honeysuckle.
Amongst these, however, certain conventional designs held their place,
_e.g._ wild roses, St John’s Wort, and other blossoms with large seeded
centres, which seem to have impressed themselves strongly upon the
imagination of the artists to whom the decoration was entrusted. The
bowls were, in very rare instances, fluted.

The pieces were made in three parts--bowl, stem, and foot--the stem
being sometimes plain, oftener air-twisted, and sometimes
opaque-twisted. The straight-sided bowl was never popular amongst
Continental glass-workers, so that the probability is that any specimen
found is of English manufacture. In examples of foreign manufacture,
too, the bowl was generally rounded at the base, and the stems were
often coloured or opaque-twisted. Other characteristics by which these
may be identified are their comparative lightness of weight, their
fragility, their coarse lavishness of decoration, their narrow bases,
while the twisting of the stems is often unduly close, and the bowls
have wide, flat flutes.

_Ogee Glasses._--The straight-sided glasses changed by easy degrees into
the well-known ogee shape, the lines of the bowl being gradually merged
into those of the stem. It may be safely asserted that the majority of
ogee-shaped glasses are of English manufacture. The majority have
opaque-twisted stems; sometimes blue lines replace the opaque white. It
is thought that Bristol was the chief place of manufacture, since most
of the finds have been in the west of England. The earliest of them have
unfolded feet, inserted air-twisted stems, and naturally, since the
object of the designer was to preserve the ogee line, no shoulders. Many
of them are of considerable dimensions--a possible result of the custom
of drinking bumpers. A great number of the memorial glasses, treated of
in a separate chapter, were of this type. The

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--DOUBLE OGEE BOWLS.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

scheme of decoration followed much the same lines as that of the
straight-sided glasses, but a greater proportion were plain; possibly
the curves toward the bottom of the bowl made the engraver’s task more
difficult. In the later specimens, sprigs of laurel and festoons of
various conventional types are to be found. In the Bristol glasses the
bowls were sometimes fluted, and a double ogee curve was employed, the
upper part only being decorated, generally with vine leaves and bunches
of grapes. The stems were bulbed or knopped, and the feet were folded.

_Champagne Glasses._--There is, of course, no real reason why one kind
of wine should be drunk from a glass of special shape and another from a
totally different one, but once glass drinking vessels had become the
vogue, this habit of specialising in the shape and size of glasses
speedily became the fashion and crystallised into a custom which
persists even to-day in our port, sherry, champagne, claret, and liqueur
glasses. In the beginning there was a far greater diversity, for England
in the eighteenth century was famous for the number (and potency) of its
beverages and, speaking generally, each had its appropriate glass.
Frequently, of course, there was little diversity of shape, the
difference being in the nature of the ornamentation, which in a number
of cases was specially devised to indicate the purpose of the glass.
Thus an ale glass would be adorned with ears of barley or bunches of
hops; a wine glass with vine leaves or bunches of grapes; a cider glass
with sprays of apple blossom, and so forth.

Champagne was, in the eighteenth century, a wine of comparatively recent
introduction, and was drunk only by the rich and great. Probably at
first no special glasses were used for it, the more elegant of those
already in existence, presumably bell-shaped and air-stemmed, being
pressed into the service, but about 1730 special glasses were made, with
wide, shallow bowls, of the double-ogee variety and a baluster. They had
knopped or double-knopped stems and domed feet. Sometimes, as might be
anticipated, an air or opaque-twisted stem was employed, while the shape
of the bowl varied towards the bell shape, in that it became
hemispherical.

Subsequently the bowl became elongated into

[Illustration:

FIG. 11.--SWEETMEAT GLASSES.      ALE GLASSES.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

a narrow cone, the stems exemplifying the various patterns of the
day--baluster, knopped, double-knopped, air-twisted, opaque-twisted, and
drawn. In the later examples the elongation was so pronounced that the
glasses approximated to the familiar flute shape. In these the stem is
often faceted, the facets sometimes extending some considerable distance
up the glass. The modern champagne glass, with a wide saucer-like bowl
and a hollow stem, seems to be a sort of combination of the two. The
wine being a rarity, the glasses are scarce, and the collector who
unearths a genuine specimen of an early eighteenth-century champagne
glass may esteem himself fortunate.

The shallow glasses were so little known that a hundred years later, in
1832, Disraeli, writing to his sister, remarks: “We drank champagne out
of a saucer of glass mounted on a pedestal of cut glass,” so that the
form was evidently a novelty, at least to him.

_Sweetmeat Glasses._--Closely allied to the shallow champagne glasses
were the sweetmeat glasses. The latter are, however, much solider, while
their edges are crinkled and undulated and vandyked into various
patterns. The feet are generally domed, sometimes plain, and at other
times ribbed or ornamented with knobs. The bowls are generally either of
the double-ogee type or bell-shaped with a lip. They are often ribbed in
the earlier varieties, and cut in the later ones. The glasses were made
in sets, which stood upon a glass pedestal or centre-piece made to a
similar pattern. This had a flat, tray-like top, with a raised rim. One
interesting feature is that each set consisted of a number of small
glasses and one large one, known as a “Captain” or “Master” glass, which
was not necessarily of the same pattern as the smaller ones. The Captain
had generally an abnormally small foot, so that it might not unduly
encroach upon the standing space.

_Ale and Beer Glasses._--There is no particular difference between the
tall champagne glass and the ale glass; possibly the ale glass was
modelled upon the flute-shaped champagne glass, or possibly the shapes
were used indiscriminately for both beverages--the finer and more
elegant specimens for the champagne, and the heavier and more
substantial ones for the humbler ale. That they were so used is
sufficiently indicated by the fact that many

[Illustration: SPECIMEN OF IRISH DRINKING GLASSES, SHEWING VARIETY IN
CUTTINGS. 18th-19th CENTURY.]

[Illustration: ENGLISH DRINKING GLASSES. 18th CENTURY.

    1. A CORDIAL GLASS WITH AIR-TWISTED STEM.
    2. A BARLEY WATER GLASS WITH OPAL-TWISTED STEM.
    3. AN OLD “TEAR” GLASS.
    4. A STRONG WATER CORDIAL GLASS WITH “TEAR” IN STEM.

FIG. 12.]

specimens have been discovered which are engraved with festoons or
bunches of hops and ears of barley. The earlier specimens, however, were
plain. It may be useful to point out that the form of the stem affords
some indication of the relative age of the piece, the chronological
order being roughly as follows:--(1) Waisted bowls, with plain stems and
folded feet; (2) air-twisted stems, shouldered, collared, and knopped;
(3) plain drawn stems; (4) opaque-twisted stems. The glasses diminish in
height as the century progresses.

_Other Kinds of Glasses._--It is customary to include in the
classification of eighteenth-century glasses those used for cider and
perry, mumm, mead, and syllabub. It is difficult to prove that any
particular kind of glass was set apart for the consumption of these
liquors. Cider, however, was produced in large quantities, and glasses
were possibly made specially for it. Certain specimens exist, and are
recognised by their being engraved with apple blossom, apple trees,
etc., whilst one--mentioned in the chapter on Memorial Glasses--is
inscribed with the motto “No Excise.” Speaking generally, it may be
asserted that ordinary cider was probably drunk from earthenware mugs,
after the fashion of the beer mugs of to-day, whilst the strong cider
was consumed from wine glasses. No glass has so far been distinctively
associated with perry.

Mumm was a somewhat awesome decoction, in which the principal ingredient
was malted wheat, to which were added a little oats or bean-meal, the
brew being flavoured with various pungent and aromatic herbs and the
inner bark and tips of the fir tree. It is presumed to have been drunk
from glasses of the ale-champagne type, but among the common folk it is
probable mugs were preferred.

    “The clamorous crowd is hush’d with mugs of mum
     Till all, tun’d equal, send a general hum.”--POPE.

Mead (or meath) was a drink the basis of which was honey. This, being
dissolved in boiling water, was flavoured with spices and ground malt
added, and the whole left to ferment. It was drunk from bowl-shaped
glasses, or else from glasses of the low tumbler type. If carefully made
it would keep for a long time, and from the number of references to it
which appear in literature, it was evidently a favourite drink,
particularly among the lower classes. Ben Jonson in his “The Devil is an
Ass,” written in 1616, remarks:

                                      “ ...Carmen
    Are got into their yellow starch, and chimney-sweepers
    To their tobacco and strong waters--Hum,
    Meath and Obarni.”

Syllabub was a mixture of wine, ale, or cider, with cream or milk, and
flavoured with lemon or rose-water. The whipped syllabubs were beaten
into a froth before drinking. They were often made with milk drawn fresh
from the cow, the drinkers repairing to the dairy for the purpose.

    “Your ale-berries, caudles and possets each one,
       And sillabubs made at the milking pail,
     Although they be many, beer comes not in any,
       But all are composed with a pot of good ale.”

Syllabub glasses, as far as there were special glasses used, were of
deep cup or tumbler shape, the brim flaring outward.

_Cordial and Strong Waters Glasses._--The art of distillation came from
Arabia, as the name alcohol (al Kohl) indicates. Northern peoples,
however, for a long time preferred, to the distilled products, cordial
waters made from honey, fruit syrups, spices, and various herbs. Each
notable housewife had her own recipes for cordials, and many and quaint
were the products that came from the family still-room. It was not,
indeed, until comparatively recent times that the habit of
spirit-drinking made any great headway in England. Whisky was made in
Ireland in the fourteenth century, and must consequently have been known
in England. Howell in his “Letters” refers to the _usquebaugh_ of
Ireland, but remarks that “whereas in England they drink it in aqua vitæ
glasses, in Ireland they drink it in beer glasses.” The quotation proves
that even at that early period special glasses for spirits were in use.
Greene, some thirty years later, includes among the glasses he ordered
from Venice small glasses marked for _brandj_.

The taste was probably intensified after the Revolution of 1688 brought
numbers of Dutchmen into the country. The glasses employed were,
generally speaking, miniature replicas of the wine glasses in vogue;
others are short-stemmed, and as this did not lend itself to
air-twisting, the baluster type was mostly affected, which in such small
glasses gives a peculiarly massive appearance. Opaque-twisted stems
are, however, more frequently met with, as are fluted ones. Sometimes
the bowls are fluted or faceted. The dumpy, thick-stemmed, wide-bowled
cordial glasses are often termed “Hogarth” glasses, they being the
prevailing type in his pictures.

The modern equivalents are the “firing” glasses used at Masonic
banquets, the members after each toast knocking the glasses in unison on
the table--the sound produced being fancifully likened to the reports of
guns. Figs. 1 and 2 (p. 160) are illustrations of firing glasses, the
former being antique and the latter modern and strictly utilitarian.

Not all cordial and strong waters glasses belong to this type. Some of
the most valuable have long stems, either plain or opaque-twisted. Many
of the latter, however, came from the Netherlands and stand outside the
category of English glasses.

The “thistle” glass has come to be the recognised Scottish liqueur
glass. The form originated, it is believed, in Bohemia, but once it had
made its way here, it was natural that the Scots should take for their
national liquor the glass that bore the form of their national emblem.
At any rate the beginning of the Scottish glass industry was marked by
the production of a thistle glass, which was made at the factories in
Edinburgh.

_Tavern and Household Glasses._--It is customary to refer to tavern and
household glass as belonging to a separate classification. There is
really no justification for any such division; it is perfectly natural
that utensils for common use should be stronger and clumsier editions of
the better-class glasses. The very earliest were clumsy in the extreme
as regards design, and rough in execution, but later specimens show
greater elaboration and skill.

With the advent of the drawn glass, most tavern and household glasses
took this form, and have retained it with little variation. Two kinds
are noticeable--those with a “blow” inside the stem, and those without.
In the drawn stems the blow shrank in dimensions, and became a tear,
which, by the way, is almost invariably upside down, the broader end
being uppermost. Half-way through the eighteenth century the tear
vanished altogether, and the plain solid stem came into use. The common
wine glasses were small editions of the larger glasses, and frequently
bore rudely executed decorations of festoons, vine leaves, and flowers.
The feet are flat, and may be either folded or unfolded, the former
being of the earlier type. Specimens are fairly easily obtainable, the
thickness of the metal and the stoutness of the design carrying them
safely through the dangers to which they were specially liable. Apart
from their age they have no special merit. The metal is as inferior as
the form.

Tumblers were less frequently made in the eighteenth century than were
wine glasses, and in the early part, at any rate, those that were met
with were chiefly foreign importations. It is possible that the plain
lines of the tumbler did not appeal to tastes accustomed to the graceful
outlines of the wine glasses. The early ones are cylinder-shaped, and
very large, while eighteenth-century tumblers taper somewhat toward the
base. Both are very scarce. Now and again one meets the barrel shape.
Foreign tumblers are often profusely decorated by engraving, colouring,
and gilding--the quality of the decoration being distinctly inferior to
its quantity.

The rummer is a characteristic Old English public-house glass, and is of
various types. It was, of course, as the name implies, used for making
punch. Among the types are the ogee-shaped bowls--either plain or
pressed--barrel-shaped bowls, and trumpet-shaped bowls. All have short,
thick stems, often with a collar, sometimes baluster-shaped. The base is
strong and generally flat. Some specimens have heavy, square bases,
evidently designed to secure their stability.

_Cut Glass._--The introduction of the so-called flint glass--which was,
in effect, glass containing a greater quantity of lead than had
previously been used--created something of a revolution in the art of
English glass manufacture. M. Peligot, a leading French authority,
remarks: “To the English should really be attributed the honour of
having created, in their flint glass, a new product which by the quality
and selection of the materials used in its fabrication has become
without doubt the most beautiful glassy substance which we know and
which, in my opinion, it may be possible to produce.” But in addition to
the beauty of the metal was the fact that it had a greater refractive
and dispersive action on

[Illustration: ENGLISH “RUMMER” AND DRINKING GLASSES. 18th CENTURY.]

[Illustration: A BALLUSTER STEM GLASS SHEWING A COIN BLOWN IN THE STEM.]

[Illustration: EARLY ENGLISH BALLUSTER STEM GLASS.

FIG. 13.]

rays of light than any other kind of glass, and consequently lent itself
specially to cutting--the workmanship bringing out the beauty and
brilliancy of the metal, and the quality of the metal enhancing the
effect of the cutting.

It is difficult to fix, with any degree of precision, the date at which
glass was first cut by way of ornamentation. There are certainly traces
of its employment towards the end of the seventeenth century. At the
beginning the craftsmen of Bohemia were probably far superior to those
of England, but as soon as the special suitability of the English glass
was demonstrated, the native workmen speedily outdid all foreign
competitors. The quality of the glass and of the cutting gradually
improved, until at the close of the eighteenth century practically all
English glass of any importance was ornamented in this fashion, and the
English product was famous all over the Continent.

In this way the beauty and value of a piece speedily came to depend upon
the amount and the depth of the cutting: the more deeply and profusely
it was incised the greater its artistic merit was assumed to be and the
more highly it was esteemed. In certain instances, undoubtedly, the art
was carried to excess; hence those monstrosities of the Early Victorian
period--clumsy masses of flint glass cut into hob-nails, facets,
pyramids, and spikes of all shapes and dimensions. Of this description
are the massive glass chandeliers which depend from the ceilings of
country houses and halls built at the close of the eighteenth or the
commencement of the nineteenth century. Possibly no better examples
could be found than the massy centrepieces with their pendent drops and
spiked clusters that adorn the Pavilion at Brighton--that lordly and
pseudo-Oriental pleasure-house built by the “first gentleman in Europe,”
who afterwards became George IV. Of similar type are the lustres with
their jingling drops that ornamented so many mantelpieces in our
grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ day.

How often in a theatre has one sat in fear and trembling lest some such
great glittering mass in the centre of the dome should break loose from
its moorings and fall with dire effects on the pit and stalls below?

It was under the same conditions that bottles altered their shape and
became decanters. These, as will be seen from the illustrations,
followed the prevailing fashion in being massive and deeply cut. The
stoppers were most frequently of a mushroom shape and were often
delicately cut. These decanters were generally made in pairs or in sets
of four.

From what has been said it will be evident that the glass-making
activities of the eighteenth century were by no means confined to the
manufacture of drinking glasses. There is no reason to doubt that, even
at so early a period as that in which Chiddingfold was a great centre of
glass manufacture in this country, many important and really fine pieces
were produced. Few examples, however, of what may be termed
miscellaneous eighteenth-century glass can be attributed with any
certainty to a period earlier than the sixties of that century. At that
time the glass-maker’s art was passing through a great period of
upheaval and momentous change like the country itself was in both
politics and in art. Nor was the change confined to England. In France
the florid style of decoration associated with the name of Louis Quinze
was giving way, even before the death of the monarch after whom it was
named, to the more simple and severely classical style of Louis Seize.
In England the dawning of a new taste in artistic decoration became
evident about the year 1770 in the work of the silversmiths and
goldsmiths, and shortly afterwards in the productions of the porcelain
factories of Bow, Chelsea, and elsewhere. In glass a noticeable feature
of the change was the increasing use of faceting. Flat facets, divided
by sharp angles, are to be found on both stems and shoulders of the
glasses, and oftentimes extended half-way up the body itself. Dishes and
basins of this period were often completely covered with pyramidal
designs so deeply incised that the ware could hardly be handled without
danger of breaking.

It was about this time, too, that cutting was first done by machinery in
the manner already described in Chapter I. The fact that the art of
cutting and engraving reached its zenith at this period accounts for the
reputation which English glass speedily achieved not only in its native
home but on the Continent and in the New World.

There is no doubt that much of its popularity was due to the superiority
of the material itself, and this was maintained by the most scrupulous
care in the selection and purification of the ingredients. The sand, in
particular, was most carefully washed and burned so as to destroy all
impurities. In practice, most of it was obtained from Alum Bay in the
Isle of Wight, from Lynn or from Reigate. Sandpits have also been
discovered at Coulsdon and Redhill. The fusing of the ingredients was
also a matter demanding the greatest care so as to ensure the correct
colour. It was found that, generally speaking, the quicker the operation
the better the result. Any delay, too, in the blowing or rolling of the
glass was apt to interfere with the purity of the colour and even the
precision of shape and the accuracy of the measure.

Few persons troubled to consider whether shapes that depended upon the
process of blowing were the most suitable for their purpose, or whether
the cutting and engraving were not sometimes overdone.

On the whole, it is difficult to overrate the beauty of Georgian
glass--of the early or the late period--either as regards grace of shape
or style or the cutting and engraving.

Collectors, too, have plenty of scope, for though Georgian glass is
comparatively rare and fine pieces command big prices, yet the amateur
is not faced at the outset, as in the case of glass of a period prior
to this, with two very serious propositions--an almost prohibitive price
and a more or less doubtful authenticity.

The illustrations shown of eighteenth-century glass will make it clear
that, although they are some of the most satisfactory specimens of the
time, not even an amateur could mistake them for modern, their shapes
alone being almost a guarantee of the date of their origin. Even if the
shape be imitated, the peculiar dark, pearly look of the old flint glass
cannot, and it forms a simple and definite test.

