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Thomas Webb & Sons "Bronze" vase (1878). Christopher Dresser, attr.

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Posted 2 years ago

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austrohung…
(508 items)

This is what we thought it was a "Lötz treasure" but thanks to some helping people at CollectorsWeekly, and a very interesting and even enjoying debate at CW (please read the comments), has happened to be a Thomas Webb and Sons vase, probably made 20 years before any Lötz vase made in this decoration. It is an amazing 21 cm tall vase with side handles and spirals applied under them... It really is a weird and beautiful design!

We've got two more Phänomen 377 (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/55606-ltz-phnomen-genre-377-ca-1900-i?in=user and http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/51244-ltz-phnomen-genre-377-in-cobalt-blu?in=user) and we were pretty sure this one was a Lötz too, as the iridiscence on it is something truly impressive: all those shades of orange, purple, blue, green... I am actually working on detail pictures of this vase that I will share with you later.

Since this piece was first shared on CW we've been looking for pictures and texts so we can find out who the designer was, being our first guess Marie Kirschner, but after SteveS pointed out the possibilty it would be a vase by Webb & Sons and Londonloetzlearner sent us and interesting link about it, we've been studying about it until we finally got the wonderful help from Famatta, confirming the Webb theory.

We want to thank to everyone who's helped in identifying this piece, and to all those who've shown their love for this amazing vase.

Comments

  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Magnificent!
  2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    W-O-W!
    Phenomenal Phänomen!
    An observable occurrence?
    Never seen one like it!
  3. Mac63 Mac63, 2 years ago
    WOW...that is beautiful and weird at the same time!
  4. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks miKKo, Vet and Mac!!! Also to Scandi and LLLearner for your Loves!!!
    Yes, it is weird... so dark and still so full of colour! :) And also the shape
  5. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks BELLIN68, Greatsnowyowl, czechman, LoetzBuddies for yout Love
  6. bratjdd bratjdd, 2 years ago
    Love that is the most, so far the weirdest vase that i seen here, I am wondering what
    was he thinking when it was creating it. Love everything about it.Thank you for sharing it. It kind of looks like the skin of a dragon of course the ones in the movies!
  7. cogito cogito, 2 years ago
    I'd be more inclined to think Moser or Prochaska than Kirchner. Wonderful piece!
  8. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks Cogito! What makes you think of them? We'll research about it :)
  9. SteveS SteveS, 2 years ago
    Hi AH
    I could be wrong (often am) but think the designer is Webb ... having made the exact same mistake in the past ... the green makes it more likely ... Lovely piece !
  10. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    @cogito: Well, Prochaska was the artistic director of Lötz at the time, wasn't him. I guess most of the items with "unknown design" were his work... so that could be a solution. Let's go on investigating about Moser.

    @SteveS: Well, it sometimes is difficult to say which is Webb and Löetz when looking at items made using this technique (immersing the piece in cold water to achieve the thermal shock crackle, then reheating the piece to soften it), but according to the finishing (the crackle here is amazingly fine, whereas it isn't in Webb, as they kept on blowing the glass after softening it) and iridescence we don't think his piece is a Webb... Plus we've seen precedents of the use of these handles in Lötz items (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/24648-loetz-art-glass) and also the use of both soft surfaced additions and identical colour, made by Marie Kirschner -hence our guessing this could be one of her designs-. I will tomorrow upload some pictures here so you can see them. But thanks for the suggestion. We'll also study that chance.
  11. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    For something on the possible Webb connection have a look at http://www.thistlewoods.net/Webbs-iridised-bronze.html
  12. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    By the way. I just read that the green used in Webb was very "transparent" and "deep bottle green" (http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php?topic=35988.0). That doesn't really fit with our vase.
  13. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks LLL!
  14. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    My pleasure! Even if it did turn out to be Webb, it would be in good company. As you probably know, Christopher Dresser did designs for their bronze and their iris iridescent ranges.
  15. cogito cogito, 2 years ago
    Austro, sorry I meant in my original post to say "Moser AND Proschaska" with the idea that Moser was the designer and Proschaska was the executor (as he often was for the most complex pieces). Kirschner doesn't seem to fit for me given the base glass type, as her pieces tend to be much more simple and relied almost exclusively on smooth surfaces and streamlined design (almost to the point of Art Deco). I don't really have any research support upon which to base my thoughts...only intuition and hunch. Warm regards.
  16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Hi austro! I found this vase that is attributed to Kirschner and Loetz.
    http://www.afforddecarts.com/phdi/p1.nsf/supppages/afford?opendocument&part=2
    This is an interesting debate. Perhaps we will hear more from the Glasshounds.
  17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    It's the tenth vase down on that page!
  18. Alfredo Alfredo, 2 years ago
    This so called "Lava" glass" when done by Loetz, is called "bronze" or "brain" glass when done by Webb. The Loetz appears in silberiris over creta. This vase appears to be much darker than any Loetz. Also: please notice the wild speculations as to designer and maker, based on no documentable evidence.
    As a dealer once said to me: "They want Loetz? I'll give tem Loetz".
  19. famatta127 famatta127, 2 years ago
    This style of prunts is exclusive to Webb. The Webb examples are also much heavier than those made by Loetz. In the documented Loetz production designs, there is nothing remotely similar to any piece ever designed by Kirschner. The link provided above shows a valid Kirschner design. She is not know to apply prunts or decorations to her works with the tenacles. They are all pulled and cut from the body of the glass. The link I provide relates directly to this discussion.

