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WEBB VENETIAN RIPPLE GAY GLASS - THOMAS F. PITCHFORD

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Posted 1 year ago

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vetraio50
(503 items)

One of the benefits of being here on CW is the exposure to different forms and ideas from a wide variety of sources. Armed with new ideas the ‘hunt’ can be for ‘different beasts’. The folks on CW have renewed my interest on occasions recently. I especially like optic effects that can be created in industrial moulded glass techniques. Many thanks go to lovedecanters and Justanovice for their recent posts.

Last week I came across this vase at Vinnies by Webb's Crystal Glass Company. I suppose it might date to the mid thirties but the design was produced well into the Fifties, I believe.

This vase has a polished pontil but there is no acid etched Webb mark within it. But the tell tale design feature is the typical Webb wave-ribbed that has a 4-sided effect when seen from above. This is different from the later Whitefriars range of wave-ribbed glass that has a 6-sided effect. John Walsh Walsh had a 16 sided version.

I have found reference to a standard range of colours for Gay Glass: Green, Bristol Green, Amber, Clear, Amethyst and Blue.

Inside the ”The Gay Glass range” there were four different finishes: Plain, Venetian Ripple, Old English Bull's Eye and the rarer Cut Water Lily.

The designer of the Gay Glass range is given by the V&A Museum as Thomas F. Pitchford.

This vase of mine is one of the ‘Venetian Ripple’ designs. Strange name, no? Venetian Ripple. To my eye it is more reminiscent of the optical pieces being produced in the 1930’s by Orrefors. I’m reminded of the shapes of Edward Hald.
It looks Scandinavian. But I believe the name comes from the wave connection in the John Walsh Walsh examples. They called their famous ripple range "Vesta Venetian" and had either 16-sided or 18-sided optical effects.

The colour of my example is really quite vibrant. It looks darker and different to the other Amethyst vases I’ve seen on the net. Justanovice’s vase is the same shape and I think looks like it would react to ‘black light’. So I tested my vase too for reaction to the UV light. I was surprised when it too showed a light green as well! I had read that Webb put uranium in three colours to create more vibrant colours: Sunshine Amber, Evergreen and Eau de Nil. Perhaps this vase was made from glass that had included uranium used to make them?

“The uranium was in the form of potassium diuranate, and, neglecting the loss of water on fusion of the mix, the published formulae equate to uranium contents of 1.15%, 1.16% and 0.23% uranium by wt. respectively. I consider that the marked items of these colours are sufficiently reproducible for them to be used for Geiger calibration.
http://www.glassassociation.co.uk/sites/default/files/Uranium_Glass_sample_article.pdf”

More reading on the topic showed that the recipe for this uranium glass came with the arrival of Sven Fogelberg in 1932.

Fogelberg and his wife were formerly employed at Kosta glassworks, Småland, Sweden. The Victoria & Albert Museum has a piece of the Gay Glass range described as: “The Gay Glass range was introduced in 1933. Like glass made by other, contemporary manufacturers such as Whitefriars, the smooth, fluid shapes relying on the qualities of the glass itself for effect, owe much to the prevailing taste for simple sculptural forms made popular by more innovative continental glassmakers. The Sunshine Amber colour contains a significant amount of uranium and was made from a recipe supplied by Webb's Swedish General Manager, Sven Fogelberg, formerly employed at Kosta glassworks, Småland, Sweden.”
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O2307/gay-glass-old-english-bulls-vase-pitchford-thomas-f/

During his time at Webb’s Sven Fogelberg “was responsible for converting the traditional furnaces from coal to oil firing in 1933. This increased productivity due to a shorter melting-time. Fogelberg also introduced new glass-making techniques, using glass-makers from the Continent. He was appointed Managing Director of Webb's in 1955, and retired in 1963.”

http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB145_DTW_3/

Comments

  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Thought I would add easy links to the other Gay Glass examples on CW:

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/83094-so-is-this-webb

    and

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/83089-webb-green-vase?in=1268
  2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks Sean!
  3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks mustangT!
  4. lovedecanters lovedecanters, 1 year ago
    You have really put the effort into researching this glass. I should put the effort into photographing all my Gay glass and loading in here. It's a promise.
  5. Justanovice Justanovice, 1 year ago
    Wow! wish I could have written all of the above on my Webb Vase! As lovedecanters said - you make such a lot of effort with all of you posts, they are always so informative! A joy to read! Have batteries and will test my Webb tonight!
    Also, love the colour!!
  6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks austrohungaro, lovedecanters and Justanovice too!
  7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks to the Moirs and AlfredoV too!
  8. rebessin rebessin, 1 year ago
    Very interesting reading about this glass! Especially the Swedish connection with Sven Fogelberg from Kosta. His father C. G. Fogelberg was also the leader of the Kosta glassworks, and was the one who got the whole glassblower family Bergqvist, with masterblower Knut at the forefront in 1914, leaving Kosta. Fogelberg might have a lower salary chord in my grandfather's workshop when it turned out that they produced much more than the other workshops in the glass factory. Grandfather Knut accepted of course not Fogelberg's lower chords, but took an offer of employment at Orrefors he recently received. Shortly followed by his brothers and nephews in the family (and also several other talented professionals outside the Bergqvist family, for example Oscar Landas, Edward Stromberg, Gustav Abels). They all left Kosta for Orrefors. Big losses for Kosta who lost cleverly professionals and after a few years could see it self surpassed by the new glass competitor Orrefors in artistic design and craftsmanship.
  9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Wow, rebessin! Thanks for filling in those details about the Kosta/Orrefors works connections. Greetings to you, miKKo and Greatsnowyowl too!
  10. nldionne nldionne, 1 year ago
    Beautiful, love the color!
  11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks nldionne from the Land of Oz!
  12. rebessin rebessin, 1 year ago
    Another of topic to this: Disponet Fogelberg and Knut Bergqvist was not so good friends. Previously in 1905, grandfather Knut helped to start a COOPERATIV compound in Kosta (selling cheaper groceries to the worker familys), which competed with the glasswork shop (also selling groceries) owned by Fogelberg. Fogelberg was so pissed that they started a worker-owned commercial that he forbade them to have meetings at the glassworks land. They had to add both the shop and meetings at Kulla outside Kosta :)
  13. AmberRose AmberRose, 1 year ago
    Happy Easter V and Paul! Another beautiful piece...spreading your wings I see...
  14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks Amber! It just screamed at me. New revamped Vinnies in Neutral Bay! I had to leave the LLarson behind .... it was just too expensive at 175.
    Thanks too to toracat, Phil, czechman and Hornet.
    Buona Pasqua a tutti, Bonnes Fêtes à tous!
  15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Thanks Sean all the best to you and Scott!
  16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks Mac63!
  17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks artislove!
  18. nldionne nldionne, 1 year ago
    You are welcome Vetraio.
  19. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks JayHow!
  20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks ozmarty!
  21. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks epson233!
  22. Justanovice Justanovice, 1 year ago
    Yep, mine glows!! :) lovely uranium green!
  23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago

    I bet it would be bright, too!
    AlfredoV is going into it too with his listings recently.
    Thanks for the update, Just-a!
  24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks dasullywon!
  25. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks Tonino!
  26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks inky!
  27. susan, 1 year ago
    This is why i am always glad when Vetraio50 pops into to see whatever i have posted, he is always a mine of information and advice, we have had a long discussion and debate about one of my pieces that turned into a lot of new information that i believe if not for him and this site might never have been brought to light, have you thought of writing book's on the subject of glass?
  28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks susan. I have little expertise in the area to write books. I just have the time and patience to look around and put a few ideas together.
  29. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    I remember well what we learnt about Pukeberg and Jules Venon!
  30. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks Petey!
  31. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks kygurl32!
  32. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks kerry10456 and belatedly to mikelv too!
  33. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks l.a.lady!
  34. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks mikelv85!
  35. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks sodapoprocker!
  36. vetraio50 vetraio50, 1 year ago
    Many thanks moonstonelover!
  37. vetraio50 vetraio50, 11 months ago
    Many thanks AIMATHENA and MARTY too!!
  38. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 9 months ago
    Gorgeous colour & shape.
    And great info again. Better than Wikipedia :)
    I agree with your comments about CW too, im appreciating and learning new things all the time from here.
  39. SEAN68 SEAN68, 9 months ago
    STUNNING AND YOUR VERY WELCOME Kevin!:)
  40. vetraio50 vetraio50, 9 months ago
    Thanks SEAN!

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