The pair of decanters on the right (Fig. 14) are almost unique--the deep
cutting, the curiously shaped stoppers, the long or rounded necks, and
the flat-cut shoulders being absolutely characteristic. But it is not
unusual to find these graceful shapes copied; and again the collector
must beware. Some of the quart decanters have, as will be seen from the
two on the left of the illustration, hollow bottoms in which are
inserted tiny musical boxes. When the decanter was raised the box
started playing some familiar air, generally “Home, Sweet Home.” Whether
the intention was to remind

[Illustration: 18th CENTURY CUT SWEETMEAT GLASSES IN OLD SHEFFIELD
PLATED STANDS.]

[Illustration: 18th CENTURY DECANTERS, SHEWING VARIETY OF DESIGNS IN
CUTTING.

FIG. 14.]

the holder that he was at home, or to hint that he might think of going
there, probably depended upon circumstances.

Other sets of decanters with engraved festoons and similar decorations
of the same period are equally graceful both in design and execution.
The stoppers are flat pear-shaped drops, and are doubtless of the Adam
period. Another feature is their long, thin necks, which made them more
suitable for private houses than inns. They usually stand from 12 to 18
inches in height, and when standing grouped together have a charmingly
graceful appearance. They are rarely now to be found in fours, and it is
doubtful if they were so made. I have only seen them in pairs. They are
not particularly rare, many small houses possessing specimens.

It was at this period also that finger bowls came into fashion. The
first ones made in this country were probably copies of old Roman
coloured bowls. The earliest of all had two lips, used either for
pouring out the contents or for resting a spoon upon. These specimens
are, as a rule, exquisite both in style and shape, and it is,
fortunately, within the power of the ordinary collector to acquire a
specimen or so at a reasonable figure. They are the larger and more
ornamental pieces, some unique in design and others possessing
historical associations, that are priceless. The old chandeliers often
found will give some idea of the fine cutting of the period. The
magnificent pear-drop-shaped lustres, the fine work on the stem, and the
cross-over chains are characteristic of the lavish ornament of the age.
Such have often been converted into pendants for electric light.
Although no ordinary collector may hope to acquire them, they are not
without interest as examples of a bygone fashion.

Through the kindness of Miss Whitmore Jones, I am enabled to reproduce
from her beautiful collection at Chastleton House the posset pot shown
at page 42 (Fig. 2). It is surrounded by a band of masks and roses and
surmounted by a crown. It is an excellent example of the work of its
period and one of the most admirable and beautiful specimens in
existence.

Fig. 15 is an interesting illustration of the candlesticks and
tapersticks formerly so widely used.

Tapersticks were used to hold the tapers used

[Illustration: FIG. 15--CANDLE AND TAPER STICKS.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

in sealing letters. That on the left is nearly perfect in style and
ornamentation. Tapersticks are, of course, frequently found in Georgian
silver and also in china, generally with the ink tray, snuffers, and
powder box to hold the sand used in drying the writing. The glass
tapersticks were generally about 7 or 8 in. in height and had domed
feet.

The candlestick with the twisted stem--which, by the way, is of red
drawn glass--is another fine specimen of the work of this period.
Unluckily, examples are hardly likely to be very easily found; like all
fragile things they have suffered heavily at the hands of Time. Fig. 16
is a representation of a very rare type of rush-light holder which dates
from Jacobean times.

There is no doubt that the beauty and style of the Georgian glass, both
early and late, have made it in great demand to-day, so that not only
are enormous prices readily obtained for good specimens, but those
prices are likely to be considerably enhanced in the future.
Nevertheless, there are still many fine specimens to be obtained by a
collector who will take the trouble to seek them off the beaten track.
Many of them are owned by persons quite ignorant of their real value;
hence it is obvious that there is still sufficient scope for the
collector of Georgian glass to acquire specimens which are not only
pleasing in themselves but which are likely to bring him profit as well
as pleasure.

It is only essential to emphasise once more the necessity of care; for
glass, unlike china, has no marks by which its period and place of
manufacture can be definitely determined, and collectors can only base
their opinions upon such qualities as shape, style, colour, etc., and in
this, as in other departments of life, the amateur is apt to discover
the truth of the adage that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
It is best in any case of doubt to refer the question to some one who is
in a position to speak with undoubted authority.

As to the Victorian Age, although it undoubtedly produced many fine
specimens of glass, yet the pieces have little appeal from the
collector’s point of view. Apart from this, however, it has many merits,
some pieces that I have seen having been most beautifully and choicely
cut and with a fine distinctive style. But, however choice, such pieces
hardly fall within the category of Old English glass, and so lie beyond
the scope of our inquiry.

[Illustration: RARE JACOBEAN GLASS RUSH-LIGHT HOLDER.]

[Illustration: SPECIMEN OF AN EARLY ENGLISH WINE GLASS.]

FIG. 16.



CHAPTER IV

MEMORIAL GLASSES


No specimens of English glass have greater fascination for the collector
than those which derive their interest, apart from their intrinsic
merits, from their association with some historical event, some great
cause, or some famous personage.

Fortunately for such, our ancestors in the palmy days of glass
manufacture freely availed themselves of the possibilities of this form
of advertisement and commemoration, so that a considerable number of
memorial pieces are still in existence. Many of these were, of course,
merely intended to record some happening of purely local significance:
the building of a bridge, the opening of a canal, the launching of a
ship; or, narrowing the interest still further, the birth of a son or
the marriage of a daughter. Others, however, had a wider appeal: a great
national victory on sea or land, the winning of an election, or the
passage or defeat of a hotly contested Bill in Parliament. All were
suitably inscribed and generally dated--a fact which adds to their
importance and value--and frequently decorated, in addition to the usual
conventional designs, with a more or less crude pictorial representation
of the event or of some important factor connected with it. Thus the
battle of Trafalgar would be indicated by a picture of the famous
victory or by a portrait of Nelson. Frequently such glasses were
dedicated to the glorification of some famous hero, as were the Nelson
glasses, Keppel glasses, etc.; or to the furtherance of some great
cause, as the Jacobite glasses, with which we shall have presently to
deal at length; or, again, to the diffusion of some political principle.

The collector must, however, be chary of assuming that a memorial glass
was necessarily contemporary with the event it records. The warning is
particularly necessary in the case of Jacobite glasses, of which large
numbers were made by faithful adherents of the House of Stuart long
after the Jacobite cause had been relegated to the limbo of lost hopes.
And it is perhaps unnecessary to add the further warning

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--JACOBITE TOASTING GLASSES.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

that in connection with old glass, as with other antiques, the supply
seems somehow mysteriously to adapt itself to the demand; and it is the
easiest and least detectable of frauds to take a veritable old glass of
no particular merit, and by inscribing it with a motto and an emblem or
two, increase its value twenty-fold.

There is, of course, much old glass stored, more or less inaccessibly,
in ancient houses up and down the country, and every now and again some
such hidden treasure is brought to light. But it may be generally said
that, in view of the fierce light the modern craze for antiques has
thrown upon such hiding-places, the prospects of the present-day
collector of finding, say, a “Fiat” glass are so remote as to be
practically negligible.

The Jacobite glasses form by far the most important of English memorial
glasses. They were used by the followers of the ill-fated House of
Stuart, not only in their homes--where, indeed, their use might be
dangerous--but in the clubs and secret societies which met to keep alive
the Pretender’s memory, and to plot for his return. Great numbers were
probably made, mostly, it is thought, at Newcastle, whence the
manufacturers might, in case of need, speedily retire across the Border
and seek concealment from the law among a sympathetic population.
Unfortunately, few only remain, for when the toast had been duly
honoured, it was a frequent custom to shatter the glass, that it might
be used for no inferior purpose. A similar custom prevails still in
certain military messes, the stem of the wine glass being snapped after
the toast of the reigning monarch has been duly drunk.

Some of the Jacobite glasses, however, were of superior quality and
admirably inscribed and decorated. These, it is assumed, were carried
from place to place by their owners, often in properly fitted cabinets.
Each member of a Jacobite club probably brought his own glass, which was
stored, with the others, between the meetings, in a secret receptacle;
the possession of such a glass being, of course, treason. Thus it is
that many have been preserved--frail memories of a lost cause and
symbols of a loyalty as unparalleled as incomprehensible. At this
distance of time it is difficult to understand the glamour that
surrounded the Stuart cause and the wealth of loyalty that was lavished
on objects so painfully unworthy.

James I. was a foreigner to England and English sentiment, and with none
of the qualities that win admiration or esteem. He was ungainly,
garrulous, vain, pedantic, and, above all, cowardly in an age which
placed physical courage as the first of human attributes. Even his not
inconsiderable intellect failed to compensate for an utter lack of
everything else which his time found worthy of admiration. Charles I.
was a tyrant, narrow, mean, obstinate, and unscrupulous--a man without
ability, a king without honour. His death is the one bright spot in a
dreary and disastrous record, for

            “Nothing in his life
    Became him like the leaving of it.”

Charles II., gay, witty, insouciant, reckless, had, it may be granted,
certain qualities that take the common taste, but he was utterly
profligate, entirely without principle. He sold England to France,
betrayed Holland, robbed the State and the Navy, and starved his sailors
to flatter his mistresses. James II. was cold, callous, cruel--a
sycophant to the strong and a tyrant to the weak. He was a bigot, and
unscrupulous in his bigotry. He was no less licentious than his brother
though much more a hypocrite.

What was the glamour that made men give their all--house, wealth, lands,
and even life itself--to bolster the falling fortunes of an unworthy
line and restore it to the throne from which it had been twice driven by
an outraged people? But we are digressing. There is, in any case, no
doubt as to the glamour which surrounds the Jacobite glasses in the eyes
of the collector of to-day.

The greater part of these glasses were used in one or other of the
various clubs or societies which sprang up for the purpose of
propagating Jacobite principles and furthering the Jacobite cause--which
meant, in brief, plotting for the downfall of the House of Hanover, and
in a hard-drinking age it was clear that their consultations could not
have been carried on without a considerable consumption of strong
liquors, and a consequent adequate supply of glasses, the majority of
which were probably engraved in some way or another distinctive of the
occasion.

The most famous of such clubs was the Cycle Club, founded in 1710 by Sir
Watkin Wynn,

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--JACOBITE GOBLETS.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

and one of the most interesting of commemorative glasses refers to him:

    “Let no deceipt within your glass be found,
     But glorious Watkin’s health go briskly round.”

The motto of the Cycle Club appears to have been the Latin “Fiat” (“May
it happen”), and this word is generally found engraved on Jacobite
glasses, which are, in consequence, often referred to as “Fiat” glasses.
A “Fiat” glass is shown in Fig. 21, and other excellent specimens of
Jacobite glasses in Fig. 19. Another motto is “_Redeat_.”

The best of the Jacobite glasses bear the portrait of “Bonnie Prince
Charlie” on the bowl, encircled by a wreath of laurel, flanked on each
side by Scotland’s emblematic thistle. Others have two roses supporting
the laurels. Sometimes there is the Stuart rose, with two buds, a
reference, perhaps, to James II. and his two sons. The design, too, not
unfrequently includes an oak leaf, a reference to Charles II.’s escape
from the Roundheads, after the battle of Worcester, by taking refuge in
an oak, while

    “Far below the Roundhead rode
     And humm’d a surly hymn.”

Some also are engraved, in addition, with a star--the symbol of a hope
never realised by the hapless Stuart line. Most of these emblems may be
found in the two specimens shown in Fig. 19.

I have sometimes found the portrait of the Pretender with oak leaves,
thistle, and rose, in place of the usual “Fiat,” and the motto
“_Audentior Ibo_.”

These glasses have usually air-drawn or knopped stems and funnel-shaped
bowls. These Jacobite glasses are among the luckiest “finds” of the
collector of Old English glass, and it is needless to say that the
greatest care is essential in purchasing anything which purports to be a
genuine specimen. “Fiat” glasses, especially those bearing the portrait
of the Pretender, are imitated in considerable numbers and generally
disposed of through the shops of small country dealers, pawnbrokers,
etc.; but I have seen specimens, even in galleries and large shops in
London, which were flagrant frauds, a fact which should have been
perfectly patent to the vendors. So _caveat emptor_.

Frequently the ordinary tests for the antiquity of the glass are
useless, since the piece is itself genuine old glass of the proper
period and

[Illustration: FIG. 19--JACOBITE GLASSES.

(From the Rees Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur.)]

only the engraving modern, and this is given a spurious appearance of
age by rubbing down with sand and earth, and by allowing the lines of
the pattern to become filled with dust and dirt. A test that may be
found useful is to hold the piece in a strong light, when some part of
the engraved portion may be found untouched by the “treatment,” and
bearing in its clearness and sharpness of line convincing evidence of
its recent origin.

Of the Jacobite glasses, those dedicated to the Old Pretender are
entirely beyond the hopes of the ordinary collector. A few exist in old
country houses dotted up and down the country and in various museums.
One in the British Museum bears the mottoes “_Cognoscunt me mei_” and
“_Premium Virtutis_.” Young Pretender glasses are naturally much more
numerous, and it is probable that specimens may still be found in
out-of-the-way places.

Special finds of Jacobite glasses are occasionally made, a whole set
being discovered in some unexpected hiding-place. One such set is the
famous Oxburgh Hall find, now to be seen and admired in the Victoria and
Albert Museum. Eleven Jacobite glasses in all were discovered, eight of
them being “Fiat” glasses. Four of them, of a larger size, bear the
Prince of Wales’ feathers on the upper surface of the foot. One is the
glass inscribed to Sir Watkin Wynn, previously mentioned, and one is of
special significance, in that it bears in addition to a portrait of the
Young Pretender an inscription, unique in the history of Jacobite glass:

    “Charles ye Great, ye Brave, the Just and Good
     Britania’s Prince ye noblest of her Bld.
     Thy Glorious Feats ye World may Proᵐ
     Britania’s Glory and Britaine Shame.”

As poetry the verse undoubtedly leaves something to be desired, although
as a panegyric it is fairly comprehensive. That fact will, however, in
nowise detract from its unique interest in the eyes of the collector,
whilst the most rabid Jacobite--if such a person still exists--can
hardly fail to be satisfied with such a wholesale and whole-hearted
testimony to the merits of the leader whose cause he had espoused--the
luckless Prince, whose doom it was to be always remembered “Over the
water,” “Great, Brave, Just, Good, Britania’s glory,” and the rest! This
was a hero indeed, _sans peur et sans reproche_. Even the legendary
Arthur of Round Table fame could hardly claim more.

A critic might suggest that the portrait which appears on the other side
of the glass is hardly worthy of these exalted sentiments, though in
point of artistic merit it may fitly challenge comparison with the
quality of the verse.

The “Chastleton” glasses form another famous Jacobite set. There are two
decanters and eleven wine glasses. The glasses are engraved with the
rose and two buds, representing, presumably, James II. and the two
Pretenders, and the Cycle Club motto, “Fiat.” In addition there is an
oak leaf. Whether this is an allusion to the famous Royal Oak of
Boscobel, in which Charles II. took refuge after Worcester, as
previously mentioned, or is merely the distinguishing mark of the
English Jacobites, just as the thistle was the badge of their Scottish
comrades, is obscure.

The decanters are still more interesting, having, in addition to the
rose and its two buds, two oak leaves and a compass, the needle of which
points to a star apparently rising towards the zenith--probably in
hopeful anticipation of the fortunes of the Jacobite cause. Miss
Whitmore Jones, the present owner of Chastleton, claims that these were
made at Derby.

Glasses thus elaborately inscribed do not exhaust the list of Jacobite
glasses. In many cases the rose emblem appears alone, without the
incriminating “Fiat” which would inevitably convict the owner of
treason. In other cases the emblem was hidden from the casual eye by
being engraved underneath the foot. The times were perilous ones, and it
behoved careful folk to exercise the greatest caution; hence arose all
the system of symbols and catchwords associated with the Jacobite cause.
Byrom sums up their attitude in the well-known verse:

    “God bless the King, I mean the faith’s defender;
     God bless--no harm in blessing--the Pretender;
     But who pretender is, or who is king,--
     God bless us all,--that’s quite another thing.”

It is possible to meet, here and there, with glasses dedicated to the
early Georges, but these are few and, to say the truth, are lacking in
the interest that their romantic and tragic history threw over
everything associated with the hapless Stuart line.

Williamite glasses are more numerous. They,

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--MEMORIAL TOASTING GLASSES--JACOBITE AND
WILLIAMITE.]

of course, date from the revolution of 1688, when party feeling on the
one side ran as high in favour of Dutch William as it did on the other
in favour of the House of Stuart. Many of them were undoubtedly produced
in Ireland, the more interesting commemorating the battle of the Boyne.
Some bear the portrait of the King--generally crossing the Boyne on
horseback. Such specimens are exceedingly rare. Later ones bear only an
inscription, “To the Immortal Memory,” or “To the Immortal Memory of the
glorious King William,” with possibly a rosebud. These are, of course,
more ordinary, but are still worth collecting, providing the purchaser
can assure himself that they have not been specially prepared for his
benefit.

The phrase above quoted is possibly a reminiscence of the toast given at
Orange meetings: “To the glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the
great and good King William, who freed us from Pope and popery, knavery
and slavery, brass money and wooden shoes”--quite a creditable record of
achievements.

The “boot” glasses, to which we refer among the freaks, were probably
made in large numbers in George III.’s reign to testify to the national
hatred of Lord Bute, whose punning emblem, “the boot,” was burnt by the
mob in a thousand bonfires, whether justly or unjustly history fails to
say. But there is no doubt that Bute was hated with a fury almost
without precedent, and the King’s mother, whose favourite he was, was
hated with equal intensity. In 1763 a jack-boot and a petticoat were
publicly burnt at Temple Bar, and a crowned ass led through the streets
by a man in a Scottish plaid. Boot glasses are generally from four and a
half to five inches in height. They are often moulded to represent
lacings in the front and trimmings at the sides, and were doubtless used
for strong waters, cordials, and liqueurs.

Memorial glasses inscribed with the names of our great seamen are, of
course, numerous. One to Admiral Hawke, inscribed “Success to the
British Fleet” and dated 20th November 1759, was evidently made in
commemoration of the battle of Quiberon Bay, in which that great seaman,
deliberately ignoring the fighting instructions, flung convention to the
winds and won a startling victory, and freed Britain from the dread of a
French invasion. Similar glasses

[Illustration: A “FIAT” GLASS SHEWING STUART ROSE WITH SIX PETALS.

UNION GLASS, CIRCA. 1801.

ARMORIAL GLASS.

WILLIAMITE GLASS.

FIG. 21.]

bear the names of Boscawen, Rodney, Anson, Keppel, and Nelson.

The “Nelson” glasses, as may be supposed, are particularly interesting.
Some bear the hero’s portrait; others are adorned with a representation
of his famous flagship; others, again, were made in commemoration of his
death and his burial in St Paul’s Cathedral.

One such specimen described by Mr Hartshorne deserves special mention.
It is a goblet rather more than 8 inches in height, on the
straight-sided bowl being engraved a representation of the great
Admiral’s funeral car in the shape of a ship. On the stern is the
historic name _Victory_. At the prow stands an emblematic figure of
Victory, bearing in one hand a laurel wreath and in the other a branch
of bay. On the canopy of the car is inscribed the word “Trafalgar,”
below it the name “Nile.” It is stated that the glasses were made for
the officers of the _Victory_, each of whom received one in memory of
his chief.

