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The Antiquarian Research Update New 4/29/15

P#1 Shell & Seaweed Rose Bowls

 A. Confirm or refute current attribution to Consolidated Lamp & Glass Co. 

Existing attributions:  We are aware of three authors who attributed the Shell and Seaweed pattern rose bowls to Consolidated Lamp & Glass Co.  Johanna Billings, in Collectible Glass Rose Bowls on page 20, simply quoted previous attributions by William Heacock and Mel Murray.  Both were preeminent, early researchers and authors on glass. 

In the case of William Heacock’s attribution in Encyclopedia of Victorian Colored Patterned Glass on page 48, Figure 358, the Shell and Seaweed pattern he quoted Mr. Murray’s work for the attribution.

Mel Murray attributed the pattern to C. L. & G. Co. in his book Fostoria, Ohio Glass II.  He based his attribution on a pattern on toothpick holders.  Mr. Murray is in a nursing home and is unable to answer questions so we had to research his work and physical evidence.     

On page 162 and 163, in Fostoria, Ohio Glass II, Mr. Murray states:  “Nicholas Kopp was a prolific designer of new moulds for the glass industry.  Beginning with his position as general manager at Fostoria Shade and Lamp company in 1890, and continuing with his glass designs while heading Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company in Fostoria from 1893 to early 1896, we can perhaps identify many, but perhaps not all, of the patterns he designed during that span of time.” 

    “The fact that these patterns were made in Fostoria, Ohio can be documented by shards found at the old plant site during recent years and by contemporaneous news stories and advertisements.  The names given the patterns often came from authors of different studies of glass through the years.  In many cases the patterns were merely given numbers by the manufacture.”

     “As an example of the diversity of glass made by the two companies, it might be instructive to print the various names of patterns in salt shakers only, as found in two fine studies:  1,000 Patterns, by Arthur G. Peterson, Wallace-Homestead Co. Des Moines, Iowa, 160, 1970, and the other is The World of Salt Shakers, Mildred and Ralph Lechner, Collector Books, Paducah, KY, 1992.  Some patterns mentioned here are not listed in their works, but they are known by the author of this work as being made in Fostoria, Ohio.

     “Argus, Swirl, Beaded Dahlia, Beads and Bulges, Beaded Panel Vertical, Bulging Leap, Bulging Loop, Bulging Petal, Bulging Three Petal, Cone, Cosmos Band, Cosmos, Short; Cosmos, Tall; Cotton Bale, Criss Cross, Distended Sides, Double Cord, and Tassle, Fish, Florette, Flower and Rib, Flower Assortment, Gutatte, Leaf, Overlapping; Leaf, Palm Leaf, Twisted; Leaning, Little Scroller, Melon, Fishnet and Poppies, Nine Rib, Paneled Shell, Pansy, Six Pansy, Three; Periwinkle, Pineapple, Pleated Skirt, Rose, Pink; Quilt, Scroll and New, Scroll, Footed; Scroll, Narrow Based; Shell and Seaweed; Vine Border.

 

The glass shards mentioned by Mr. Murray’s publication match the toothpick holder.  We have contacted The Glass Heritage Gallery at Fostoria, Ohio and there are no shards matching the Shell & Seaweed rose bowls.  We have contacted various key individuals in both the Fostoria Ohio Glass Association and Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors Club.  No one we talked to believes the Shell and Seaweed rose bowls were produced by C. L. & G. Co.  In addition, all patent searches under Nicholas Kopp’s name and C. L. & G. Co. provided no proof of his or their design/production of Shell and Seaweed pattern glass.

  

              Photo Courtesy of the Glass Heritage Gallery at Fostoria, Ohio                        

  Toothpick Holder                                                                   Rose Bowl 

The reader will note that while the Shell and Seaweed pattern on the toothpick holder Mr. Murray spoke about (left) is somewhat similar, it is certainly not a match for the pattern on the rose bowl (right).

We are currently in the process of examining period publications including:  China Glass and Lamp, the Pottery & Glassware Reporter, and the Crockery & Glass Journal.  James Measell, an author of several books on antique glass, suggested that we also research the J. Stanley Brothers files located at the Rakow Research Library of CMOG.       

Attribution conclusions:  We will continue to research for positive attribution among the various period publications.  However, currently based on physical and historical evidence, we cannot support the attribution of the Shell and Seaweed pattern rose bowls to Consolidated Lamp & Glass Co. at this point.  Shell and Seaweed rose bowls are known to exist mainly in cased satin glass (two layers only), occasionally found in Mother of Pearl (MOP) and rarely found in Rubena Verde.  C. L. & G. Co. was not known to produce MOP or Rubena Verde glass.