    http://www.thistlewoods.net/Webbs-iridised-bronze.html
  20. famatta127 famatta127, 2 years ago
    ...my apologies..I see the link was provided in a previous reply.
  21. famatta127 famatta127, 2 years ago
    related to this discussion
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=thomas+webb+bronze+glass&view=detail&id=6C8727BEDEEDDB2E4AA1AC50AEFAADD97449E286&first=31&FORM=IDFRIR

    in addition
    http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/5715175
  22. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Dear Alfredo... Silbeiriris over creta? according to the book "LOETZ, bohemian glass 1880-1940" by Hatje Cantz, Phänomen 377 (Lava glass) can be made over cobalt, blue, pink, crete and in rare cases Russian green, orange an thea glass... that's far too many options to just dare and say "silbeiriris over creta". We haven't found any information about how to identify this kind of glass and finding out if its Webb or Loetz... maybe an expert like you should write about it and help other people on such a subject. We are actually working out on both choices: according to some information it can be Lötz, according to other, it can be Webb, even Christopher Dresser's... we don't care what it can end up beeing. The vase is impressive enough on itself, and even more if it's Webb and made 20 years before any Lötz. Carlos's collection was started in the 1970s and he just followed a premise: the objects should be beautiful, no wonder they are Lötz, Kralik or whatever brand may have done it (in fact, one of my favourite items in it is a Rindskopf Pepita vase). We first thought of Löetz because we have pictures of Löetz vases by Marie Kirschner as dark, and I'd add as crazy in design, as ours. When StevenS pointed out it could be Webb we starting studying Webb glass and at first we didn't think it would be it, but thanks to other's help (like Londonloetzlearner's) we're finding out more and more about it and chances are this piece may end up being a wonderful Webb item.

    What's good about CollectorsWeekly, far from telling one another how wonderful pieces we've got or teasing people about an item to get better ressults when they're put out on auction on ebay, is that everybody can learn about glass (in this case) and we can create debates as interesting and funny as this one about the identity of certain glass pieces, just like has happened in this piece, so WE ALL can learn more about it. We appreciate your comment and I'm sure you already know we always recommend your website when we help anyone to identify Bohemian glass.

    We are perfectly happy with this vase no matter it ends up being Lötz or Webb and will be happy to change it to Webb if t ends up being so, and I can tell you, we almost celebrating having get such an extraordinary Webb vase at such a good price.

    I have to say we're hurt at your comment, at some point arrogant and humbleless. And we hope we can soon find out, with the help of everybody, what this vase can be.

    Sincerely,

    Alejandro and Carlos
  23. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks so much for your link, Famatta!!! We're happy a prove have been at last given that our vase is a Thomas Webb vase. By the way, we cannot get more information about the vase as we're not registered at fieldings... can you tell us more about it?

    We wish we could get as exciting discussions as this on CollectorsWeekly, and as many helping people as you!
  24. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks to Famattas help I think we are ready to change the subject of this poist as this vase seems to have ended up being a Webb and Sons's work.

    If you're inetrested on this vase, please read the new text.