The ordinary commemoration glasses made at the time of Nelson’s funeral,
and publicly sold as memorials of the event, have on the one side a
representation of the funeral car and on the other, encircled by a
laurel wreath, the words:

                               In Memory
                                of LORD
                                NELSON
                             Janʸ 9ᵗʰ 1806

The date is that of the public funeral. These glasses were probably made
in considerable numbers, but are now very rare.

Apart, however, from the funeral glasses great numbers of pieces must
have been inscribed with his name as a testimony to his popularity and
of the public gratitude for his victories.

Miss Wilmer in her book on “Early English Glass” gives an illustration
of a tumbler inscribed with the names of Nelson, Duncan, Howe, and St
Vincent and the date 1st August 1798, together with various nautical
emblems. But, as we have said, the manufacture of commemorative glasses
was not confined to occasions of national importance, nor were such
glasses dedicated only to national heroes.

Events of very local importance were frequently signalised in this way.
Thus one is inscribed “Up to Sowerby Bridge, 1758,” and serves to record
certain improvements in the

[Illustration: A NELSON GLASS

FIG 22.]

[Illustration: A COMMEMORATIVE CORONATION GLASS OF KING GEORGE IV.]

navigation of the Calder River. A golden fleece which also forms part of
the decoration symbolises possibly the commercial advantages likely to
accrue thereby. Another commemorates the opening of the Aire to Calder
Canal, and bears the inscription, “Success to Trade and Navigation.”
Others bear political cries, like a cider glass (Fig. 23) from the
Singer Collection. It is characteristically engraved with sprigs of
apple blossom and a barrel, presumably of cider. Around the brim is the
legend, “No Excise,” a probable reference to the political agitation
which followed the attempt of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir
Francis Dashwood, in 1763 to impose a duty of no less than 4s. a
hogshead on cider.

The next glass is from the same collection. It bears a ship engraved
upon the bowl, and has a thickly twisted opal stem and slightly waisted
sides, which give a peculiar charm to its shape. On it are inscribed the
words, “Success to the Eagle Frigate--John Knill, Commander,” which
seems to indicate that it was made to commemorate the launch of that
vessel. The fine air-twisted goblet, which is the largest in the
illustration, belongs to a period somewhere about 1760. The figure
depicted is that of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, then our ally
and at the zenith of his military glory. It was through his aid that
Pitt was enabled to win our colonies of India and America on the
battlefields of Europe, and the exhortation to “Keep it up,” which
appears on the glass, was evidently the expression of some British
sympathiser’s goodwill. Possibly the piece was made to celebrate one of
Frederick’s victories.

The other glass has a small portrait with the inscription, “Long live
George, Prince of Wales, 1759.” It is beautifully engraved and
altogether one of the finest specimens extant.

Fig. 27 illustrates particularly fine and interesting examples of a
tankard, a covered jar, and a grog glass--all excellent of their kind.
The tankard on the right of the plate is engraved with vine leaves and
bunches of grapes, together with marguerites, and inscribed with the
names Joseph and Jane Burrows, and was probably a “marriage” or
“betrothal” glass.

The goblet with a square base which stands to the left of the plate
(Fig. 24) is very quaint. There is a representation of a sailing craft
upon

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--COMMEMORATIVE GLASSES.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseurs.)]

one side, with the inscription, “The Ann and Bessie,” and on the
reverse, “James Oddie, Bromley,” probably the name of the owner both of
the craft and the goblet, who registered to posterity his pride in the
one by means of the other. This glass, I am informed, was the property
of the late A. P. Trapnel, Esq., a renowned collector of Bristol
porcelain and, though to a less degree, of old glass.

The covered grog pot or jar in the centre of the group is artistically
engraved with roses and festoons, with the inscription, “Success to the
Britannia, Edmund Eccleston, 1774.”

For the illustrations of several of the above pieces I am indebted to
the courtesy of the late Mr J. T. Herbert Bailey. Such examples, which
cannot fail to interest the lover of art as well as the collector of
antiques, amply testify to the strides which glass manufacture had made
in England, and are also useful as indicating the nature of the finds a
collector may even yet make in out-of-the-way places, provided he will
first take the precaution to acquire such knowledge of the
characteristics of old glass as will serve to protect him from being
deceived by modern reproductions. One does not, for example, expect to
find engraving or cutting on early importations from Venice, or that the
glasses made in commemoration of various events invariably bear
appropriate inscriptions, by which they may be immediately identified.
Sometimes there is a date alone, sometimes a figure or merely initials,
and the collector’s imagination and historical knowledge, as well as his
expert acquaintance with the qualities of old glass, are all called into
play to determine the date and occasion when the specimen was produced.

It need hardly be said that historical and commemorative glass are very
widely imitated, the commonest and most plausible of the various forms
of deception adopted being, as elsewhere suggested, to engrave some
comparatively valueless specimen of real old glass with figures exactly
imitating the genuine thing, and so giving it a fictitious value.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--TANKARDS AND GROG GLASSES. EARLY 18th CENTURY.

(From the Rees Price Collection, by permission of the Connoisseur).]



CHAPTER V

BRISTOL AND NAILSEA GLASS


It is a matter of regret that Bristol’s ancient fame for making and
cutting glass should have so completely disappeared. In the palmy days
of its glass industry it boasted no fewer than fifteen “glass-houses,”
and it had no rival in the country either as regards the quantity or the
quality of its output. This was in the year 1760.

Thirty years later the first glass-maker appears on the roll of the
city’s freemen. But seven years previously we read that a certain
townsman was admitted a freeman of the city upon his undertaking to
train a city schoolboy, as his apprentice, in the difficult art of glass
“grinding” without the usual premium of £7. But as early as 1666 an
order was made by the City Council to the effect that “no stranger or
foreigner should presume to open a shop, _either with or without glass
windows_, under a penalty of £5”--a fact which seems to indicate that,
although glass windows may still have been a novelty, there existed
facilities for their supply if required.

Apart from casual references like these, the history of Bristol glass is
entirely obscure. But as the trade returns for the year 1695 show that
the duty on glass for that year amounted to £17,642, and that a
“drawback” allowed on exported glass amounted in the case of Bristol to
no less a sum than £2976, it is pretty clear that by that time the
industry in Bristol had assumed very considerable dimensions.

Bristol glass is certainly the most beautiful of all Old English glass,
and there is no doubt that many of the fine specimens one sees, both
coloured and plain, were actually produced in the factories of that
city. The colouring of Bristol glass is exceptionally brilliant,
especially its deep blues. The opaque milky-white ware, which is most
common, is often “ribbed” with white streaks or ornamented with flowers
in colours and gold, or daubed with red, blue, and yellow, or with one
of these colours only. Fig. 29 shows specimens of both kinds.

It is a matter for great regret that the factories renowned in early
times for the beauty and finish of their output did not maintain their
existence for a longer period. The exact date at which the famous opaque
ware was made is open to considerable doubt, but the year 1760 cannot be
very wide of the mark, for reasons to which I have already referred.

In any case, the records of the city show that in that year its glass
furnaces were in full blast. We find recorded in 1715 a bequest of china
and glass, and in a long account of a feast given to commemorate the
accession of Queen Anne there is included among the expenditure of the
corporation an item of £6, 14s. for glasses.

At first glass was extremely costly: the corporation was called upon to
pay no less than £4, 16s. for “a glass to be placed in Mr Alderman
Laroche’s coach, which was broken at the gaol delivery.” Fine specimens
of the glass-worker’s art fetched extremely high prices.

The glass itself was exceedingly brittle and easily broken as compared
with other English and Irish glass. It was frequently decorated with
enamelled colouring, and many specimens are found with finely curved and
twisted handles. It was, in my opinion, the object of the Bristol
glass-houses to imitate white porcelain, and, in support of this idea,
we find manufactured in Bristol glass such articles as vases, cups and
saucers, plates, mugs, and other utensils usually made from porcelain
and earthenware.

Of course, the art of manufacturing this opaque white or milky glass was
well known abroad. The white glass of Venice, of Orleans, and of
Barcelona was already famous. The characteristic feature of its
manufacture was the large amount of lead and the small quantity of tin
employed as ingredients--quantities altogether out of proportion to
those used in the manufacture of ordinary transparent glass.

It is no very difficult task for an enthusiast to find to-day excellent
specimens of Bristol ware. Its characteristic features are an
extraordinary fineness in colour and texture, coupled with a delicate
taste both in hue and form. The ware, too, has a peculiar softness to
the touch which is quite characteristic, and provides the amateur
collector, once he has recognised it, with an excellent test as to the
genuineness of the specimen under consideration. The smaller pieces are
often beautifully decorated with painted or enamelled flowers,
maidenhair fern, and the like.

The illustrations (Figs. 25-26) give an excellent idea of the kind of
decoration adopted by the master craftsmen of Bristol. The designs found
upon Bristol glass were also, now and again, copies of those found on
Venetian and French pieces. But, generally speaking, the decoration of
Bristol glass was entirely English in conception and execution. This is
particularly the case where the pieces were made for some special
occasion or purpose, as, for example, the commemoration of some event of
national importance.

Many examples from the Bristol factories are to be found in the various
museums, especially at South Kensington, where in the famous Schrieber
Collection are some of the finest examples extant. There is, for
example, a “Venetian glass”--purely Bristol, of course, but on a
Venetian model, which is reproduced as a frontispiece to this
volume--and also a pair of candlesticks beautifully ornamented with
butterflies, wild flowers, and leaves. They stand out as most admirable
specimens from the Bristol factories.

It is a well-known fact that the Bristol product, so admirable was it in
quality and appearance and so closely did it resemble the real Venetian
glass, was often passed off as the product of the Venice
glass-makers--the pastmasters of the art. Many a collection, ostensibly
hailing from Venice, must, on a closer scrutiny, be attributed to a
place of origin much nearer home. This form of substitution was
particularly prevalent in the case of glass ornamented with white
twisted threads and in the case of ruby-coloured glasses and mugs.

Many of the earliest specimens were left “raw” at the base, and if the
finger be drawn across the ends the existence of sharp edges will become
apparent. This is a test of reasonably good value, as I have found on
more than one occasion when I have been in doubt. Also, and with the
smaller pieces in particular, it was almost universal with the Bristol
manufacturer to leave untouched the “mark” or place where the piece was
nipped from the blower’s tube. Modern reproductions, whilst faithfully
observing and imitating all the beauties of the model, have generally
their bases perfectly smooth. Even where the “mark” has been imitated to
give an added air of verisimilitude to the specimen, the thing has been
overdone, and that so

[Illustration: A BRISTOL GLASS DECANTER DECORATED WITH OPAQUE WHITE
ENAMEL. THE WORD “MOUNTAIN” BEING THE NAME OF A KIND OF SPANISH WINE
USED IN THIS COUNTRY, CIRC. 1760.]

[Illustration: EARLY SPECIMEN OF BRISTOL GLASS MUG, WITH THE WORD
“LIBERTY.”

FIG. 25.]

awkwardly as inevitably to lead to detection. Sometimes, too, in the
imitation, the colours used to produce the milky-white tone cease
abruptly, leaving the “mark” perfectly transparent. In genuine old
Bristol the colour fades gradually, leaving only the very tip of the
“mark” clear.

Another good test is to place the specimen in a strong light, preferably
sunlight. If, when examined, the colour is mixed, the piece is of
doubtful authenticity. Spurious specimens often run “cloudy” or patchy,
possibly because of bad mixing. This is, of course, a useful test,
provided one does not rely upon it entirely, for certain specimens of
undoubted authenticity display somewhat similar features. In particular,
I remember an old drinking flask marked with irregular streaks of white,
where this test would have proved absolutely misleading. Possibly the
“feel” of the glass is the best criterion, genuine old Bristol being
much softer to the touch than any modern imitation.

So many pitfalls await the average collector of Bristol glass that I
should hardly advise anyone to make this his sole hobby, for although it
is still possible to find small pieces--cups, salt-cellars, small
bowls, finger basins, mugs, and the like--the really important pieces of
Bristol glass are few, and they and their owners are pretty well known
to the _cognoscenti_. At any rate I have not met anyone, in recent
years, who could boast of a considerable find in this direction.

A very fine specimen, described as “Old Bristol, 1760,” was put up for
sale some eighteen months ago, near London. Its genuineness was further
guaranteed by a label pasted on the base, showing that it had passed
through a well-known London auction-room. The owner, a dealer in a small
way, failing to find a customer in London, had put it into the sale of
the effects of a cottage. It was bought in by its owner for £3, 3s., and
eventually at the end of the day realised only 36s. I saw the piece
subsequently. It was obviously a reproduction, though a very good one,
and certainly worth what was given for it; but as he had purchased it as
real old glass, and at a proportionate figure, it will, I fancy, be a
long time before he again endeavours to secure a bargain in Old Bristol.
I have known many such instances, and as a result of my experience I
have come

[Illustration: FIG. 26.--SPECIMENS OF BRISTOL GLASS.

(Enamel Colouring by Michael Edkin.)]

to the conclusion that, while pieces of Bristol can be picked up now and
again, particularly in the west of England, it will not pay the amateur
collector to confine himself to this particular variety.

I am indebted to Mr Cole of South Molton Street, London, for the
illustration (Fig. 26) of a pair of very fine early Bristol vases which,
although undecorated, are exquisite in colour and form, and a beautiful
example of the maker’s art. The frilling round the base deserves special
notice.

The central piece in the photograph is a long-necked vase decorated with
coloured enamels, and known to be the work of Michael Edkin, a Bristol
enameller of distinction. If carefully examined, it affords ample
evidence of the skill and painstaking care to which the best specimens
of this ware owe their artistic merit.

Spiral wine glasses are still often to be found in or near Bristol, and
the fact that these are rarely found in other parts of the country seems
to indicate that they were a favourite form with the Bristol
glass-makers. Among the examples of Bristol ware here reproduced (Fig.
27) is included a pair of vases. These rank among the finest specimens
still extant of Michael Edkin’s work. This talented artist was a painter
of some merit, who gradually drifted into glass painting, and for some
twenty-six years, from 1762 to 1788, was engaged by various firms to
decorate their ware with birds, flowers, etc. He was also, it may be
added, a singer and an actor of no little distinction.

Fig. 26 shows a pair of candlesticks, 6½ inches in height, from the
British Museum Collection. They are excellent examples of Edkin’s taste
and delicacy of execution. Great quantities of glass decorated by him
must have been exported, and I have found undoubted specimens of his
work in Rome and the museums of other Continental cities I have visited.
One of the very finest specimens of his art is a richly gilt and
decorated tea-tray, now in the Museum of Practical Geology. Another
example from the British Museum Collection is the fine mug, ornamented
with a portrait and the word “Liberty” in gold, possibly made by some
sympathiser with the revolutionary spirit which strongly affected
Britain as well as France towards the close of the eighteenth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.--SPECIMENS OF OPAQUE WHITE BRISTOL GLASS. 18th
CENTURY.

(Decorated by M. Edkin.)]

Edkin also decorated many blue ground pieces, and it is interesting to
learn that his remuneration for the ornamentation of a jug in colour and
gilt, which must have taken a considerable time, was the lordly sum of
8d., a striking commentary upon the value placed upon skilled
craftsmanship in the eighteenth century. Like many other artists he had
to be content with the posthumous reward which fame bestows.

The Bristol factories are said to have made all sorts of articles,
flasks, bells, walking-sticks, bellows, etc., in glass, but there is
much uncertainty on this head, and I doubt if the greater part of such
articles classified as coming from Bristol should not, as a matter of
fact, claim Nailsea as their place of origin. We can certainly ascribe
oil, vinegar, and pepper pots, candlesticks, salt-cellars, and vases to
Bristol, as the daintily decorated pepper and sugar castors, shown in
Fig. 27, prove, so that it is at least possible for the other articles
enumerated also to have been made there, but where there is so much
uncertainty, the collector who desires to be on the safe side had better
refrain from giving Bristol the benefit of the doubt.

It must not be inferred, however, that all Bristol glass is of the
opaque kind. The magnificent piece shown in the frontispiece is quite
transparent, the apparent opacity of the background of the landscape
being due to enamel laid on the glass. The fine decanter reproduced in
Fig. 25 is also an example of what Bristol could do in transparent
glass, the decoration, here again, being in enamel.

_Nailsea Glass._--The glass-works of Nailsea were established in 1788, a
few miles to the south-west of Bristol, and were, for some time, carried
on with success; but the ware was crude and lacking in the finish
characteristic of the best Bristol specimens. The earliest pieces were
made of yellowish or dark green glass, with blotches of white, as in the
jug shown in Fig. 28. They were usually very inferior in style, colour,
texture, and workmanship, and were consequently not greatly sought after
by purchasers; hence the output was restricted, and the factory after a
while seems to have confined its efforts to producing plain white glass
with quaint and curious forms of decoration. A pair of bellows, for
example, was decorated like the fins of a fish, with tiny projections
and spines all over it. Towards the

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--EARLY NAILSEA GLASS JUGS. EARLY 19th
CENTURY.]

end of its career, which closed in 1763, the output was a clear glass of
greenish tint, with faintly coloured streaks. Fig. 29 is a
characteristic example. I have also seen a few pieces gilt. The glass is
now exceedingly scarce, and good specimens command a very high price.
There is a curious charm about Nailsea glass. In appearance, the best
specimens are of a dark toffee-like colour, and when held up to a strong
light exhibit a greenish tinge. The lighter and finer kinds display a
characteristic ground which, if not beautiful, is certainly quaint.
Collectors who are fortunate enough to come across a specimen of Nailsea
at a reasonable figure should undoubtedly seize the opportunity of
acquiring it, but such opportunities are few and, were they more
numerous, it is hardly likely that anyone would wish to form a large
collection of it. The “Simpson” Jug, illustrated in Fig. 28, is
transparent, but of a curious yellowish-green tinge, and is probably one
of the last pieces produced at the old factory.



CHAPTER VI

IRISH GLASS--CORK AND WATERFORD


The history of the manufacture of glass in Ireland is very obscure, and
the dates of its various periods difficult to fix. Hence it is well-nigh
impossible to place before the reader any reliable data in the way of
photographs of pieces that can be guaranteed authentic both as regards
place of origin and date.

Yet numerous specimens do exist, including drinking glasses of all
shapes and sizes, as well as fruit dishes, epergnes, sweetmeat glasses,
decanters, and salt-cellars, which are undoubtedly Irish in their
origin, and which are generally known as “Waterford” glass.

As far as can be determined, glass-making in various forms, enamelling,
and even mosaic work and cameos, were carried on in Ireland as early as
the beginning of the eighth century.

The finest examples of the earliest period are to be found in the Royal
Irish Antiquities

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--NAILSEA JUG AND MUG.]

