|June 2003 Newsletter|
Welcome to the June 2003 edition of the Cloud Glass Newsletter. In this newsletter we have:
Birmingham Glass Fair
The Glass Fair at the Motor Cycle Museum was once again full of wonderful things to buy. Specialist dealers were selling glass from ancient to modern and at all ranges of price. For the Cloud Glass collector there were no outstandingly rare or unusual pieces to be seen, but what was around was high quality with good colour and trailing. In particular there was some very nice examples of Blue Cloud Glass. Two examples of ORA were on offer, both of which were bowls. Also there was a lot of Orange Cloud scattered around the fair - the most I have seen for a long time.
Some of the other items which caught my eye were:
The next fair will be at the beginning of November.
On the 22nd December 1937 Sächsische Glasfabrick August Walther & Söhne of Ottendork-Okrilla, Germany submitted 18 designs to the Patent Office to be registered under the UK Patent and Design Act 1907. A design registered under this act gave the owner copyright protection for a period of 5 years which could be extended for two further periods of five years on payment of the appropriate fee.
Why Walther should have decided to start registering their designs in the UK is unknown. The designs registered first appeared in Walther's 1936 catalogue. It is not known whether these designs were actually sold in the UK, but by registering them it gave Walther protection against them being copied. This sort of copying did happen. The Davidson company was forced to register its designs in Australia after the Japanese started copying the 'Barrel' can (Reg. No. 802751) and undercutting them in the Australian market. Walther was not immune from copying other companies designs either. Their "Primus" bowl is a direct copy of Davidson's 1910BD flower bowl.
The patterns that Walther registered range from their stunning centre pieces such as the Möven and the Pierrette trinket set to a quite ordinary trinket tray. Interestingly although all of the designs had an application date of the 22nd December 1937, their effective registration date ranged from the 8th July 1937 to the 8th December 1937- before the recorded application date. This was permissible under special circumstances which were defined in Section 91 of the Patents and Design act.
The table below lists the registered designs submitted by Walther. We have either used images from the Public Records Office or from the 1936 Walther Catalogue. The 1936 Walther Catalogue was supplied by Siegmar Geiselberger and is from the PK 2002-3 edition of pressglas-korrespondenz (www.pressglas-korrespondenz.de).
"Davidson" match striker and ashtray?
In recent months there have been a couple of metal ashtrays sold on Ebay which have a small spherical amber glass match striker in the centre (see photograph). The surface of the glass match striker is divided into six sections. Three consist of raised and finely spaced horizontal lines on which the match would be struck. The other 3 sections are of a pattern which is identical to Davidson's Hobnail (Reg. No 153858).
The match striker has the registered design No 570646 in relief on one the the striking sections and also around the base. This design was registered to James May Farnel of 19 Hill Street, Birmingham. The design submitted to the Patent Office consists of a hand drawn representation of the spherical match striker with only the horizontal lines of the striking area shown in detail. The pattern in between is shown as a series of hatched lines indicating that it is not part of the design being registered.
The hobnail design suggests that the match striker could have been made by Davidson. Whether Davidson made the match striker on behalf of James May Farnel or whether they bought the rights to the design is unknown. We must also be careful not to rule out other manufacturers as the hobnail design was very common in both pressed and cut glass.
Victoria and Albert Museum Art Deco exhibition
If you were expecting to see a lot of English Art Deco glassware in this exhibition, then be prepared to be disappointed. The exhibition is dedicated to 'High' Art Deco and most of the exhibits are French in origin. Having said that it is well worth visiting, but you are advised to book tickets in advance as it is still very busy. The exhibition shop, which you pass through at the end of the tour, is overflowing with things to buy. The book of the exhibition is excellent, but expensive. While you are at the V&A don't forget to look at the Glass Galleries (entrance is free to the rest of the museum). They have a good display of English and continental pressed glass. We only found two examples of Cloud Glass, both were amber. One was a No. 51 vase, and the other a 10/1910 bowl without its stand or grid.
The V&A Art Deco exhibition runs until the 20th July 2003.