    We want to thank SteveS, Vetraio, Londonloetzlearner and Famatta for their huge help!
  25. famatta127 famatta127, 2 years ago
    Im sorry but the link at Fielding appeares to be to old or no longer valid to open. I cannot get any further on their site myself. I was hoping to find some old photos of a trip to Europe from about 10 years ago. We traveled thru numerous antique stores and on two occasions found this type of glass labeled as Webb "lava"
    offered for sale. I was amazed as I always thought anything that looked like this had to be Loetz. I took a few photos at the time that I think I deleted long ago. I feel as you do...you love a piece for what I means to you..not anyone else. Congrats on a great find.
  26. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks Famatta. You're help is always appreciated!
  27. Alfredo Alfredo, 2 years ago
    IF THEY SAY SO, WHERE ARE THE EXAMPLES? I HAVE SEEN SILBERIRIS OVER CRETA, COBALT AND PINK. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE OTHERS AND JUST BECAUSE A BOOK SAYS THEY EXIST(ED) , I WILL NOT PAY WITNESS. SORRY, BEEN BURNED BY "EXPERTS" TOO MANY TIMES.
  28. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    All "experts" make mistakes... only we all thank them when they admit they made them. We're just amateurs.
  29. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    You're welcome, its nice to have something to contribute!
    The Fieldings link is old, this particular vase is no longer in their archive of sale results. For info, however, Fieldings are a respected auction house based in Stourbridge. They sell a lot of good glass, and their attributions are usually good (so far as I can tell) and they tend not to speculate, but to list without attribution if they have no evidence. The result is realistic, if not low estimates and prices achieved, rather than inflated values. Their glass expert also specialises in C20th decorative arts, and appears on UK Antiques Roadshow regularly.
  30. SteveS SteveS, 2 years ago
    Hi AH
    After the build-up I was trying to break the news gently ... not sure that it worked out that way ...
    Enthusiasm is a good thing ... even when it becomes contagious ...
    I think the suggestion is that we aim to better document / substantiate opinions ... which is valid to maintain the great standard which has been set by the people contributing to this site ...
    ... mind you Quiz shows & "reality" TV usually out-rate documentaries ... and just participating is definitely a part of the fun ...
    On the previous subject (Loetz) not sure if this is Creta or Russian Green ...
    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/12614-signed-loetz-phen-genre-377?in=user
    Cheers
  31. SteveS SteveS, 2 years ago
    ... Or even May green ... when the references get updated ...
    Thanks for your contributions
    Have a good day !
  32. cogito cogito, 2 years ago
    Well, I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong. I knew it was a long shot based upon going on "hunch" alone. I will have to say (in my defense) that even for Webb, the applied decoration and handles are unusual to say the least! It's my understanding that most of the Webb appliqués tend to be animal heads of one sort or another.
  33. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    Webb bronze, and bronze crackle, is found on page 320 of Hajdamach, British Glass 1800-1914. It is stated there that it is called bronze scarabeous in the Webb pattern books for December 1878.
    I am about to post my Webb iris, for comparison.
  34. trgrubaugh trgrubaugh, 2 years ago
    wow that is a wonderful piece
  35. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    @SteveS: Thanks SOOOOO much, Steve! your help has been huge here. I am glad we were wrong about this vase and you came with your (this time right) suggestion :)

    @cogito: well, when we saw the first image of a bronze vase with the two heads of lions we first though "it is not the same thing than ours"... but after a little research it was clear as water. Famatta's picture was vital anyway.

    @ Londonloetzlearner: thank you so, so, so much! I haven't been able to find this book online, BUT I did find one entitled "Paris herself again in 1878-9" by George Augustus Sala (1828-1895), on the subject of the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878... on page 377, after some paragraphs telling about how impressive Webb's display was and a list of individual items, it says: "and a perfectly unique vase in what, for want of a better definition, must be technically qualified as 'iridescent-polychromatic-crackle,' but which, I believe, from the pattern of its decoration, will be more tersely christened the ' Scarabseus' Vase ". haha, isn't it great!

    and thanks trgrubaugh, and everybody else, for your Loves.
  36. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    @Londonloertzlearnr: By the way, when you say "It is stated there that it is called bronze scarabeous in the Webb pattern books for December 1878." Do you mean Webb's bronze glass in general or there is a refference to the shape of our vase?
  37. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    Hi AH. The scarabeous reference is to the crackle finish in general on bronze, as opposed to the smooth finish. Not to the specific pattern. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the Webb pattern books, and the book covers so much English glass that there is nothing else on this specific glass, and no more details from the pattern books. It looks like you may still have some research to do!
    Broadfield House Glass Museum is the local Stourbridge glass museum. I haven't been yet, but apparently it has a huge collection. They say they are unable to offer a glass opinion service at present, but since you know what you have and just want more info, it might be worth contacting them. Their web presence is part of the Local Council's website, so just search for the museum.
  38. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks so much, LLL!!! I've already contacted them, just in case.
  39. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    Glad to help. Do let us know what you get back!
  40. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    I will!!!! we couldn't have done without the help of you all, and yours has been very important!
  41. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Last news from Mr. Morley: "I think your vase is probably made by Thomas Webb and I see no reason why Dresser would not have designed it." but, as he very wisely points out, I think we should find out who else was designing for Webb at the time and then start discarding names...
  42. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    This could go on for some time! Do please keep us informed.
  43. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Well, in Morley's last email, he says that he thinks there is no-one else connected with Webb & Sons who was "capable, knowledgeable and daring enough" to design these Webb bronze glass shapes than Christopher Dresser. He says that whilst it is easy to identify many of the craftsmen who worked for Webb and to imagine their 'Art Director' O'Fallon to be responsible for many of the designs in truth it doesn't make sense that they designed the very advanced shapes and decoration produced there: "If they were such good designers, why was the work they are proven to have designed, so uninspired and dull?" and, in fact, that's what Carlos and I were wondering after researching on Webb's glass LOL