 

B. Establish approximate date that these rose bowls were first manufactured.          

Historical evidence:  Shell and Seaweed rose bowl are from the Victorian period both in styling and enameling.  Historical evidence also supports this time period.  Shell and Seaweed pattern glass (exact match to the rose bowls including enameling) was made into table pieces such as biscuit jars, creamers, and covered sugars.  These table pieces were produced with silver plate fixtures.  The silver plate manufacturers marked much of the fixtures with their names.  So far we have identified two silver plate manufactures of the fittings for Shell and Seaweed table pieces.  They are:  Graham Mfg. Co. with the number 485 (no additional information has been found on this Manufacture).  The second company is Benedict Mfg. Co. 1894 to 1953, East Syracuse, NY. USA.

We assume that Graham Mfg. was the first producer of silver plating fittings followed by Benedict Mfg.

 

Graham Mfg. Markings

 

Period of Production for Shell and Seaweed rose bowls:  style enameling and historical documentation all support their production during the late 1800s.  However, it is possible that these rose bowls were produced into the early 1900s but there is currently no evidence supporting this. 

 

C. Analyze and define the various sizes of crimp patterns.

Physical observations:  Upon examining in excess of two dozen Shell and Seaweed rose bowls we have observed that there are two physical Types or styles of crimp and two sizes in each Type.  Type 1s have a smaller opening at the top of the rose bow and are typically slightly taller than the Type 2.  We also find more of the Type 2s than the Type 1s.  The difference in Type 1 and Type 2 is most likely due to the crimping technique.  The difference may be partially due to a rework of a mold.  (See the difference below) 

 

 

                             Type 1–Large                                                             Type 2–Large

The Type 1 large rose bowls tend to be approximately 0.25” taller and 0.25” not as wide as the Type 2 large.  For example Type 1-L = approximately 5.0” tall by 5.25” wide while Type 2–L = 4.8” tall by 5.5” wide.

 

                                       Type 2–L on the (left) and a Type 1-L on the (right)

                                                           Photo Courtesy of the Norma Naber's Collection

 

The smaller Shell and Seaweed rose bowls Type 1-S (small) measured 3.25” tall by 4.25 wide (Note we have only measured one Type 1–S, not a statistically significant quantity) Type 2-S measure approximately 3.50” tall by 4.12” wide.  Due to the glass manufacturing process of hand blowing glass into a mold, crimping and then the annealing process, we must be very careful in using measurements to analyze glass of this time period.

  

                     Two photos showing a Type 2–S (left) as compared to Type 1–L (right)

 

 

                     Three photos showing a Type 1–S (left) as compared to Type 2–S (right)

      

                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical conclusions:  We are able to physically identify two styles or types of crimps in two sizes.  They are Type 1–L, Type 1– S, Type 2–L and Type 2–S.  The reasons for the two different Types 1 & 2 are speculative; the two different sizes Large and Small are due to different mold sizes.

 

D. Review manufacturing history to explain manufactured Variants.

Known variants:  First we must define what we mean by a variant.  In the case of Shell and Seaweed Rose bowl they were normally produced in two-layered cased satin glass.  Shell and Seaweed rose bowls are occasionally found in Mother of Pearl (MOP) and rarely found in Rubena Verde.  Thus the MOP and Rubena Verde rose bowls are variants.  Since C. L. & G. Co. was not known to produce MOP or Rubena Verde glass we have a problem with attribution.  There were only a few glasshouses in the U.S. in the mid to late 1890s that possessed the skills to manufacture and who were known to produce cased satin glass, MOP and Rubena Verde glass.  In addition these manufacturers also had to be producing rose bowls.  The list includes Phoenix Glass Co. and Mt. Washington Glass Co. 

Further Joseph Webb of the Phoenix Glass Company, Frederick S. Shirley of the Mt. Washington Glass Company; William B. Dean and Alphonse Peltier (Dean & Peltier jointly held a 1881 Patent) were the only four men holding Patents on MOP glass production methods in the US.  Dean and Peltier assigned their patent rights to Mt. Washington Glass Co narrowing the list to two glasshouses.

                                     MOP                                                                    Rubena Verde 

     

                                                           Photos Courtesy of the Stu Horn's Collection

Below is a shell rose bowl which just sold on EBay and it may be the shell and seaweed pattern and it looks like MOP.  I think it is not air trap glass.  It may be nothing more that cleaver masking and acid treatment that fakes the appearance of Air Trap.  I need to contact Stu and ask him to examine his rose bowl.     

