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Arts and Crafts Era548 of 621MINTON HOLLINS "ASTRA" CABOCHONS #2Vintage Brass/copper Desk Lamp!
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (674 items)

    Here are eight of my "ASTRA" cabochons or roundels. They have an impressed mark on the reverse.
    Not much is available on the net about these cabochons. It seems they are getting rarer these days. These eight are part of a collection of 76 that I have. You often see these cabochons in silver mounts as brooches. They were also used on metal articles as well: pewter, silver and copper.
    These "Astras" were produced to compete with the cabochons produced by the Ruskin pottery of William Howson Taylor. There were also examples created by Moorcroft and by the Kensington Art Ware Pottery in the early 1900's.
    Astra wares were produced by the tile making arm of Mintons called Minton Hollis.
    Cabochons come in a variety of shapes. You see some which are very small star shapes that were placed on the dials of art nouveau clocks. I've just put a few of them here together to show the variety of glaze effects. They were all fired on little stilts within the kiln.
    If you have any other information about Astra roundels I'd appreciate your input.


    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks AmbeRose and AR8Jason.
      I just put a comment on the other group about how I bought them all. It was an instant collection. I bought 76 at the one time.
      They were the collection of a woman, whose daughter sold them to me. By looking at them there are at least four different companies represented: Minton Hollis, Ruskin and two other unknown factories. For that reason I don't think they were samples. Samples may well have been on cards too!
      I think that some of the collection that I have may well have been used. But there is one that still retains a paper label. I also know from my reading of Paul Atterbury and John Henson's book on Ruskin Pottery that you could buy them in sets of six (or more ) on card. The Ruskin catalogues say that their uses included: "Jewellery", "Buttons, Sleeve Links, Hat Pins and for insertion in Metals, Wood etc."
      There's an article on the brooches here:
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks BELLIN68, Budek & (now correctly) AmberRose too!
    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      The Minton Hollins combo goes back to 1845 but I think it remained a part of what became Mintons producing tiles. The Astra range dates to 1919 I think. It was part of the post-war renewall and went on into the 1930's.
      I've seen three marks so far. The circular black transfer, the MH mark with a star below and the impressed ASTRA (= star). The cabochons were produced from 1919 onwards. The Ruskin cabochons were produced much earlier around 1903.
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      No, there are four different factories I think: MH, Ruskin and two unidentified factories. I'm hoping that someone may help me with these other two. I'm putting some other Astras on now and then I'll start on the Ruskins tomorrow.
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks Alfredo & miKKoChristmas11!

      Thanks too for those great links to the Minton factory site.
      I'm a great admirer of the English bricklayer's craft!
    6. IVAN49 IVAN49, 7 years ago
      This is a rare find - most probably kept like this;it is obvious there have never been mounted on brooches etc. then removed and a collection made.That would make no sense.Another point;impressed mark always tells a reputable maker.Why? Because impressing marks even on larger pieces of china and pottery makes the production more expensive, and less reputable factories struggling for mere existence could not afford it.
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks IVAN49!
    8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Many thanks mustangtony!
    9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MANIKIN!
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks SEAN 'n JENSEN!
    11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
      Many thanks again AGHCOLLECT!!!!!

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