Collection, which includes the famous Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch,
the Cross of Cong, and the Crozier of Clonmacnoise, as well as other
well-known and interesting exhibits. At any rate, experts are agreed
that even at this early date the art of enamelling on glass was
practised in Ireland, being probably introduced by the Phœnicians who,
in turn, had acquired the art from Ancient Egypt. In support of this
belief is the fact that a large piece of red enamelled glass was found
in the Rath of Caílchon on Tara Hill; but it is equally clear that the
art of glass-making, if introduced at the time mentioned, speedily fell
into desuetude, for there is no mention of any manufacture of glass
between the ninth and the seventeenth centuries, nor are there to be
found any specimens which may be attributed to this period. There are,
further, no traces of the manufacture even of window glass of the
commonest description.

In the seventeenth century, however, there were many interesting
squabbles with regard to glass-making patents and their infringement,
and there are records of petitions to the King concerning them; but from
the Patent Roll of King James I. it appears that little was done.
Still, we have it on record that permission was given to import glass in
1675, and it is suggested that craftsmen in Ireland attempted to imitate
the work of Continental glass-workers, and various sums of money were
granted by the Universities and others interested, to assist them in so
doing. Some progress undoubtedly was made, for it is clear that by the
eighteenth century factories were in existence and glass was being
actually made in Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Belfast, and Londonderry.

Some examples of early Waterford glass are, as far as shape and size go,
replicas of glasses made in England at about the same period, but the
reason for the almost immediate popularity of the Irish glass was its
perfection of colour. A fine specimen which recently came under my
notice is a preserve jar with cover (Fig. 30), about 18 inches in
height, handsomely cut and shaped, with a square base and a fine spiked
cover. It is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of early Waterford
glass which it has been my privilege to inspect.

Genuine Waterford glass is characterised by a peculiar bluish tint in
its body--due, it is generally recognised, to the presence of lead--but

[Illustration: OLD WATERFORD GLASS WATER JUGS. 18th-19th CENTURY.

FIG. 30.]

attributed by some to some peculiar quality of the flint employed, which
was obtained from pits in the vicinity. Personally, I lean to the former
hypothesis. Cork glass, on the other hand, is distinguishable by a pale
yellow or amber tint--in all probability the result of the presence of
iron. These tones are characteristic, for though the colouring of glass
has been brought by modern workers to a fine art, yet no one has
succeeded in exactly reproducing them so that, to the expert eye, the
genuine old Irish glass is unmistakable.

About the year 1753 the Dublin Society offered a premium for the
establishment of a glass factory in County Cork. There seems, however,
to have been some reluctance in taking advantage of the offer, for it
was not until 1782 that the first glass factory was established there.
Then Atwell Hayes, Thomas Burnett and Francis Richard Rowe demanded
assistance from Parliament in carrying on the industry. They proposed to
erect two houses, one for bottles and one for window glass and, from
their advertisements appearing shortly after in the Irish papers,
offering to sell glass at their manufactory, and guaranteeing
satisfaction, it would appear that their venture met with considerable
success.

From 1780 onward Cork exported a good deal of glass. In the year 1801
alone, the considerable number of 111,000 drinking glasses was sent to
America, Portugal, and various other places abroad, while in the next
year there is record of 6129 dozen bottles and 40,000 drinking glasses
being shipped abroad, which indicates a considerable output.

The trouble involved in founding such an industry in those days must
have been considerable. In this case, two years were taken up in
procuring the necessary concessions, but the industry, once started,
took firm root, and the advertisements appearing in the Press--in
particular, _The Hibernian Chronicle_ (May 1784) and _The Cork New
Evening Post_ (1792), copies of which are preserved in the Museum of
Dublin Antiquities, indicate what progress it was making and,
incidentally, possess a curious interest from their quaint wording and
setting forth.

The following is an example:--

    “With choicest glass from Waterford,
     Decanters, Rummers, Draws, and Masons,
     Flutes, Hob-nobs, Crofts, and Finger Basins,

[Illustration: OLD WATERFORD BOWLS. 18th-19th CENTURY.]

[Illustration: OLD ENGLISH AND IRISH CELERY BOWLS.]

FIG. 31.

    Proof Bottles, Goblets, Cans, and Wines,
    Punch Juggs, Liqueurs, and Gardevins,
    Salts, Mustards, Salads, Butter keelers,
    And all that’s sold by other dealers.
    Engraved or cut in newest taste,
    Or plain--whichever pleases best.
    Lustres repaired or Polished bright,
    And broken glasses matched at sight.
    Hall globes of every size and shape,
    Or old ones hung and mounted cheap.”

In style, as we have already said, Waterford glass closely approximates
to Old English of the Georgian period. If anything, however, the cutting
was deeper, the angles and spikes being often so sharp as to make it
dangerous to grasp the pieces tightly.

Numerous table services of glass of this period exist, as well as
decanters, punch bowls, and dishes. All are deeply cut, the chief
designs being the hobnail and diamond patterns. Sometimes we find fluted
stems and finely cut spiked or striped sides. The majority of the larger
pieces, such as the punch and salad bowls, had square feet or bases
which, while possibly adding to their stability, certainly enhanced the
beauty of their appearance. The salad bowl shown on the left of Fig. 31
is an excellent example: the collar or turn-over at the rim is
remarkable for its depth and also for its superb cutting. The bowl on
the right is a remarkable specimen of very uncommon type. It is oval in
shape--a shape not easily blown even at the present time--and has facet
cutting upon the outside as well as a particularly fine cut scalloped
edging. The base, too, is in admirable keeping with the rest of the
design.

Fig. 32 is another particularly fine piece of Waterford glass, worthy of
note as an example of hobnail cutting, as well as for the depth of its
collar and its general effectiveness.

The celery bowls shown in Fig. 31 are also admirable specimens. That on
the left is waisted and is “strawberry” cut. The centre one is an
example of fine fluted and diamond cutting, with a square base and domed
foot, and the one on the right has a collar and is flat cut on the
middle of the bowl.

Oval or oblong dishes for fruit or sweetmeats were often made with
fan-shaped rims and sides, high in the centre, then sloping downwards,
to rise again to an equal height at the ends. Old Irish cut-glass
salt-cellars are greatly sought after nowadays for the dinner-table, and
have,

[Illustration: OLD WATERFORD CENTREPIECE, WITH A DOUBLE COLLAR AND DOME
FOOT.]

[Illustration: A PAIR OF OLD WATERFORD PRESERVE JARS, COVERS AND STANDS.

FIG. 32.]

with collectors, almost completely ousted the old Georgian silver
“salts.” They were often exquisite in design and shape, some being
miniature models of the large punch bowls or sweetmeat glasses. The
illustration (Fig. 14) is of an imitation pair in Old Sheffield stands.

The water jugs also are of exceptional interest. They were usually
shaped on a fine and graceful model, and are heavily cut into step or
deep-ringed incisions generally with massive ornamentations of leaves or
panel cuttings round the neck, and diamond cuttings and flat fluting at
the base. So eager, indeed, were certain of the designers to ensure that
no part of the jug should be without its ornamentation, that they went
so far as to adorn the handles with deep cutting _inside_, and placed a
huge, deeply cut star on the outside bottom. Weighty substance and
wealth of ornament are thus characteristic of Waterford glass, although
it is, of course, impossible to say that all Irish glass displaying
these qualities came from the Waterford houses.

The jugs illustrated in Fig. 30 are among the finest specimens in
existence, and are from the Dublin Museum Collection. A careful
inspection will reveal most of the characteristics to which we have
referred. The figure on the left is the type most familiar nowadays; the
neck is step cut, the body is “strawberry,” and the base is flat fluted.
The centre piece is a jug of the earliest shape, and is curiously cut. A
band of strawberry cutting round the widest part of the body is flanked
top and bottom by bands of leaf cutting; the lip seems so
disproportionately large as to give the piece an almost top-heavy
appearance. The handle, too, is abnormally large, and is incised on the
inside. Its interest is rather more historical than artistic. The third,
on the right, is a fine example of flat cutting, the rim being scalloped
and the handle deeply scored with “niches,” besides being lavishly
ornamented. The base is curious in that it is domed--a very unusual form
for a jug.

Many of the Waterford pieces, especially the preserve jars with
turn-over collars, were made with covers to protect the upper rim. These
are very attractive pieces, and are found in all shapes and sizes. The
smaller ones, both with and without collars, are exceedingly pretty and
not difficult to acquire.

The four shown in Fig. 33 give an excellent idea of what to expect. Each
is distinct, both

[Illustration: IRISH BOWLS.]

[Illustration: SPECIMENS OF IRISH PRESERVE JARS AND COVERS. 18th-19th
CENTURY.

FIG. 33.]

as regards design and ornamentation. It will be interesting for the
reader to compare them and discover the characteristic features of each.

The decanters which came into vogue in the eighteenth century display
the same general character and are very similar in type to the English
decanters of the same date. Three of them are shown in Fig. 34, and it
may be of service to compare them with the four shown in Fig. 14. The
stopper of the central one is of the button type, those of the other two
being of the more common “mushroom” variety.

The beautiful pair shown in Fig. 35 deserve a word of special mention.
One feature is the lavish use of step cutting round the neck and
shoulders, and another the strawberry empanelment on the body. The fine
diamond cutting and fluting of the stoppers are also worthy of notice.

Drinking glasses, as we have said, were produced in large numbers. They
are generally of two types, the one barrel or bowl shaped after the
fashion of our English rummers, the other straight-sided glasses on
stems. The specimens shown in Fig. 12 give some idea of their general
style as well as of the variety of ornament employed.

It may be well to point out here, for the benefit of those who desire to
acquire specimens of Waterford glass, some of the many differences which
may be detected between the genuine article and its modern imitation.

To begin with a simple example--the prettily shaped wine glasses of the
period with air-threaded or twisted stems are generally reproduced
accurately enough, but the twist or thread in the old glass has a
pronounced milky appearance as compared with the dead white of the
modern reproduction. The twist also is not so regular and even, and the
feet are larger and apparently slightly clumsier in the authentic
specimens. Numerous connoisseurs attach importance to the centre of the
foot, which is usually rough and uneven in the old glass. Another test
frequently relied upon by collectors is the fact of the foot being
turned over--a fashion which, it is said, was followed only with the
earliest specimens. While, however, this may provide corroborative
evidence, I should be sorry to rely upon it as a sole test.

Probably the best criterion of all is the colour. It has, as I have
already noted, a dull bluish tinge readily recognisable when the
specimen is

[Illustration: OLD CORK GLASS DECANTERS (EARLY 18th CENTURY).]

[Illustration: OLD WATERFORD DECANTERS (18th--19th CENTURY).

FIG. 34.]

held up to the light. The better kinds, too, have almost invariably a
large and deep-cut star on the bottom.

Cork glass is rarer than Waterford--a result due to the fact that the
Cork factories were in existence only for a comparatively short time.
The pieces, too, are slighter, less heavy, and by no means so deeply
cut. It is much frailer in appearance and, at the first glance, less
attractive; but its great beauty is a charming delicacy both of colour
and form which grows upon one’s taste. The wine glasses in particular
would at once appeal to a connoisseur from this point of view alone. The
three decanters shown in Fig. 34 need only be compared with the
Waterford decanters shown elsewhere for the lack of heavy cutting to be
immediately noticed. The centre one is interesting as being a
commemoration piece probably made in the year when the Cork Yeomanry was
formed.

Irish glass was not unfrequently profusely engraved and gilt. The
gilding was done during manufacture, the gold being burnt in by the aid
of borax. In existing specimens much of the gilding has been worn off,
so that only traces remain. In cases where it has disappeared entirely
a careful scrutiny will show pits and roughnesses, indicating where the
decoration formerly stood. Sometimes the places can even be discerned by
the touch. Dutch, German, and Austrian reproductions have from time to
time flooded the market to be sold to the unwary collector as veritable
specimens of Irish art. But these on examination are found to be, as a
rule, so coarse and unfinished in their execution that the fraud is
obvious. The gilding, in particular, is far inferior to the work of the
old craftsmen, who were guided solely by the artist’s desire for
perfection, irrespective of toil or cost.

Now and again specimens of Irish moulded glass crop up. These are
chiefly pint and half-pint beer glasses with fluted sides and somewhat
sparse engraving. The moulded glass is, of course, easily detected since
the edges of the fluting are rounded and blunt. The pieces themselves
are usually absurdly light if intended for Cork glass, or clumsily heavy
if they are intended to pass for the Waterford variety.

A large field, therefore, opens to the average collector of Irish glass.
It is wonderfully fine and not too difficult to obtain. Many collectors

[Illustration: 18th CENTURY CUT GLASS WATERFORD DECANTERS.]

[Illustration: 18th CENTURY FINGER BOWL.

FIG. 35.]

too, in their desire to acquire only the earliest specimens, overlook
the cut glass altogether as too modern. In spite of this Irish cut glass
is now more valuable and far more sought after than any other. After
exhaustive inquiries I am satisfied that in Ireland, England, France,
and the United States specimens of genuine Irish glass are still to be
found, often in the most unlikely places--the property of persons who
could not be expected to know their value and of others who ought to but
do not.

A little personal experience may be worth repeating here. I was in a
small, dilapidated general shop near the London Docks; the shopkeeper,
fancying he detected in me a possible victim, drew my attention to a
pair of celery glasses and began to descant upon their age, the
difference between them and Cork or Bristol glass, and so on. After I
had examined them carefully and satisfied myself that they were
genuine--they were about 10 in. high with a very thin herring-bone
cutting upon their flat-cut sides--I asked the price, which was absurdly
high; then, disclosing my identity, I asked what he would say if I told
him they were not genuine but only reproductions. To my utter
astonishment, he exclaimed that he “must have been done.” The
price--“if they were any use to me”--dropped considerably. Then I told
him they were genuine, and sent a friend of mine, who is a collector, to
purchase them, but not without the man endeavouring to obtain a price
which was not only far above what he had asked me but considerably above
the real value of the articles.

I record this episode for the benefit of my readers who may be tempted
to depend upon the seller’s opinion for a guarantee of the genuineness
of their “finds.” Speaking generally, the ordinary shopkeeper’s
knowledge is of the most superficial type and should never be relied
upon, while, of course, his interest lies entirely in one direction.

Research fails to throw much light upon the glass factory of
Londonderry, nor is it easy to find pieces bearing indisputable proof of
their origin. But it is a fact that in 1820 one John Moore transformed a
sugar establishment in that city into a glass factory and, with his son,
carried on the manufacture until 1825. Then a prohibitive duty stopped
it. It is possible that only the black ale bottles were manufactured
there. As for the glass exported from Londonderry to America, it is
difficult to determine whether it was manufactured in that city or
merely exported thence. The latter is the more probable, since by the
Act of 1746 a duty of 9s. 4d. was imposed on every cwt. of material used
in making Crown plate, flint, and white glass in Ireland, as against a
duty of 2s. 4d. per cwt. in England, from which it will appear that
Ireland in those days had no great incentive to manufacture glass in
opposition to England.

It is almost impossible to obtain authentic examples of the work of
individual Irish factories. Nor can one state with any degree of
certainty that a certain pattern, cutting, or style is identified with
any one factory or another. Both the Waterford and Cork glass firms came
from England, and brought with them English workmen. Hence it is pretty
certain that the designs and styles adopted by them were replicas of
those utilised in England, and not peculiar to Ireland or copies of
ancient Irish relics. So, too, with the ornamentation.

Possibly some of the earliest Waterford glass was gilt, for in 1784 one
John Grohl obtained a concession for this purpose. A native of Saxony,
he probably brought with him the secret of his art, for the
“disclosure” of which he and a certain John Hand were rewarded by the
Dublin Society. The finest diamond cutting, strawberry cutting, and flat
fluting were done at Waterford; but pieces were not always cut at their
place of manufacture. Thus we hear of a Waterford dish going to Cork for
ornamentation with the characteristic designs of the factories there.
The cutters, too, had often to decorate their pieces to the purchaser’s
taste.

There seems to have been little coloured glass made in Ireland, although
specimens are not unfrequently offered for sale. The writer was offered
recently, on the Continent, some “Old Irish glass” of perfect
colouring--deep blue, red, and yellow, with fine heavy cutting--but the
lightness of the pieces proved them modern, probably from some Dutch
factory.

       *       *       *       *       *

In concluding this chapter a word may be given to Scottish glass, which
is very like Irish in texture, although its existence is commonly
ignored by collectors and writers alike. As an industry glass-making
was, of course, of little importance in Scotland, but it is interesting
to learn that in the reign of James VI., John Maria dell’ Aqua of
Venice was appointed Master of the Glass-Works in Scotland. The famous
liqueur glass shaped like the flower of the thistle was probably from a
Bohemian original. It is heavily cut, with an acorn bottom upon a round
stem, and reproductions can be seen in almost every shop window that
displays glass. Early examples are difficult to obtain and their
genuineness equally difficult to guarantee. It is assumed that many of
the Jacobite glasses were manufactured in the Scottish factories.
Secrecy being absolutely essential, it is hardly necessary to state that
no authentic records of production are to be found.

The courtesy of the authorities of the Dublin Museum has enabled me to
add another, and, from a collector’s point of view, a most interesting,
section on the subject of Irish glass.

The museum possesses one of the finest collections of Old Irish glass in
existence, many pieces from which are reproduced in the illustrations to
this chapter. These illustrations are of pieces as nearly perfect as it
is possible to obtain, and are therefore useful in enabling the
collector to form a standard as regards this particular form of glass.

The three decanters illustrated in Fig. 34 are undoubtedly Cork glass.
Apart from the fact that the centre one bears an inscription, “Success
to Cork Yeomen,” which seems to indicate that it was made about the time
the Irish Brigade was being raised--early in the nineteenth century--it
bears all the distinctive characteristics of the Cork factories.

The drinking glasses (Fig. 12) are also undoubtedly Irish, of about the
same period, and probably came from Waterford. The reader should
carefully note the cutting of the two end pieces; they are of totally
different types, each being perfect in its own style. That on the left
has the hobnail cutting common in England about the time when the Irish
factories were first established. It was probably imitated from an
English model or made by one of the English craftsmen who were largely
responsible for the introduction of glass manufacture into Ireland.

The end glass on the right-hand side is an excellent example of the
grace, beauty, and simplicity associated with the best Waterford pieces;
its flat-cut sides are characteristic of its place of origin. I have
occasionally seen similar specimens in London, and they have always
appealed to me as the most perfect examples of the Irish drinking glass
of the eighteenth century. The other two specimens are of the same type
as the English rummers or punch glasses; they are prettily engraved, and
make an effective contrast to the other glasses of the same period.

Irish cut-glass decanters and stoppers, such as the specimens
illustrated in Fig. 34, are not difficult to find nowadays if one is
expert enough and careful enough to avoid the many imitations that
exist. High prices are demanded for genuine pieces in which the cutting
and colour are good, and which satisfy the tests by which the
connoisseur judges the antiquity of his finds.

The centre decanter has a finger-fluted base, and the length of the neck
makes it an unusual specimen. Possibly the idea was to enable it to be
more easily grasped and held when full; but the design is undoubtedly
graceful, and this is one point which the amateur collector should never
ignore when seeking to make a worthy collection. It is well to bear in
mind both artistic merit and intrinsic worth.

