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antiquerose's loves673 of 15002Loetz Crystal Glatt Vase with Engraved Decoration, PN III-346/II, ca. 1920Unsigned Weiss?
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (25 items)

    Hi everybody, and Merry Christmas!
    I recently added this to my (ever growing) brooch collection and have been puzzling over it for a few weeks. It was very dirty when I got it and little detail was visible, however, I've been cleaning it up every time I've had a spare chance and I think it looks like the Gorgon, Medusa and I wondered what you guys thought. It appears to be silver plated because the back doesn't have any covering but I have no idea what the material underneath is. It's very stinky, dark red with holes in, and hard like stone. I'm think maybe lava? It's my first cameo so I've been doing my homework but I haven't seen another of these. I'm guessing it's Art Nouveau but I really am guessing. Any help would be appreciated. It's very detailed and the cleaver it gets the more detail becomes visible. It's approx 6cm high, 4cm across.
    Thanks for looking and I'm grateful in advance for any info you can offer.
    Mand x

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    1. davyd286, 6 years ago
      I think I see grape leaves and clusters, in that case it would be a Bacchante, a priestess of Bacchus.
    2. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      Thanks daveyd286. Yes, the more I uncover the more it does look like grapes. Thanks for that. Any idea what the material could be? There's s storage post sticking through the material that under a loupe looks like gold, unscathed and untarnished. I'm guessing that might be what the pin was attached to but it's just a guess.
    3. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      *strange, not storage
    4. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      Thanks davyd286. I think you are right and she is a Bacchante. I've found lots of pictures of Bacchante cameos and it's not snakes at all; its grapes and strands of hair. I'm also guessing now that underneath the silver-plate - which looks very thin - it is lava or perhaps carnelian. And there was I scaring myself witless in the dead of the night looking at pictures of Medusa. I'll have to find out more about Bacchante because what I've read so far sounds fascinating. I love a mystery and I always try to solve them myself but when I get stuck I look to this site because there are so many knowledgable and sharing people here. It's such a great site.
      Thanks for the Loves lovies, M x
    5. davyd286, 6 years ago
      It would be very unusual (I even dare say, unheard of) to find silverplate over carnelian or lava. Could it be resin / epoxy painted with silver paint?
    6. davyd286, 6 years ago
      After zooming on the photos, I take back the paint theory; it looks more like metal foil and to me, supports the notion of the material being a resin. I would suggest doing a Bakelite test on it, just in case.
    7. Tkindle1, 6 years ago
      Try Henryk Winograd. He was a master at repousse. It's lovely and looks a lot like his work. :)
    8. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Agree it does look as embossed or repousse metal, "stuffed" for solidity :-)
      Very unusual piece!
    9. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      Thanks guys and gals,
      I came across Winograd last night when I was browsing and agree, it does look like his work, although I got the impression his work was filled with silver after the repousee was done. I can't believe I haven't ran a Bakelite test on it actually.. It really does stink and I should've thought of that. I'm off to do one now. I'll keep you guys posted, of course. ttfn x
    10. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      Haha!! It is Bakelite!
      Davyd286 has cracked it! Thank you Sir.
      I can't believe I didn't test for it straight away; I test everything. It's just such an unusual place to find it. I definitely got a strong positive using Simichrome and just to double check I tested it with Autosol too and got a positive from that as well. (Autosol is the closest thing to Simichrome we have in the UK; it's a chrome polish and its ingredients react the same way to Bakelite as Simichrome, although when it comes to polishing I'd choose Simichrome every time). So, it's Bakelight covered in silver plate? Or similar. I've never heard of that before. Has anybody else come across this practice before?
    11. davyd286, 6 years ago
      Glad you've solved that. It could be an experimental or home crafts piece. The detail and quality cannot compare with Winograd's work but it is a curious piece. Thanks for sharing!
    12. Tkindle1, 6 years ago
      After looking a bit closer, I agree it's not Winograd. I was thinking maybe it was something very early from him. But coming from a family of 8 generations of silversmiths, he probably started here in the US already a master. Plus, my sister had a Winograd ring cameo of a child. She sold it because it was too heavy for her to wear indicating to me that his work was solid—not hallow or filled with plastic of any kind.
    13. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the continued input. I believe Winograd only used 999 silver too and his pieces were marked - in various ways - with HW999. The foil on this has a coppery and in places gold look to it so it's definitely not 999 and if there is a signature I've yet to uncover it, unless it was in the back. It feels though as though the relief itself is if a different weight to the rest of it and I don't think it's made of Bakelite. It's been a great mystery to share with you all and thanks for the input. I'll add to this if I learn anything more. Cheers for the Loves.
      Happy new year to you all, including the CW team xx
    14. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      See many others have already suggested Winograd. His pieces are routinely described as repousse, but the best source I have found says the pieces are heavy 999 fine silver plate over plaster or resin. I have one of his pieces & it does not sound at all hollow when tapped.

      Had been thinking this was a Winograd piece that had somehow lost its back, then realized it reminds me of an item I have that is similar in many ways & reread your description. If it really is 6 x 4 cm, it is too large to have been jewelry.

      The item I have was sold as possibly lava, & arrived from England with a cheap pin back glued on that had been crushed in the mail. When I contacted the seller about the possibility of a small partial refund, she was suddenly very anxious to have it back, even willing to pay postage. Found this strange, since postage was as much or more as cost of item. Cleaned it up - it took a lot of elbow grease to do it - & found a bronze casting of Ceres, filled in with brown resin. It is not oval, but is 6 cm high & 4 cm at its longest & widest.

      I am still unsure of why it was made. My best guess has been that it was meant for use as a furniture ornament in the period when such things were inlaid in backs & arms of upholstered furniture.

      Your girl is definitely a bacchante. Have you cleaned her any more?
    15. Hoipolloi Hoipolloi, 5 years ago
      Hi Cameosleuth,
      Apologies! I only just saw your message. I have cleaned her up a little more actually but haven't found any more clues. I'm now not even sure about it being Bakelite as I think it may have just been dirt. It's not testing positive now it's cleaned up a bit. The nose intrigues me because there does appear to be a bronze or copper coloured tip to it where the silver material has worn away. I recently required another similar cameo that appears to be celluloid covered over with some sort of plating. I'll pop a photo of it on here.
      Thanks for your input. Out of interest, did you remove the plating or anything to get to the bronze part? I'm a bit obsessed with cameos at the moment so I'll share some on here for you to see. I know little about them tbh but they're so pretty.
      Thanks again. Mand x
    16. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      When I received her, I was just as puzzled by my piece as the seller had been. The back seemed definitely something man made; the front was just as brown, but was clearly something different. Here & there on the high points there was a glint of gold color. My initial thought was that the whole piece had once been painted gold but that most of this had been worn away.

      Then had the thought that maybe the gold was under, not over, the brown & had at it with a metal polishing wipe. It was so heavily oxidized, it took a lot of work to clean her up enough to appreciate her true nature, but she is now a deep bronze gold.

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