Posted 6 years ago
Unlike Free Hand, short-lived Lead Lustre was made in paste moulds*
. . . therefore there are no mould seams on the finished piece. These Lead Lustre pieces, mostly of bone white base glass were, while still hot, "stuck up" on a rod applied to the base and sprayed with metallic salt solutions producing various monochromatic exterior colors or “oversprays” on decorated (e.g. festoons/drag loops or leaf & vine) pieces. When the applied rod was removed, the pontil was ground. Thus Lead Lustre pieces, like Free Hand, have no mould seams and do have ground pontils.
Here in the first photograph are five documented Imperial Lead Lustre shapes with the four color decorations associated with Lead Lustre Leaf & Vine pieces. The example in the center (white vase glass, blue leaf & vine décor, heavy iridescent orange overspray) is not documented – but this same color combination is documented in the festoon/drag loop décor – décor #22. See my website for more information:
The second photo shows three undocumented Lead Lustre decors. All these are cased glass, have a cut top and a flat bottom without a pontil. Two have Leaf & Vine decoration and one has Imperial’s Lily Pad & Vine décor (the piece on the left).
*Paste Mold - A paste-mold is made of cast iron and is lined with a wetted cork-type or pasted-sawdust material. When the hot glass is introduced into the mold, the resulting steam cushion (when the wetted cork vaporizes) gives a smooth finish to the glass, which is rotated in the mold during the blowing step.