Two other fine early specimens of Waterford glass are illustrated in
Fig. 31. The “collared” or turn-over flower bowl is a fine example of
eighteenth-century work. The cutting, it will be seen, is entirely
different from that of the piece on the right; for whereas the latter is
entirely flat cut, with the exception of its finely scalloped edges in
the former, the whole design is finished in the “fluted” style. In both,
as in most pieces of the kind and period, the “dome” or hollow foot is
found.

The large glass dish on a stand on the other side is almost unique. Such
pieces are very difficult to find in their entirety; indeed, the only
other existing, to my knowledge, is in the Marquis of Bute’s collection.
Perfect specimens are hardly obtainable now except when a fine
collection is dispersed at the death of its owner. Even then, as all
such notable pieces are well known to collectors, the competition for
them is very keen, and the private buyer, unless his purse is of the
“bottomless” kind, is hardly likely to obtain them. Occasionally one
may, by happy accident, come across a really fine piece in some
unexpected quarter, but such chances are few and far between. Moreover,
there is always between the finder and his find the spectre of the fake
merchant, whose wont it is to plant his most seductive wares in
out-of-the-way places, so as to give them a fictitious appearance of
genuineness. No important piece should ever be purchased without an
inquiry into its history. It ought to be possible in every such case to
discover sufficient as to its origin and former ownership to place its
_bona fides_ beyond doubt; if not, it is best to let the apparent
bargain go.

I remember, not many years ago, waiting upon a lady in a very ordinary
house in a London suburb. She had replied to an advertisement in which I
had offered to purchase old glass. A glance was sufficient to show me
that her collection contained nothing likely to appeal to my taste. Yet
I did have a find; for she had, in addition to what I saw at first, two
dishes somewhat similar in shape to a large fruit dish, but with the
cipher C.R. cut upon each (Fig. 36). These were actually made and
presented to Queen Charlotte on a visit which Her Majesty paid to some
glass-works during a tour in Ireland. Their authenticity was guaranteed
by a letter from an old tutor of the Queen relating the circumstances
and handing down the pieces as a relic. The owner asked £15 for them.
Needless to say, they changed hands, only to do so again shortly after,
and this time at the enhanced and respectable figure of fifty-five
guineas. In spite of their beauty and their apparent air of genuine
antiquity, I should have hesitated to purchase them but for the
additional evidence afforded by the letter. One cannot be too careful.

The sweetmeat glasses (Fig. 11) are particularly fine of their kind.
Each has its individuality: the one has an opal-twisted stem with a
“dome” foot and a finely cut edge, whilst the other displays some
exquisite cutting both on the upper part and the base. These, again, are
uncommon pieces, not to be met with every day nor easily procured when
met. Still, they make a more frequent appearance at sales than the
larger pieces. A more ordinary variety is not so high and has flat sides
and cutting. A genuine specimen, though, is not to be despised, but the
type is one very freely imitated.

Some fine celery bowls of the same period are worthy of note. They are
excellent specimens of the art of glass-cutting both as regards design
and finish, and they are somewhat rare. As much as seven or eight
guineas was recently asked in the West End of London for a

[Illustration: FIG. 36--SPECIMENS OF IRISH GLASS.]

plain example with a slight herring-bone cutting. It was certainly
genuine, but was hardly a supreme specimen of the decorative cutter’s
art. The price, however, will give some idea of what would be asked for
such superb specimens as those reproduced in the photograph.

The Old Irish water jugs shown in Fig. 30 are of the earliest type. That
on the left is the pattern most often seen and most generally copied; in
fact, during the Early Victorian era most jugs were of this design. It,
however, originated in the Irish factories.

The centre piece, as well as the jug on the right, are both rare;
possibly the style was not often repeated. Certainly the tremendous
handle placed upon the centre one gives it a most clumsy appearance,
while, in regard to the one on the right, one cannot help feeling there
is something wanting at the base. They were improved upon towards the
middle of the nineteenth century, when smaller handles and firmer bases
were added to the design.

It is curious to note how in this kind of glass the strawberry, or flat,
square style of cutting, prevails. Traces of it appear upon almost every
article, so that it was evidently a favourite form of decoration, and
was possibly regarded as a relief from the flat, scalloped, or slip
cutting then in vogue.

On the plate (Fig. 33) there are examples of sugar basins or bowls, in
which the cutting is of the same kind, save that the specimen on the
right is “flat” cut, with cut steps. This variety is particularly rare,
and consequently highly prized among collectors. They are usually of
stout, heavy glass, the cutting being very deep and the edges of the
“flats” sharp. These traits will, of course, not help the collector to
discriminate between the veritable antique and its modern replica. But
it should be borne in mind that the modern is invariably more brilliant,
has a whitish look, and is “cleaner” in every detail than the real glass
of this period.

It may be mentioned that the centre bowl, although particularly
attractive, is by no means so rare as other specimens figured in this
chapter. Indeed, pieces of this character and design are frequently to
be procured. Still, a genuine piece is well worth the collector’s
attention.

The same plate (Fig. 33) illustrates some rare pickle or jam jars,
displaying among them all the principal cuttings then in vogue. The end
one on the right is the only exception, having an engraved
ornamentation. These specimens are frequently copied, but originals are
still to be obtained.

The Cork houses, the product of which was finer and slighter than other
Irish glass, turned out a great quantity of these. Prices run from six
guineas upwards. They are copied in great number in Holland, often in
small sizes and with flat cutting, so that care must be taken in
choosing. Unfortunately the distinctive features--design, colour, and
shape--all readily lend themselves to reproduction and, with increasing
skill in imitation, make it exceedingly difficult to determine between
the true and the false.



CHAPTER VII

CURIOUS AND FREAK GLASSES


Hitherto we have confined our attention to what one may term the
legitimate drinking glass in its different varieties. But there were
many freak glasses and curious objects made of glass by our forefathers,
and these have a special fascination for lovers of the antique. In some
cases they appeal because of their quaintness and _bizarrerie_ of form,
in others because of their purpose, while other examples have little to
commend them save their antiquity.

One curious specimen which I came across not long ago was a flask in the
shape of a pair of bellows. The nozzle was closed by a cork, and there
was a hole in one handle of the bellows by which it might be suspended
from a nail in the wall. It was probably employed by some ancient
apothecary or alchemist to hold drugs. I should hardly care to dogmatise
as to its period, but it was unmistakably of English origin, and
certainly quaint and interesting enough to be worth acquiring.

Among the commoner “finds” of this kind are the glass paper weights,
made with, apparently, a bunch of flowers inside, which is visible when
viewed laterally and disappears on a vertical view, when the observer
sees nothing but clear glass. I have seen many examples of this kind on
sale in shop windows in London, and the price asked is usually modest
enough even for a good specimen.

In olden times it was customary to place names and dates upon the
bottles which held the best ale. Many of these are still in existence,
mostly, however, in collections. They are certainly by no means
beautiful as far as appearance goes, their interest being centred upon
the date, and upon the fact that the practice has now been obsolete for
many years. To a casual eye these ale bottles appear black, but if held
up to a strong light a greenish tinge is plainly marked. They are very
stout and amazingly tough, so that they may even be dropped upon the
ground without fear of breaking or chipping. This, by the way, is often
put forward by experts as the best test of their genuineness. The test
is, however, something on the drastic side. Moreover, dropping other
people’s bottles to test their _bona fides_ is a practice hardly likely
to commend itself to the seller, and one which might prove unexpectedly
costly to the connoisseur.

There are many other objects made in glass which are worthy of
note--knife-rests, rolling-pins, walking-sticks, quaintly shaped jugs,
baskets, forks, bells and horns.

The knife-rests often assume most curious forms. A not unfrequent type
was that of a hound running at full stretch, fore and hind legs widely
extended, and the body coloured to nature. Salt-cellars, too, were made,
like the paper weights before mentioned, with sprays of flowers inside.
These were made in two pieces, which were fused together after the
flowers, painted on paper or thin canvas, had been placed between them.

Small glasses made in the form of flowers or their petals, and glass
buttons and beads decorated (_sic_) with faces, names, dates, initials,
etc., are other examples of freakwork in glass which the amateur should
be glad to acquire.

Possibly one, more fortunate than his fellows, may chance across a
“toddy-lifter.” At first sight this bears a distinct resemblance to a
tiny decanter; on examination, however, it will be found to be without
either bottom or stopper.

The toddy-lifter, as its name implies, was used instead of a ladle for
filling glasses with punch or toddy from the bowl. The open bell of the
lifter was dipped into the liquid and at once filled. Then the opening
at the top was closed by the finger and the “lifter” raised out of the
bowl, the contents being retained in it by atmospheric pressure until
the finger was removed from the top, when the contents were discharged
into the consumer’s glass. One would imagine that a ladle would prove
equally useful and more convenient. Possibly, however, the fact that the
toddy-lifter never spilt a drop of its contents, however unsteady the
hand that held it, was not without its advantages in a hard-drinking
age. Similar pieces of Scottish origin may be found. These are usually
more club-shaped, and are even rarer than the English examples.

None of the foregoing pieces is particularly difficult to acquire, and
it is comparatively easy, therefore, to form an adequate collection of
really fine specimens. By fine I do not, of course, mean rare or
exceptional pieces, but specimens of sterling merit of which the
collector may be proud and which are likely to increase in value. They
are mostly in the hands of people who have no conception of their
merits, either pecuniary or artistic.

A few years ago I found in an old book shop quite a collection of old
Bristol glass paper weights. The fact that each bore upon it a view of
some object or place of interest in Bristol or its environs should have
furnished a direct clue to their identity. One particularly fine
specimen was used as the lid of an old glass ink-pot. Its owner readily
parted with it as a thing of no value, for a few pence. But it may
interest the budding collector--no less than its late owner should he by
chance read these lines--to learn that the purchaser resold it shortly
after for a very respectable sum to someone more appreciative of its
merits.

Freak glasses proper include yards and half-yards, boots, cocked hats,
frog glasses, and trick glasses designed to send their contents anywhere
but in the direction which the would-be consumer intended.

The yards and half-yards are great curiosities; they resemble nothing so
much as a coaching horn in shape and size. There are two kinds, the one
the genuine old Cambridge ale-yards, and the other trick glasses which
had the knack when partially emptied of suddenly expelling the remainder
of their contents with a splash into the drinker’s face, to his great
discomfiture and the huge delight of the onlookers, who had probably
arranged the whole thing for the benefit of some innocent person.

Unfortunately, in the sudden start with which the drinker received the
unexpected disposition of the contents of his glass, the vessel itself
was so frequently damaged that specimens of ale-yards are very difficult
to obtain. It will be noticed that in our illustration (Fig. 37) the
specimen is cracked near its mouth. It need hardly be said that any
collector who is fortunate enough to obtain an example in reasonably
good condition may esteem himself fortunate.

As to the reason of the sudden emptying I cannot do better than quote
from Mr Hartshorne, an old friend and the greatest authority on Old
English glass.

[Illustration: Masonic, Toasting, and Freak Glasses.]

[Illustration: An Early Cambridge Yard Ale Glass.]

FIG. 37.

“The trick yard glass arose from the knob at the end of the footless
one. It was found that on expanding into a bulb the ‘knob’ or ‘knot,’
the difficulty of emptying the vessel was greatly increased, because
when this feat was nearly accomplished the air passed down the tube into
the bulb and caused the remainder of the contents to fly into the face
of the drinker.”

This was by no means an uncommon occurrence in wayside inns of the
seventeenth century, the spectators often betting upon the result.

At the annual “Vinis” of the Mock Corporation of Hanley, Staffs, the
initiation of a member included the drinking of a yard of port, while
the freeman of Stoke-on-Trent had as a preliminary to admission to
dispose of a yard of ale.

To “floor the long glass” at Eton is also an accomplishment which many
never achieve.

I have seen many fine specimens, notably one belonging to my old friend,
Mr John George Mortlock of Cambridge; but it is rare to find them
undamaged, the involuntary jerk of the victim who finds the liquid
splashing into his face being usually fatal to the unwieldy glass.

Another similar example is furnished by such glasses as that shown in
Fig. 37. On the one side it is marked “King,” on the other “Tinker.” The
“innocent” invited to drink was asked to choose from which side he would
drink, and, prompted by loyalty, vanity, or pure folly, he was almost
certain to drink with the king rather than the tinker. But artfully
concealed in the band of decoration round the rim was a series of small
holes, through which, when the glass was tilted, the liquor ran, soaking
the drinker’s waistcoat instead of finding its way down his throat.

Possibly the old coaching glasses may fitly find a place in this
connection. They are without feet, the stem ending in a bulb which was
often cut. When, in the old coaching days, the vehicle pulled up at a
wayside inn, the landlord brought out his tray with the glasses inverted
upon it. They were filled from the bottle and emptied at once--the idea
being that as the drink would have to be consumed at once, there was no
need to make the glass so that it could be set down while the liquor was
only partly consumed. These are now rare, and to discover one would be a
great achievement for the ordinary collector.

One may also mention the singing glasses, which were made to vibrate to
a certain musical note, and so would repeat the note when sounded or
sung, just as the string of a piano or violin will do. This, of course,
was a great mystery to unscientific persons, but is susceptible of a
very simple explanation. Evelyn was greatly puzzled over the phenomenon.
Certain glasses, he remarked, “made an echo to the voice, but were so
thin that the very breath broke them.” The fact is, of course, that the
glass broke through the intensity of its own vibration, just as a pane
of glass in a church window will sometimes break when the organ is used.
The note played having the same period of vibration as the pane of
glass, the latter vibrates in unison with it, and if the note is
continued for sufficiently long, the vibration becomes so intense as to
break the pane. It is for an exactly similar reason that a regiment of
soldiers breaks step when marching over a bridge, for fear that the
rhythm of the march might chance to coincide with the period of
vibration of the bridge, and so set up rhythmic movements which might
weaken the structure.

Such glasses are distantly allied to the musical glasses which, when
filled up to a certain point, produce a musical note when the bowl is
thrown into vibration by the finger or a violin bow. By filling such
glasses to different heights, it is possible to produce a complete
scale, and so to play any desired tune.

Other freak glasses take the form of boots--some of these are quite
elaborate, the lacing being imitated in glass-work, as also were spurs,
straps, etc. The “boot” glass used to express the popular execration of
Lord Bute has been already referred to in the chapter on Commemorative
Glasses. Then there are cocked hats, various birds and beasts, all
highly inconvenient for the purpose for which a glass is intended, but
all associated with some idea, family crest, or particular superstition.
There are glasses from which, though apparently full, it is impossible
to drink; there are others, with tiny electric bulbs in the base, which
light up on the pressure of a button, irradiating the contents with a
glow of light and adding I know not what meretricious attraction to the
contents. These, I need hardly say, are modern, and have no real place
among Old English glass. One I remember was formed at the base into the
semblance of an eye, with the legend “Eye-water,” a description of the
probable contents, which, it is to be feared, was borne out neither by
their destination nor their character--unless, indeed, they were of so
potent a nature as to bring the water into the bibber’s eyes.

Another curious example had engraved upon the inside of the bottom the
figure of the gallows-tree, with its ghastly fruit, and the grim legend
“The last drop.” Whether the maker was a humorist or a temperance
reformer anxious to point his moral in the most effective way, I am
unable to decide.

Somewhat similar are the glasses which have a frog or a snake at the
bottom, possibly with the idea of giving a mild surprise. There are many
other varieties. Indeed, the production of freak glasses was only
limited by the imagination of the time that produced them, and by its
capacity for amusement, and had no relation to taste. They are rarely
produced nowadays: possibly we have become more exacting and less easily
amused than our ancestors. This is a serious and a utilitarian age.



CHAPTER VIII

FRAUDS AND IMITATIONS


Presumably, as long as there is a demand for old glass, there will be
found persons sufficiently unscrupulous to attempt to eke out the very
limited supply of the genuine article by imposing upon the credulity, or
ignorance, of collectors, and supplying them, greatly to the vendor’s
advantage, with more or less colourable imitations of what they desire.

I have in a previous chapter dealt with certain experiences of my own
with regard to “Fiat” glasses. That, however, was only by the way. The
subject of frauds and imitations in Old English glass is of quite
sufficient importance to warrant a chapter to itself. There is,
probably, no department of the “antiques” beloved of the collector in
which there is so much room for fraud as in Old English glass, and there
is certainly none in which imitation has been carried to a finer point.

One can hardly blame the manufacturer for this. The demand for old glass
is much larger than the supply, and the collector, who is desirous of
nothing so much as to complete his “set,” is insistent in his inquiries.
But the trouble comes when a reproduction, altogether admirable in
itself, is passed off for the thing it is not--a genuine specimen of the
early glass-worker’s art--bearing a value proportioned to its antiquity
and presumed rarity.

I saw, not long ago, in a silversmith’s in the south of England, a great
number of specimens set out for sale as genuine old glass, at a price
corresponding to their supposed value, but every piece, without
exception, belonged to what a connoisseur would term the “bad age,”.
_i.e._ anything from the year 1850 onwards. The dealers must have known
its period and its worth, or rather its worthlessness, and yet they
allowed it to be sold as the real thing. Unfortunately, this is no
uncommon occurrence, and it is a pity that the practice cannot be
checked. The ordinary trader is not permitted to sell margarine as
butter, or the publican manufactured spirit as pure grape brandy, but
the dealer in antiques seems to claim a special licence to impose upon
the unwary, and may with impunity--or, at least, often does--pass off as
rare specimens of ancient craftsman’s work things which to the seeing
eye are obvious and clumsy frauds, and virtually worthless.

Nor is the large dealer the only culprit. Small second-hand shops teem
with “faked” antiques, and many of these, and also certain pawnshops,
make a great part of their profit out of the unwary and unskilled hunter
for bargains in glass, china, engravings, sporting prints, and all the
other objects that tempt a collector’s eye.

Fig. 14 illustrates a common type of such bargains. These pieces were
procured at a pawnbroker’s establishment in South London. They are
obviously imitations of Early Georgian salt-cellars, but they were
offered to the author as “genuine old Waterford sweetmeat dishes,” and
then as “perhaps salt-cellars,” and finally as “old glass ice-cups,” at
a price dwindling from 31s. 6d., through 25s. to 15s., at which I
purchased them as “awful examples” of the fate that awaits the collector
who goes bargain-hunting in antiques with an enthusiasm greater than his
knowledge.

It is difficult to lay down any hard and fast rule by which to test the
genuineness of specimens discovered in this haphazard way. Possibly the
best is the colour “test.” Does it look right in colour?--not too green
and not too steely, for crafty imitators often tend to overdo these
qualities. Does it bear too evident signs of age? One has heard of chips
and “hair” scratches artificially produced in order to give it that
appearance of advanced age which is so grateful to the eye of the
collector and the pocket of the vendor. Your best plan is not to jump at
once but to take a piece of good glass with you by which to test the
find and compare the two as to colour, sharpness of cutting and design,
and so on. With caution you may expect now and again to pick up in this
casual way some pieces worthy of your attention, and maybe once or twice
a specimen worth its place in any collection. For good examples of glass
and china have been known to be pawned for a fraction of their worth,
neither the depositor nor the pawnbroker having the slightest inkling of
their value. But the shops above all others to be shunned by the picker
up of unconsidered trifles are the shops whose windows scream, by the
aid of plastered tickets, of the “special bargains” to be obtained
within. The collector may well abandon hope who enters here; there is
probably not a genuine piece in the place. If there is it occupies a
prominent place as a decoy duck, and is generally marked at an absurdly
low price, the salesman depending on his knowledge of human nature to
foist off something else on the unwary or diffident customer. I have
had, on occasion, an unholy joy in entering some such place and
defeating all the efforts of the salesman to divert my attention,
carrying off the only decent piece in the place at a price possibly
fifty per cent. lower than its intrinsic value. But such pleasures are
not for all nor, indeed, for many. In actual practice the would-be
purchaser is generally told that that particular specimen is not for
sale, that “a customer had left it to be valued,” “that it had been put
in the window by mistake,” or some other cock-and-bull story.