    So, although there is no way to prove it (I've got no news at all from neither the Stourbridge Museum nor the Dudley Archives), it looks like, almost for sure, this vase was dsigned by Christopher Dresser.

    So thanks to both SteveS for pointing out this could be Webb and Londonloetzlearner to mention Dresser. And also to famatta for sending the image that proved this one could be a Webb! and everybody for your support and help and comments and loves.
  44. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    By the way, just got an email from the museum in Stourbridge and they confirm it's a Webb

    They add the vase is a "wonderful example of this period, beautiful to say the least!" ;) But I already knew that LOL
  45. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 2 years ago
    That's great news! So pleased I could contribute in a small way. If and when I finally get to the Stourbridge museum, I'll look out for anything relevant and let you have the information/pictures. Don't hold your breath though - it could take some time!
  46. jericho jericho, 2 years ago
    congrats on making the longest thread ever!
  47. Budek Budek, 2 years ago
    It's like an shimmering exo-skeleton, absolutely magnificent! Thanks for the introduction.
  48. Budek Budek, 2 years ago
    a shimmering exoskeleton, I mean
  49. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Well, Budek, at the Paris Exhibition in 1878 these vases were described as"scarabaeus vases" by G.A. Sala, and so they still reffer to them in Britain. In this link (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/56224-detail-pictures-sof-thomas-webb-and-sons-b?in=user although you've probably have already seen it) you can read about that.
  50. Budek Budek, 2 years ago
    Hello Austro,
    I hadn't seen that. It's a very exciting piece.
    Thanks again for posting something so exotic.
    Tony.
  51. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    You're wellcome, Budek!

    It was about time something English and 19th Century was considered exotic! LOL I love that! Seriously, it really is an unusual piece, even for Webb's standards...
  52. Budek Budek, 2 years ago
    I didn't know, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!
    I hope that the day will caress you with a beautiful breeze.
    many happy returns,
    Tony.
  53. Alfredo Alfredo, 2 years ago
    This will be my last comment on the matter. First, no one seems to have consulted books or websites on Webb, which points to a peculiar glass condition called Loetzmania (like Welzmania). Second, that website shows a wily dealer's attempt to sell you cat for hare (a Spanish proverb). Remember? "If they want Loetz . . . "
  54. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks Obscurities for your comment. It's most appreciated as it releases me from the duty of answering myself... such a dull task! plus I wouldn't have been able to explain as clearly as you do.

    I think what the world needs is more people willing to learn. When I was an art student I learnt Charles R. Mackintosh's motto: "There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist". Who wants to be the mere stylist?
  55. Budek Budek, 2 years ago
    Great Mackintosh quote, Thanks for that.
    Austro, I learned it was your birthday from one of your other posts, I think the one from Amber. When is your birthday? I had one last month, on the 4th. Maybe we're twins?
    Best to you,
    Tony.
  56. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks Budek!

    Well, in fact mine's May 3rd... does it make me the older twin? :)
  57. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thanks for your loves, AQUA69 and manddmoir!
  58. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 2 years ago
    i guess we now know what dinosaur skin looked like!
  59. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Just found these images of the Treasure of Priam
    http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/some-of-the-artefacts-discovered-by-heinrich-schliemann-at-news-photo/3403064
  60. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thnaks sooo much, vet!!! I didn't know this picture. It's funny to see how Dresser got his inspiration from these old pieces.
  61. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Welcome back! Did you get anything good over the "holiday" period?
  62. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    you mean new glass??? Carlos has, in fact he's got a bunch of excellent pieces. I've just got a couple of small pieces for myself...
  63. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Look forward to seeing any of the recent acquisitions you'd be prepared to share!
  64. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, austrohungaro! Do you have a moment to weigh in on the 'Webb bronze glass' mystery item in the following link? Thanks a lot!

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/64652-thomas-webb-and-sons?in=1268
  65. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    I just found this reference to Clement Massier who did a lustre vase similar:
    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portail:Art_nouveau/Sélection
    Half way down on the right!
  66. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 2 years ago
    Thnaks for the link!!!

    By the way, wait to see this Webb vase's "little brother"... I'll try to take its picture soon :)

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