Other places to be shunned are the sham Oriental bazaars where Eastern
jewellery, Japanese ivories, jars, fans, beads, etc., are sold. Many
such establishments cater expressly for the unwary and unwise
collector. He will find, if his hobby be glass, glass of all kinds and
descriptions from Elizabethan downwards, and will be treated with such
charming solicitude and deference that he may well become blinded to the
fact that the whole stock is counterfeit, and that the whole atmosphere
of the place is specially designed to conceal that awkward but essential
fact. The cheat is assisted by the delightful courtesy of the
saleswoman.

But apart from the scores of recognised ways in which this nefarious
business of planting frauds on the innocent is carried on, there are
many less obvious and consequently more dangerous traps for the unwary.
Of these one only hears from the victims themselves. Thus one, attracted
by a specimen in a shop window, may become an interested listener to a
conversation in which the beauty of the said piece and its phenomenal
cheapness are the theme. It probably never occurs to the dupe that the
respectable-looking lady and gentleman are in the employ of the
shopkeeper, and that their conversation was arranged entirely for his
benefit.

Then comes the great question of sales, private or otherwise. There is
the complete clearance owing to the proprietor’s death. There is a
window full of miscellaneous stock, including certain good pieces. There
is also the notice, “Nothing sold until the 21st.” By the 21st the few
good pieces, having achieved their object, have disappeared. But the
crowd they have attracted is there, and is there with the intention of
buying--and buys! Again, there is the family compelled by misfortune to
realise immediately all its assets, and in so doing to sacrifice
everything. Who would not pick up a bargain when to do so is to do a
good turn?

All such methods are transparent enough if one stops to consider and to
analyse. But how seldom one does!

A very fine and lucrative trade is carried on in Old Bristol and Nailsea
glass, for the reason that in no other kind of glass is it so difficult
to distinguish the false from the true. The milky white surface lends
itself particularly to imitation. I remember some specimens brought to
me by a well-known collector. They were a pair of small bottles, pepper
and vinegar, and my visitor was mightily proud of his “find” and his
bargain. But on a careful examination I fear that he realised, with some
sense of discomfiture, that the “deceased ancestor” who had been
dangled before him was something of a myth, and that the specimens were
only modern reproductions and probably foreign at that. To my surprise,
on visiting a local museum on the West Coast recently, I found the same
two pieces exhibited as specimens of early Bristol glass. The best test
for this description of glass is carefully to scrutinise the decoration
with a strong magnifying glass. The magnification will reveal alike the
perfection of the workmanship of the real old Bristol manufacture and
the poverty and roughness of the imitation. Further, Bristol glass is
soft to the touch, with a beautiful smooth body. Often, too, on turning
the glass upside down you find in the centre a clear spot devoid of the
opal tint, probably due to the workman running all his colour off at
this point. The “fake” will probably in addition to being rough in
texture be light in weight and of a milk and watery hue, possibly even
with a greyish tinge.

The difficulty one has in discriminating between the true and the false
in this connection is accentuated by the fact that vast quantities of
imitations of old glass have been sent over from Germany and Austria,
and although there is every probability that the influx will cease for
some time to come, yet there is, unfortunately, from the point of view
of the amateur collector, already in existence--in England and
America--so large a number of specimens of Bristol and Nailsea glass
with a strong Teutonic “accent” that there is no likelihood of a dearth
of it for some years to come. And although much of it bears such obvious
traces of its origin that “he who runs may read,” yet much is so
perfectly cut and so similar in appearance to the genuine ware that the
amateur is likely to be deceived, and particularly the amateur who,
having learned the characteristics of this make of glass, looks for them
in his “find.” He will certainly discover them, for is it not the
business of the astute manufacturer of fakes to see that they are there?
His business depends upon his ability to deceive the would-be
connoisseur, to whom, in this case, the possession of a little knowledge
is an infinitely dangerous thing.

The commonest examples of high-class frauds are dishes, salt-cellars,
decanters, and preserve jars. All such should be subjected to a most
careful examination. If the characteristics you have expected to find
are particularly evident, all the more caution is necessary. Even then
you will probably find that you will have to pay for your experience.
For your comfort in misfortune, I may say that I have never yet met a
collector who had not, in the beginning, fallen a victim to the wiles of
the “fake-house.” And only by the experience so gained--and
unfortunately paid for--has he learnt to shun the net that is spread, in
vain, in the sight of any “old” bird. But the process is often a lengthy
one.

My advice is that when any find appears to be doubtful or, worse,
appears too good to be true, to take it on approval for a day or so, or
purchase it on condition that you receive the full amount paid if the
article is returned safe and sound within, say, a week. You will not
find it difficult to secure such an agreement--only get it in writing.
If the dealer will not consent, and you have made up your mind, take a
day to think over it, and then take your risk and buy. If you have made
a mistake you will probably discover it, and will not repeat it.

A friend of mine boasted some years ago that he had never made a bad
mistake in judging glass, because he had “kept his eyes open,” and
invariably asked some one who “knew” to accompany him whenever he
thought he had discovered a piece worthy of being added to his
collection; but, alas! during a summer holiday spent among the Irish
lakes he fell a victim. The lady who was the vendor had evidently kissed
the Blarney stone, and as she was moving and the matter was urgent, a
price--a tall one--was fixed on the spot, and my friend became the
possessor of a remarkably fine collection which expert examination
proved to be entirely of Dutch extraction. And the moral! Well, had he
in the beginning relied upon his own judgment he would have made
mistakes, but he would, at the same time, have acquired first-hand
knowledge and have escaped a serious disaster.

One often finds replicas of old glass moulded; and as moulded glass was,
of course, the earliest kind, the pieces seem to acquire a spurious
value. Moulded glass with its heavy, thick appearance and its rounded
edges lends itself easily to imitation. But the reproductions are often
made in common glass, which gives itself away to the touch. One need
hardly be an expert to detect common glass by its feel and texture.

It must not be assumed that the best method of forming a collection is
to pick up those pieces which appear to be cheap. Real old glass, like
other genuine antiques, is greatly sought after and commands a highly
respectable price. This question of price is really a considerable
factor to the amateur collector. His aim should be to get a complete
collection, however small, and his danger that of duplicating, simply
because he sees a specimen cheap. “Oh, I must have that; I gave nearly
twice as much for the one I have,” is a sentiment often heard. But the
collector must eliminate duplicates unless he aims at completing a set,
say a dozen of wine glasses or finger basins. The ultimate fate of
duplicates is to be “weeded out” often at a price far below what they
cost.

I remember a case in point in which a novice found himself, after a
brief experience, the owner of so large a collection that his cupboards
failed to accommodate it, and he had to have larger ones made. And yet
one shelf alone contained four barley wine glasses, five ordinary
air-twisted stem glasses, three Early English plain wine glasses, four
early finger basins, and five rummers of different shapes--all of the
most ordinary type.

When by experience he had acquired wisdom these and similar articles
were sent to the sale-room. Two lots did not elicit a single bid, and
the remainder went for far less than had been paid for them. Now,
however, he possesses a good representative collection, which will be
sure to fetch, when under the hammer, a sum which will produce a
handsome return upon his expenditure.

There is to-day such a craze for what is old, that it is difficult to
find anything that is not faked. I often wonder, when dining with
friends, if they are aware of the real nature and origin of the glass
they use. On the other hand, one finds in some places, particularly old
country houses, pieces almost priceless pushed away into corners as if
they were of no value at all.

I remember some years ago finding in a village not far from Liverpool,
an old dame, who had passed her life as housekeeper to a wealthy
merchant, using a fine, genuine old Waterford bowl, about 18 inches in
diameter, for stewed fruit. The bowl was easily worth from eighteen to
twenty guineas, while the plates on the table were the commonest
procurable. Needless to say, that bowl is no longer in her possession,
having been replaced by a substitute of far greater appeal to her.

In spite of such occasional finds as this, the amateur who in pursuit of
his hobby makes a habit of raiding old country cottages, shops, and
inns, must be exceedingly wary and look upon exceptional discoveries
with an exceedingly sceptical eye. An amusing experience that befell a
friend of the author’s--a foreign glass merchant--is perhaps worth
recounting in this connection.

Arriving one day at an inn in the south of England, he was surprised to
find set out in the place of honour some very inferior specimens of wine
glasses--reproductions of an early type which he was easily able to
identify as his own manufacture. Entering into conversation with the
landlord, he was informed that a distant ancestor of that worthy,
soldiering in Ireland, had the fortune to render some signal service to
a native of that distressful country and was given the glass in token of
gratitude. Apart from the appropriateness of the gift, and a certain
improbability that articles of such fragility would survive the
vicissitudes of a campaign, the landlord proved not only willing but
eager to dispose of his valued heirlooms at a price unexpectedly
moderate for pieces of such antiquity and rarity. The humour of the
situation, however, developed when the prospective purchaser produced a
pocket-book and read to the astonished landlord the last order his firm
had received for “one dozen imitation antique glasses with twisted stems
at twenty-one shillings a dozen.” The difference between this and the
thirty shillings apiece which the landlord demanded left a very pretty
margin of profit.

Old glass is, of course, so easily imitated that it is hardly surprising
there should be many such pitfalls in the path of the unwary, and I can
only hope that the foregoing remarks may prove of some assistance in
preventing my reader from falling a victim to the many specious attempts
made for his deception. But it is well, wherever possible, to examine at
leisure any piece that may strike the eye, and in the surroundings which
it will occupy. Artificial light, too, is a very treacherous medium in
which to examine glass of any kind. Any find should be examined by
daylight and side by side with other pieces of whose authenticity there
is no doubt. Then with a little training he should be able to determine
with a fair degree of accuracy the genuine specimens from the false, and
this in spite of the resources of modern science, which have enabled the
“faker” to copy texture and colour with all but exactitude, and of the
skill of the workman who reproduces faithfully the form and decorations
of the original.



CHAPTER IX

SOME HINTS TO COLLECTORS


Glass-collecting is so full of interest that it need not be followed on
any large scale. It is equally fascinating when pursued in the humblest
fashion, by ransacking old second-hand shops in lowly districts as well
as country cottages. A nucleus is soon formed, and, that accomplished,
the collector is in the toils of his hobby, and unless he is an utter
failure, one of those hopeless and helpless folk who can never learn to
discriminate between the true and the false, he speedily acquires a
collection which has not only provided him with a delightful recreation
but is a source of considerable pride.

Of course, it must not be imagined that anyone can go into a second-hand
shop, a marine-store dealer’s, or a pawnshop, and come out with a
bargain every time. Nor do I assert that every piece bought will
justify the enthusiasm of the first moments of possession. But I do say
that, given reasonable judgment, anyone may form the nucleus of a small
collection, and that with decent care in adding to it pieces that are
considered rare, genuine, and unusual, the result will be entirely
gratifying--yielding a full measure of artistic satisfaction, to say
nothing of pecuniary advantage.

I need hardly say that the seeker for bargains should not attempt to
pursue his object in large West End shops or their equivalents in
provincial cities. Rent, rates, and large salary lists preclude any
possibility of cheapness there. And further, if I may venture to let my
readers into a secret, there are hundreds of so-called antique dealers
in our principal cities who are as incapable of telling the real antique
from the artful fake as the veriest tyro. Their statements, about glass
in particular, are often utterly unreliable. There are good firms to be
found who have expert knowledge and whose judgment may be relied upon,
but they are few and far between. The so-called expert antiquary is only
too often a victim to his own too alluring imagination. He thinks he
_knows_, “good, easy man,” when in reality fancy is building him a home
of romance, into which, unluckily, he leads his too credulous client.
And--then the disillusionment! And confidence in expert opinion vanishes
into the realm of the things that were.

A friend of mine recently purchased a “Fiat” glass from a large and
famous West End house. He was assured that it was genuine, and on the
strength of that assurance paid a fair price. Within three days he was
back, furious at being deceived. They returned his money. To my own
knowledge, that particular firm has had many old wine glasses engraved
with the “Fiat” decoration and emblems. They are stored in a dark
cupboard and one only is shown at a time. There is little doubt that
many collectors have suffered from this insolent piece of trickery.
Personally, were I starting to collect glass in a small way, and for any
reason preferred not to go out into the highways and byways to gather in
what I might find, I would shun the big dealer altogether. I should
select a small man whom I had reason to believe scrupulous and
“clean”--a man with a reputation to gain and, consequently, a business
to make. Such a man will generally have had a sound training, will know
his subject, and take pleasure in justifying your confidence.

The question of price is always a serious one, and it is easy to
understand the reluctance of the amateur to inquire the price of a piece
which has taken his fancy, knowing, as he does, that the sum asked may
probably be as many guineas as he may be prepared to pay shillings. Yet
a price, though high, need not necessarily be excessive; a genuine
specimen acquires value in proportion to its rarity rather than its
beauty of design or build. As to genuineness, a decent firm will readily
give a guarantee by writing upon the bill something of this nature, “We
guarantee this article to be genuine old ---- glass, made and decorated
at ----, about the year ----, and in the event of the purchaser wishing to
return it within one week, we will refund in full the amount paid,
provided the article is returned in perfect condition.” A short time
limit is only fair, as the seller must protect himself against a
possible loss of sale.

One word as to judging glass. It is not necessary to assume that a glass
is old because it “rings” well; yet this is a common belief. The
clearness with which a glass will ring depends on many things, the most
important being its shape. Thus finger basins, rummers, large glasses,
bowls, and preserve jars invariably ring well whether ancient or modern.
The expert will judge by texture, the colour peculiar to the variety of
glass, the shape, and the style of decoration. Even here he may readily
be deceived, all these features being reproduced with remarkable
fidelity. Only a short time ago a buyer to a large London firm asked my
opinion with regard to a bowl which he had bought as “Early English
glass.” To all appearance it was genuine, and yet it was clearly proved
to be of Dutch, and very recent Dutch, manufacture. This Dutch glass is
imported in large quantities, but the expert eye can readily detect it.
The colour is a uniform green--a kind of deep-sea tint, and very clear.
Moreover, the ware is not nearly so heavy as the genuine Waterford,
which it resembles, and the facets of the cutting are too perfect and
sharp. The muddy-coloured glass is also frequently imitated in the Dutch
factories. Here again the weight is an important test; it is far lighter
than the genuine English product. Even the facial scratches with which
age invariably adorns the bases of all glass vessels are imitated by the
modern “fake” merchant. A brief rubbing with pumice stone or rubbing the
specimen against a stone will produce the desired effect.

The best training for the amateur collector is to spend a few weeks in
examining a really good collection, say that in the British Museum or in
the South Kensington Museum. Thus the eye becomes educated to the
colour, shape, texture, style of decoration, etc., of the various kinds
of glass, and is less likely to be deceived by even the best of modern
imitations.

Then there is the eternal question of price. One point should be always
before the collector’s mind: In the event of my being compelled to
realise my collection, what price may I hope to get for it? To the
collector the buying price and the selling price are intimately
connected. There is so much capital to be locked up, so much time
employed, so much skill displayed, and there should be a fair recompense
for all three. And, further, there is the ever-present risk that fashion
may change, and articles once greedily sought after may become
unsaleable because they are “out of fashion.” Of course, one obvious
way of purchasing to advantage is when others have to sell at a
disadvantage; when collections come into the market because of the death
or misfortune of their owner. At such sales I have known many bargains
picked up, although it is again necessary to emphasise the need for
wariness. Bogus sales are not unknown, and it is a common practice for
genuine sales to be “salted,” and often pretty liberally, by the
introduction of inferior imitations, in the hope that, among much that
is undoubtedly genuine, they may escape detection.

I may, perhaps, be permitted to say a word as to the prices which should
be paid in the ordinary way at such sales. An old Waterford cut-glass
jug is, provided its cutting is perfect, certainly worth a five-pound
note. A very common dodge is to sell an old Waterford jug with a cracked
handle, the crack being where it is least likely to show, _i.e._ at the
top or bottom of the handle close to where it joins the body. For an
ordinary spiral wine glass 7s. 6d. to 10s. is a fair price, but glasses
with baluster stems are easily worth a guinea. Most expensive of all are
the real “Fiat” glasses: £9, £10, £15, and even more may be paid for
one. I saw one sold a few months ago for the record price of nineteen
guineas.

If you come across a “Fiat” glass priced at a five-pound note, or less,
you may be sure of one of two things: either the owner does not know the
value of the piece or it is an imitation. Baluster stems are not often
to be met with, but they may well be worth anything from £1 to 30s. Of
course, in considering this question of price one must not forget that
often a fancy price is willingly paid in order to complete a set, or for
some other reason. Irish finger glasses with double lip are, roughly,
worth from 5s. to 7s. 6d., and sometimes higher prices are given for
sets of a dozen, or even half a dozen. Opaque glass is rare, and glasses
with opaque twists are worth about 15s. apiece. Masonic, thistle, and
boot glasses run about three, two, and one guinea respectively.
Salt-cellars, with their Irish flat cutting, cost anything from a guinea
each, and vinegar and oil bottles about 30s. I have purposely refrained
from mentioning any large or important pieces; there are many such
perfectly well known to the expert. It is, of course, quite impossible
to fix a price for these. As an Appendix to this book I have drawn up a
list of prices fetched by important pieces at recent sales. A large
Waterford bowl will fetch twenty-five to thirty guineas, and if its
genuineness is incontestable and its artistic merit high, it may well
bring twice that figure.

Personally, I consider that the high-water mark has been reached in the
price of ordinary pieces of old glass. There is certainly a great demand
for it at the moment; but such crazes are rarely lasting, and the time
may come when antique glass, which has largely dispossessed antique
silver, will itself fall into disfavour before the onset of some newer
fancy.



A CATALOGUE

     Showing the latest prices of important pieces of glass sold by
     auction at recent sales of well-known collections.


An ancient Roman Drinking Glass, with indented sides, and two early
Venetian Glasses, of green colours, decorated with trailed lines.....£1
18 0

A Wine Bottle, of early seventeenth century, with seal of a monarch’s
head, highly iridescent; and two others, one inscribed and dated _Henry
Galshell, 1700_.....£2 12 0

A Wine Bottle, inscribed _T. Bellamy_, 1773, and another, dated
1772.....£2 6 0

A Bristol blue glass Goblet, with inscription in gold:--


    “Accept this trifle from a friend,
     Whose love for you can never end,”

a blue Cream Jug, an opalescent Cup, and an oval cup.....£3 5 0

A pair of cut-glass Sugar Castors, and one other.....£2 16 0

A pair of tall Beer Glasses, decorated with applied bands, 10½ in. (_c._
1735), and one with engraved body, 17½ in......£2 12 0

A large Goblet, with globular body, and another, smaller, with
inscription KING & CONSTITUTION.....£2 0 0

A Goblet, with bell-shaped body, decorated with moulded ornament, on
round foot and baluster stem, the centre knop containing a 3d. piece of
Charles II., 9½ in......£10 0 0

A large Goblet, 13½ in., the stem containing a specimen of Jernegan’s
silver lottery medal of 1736.....£7 0 0

A Goblet, 18 in. high, long stem, with coloured twists, the body and
foot engraved with floral design.....£2 18 0

A large Goblet, with globular body, engraved with _I.M.F._ within a
wreath.....£2 5 0

A Goblet or Vase, 9 in. high, engraved with portrait of Shakespeare, and
with initials _I. E._ in an oval, with festoons.....£8 5 0

A Jug, on rounded foot, engraved with representation of the frigate
SHANNON and CAPN. B.F.E......£6 10 0

A large Goblet, 13½ in. high, the body engraved with a youthful Bacchus
seated on a barrel, a fountain, vine leaves, etc......£8 10 0

A Bowl on foot, with moulded ornament, inscribed _John Richie &
Christian Cochrane_, 1727, height 8½ in., diam. 9¼ in......£20 10 0

A pair of stemmed Cups, and two others, with etched decoration of dogs,
etc......£2 10 0

A Goblet, with straight sides, engraved with the _Victory_, and _In
Memory of Lord Nelson, Oct. 21, 1805_, and another, with a newly
launched ship, _Nelson, Launched June 20, 1814_.....£11 5 0

A Goblet, engraved with Mail Coach and initials W.M.B., surrounded by
ears of corn, etc......£1 12 0

A tall Goblet, engraved with ships and _Success to the Navy_, and
another, with decoration of vine leaves, etc......£4 12 0

A Goblet, engraved with the “Victory” and funeral car, inscribed _In
Memory of Lord Nelson, Oct. 21, 1805_, and another, engraved same
subject, dated _Jany. 9, 1806_.....£9 15 0

A Goblet, engraved with view of Sunderland Bridge, dated 1838; and two
others.....£2 5 0

A straight-sided Goblet, with the Royal arms, etc., and the motto _Ne
M’oubliez pas_, and another, also with Royal arms.....£3 18 0

Two Goblets (one imperfect), and two smaller Glasses, with Masonic
emblems.....£3 15 0

A Goblet, engraved with horse and jockey, and inscribed _Birmingham,
Doncaster, 1830, Winner of the Great St. Ledger Stakes_, and another,
inscribed _James Oddie, Bromley_.....£4 0 0

A Goblet, engraved with a bird on rocks, with inscription _I rest upon a
sure foundation_, and the initials _S. R._, the stem contains a 6d.,
dated 1816; and another Goblet, engraved with initials _Q.R._ (Queen
Caroline), and _God and my Rights_.....£2 10 0

A Goblet, with Royal arms and G. R. III, and a tall Wine Glass, with
Royal arms, dated MDCCLXVI.....£1 15 0

A tall Glass, 8 in., engraved with Arms of the Duke of Cumberland (_c._
1770), and another, with Arms of the Earl of Malmesbury.....£7 0 0

A Vase and Cover, with two handles, engraved with designs of flowers,
grapes, etc......£10 5 0

A Jug and Cover, cut and engraved with initials E. L.; a Goblet, of
similar style; and another Goblet, with twisted stem.....£3 10 0

A large Goblet, engraved with horse and cart, etc., and initials
E.M.T.C., a coin of 1818 in the stem, and another Goblet, engraved THE
GREAT (a bell) OF LINCOLN.....£5 0 0

A large Goblet, engraved with medallions, enclosing sign of The Temple
(lamb and flag), initials _C.C._ and _George the 4, Crownd, July 19,
1821_.....£3 10 0

A tall Goblet, 10 in., richly engraved in Renaissance style, with
chimeræ, medallions, etc., and another, with festoons and birds.....£3 5
0

A “yard ale” Glass; two Bâtons, in green glass; and a Bottle, shaped as
a seventeenth-century pistol.....£16 0 0

A Bottle, shaped as bellows, 13½ in., in white and clear glass, and
another smaller, decorated with rosettes and green lines.....£2 0 0

A Candlestick, 9 in.; a pair of Candlesticks, without nozzles (_c._
1735), 5 in., and two others.....£6 0 0

A tall Cup, with richly cut baluster stem, engraved with sportsman, lady
in a garden, etc. (_c._ 1730).....£10 10 0

A Cup, on baluster stem, richly engraved with figures of musicians in a
garden, an English coat of arms, etc., early eighteenth century.....£11
0 0

A Cup, with octagonal foot, engraved with figures, and with inscription
_Het Welvaaren Vrow-Van de Kraam en Kintie_, and a Vase, engraved with
design of Last Supper, after Da Vinci.....£3 10 0

A Cup, with Cover, partly gilt, engraved in compartments with lady and
gentleman, Cupid, etc., early eighteenth century.....£5 15 0

A Tumbler, engraved in three compartments with a lady in a garden, a
gentleman and a horseman, and another, engraved with officer on horse
and military trophies (_c._ 1740).....£2 12 0

A cylindrical Vase, engraved with love tokens, etc., and inscribed
_James Jagger, Bound, July 2, 1776, age 16 years--Miss Polly
Pritteman--Made this in the Year 1776_, and another, engraved with
festoons and birds.....£6 0 0

A large cut-glass Tumbler, engraved in a circle with figure of William
IV., and inscription: _May our happy constitution in Church and State
ever continue unimpaired_.....£1 18 0

A Mug, engraved with _G.R._, etc. (_t._ George I.), and another, with
gilt ornament.....£1 2 0

A pair of Tumblers, engraved with an English coat of arms and motto,
_Indignante invidia florebit_.....£2 10 0

A cylindrical Cup, engraved with Cupid shooting, Masonic emblems, _Amour
et Constance_, etc., and another, with scene of a crowned woman, monkey,
ship, etc......£4 0 0

A Tumbler, engraved with _Success to the Viper--Capn. Cowee--F. Norris_;
another, with early railway engine and coaches; and another, with sheaf
of corn, etc......£7 10 0

A tall Glass, on baluster stem, engraved with scene of Stag Hunt.....£3
5 0

A Goblet, engraved with sporting scene, and another, with floral design
and initials E.F......£2 14 0

A Goblet, with Masonic symbols, and another, with the ship and
inscription _Nelson’s Victory_.....£7 5 0

Four Goblets, with wide lips.....£3 15 0

A pair of small Wine Glasses, and a larger pair, engraved with English
coat of arms and motto _Indignante invidia florebit_.....£5 15 0

Two Cups, on cut stems and with shaped edges, and two others, with
ribbon stems.....£2 10 0

A tall Glass, engraved “_Willie brew’d a peck of malt_,” and two
engraved Tumblers with square bases.....£3 10 0

A Goblet, with coloured ribbon stem, and two others with white
ribbon.....£6 6 0

Three tall Glasses, with coloured ribbon stems, one of them inscribed
Mʳˢ B., and another, with ear of corn in gold.....£6 10 0

A ribbon coloured stemmed glass, bell shaped, engraved with two birds on
a heart, and inscribed PIER-PIERSEN-1782, and three others.....£4 5 0

A stemmed Cup, with wide lip; one other, and a pair of “straw stemmed”
Wine Cups (_c._ 1720).....£1 12 0

Six tall Glasses, with rounded stems.....£8 15 0

Five Wine Glasses, with coloured ribbon stems, and one with plain
stem.....£3 0 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, with faceted stems, the bowls engraved with
birds and flowers, and four others of the same type.....£2 2 0

A bell-shaped Goblet, with air-twisted stem, and two tall Glasses, with
drawn stems enclosing tear.....£2 2 0

A Jacobite Glass, engraved with the Stuart rose with seven petals and
two buds, and the portrait of Prince Charlie surrounded by the words
_Audentior Ibo_; under the foot is engraved a thistle with two leaves,
straight plain drawn stem, height, 7½ in......£53 0 0

A Jacobite Glass, with straight sides, engraved with Stuart rose, buds,
and butterfly, plain stem, 6¾ in......£8 0 0

A Jacobite Wine Glass, with air-twisted stem, the bowl engraved with
Jacobite rose, two buds, star, and the word _Redeat_.....£17 10 0

A Jacobite Glass, with short plain stem and thick foot, the bowl
engraved with portrait of Prince Charlie, the Stuart rose and buds, and
the words _Audentior Ibo_, 3½ in......£37 0 0

A Jacobite Glass, with stem containing two opaque twists, the bowl
engraved with rose, two buds, and butterfly, 5 in......£4 0 0

A Glass, with drawn air-twisted stem, the bowl engraved with Jacobite
emblems of rose, two buds, star, oak leaf, and the word _Fiat_, 6
in......£9 10 0

A Glass of similar form, with Jacobite emblems of rose, buds, star, and
oak leaf, 6¼ in......£10 10 0

A Glass, with opaque-twisted stem, engraved with Hanoverian rose, said
to have been produced to counteract the influence of the Jacobite
party, and a pair of others with opaque twists.....£2 16 0

A Jacobite Glass, with waisted bowl, engraved with rose, two buds, and
butterfly, air-twisted stem, 7 in......£4 0 0

A Jacobite Glass, with air-twisted stem, the bowl engraved with emblems
of rose, two buds, star, oak leaf, and the word _Fiat_, 5¾ in......£10 0
0

A Wine Glass, with plain cup, plain drawn stem and folded foot (_c._
1735); another, with engraved bowl, and two with opaque-twisted
stems.....£1 16 0

A Glass, with heavy baluster stem, enclosing air tears; a heavy Spirit
Glass, on short stem and thick foot, and another, smaller.....£3 16 0

A Glass, with cut stem, engraved with fox and _Tallyho_, and another
with air-twisted stem, with a prancing horse and _Liberty_.....£3 15 0

A Beer Glass, of elegant shape, the stem with double opaque twist and
bowl engraved with barley and hops, initials S.B.I. and date 1762, 7½
in.; and another, with opaque-twisted stem, engraved barley and hops,
and another, plain drawn stem, 8 in., engraved with rose and
barley.....£4 0 0

Two Beer Glasses, engraved with hops and barley, air-twisted stems, and
one other with opaque twist.....£3 3 0

A Beer Glass, with opaque-twisted stem and wide bell-shaped bowl,
engraved with hops, barley, and initials _C.B._, and another, with
opaque twist and plain bowl.....£2 15 0

A large Cup for light wine, the wide-lipped bowl with five lobes,
twisted stem and fluted foot; another, with ogee bowl and reeded stem,
and another, with broad flutings.....£2 2 0

A Beer Cup on short foot engraved Q. (a crown) C. (Queen Caroline), and
the words, _God and my Rights_, and another, engraved _Think on
me_.....£2 18 0

Three Wine Cups, with opaque-twisted stems, a knob in the centre, and
another, with air twist and waisted bowl, middle of eighteenth
century.....£2 8 0

A Wine Glass, with engraved bowl, air-twisted stem with knop in centre
(_c._ 1760), and two others with opaque twists.....£2 4 0

A pair of Glasses, the stems elegantly formed with knops and opaque
twists diminishing towards the foot, 7 in. (_c._ 1730).....£2 5 0

A Glass, with heavy moulded stem and folded foot (_c._ 1700), and
another, 8½ in. (_c._ 1730).....£3 5 0

Two Glasses, with air-twisted stems and knops (_c._ 1760).....£1 14 0

A Glass, with baluster stem and dome-shaped foot, and two Glasses, with
spirally fluted bowls.....£3 10 0

Three engraved Glasses, one with air twist, one with baluster stem and
Dutch inscription, and one with plain stem.....£2 2 0

Four Glasses, with air-twisted stems and knops, 6¾ in......£4 10 0

Four tall Glasses, with double opaque-twisted stems, 8¼ in......£4 0 0

A Wine Glass, engraved with crown, thistle, and initials [Illustration:
AUI], stem with opaque twist, and another, engraved with thistle.....£6
2 6

Two Glasses, 7 in., with opaque-twisted stems, and two others with air
twists.....£3 5 0

A Glass, with air-twisted stem and domed foot, and three others with air
twist.....£3 10 0

Two Glasses, with air-twisted stems and engraved bowls, and two others
with air twists.....£3 18 0

A Cider Glass, the stem with air twist, the bowl engraved with apple
branch; another, with faceted stem, 7 in., and two smaller
Glasses.....£7 10 0

A Glass, with straight air-twisted stem and dome-shaped foot, the bowl
deeply engraved with flowers (_c._ 1740); another, also engraved and
with twisted stem, swelling in the middle; and two others, with
air-drawn stems.....£4 4 0

Four Glasses, with engraved bowls and opaque-twisted stems of different
patterns.....£2 14 0

A Glass, with small bowl and long straight stem enclosing opaque twist;
and three others.....£4 10 0

A tall Glass (7¾ in.), with coloured twisted stem; one other; one with
gold decoration; and another with engraved bowl.....£4 15 0

Two tall Glasses, with engraved bowl and coloured twisted stems; one
with opaque twist; and another with plain stem, the bowl and foot
engraved with roses.....£5 15 0

A pair of Glasses, with opaque twists and engraved and fluted bowls; and
another pair, with engraved bowls.....£2 0 0

A pair of Glasses, with opaque-twisted stems and partly fluted bowls;
and two others.....£2 15 0

A Glass (8 in.), with opaque-twisted stem swelling in the middle;
another with smaller bowl (_c._ 1750); and two others.....£2 10 0

Two Glasses, with bowls engraved with the honeysuckle; and two others,
with air-twisted stems.....£3 3 0

A Glass (6¾ in.), the waisted bowl engraved with a flower and the stem
faceted (_c._ 1730); and another, engraved with a tree and the words,
_Je meur ou je matache_, with fluted stem and folded foot.....£2 4 0

Four Glasses, with plain stems, enclosing tears.....£3 0 0

Two bell-shaped Glasses, with opaque and air twists, and two
others.....£3 0 0

Two engraved Glasses, with white twisted stems, one other with plain
bowl, and one with engraved bowl and air twist.....£2 2 0

A Glass with faceted stem, the bowl engraved with flowers; another,
engraved SANS-SOUCI--1789, and two others, engraved with festoons,
etc......£2 2 0

A Glass, with baluster stem, engraved with honeysuckle; another, with
similar stem, and two with faceted stems, engraved with floral
design.....£1 12 0

A Glass, with moulded stem and folded foot, 6½ in., the bowl engraved
with figures of a harlequin and musicians, a coat of arms and the
mottoes: SALVS PATRIÆ--CONCORDIA RESPARVÆ-CRESCUNT; two plain Glasses,
and one other, with folded feet, early seventeenth century.....£3 10 0

Four Glasses, three with engraved bowls, faceted stems.....£1 18 0

A Glass, with moulded stem and dome foot; another, with air twist; and
two, with faceted stems.....£1 14 0

Two Glasses, engraved with a coronet and the motto--_Long live the
Duke_; another with _Ld. Wellington for ever_, and another, with the
words, _Duke Wellington and his Army_.....£5 15 0

Two “coaching” Glasses, without feet; a small moulded Glass (_c._ 1800),
and three others.....£2 8 0

A “coaching” Glass, and five sweetmeat Glasses, with undulating
edges.....£2 0 0

Three glass “boot” Cups, of the time of George III., “may have been
made in honour or rather in contempt of Lord Bute”.....£2 10 0

A Flask, with applied decoration, end of seventeenth century, and a Vase
and Cover of green glass, with trailed and pinched decoration.....£1 1 0

Four sweetmeat Glasses, with square feet, and two engraved Cups, on
feet.....£2 12 0

A Lamp with three nozzles, and three other Lamps, early eighteenth
century.....£3 3 0

Six Wine Dippers; a Scent Bottle, and three other pieces.....£1 18 0

A Cup, with faceted foot and stem, engraved with Prince of Wales’
Feathers; a Cup, with coat of arms; another Cup, with faceted stem, and
another, with English coat of arms.....£5 15 0

A Cup, inscribed BEER AND LIBERTY; one with Masonic symbols, and two
others.....£3 3 0

A Cup for light wine, with reeded stem and hollow foot, two with
baluster stems, another with long drawn bowl.....£2 16 0

Six Spirit Glasses, with plain stems.....£1 14 0

Six Glasses, with plain stems and folded feet.....£1 6 0

Two Glasses with stems enclosing tears, and four others, all with
engraved bowls.....£1 14 0

Three early Glasses, the stems containing tears, and with moulded feet,
and three others.....£2 10 0

A Beer Glass, the bowl engraved with barley and hops, and five other
Glasses with engraved bowls.....£1 15 0

A Cup, with moulded stem and folded foot, another drawn bowl, one
engraved with rose and faceted bowl, and another, engraved with
bird.....£1 10 0

A Salve Stand, with air twist; another upright Stand, containing figure
of Caryatid; Bottle, Cruet, three Cups, and two Ring Stands.....£2 14 0

A plain glass Dish, oblong in shape, with bevelled edge; a Dish, Cover,
and Stand, a cut Sugar Bowl, and six small Liqueur Glasses.....£4 12 6

A Liqueur Stand, with two bottles; a Decanter and Stopper; a reeded Jug
with coin; two reeded Tankards (one with coin), and six Liqueur
Glasses.....£4 14 0

A set of six cut Goblets, six Custard Barrels, four cut Port Glasses,
six Claret Glasses, engraved in wheat-ears, and a Milk Jug.....£3 14 0

Four Rummers, a Glass Dish, eight Wine Glasses, six Custard Cups, and
eight Glasses, various.....£2 10 0

Three engraved Tumblers, three Rummers, Goblet, twelve specimen Ale and
Wine Glasses, and a set of six Syllabub Glasses.....£5 0 0

An early Water Jug, engraved with initials “A.L.”; an engraved Mug, five
specimen Tumblers, and an engraved Goblet.....£4 4 0

An early Bottle, a cut Bowl with handles and Stand, a Waterford oval
Dish, and a Decanter and Stopper.....£2 10 0

A pair of Old English Rummers, the bases of the bowls twisted, and a
frosted and ribbed Dish and Cover.....£1 12 0

Fourteen old moulded Glasses, various shapes; two Oil Bottles, a double
Oil Flask, and an Ale Jug.....£2 12 0

A pair of diamond-cut Decanters and Stoppers, a set of six long cut stem
Glasses, engraved in birds and flowers; five Goblets, and six cut Claret
Glasses.....£6 0 0

Twelve Ale Glasses, with opaque-twist stems, and drawn bowls, almost
similar.....£5 0 0

A pair of circular Dishes, 7 in. diam., elaborately cut, the centres
engraved in roses on amber ground, and four small Sweetmeat Dishes of
fine quality.....£2 12 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, plain baluster stems, with tears and bell bowls,
and four others, with folded feet and plain stems.....£2 14 0

Six plain stem Wine Glasses, five of them engraved and with folded
feet.....£2 12 0

A Mug, without handle, engraved in bands of leaves, 5½ in. high, and a
Loving Cup, goblet shape, engraved in wheat-ears and monogram, E. M. B.,
8½ in. high.....£3 14 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, air-twist double baluster stems, with ring heads
and straight bowls, 6¾ in. high, and a Wine Glass, with drawn air-twist
stem, cable centre and bell-shaped bowl, 6½ in. high.....£4 10 0

A large Goblet, with cut tear stem and dome foot, the bowl cut at the
base and engraved with a ship and inscription: “T. Welvaren Van de Vrouw
Anna Maria,” 9¼ in. high.....£3 16 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, with opaque-twist stems and narrow
straight-sided bowls, engraved in flowers; another pair, with
opaque-twist stems, and another pair, with baluster opaque-twist
stems.....£3 15 0

A Waterford Cake Dish and Cover, the cover hive-shaped, elaborately cut
in lozenges and ribbed, the dish, 11 in. diam., has a scalloped border,
12½ in. high.....£6 15 0

Four small Sweetmeat Glasses, and a pair of Rummers, on square
bases.....£2 15 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, double baluster air-twist stems; two with
air-twist stems and drawn bowls, and a pair with air-twist stems and
drawn waisted bowls.....£5 5 0

A pair of Cordial Glasses, engraved with a crown and initials of Charles
X. of Sweden, 1660, 3½ in. high.....£2 10 0

Two Goblets, with opaque twist stems, engraved in flowers; two baluster
opaque stem Wine Glasses, a Glass, engraved in hunting scenes, and two
others.....£5 0 0

An early Tankard, engraved with Masonic emblems, enclosed with
scroll-work and flowers, surmounted by a crown, 6¼ in. high.....£2 2 0

A pair of oval Deep Dishes, with flat scalloped edges, hobnail
cutting.....£3 3 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, air-twist slender stems and drawn plain bowls,
7½ in. high, and another, with incised twist stem and indented
straight-sided bowl, 6½ in. high.....£3 10 0

A pair of plain Ale Glasses, engraved with a fox and “Tally-ho”; a
smaller one, engraved with a cock-fight; a Rummer, engraved with a
race-horse, and a boot-shaped Spirit Glass.....£5 0 0

A Wine Glass, with double ogee bowl and hollow stem; two Pipes, and a
tall Jug, in the form of a coaching horn, 12 in. high.....£3 5 0

A pair of Waterford Tapersticks, with beautifully cut stems and nozzles,
and dome-shaped feet, 6¼ in. high.....£15 5 0

A Wine Glass, with opaque-twist stem and drawn bowl, engraved in vines
and bird; two, with opaque-twist stems and bell-shaped bowls, similarly
engraved, and a pair of opaque-twist stem Wine Glasses, with plain
shaped bowls.....£3 0 0

A Candlestick, with cut shaped stem and indented raised foot, and
another, with square base.....£2 15 0

A straight pint Tankard, ribbed and engraved in bands of roses.....£2 4
0

An Ale Glass, with straight-sided bowl engraved with the Royal coat of
arms and festoons of flowers; a pair of Ale Glasses, with coloured
twisted stems, and one other.....£2 4 0

A Trifle Dish and Stand, the body with brilliant diamond cutting, the
dish with fan-cut edge, 10½ in. diam......£3 16 0

A pair of open-lipped Vases or Celery Glasses, with diamond edges,
hobnailed cutting, 7¾ in. high, and another, oval-topped, 7 in.
high.....£3 15 0

A pair of Waterford Liqueur Bottles, with handles and stoppers, bulbous
bodies and long necks, cut in flowers and lozenges, 8½ in. high.....£4
10 0

Three early Wine Glasses, with baluster air-twist stems, and three with
drawn bowls and air-twist stems.....£5 7 6

A Waterford straight-sided Rum Pot and Cover, with flat spout, hobnail
cutting.....£4 4 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, air-twist stems, straight-sided bowls, engraved
in flowers and butterfly, 6¼ in. high, and a Wine Glass, with baluster
air-twist stem and plain bell-shaped bowl, 6¼ in. high.....£4 0 0

A pair of Waterford oval Sweetmeat Stands, 3½ in. high, and a
Candlestick, cut and on square base, 8 in. high.....£2 14 0

A Waterford circular Bowl, Cover, and Stand, finely cut, 7 in.
high.....£3 5 0

A pair of cut Comports, and a pair of Cake Dishes, with hobnail cutting
and cut scalloped borders, 7¾ in. diam......£5 5 0

A Wine Glass, plain stem and ovoid bowl, engraved with a portrait of a
man on horseback and inscription, “In Memory of the Battle of the
Boyne,” 5¾ in. high, and another, with tear and baluster stem and
waisted bowl, engraved with a ship and inscription, folded foot, 6 in.
high.....£3 0 0

A Wine Glass, with opaque-twisted stem and drawn ovoid bowl, engraved
with the rose and thistle and inscription, “Honi soit qui mal y pense,”
5¾ in. high, and another Wine Glass, with baluster tear stem, the bowl
engraved in vines and butterfly, folded foot, 6 in. high.....£2 2 0

A Waterford Oil Bottle and Stopper.....£1 0 0

A Water Jug, ribbed and engraved in Chinese scenes, and a Waterford
Honey Jar, Cover and Stand.....£2 18 0

Three Wine Glasses, opaque-twist stems and bell-shaped bowls, engraved
in vines and butterflies, and three opaque-twist stem Wine Glasses, one
with lipped bowl.....£3 3 0

A pair of Cork Ale Cups, 5½ in. high, and a Bottle, with pressed quilted
body, 8 in. high.....£1 16 0

A Sweetmeat Glass, twisted stem, lipped double ogee bowl and domed foot,
6½ in. high.....£3 15 0

A tall Wine Glass, air-twist double-knopped stem and bell-shaped bowl,
engraved with rose and bud, plain foot, 7¼ in. high.....£2 18 0

An almost similar Wine Glass, the bowl engraved with a rose, two buds,
and a butterfly, 7 in. high.....£3 3 0

A pair of Waterford oviform Vases and Covers, cut in lozenges, square
feet, 12 in. high.....£5 10 0

A Wine Glass, with opaque-twisted stem, drawn bowl, engraved in vines
and bud, and three other Wine Glasses, engraved.....£2 2 0

A Rose Bowl, elaborately engraved in arabesques, 8¼ in. diam., and a
Waterford circular Dish, with fan cutting, 10 in. diam......£5 0 0

A Goblet, with drawn air-twist stem, straight-sided bowl with
indentation at base, conical foot, 8¾ in. high, and a set of four Ale
Glasses, with air-twisted stems, the bowls engraved in wheat-ears.....£3
5 0

A standing Cup and Cover, elaborately engraved in flowers and cut, the
knob and stem with red twist, 11 in. high.....£2 15 0

A standing Cup and Cover, cut stem, the bowl cut and engraved in stags
and festoons, 10 in. high.....£1 14 0

A finely cut Scent Bottle and Stopper; three others, smaller, with
stoppers, and a Taper Stand, mounted in metal.....£2 10 0

A pair of Wine Glasses, air-twist baluster stems and straight bowls, and
three air-twist baluster stem Glasses, with short bowls and heavy
bases.....£4 6 0

A beautifully cut Bowl, Cover, and Stand; a beautifully cut Olive Pot
and Cover, and a cut four-division Scent Bottle.....£2 12 0

A tall Candlestick, with ribbed nozzle and tears, moulded stem and
ribbed dome foot, 9½ in. high.....£6 5 0

A Waterford Water Jug, with hobnail and ribbed cutting, and a Tankard,
with ribbed top and raised scroll lower part.....£3 14 0

Four pressed Sweetmeat Plates.....£1 0 0

A set of six Wine Glasses, with long slender air-twist stems and small
straight-sided bowls, 9½ in. high.....£2 2 0

A Waterford oval Bowl Cover, and Stand, 6 in. high, and a boat-shaped
Bowl, with raised ends, 11 in. long, 5½ in. wide.....£3 12 0

A set of six Wine Glasses, air-twist stems and engraved rims to bowls,
and a Dish, the under part cut in portrait of Queen Victoria and Roman
scenes.....£3 3 0

Five cut stem Wine Glasses (one dated 1872, others engraved); four cut
Goblets; two cut Ale Glasses, and a large Ale Glass.....£3 12 0

A set of six finely cut Waterford Tumblers; a cut Honey Pot, Cover, and
Stand; a pair of cut Spirit Bottles and Stoppers; a pair of cut blue and
white flat Dishes, and a cut Sweet Dish.....£6 10 0

A pair of very fine cut Waterford Compotiers, with Covers, vase-shaped,
11 in. high.....£13 5 0

A brilliantly cut Old English Compotier and Cover, 13½ in. high.....£6
10 0

A set of twelve Georgian Wine Glasses, the straight-sided flat-bottomed
bowls are engraved with the Prince of Wales’ feathers and motto “Ich
Dien” in scrolls, plain stems and feet; formerly the property of the
Prince Regent and of the late King Edward VII......£6 5 0

A set of three Waterford Flower Glasses, with cut edges; a pair of
Waterford Salts, and a Water Jug.....£4 0 0

A set of four Wine Glasses, opaque-twist stems and engraved and ribbed
bowls, and six others all with opaque-twist stems.....£4 4 0

A fine old English cut Butter Dish, Cover, and Stand, and a large
Bristol Tankard and Cover, reeded and shaped, the cover with a coloured
twist handle, 9½ in. high.....£3 6 0

An old cut Jam Dish, Cover, and Stand; two moulded and frosted Cups; a
pair of Waterford Sweetmeat Stands; another pair, cut; six cut Tumblers,
and two Knife Rests.....£3 12 6

An engraved Puzzle Jug; two Toddy Lifters; three Sugar Crushers; a
Spoon, and a Dish in the form of a hat.....£1 14 0

A pair of plain Firing Glasses, engraved “680”; two Toddy Lifters, and a
plain hat-shaped Basket.....£1 10 0

A pair of finely cut Decanters and Stoppers, with shell cut bosses; a
pair of cut circular Salts, and a long Scent Bottle and Stopper.....£2
16 0

A clear glass footed Beer Jug, and an engraved and cut Flower Bowl, with
coin on the base, 6½ in. diam......£3 10 0

A Goblet, the body engraved all round, in landscape and deer, 6 in.
high; a Goblet on baluster stem, the body engraved in vases of flowers,
on pedestal, 7 in. high.....£1 0 0

A large Old English Jug, the body cut and neck ribbed, 10 in. high, and
an early Cream Jug.....£2 8 0

A pair of cut Lustres, with droppers, and a centre Lustre.....£4 12 0

A pair of fine cut Decanters and Stoppers, a cut Scent Bottle and
Stopper, and an Olive Pot and Cover.....£3 5 0

An early Cake Vase and Cover, ribbed and moulded, 7¾ in. high, and a
Water Jug, engraved in wheat-ears.....£3 5 0

A straight-sided Biscuit Jar, Cover, and Stand, cut in lozenges, 9½ in.
high, and a cut hollow Tazza, 5 in. high.....£2 18 0

A plain Old English Sylabent Stand, on dome foot, 9 in. diam., and a
Celery Glass, engraved in vines.....£1 10 0

An old Treacle Jug, with pewter mount; two cut Scent Bottles and
Stoppers, and two Goblets.....£2 4 0

A pair of moulded Candlesticks, 8½ in. high, and an early Water
Jug.....£1 18 0

A pair of plain Bristol Vases, with open lips, 12 in. high; a pair of
plain Cups, and six Plates.....£1 16 0

A Bristol handled Mug, straight side painted with a portrait, enclosed
in scroll-work and sprays of flowers, 6½ in. high, and a Bowl, painted
in continuous flowers and birds, 8 in. diam......£2 10 0

A Bristol Vase, with double handles and dome foot, painted in flowers,
8½ in. high, and two Bristol Mugs, both painted in figures and
flowers.....£2 8 0

A pair of barrel-shaped Tankards and Covers, with handles painted in
Watteau scenes and gilded, 8 in. high.....£5 5 0

A Vase and Cover, painted in portrait medallions and sprays of flowers
and gilded, the vase on square foot, 10¾ in. high.....£3 3 0

A pair of rare Venetian Cups and Saucers, decorated in Chinese figures
and flowers in gold and red.....£5 5 0

A Bristol Plate, the centre painted in figures with flags, enclosed in a
star band in red, the border with arabesque, in colours, 7½ in. diam.,
and a barrel-shaped Mug, painted with a dog and flowers, 5 in.
high.....£2 4 0

A rare Jug and Cover, splashed in blue and brown, 8 in. high, and a pair
of Cups and Saucers, painted in birds and flowers.....£2 8 0

Three Bristol straight-sided Tankards, painted in figures and
flowers.....£3 15 0

A Jar and Cover, the jar with brown lozenges and double handles, model
of a swan surmounting the cover, 5½ in. high, and a Tankard, painted in
figures and pastoral scenes, 6 in. high.....£2 10 0

A Bristol handled Mug, painted in panel and flowers; a Cream Jug, with
inscription “Forget-me-Not”; a small Tazza, and a Vase.....£2 16 0

A Vase, a small Cup, two Tankards, a Cup and Saucer, and a Bottle, all
painted.....£2 8 0

A plain Bristol double Flask, with Prince of Wales’ feathers; a plain
Bristol bellows Flask, and a plain hollow Candlestick.....£1 8 0

A hollow Candlestick, 8½ in. high; a double gourd-shaped Spirit Bottle,
a bellows Flask, and three Scent Bottles, all Bristol.....£1 4 0

A double gourd-shaped Bristol Spirit Bottle, three other Spirit Bottles,
and five small Bottles.....£2 0 0

A Bristol Jar and Cover, the body shaped, with alternate spirals of ruby
and opaque, 8¼ in. high, and a plain Bristol Basket.....£1 10 0

A large Nailsea Jug, deep green splashed in blue and white, 8½ in. high,
and a Tankard, with spiral bands of red and opaque.....£2 8 0

A pair of Nailsea Rapiers, blue handles, the blades with blue
centres.....£2 15 0

A pair of purple Bristol Vases, 7 in. high; an old green Ear Trumpet, a
purple Cream Jug, and four purple Salts.....£1 2 0

A Nailsea Policeman’s Staff, a double Flask, and three single Nailsea
Flasks, various colours.....£2 8 0

A rare blue Bristol miniature Dinner and Dessert Service, comprising
Bowls and Covers, Tazze and Covers, Sugar Bowls, Tea Cups and Saucers,
Cream Jugs and Plates (about 120 pieces).....£2 4 0

A white Bristol miniature Tea and Coffee Service.....£1 6 0

Three Nailsea Rolling Pins, different colours, and a Nailsea Jug, dark
green, mottled in white.....£3 0 0

A pink Nailsea Water Jug, splashed in opaque white, and a clear Nailsea
Flask, on circular base, with opaque decoration and appliqué Prince of
Wales’ feathers and edging.....£2 2 0

A Bottle and Stopper, with flowers in various colours embedded in the
base; and four Paper Weights of a similar character.....£2 0 0

Seven Paper Weights, with various coloured flowers, etc., embedded in
the glass.....£2 6 0

Two Paper Weights, with silvered medallions; three green Paper Weights;
two others; and two Inkpots, with tears.....£3 3 0

A Bristol plain glass double-handled Vase and Cover, painted in sprays
of flowers, 11 in. high; and a Water Bottle and Stopper, and Well Stand
for same, with close opaque spirals and blue border.....£1 4 0

An open-necked Bristol opaque Vase, with bulbous base, the body entwined
with raised ivy leaves and berries in colour, 16 in. high; two mottled
Bristol Bowls, and a blue mottled Vase.....£2 2 0

A green Nailsea Cream Jug, with opaque twist decoration, and a Nailsea
Flagon, mottled on green ground.....£2 4 0

A pair of Bristol Shells; a Bristol Double Flask, with deep blue
borders; a ruby Bell, with coloured twist handle, and two blue Bristol
Cream Jugs.....£2 6 0

A rare Bristol Sugar Crusher, with ring handle, with a central opaque
twist surrounded by blue and red twist; a small flat Flask, with
examples of all the Bristol coloured twists; and another piece, the base
with coloured twist.....£2 2 0

A Bristol Pipe, opaque, with green rim; another, opaque, with pink
stripes; and another, blue.....£1 2 0

A pair of old green Sussex Bottles, filled with silk and imitation
flowers, 9½ in. long; a pair of Bristol Vases of Flowers, under glass
shades, with glass bases, 6 in. high; and a green Nailsea Model of a
Dog.....£1 2 0

A Nailsea Horn, a green Pipe, and two plain Flasks, with opaque
decoration.....£1 11 0

A rare green glass Trident, with long handle, 17 in. long; and two
Nailsea Trumpets, one 26 in. long, and the other 18½ in. long.....£2 2
0

A rare old Venetian Goblet, straight sides opening at the top, striped
in white from top to bottom, and having partly gilded mask head bosses,
7 in. high; and a Venetian Bottle, with white spirals.....£4 10 0

A pair of old Venetian Cups and Saucers, decorated in white twists from
top to bottom; and a Venetian plate, with similar decoration in
spirals.....£2 12 0

An old Venetian moulded Vase, with cross white stripes; an old Venetian
Standing Bowl, a Cup, and a Lemon.....£2 0 0

A Venetian gourd-shaped Bottle; a similar Oil Jug, both with white
decoration; and three other pieces of Venetian glass.....£0 14 0

A large English Water Bottle and Glass, with red decoration; a deep blue
Bristol Bowl, with irregular white lines; and a Flask, mottled in red
and blue.....£1 12 0

A deep blue Water Bottle, Stand and Glass, with gold bands; a blue
Trinket Stand; a deep blue Flask; and thirteen other pieces of whole
coloured ruby, green, purple, and blue glass.....£0 18 0

Three large Rolling Pins, a Pestle, and a green and white twisted glass
Puzzle.....£1 18 0

A moulded and twisted Bottle, with applied blue bands, and Stopper; a
green barrel-shaped Jar and Cover, 13½ in. high; and a Bowl, with
applied green decoration.....£1 12 0

A pair of ruby Tazze, with white lozenge-shaped cuttings, 8 in. diam.;
and a pair of ruby Vases, cut in white flowers, etc., 6¾ in. high.....£2
0 0

Two ruby Scent Bottles and Stoppers, with cut white circles; a blue and
white Goblet; a similar Cup; a ruby and white Cup, and an amber Decanter
and Stopper.....£2 8 0

A set of eight Venetian Goblets and eight Wine Glasses, blue open bases,
the bowls in opaque cross stripes.....£1 4 0

A Nailsea Flask, four Bristol Balls, a Candlestick, two Jars and Covers,
Scent Bottle and Stopper, and five other pieces.....£0 11 0

A pair of blue Candlesticks, with white cutting; two Inkpots of a
similar type; five cut Goblets, a ruby Bristol Pipe, and a square
Decanter and Stopper.....£2 12 0



                      THE RIVERSIDE PRESS LIMITED
                               EDINBURGH





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