                              

 

E.  Explore working relationships between C. L. & G. Co., Foster Glass Co. and Phoenix Glass Co.

Working relationships found:  During the great depression C. L & G. Co located in Coraopolis, PA closed its plant in 1933 due to the economy.  Kenneth Haley, son of Ruben Haley transferred the Martel line molds to Phoenix Glass Company of Monaca, PA.  Ruben Haley designed and owned the Martel line of art glass molds that were introduced in 1926 by Consolidated to compete with Lalique’s line of art glass.  Phoenix continued to use these mold until early 1936 when they were returned to C. L. & G. Co.  Phoenix also designed new molds that became their "Sculptured Art Glass" line. The initial work on that line was done by Kenneth Haley.

Could Phoenix have also borrowed rose bowl molds including the Shell & Seaweed pattern between 1933 and 1936 and produced the MOP and Rubena Verde?  Yes, it is possible but we must remember the height of rose bowl production was long past and the country was in the middle of the great depression.  It is very unlikely that any Shell and Seaweed rose bowls were produced beyond early 1900s.  Therefore, it would be highly unlikely they were produced in mid 1930s. 

It is more likely that the MOP and Rubena Verde Shell and Seaweed rose bowls were produced near the end of Shell and Seaweed production life thus the very low production numbers. 

 

F. Explore other embossed pattern rose bowls to see if there may be a connection to the same glasshouse that produced the Shell & Seaweed rose bowls.  Note, this study has been expanded to included Shell Embossed, Fan Embossed, Floral Embossed and Cabbage Rose rose bowls.

Physical observations:  We examined the following embossed pattern or blown-out glass rose bowls looking for similarities using Shell and Seaweed as a baseline:  Shell Embossed, Fan Embossed, Floral Embossed & Cabbage Rose.

Shell Embossed is a two layered cased glass rose bowl with a shell motif.  It is known to exist in yellow, blue and pink.  Rose bowls are dissimilar in size, both have shells as a motif, but they are different patterns.  However the base mold marking shows  high probability of the same mold maker producing both molds.  (See below.)   Shell embossed rose bowls usually have a more uniform crimp than Shell and Seaweed.  

 

                          Shell and Seaweed                                                       Shell Embossed

 

                          Shell and Seaweed                                                       Shell Embossed 

 

Fan Embossed is a three layered cased satin glass rose bowl with a fan or drape motif.  It is also known to exist in three colors:  custard, turquoise and raspberry.  Fan embossed rose bowls have a tendency to vary in size somewhat and have sloppy or uneven crimps. 

  

Floral embossed is a two layered cased satin glass rose bowl with a flower, vine and leaf motif.  They are known to exist in yellow, blue, pink, green and purple.  Size, shape and crimp work are similar to a Shell and Seaweed Type 1-S rose bowl.  Floral embossed rose bowls are known to have somewhat of sloppy or uneven crimp also.  They are also about the same size as S&S Type 1-S.

 

          Three photos showing a Floral Embossed (Left) as compared to S&S Type 1-S (Right)

 

Cabbage Rose is a two layered cased, satin glass rose bowl with a cabbage leaf type motif.  It is known to exist in yellow, blue, pink, green and purple.  It is somewhat similar to the Shell and Seaweed Type 1–L rose bowls in size and shape.  Cabbage Rose rose bowls are known to have somewhat sloppy of uneven crimp also.

 

 

In Conclusion:  In this writer’s opinion, a positive attribution of Shell and Seaweed rose bowls to Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company cannot be made.  Research has proven there never was an attribution for Shell and Seaweed rose bowl pattern to C. L. & G. Co.  Mel Murray was writing of a toothpick holder of a similar pattern but not the same pattern as found on the S&S rose bowls.  Mr. Murray did not address rose bowls in his attribution. 

We are currently unable to positively attribute this rose bowl pattern to any other glasshouse either.  We are confident that Shell and Seaweed rose bowl share the same mold maker as Shell Embossed.  It is possible they were both produced by the same glasshouse.  Then again, it is not normally good business practice to produce a knock off of your own product line.  Why make two different pattern molds (not sizes) of shells?  It would increase your capital cost and complicate your manufacturing.  Examination of the crimps and finish on the Shell Embossed rose bowls also indicated separate manufacturers of these two rose bowls.

In regard to the Fan Embossed, Floral Embossed and Cabbage Rose rose bowls, there exists some similarities but nothing to support close connection to Shell and Seaweed.

If the writer was to speculate as to a U.S. glasshouse that might have produced Shell and Seaweed rose bowls, Phoenix would be our choice.  This is due to all of the reasons previously stated above, plus the fact there is little original Phoenix documentation in existence.  Phoenix did not issue catalogues for their art glass; instead they sold primarily through their showrooms in Pittsburgh and New York.  The first known Phoenix catalogues was for lamps in 1890.  Phoenix was making colored glass from 1883 into 1895.  Mt. Washington glass documentation as compared to Phoenix is copious in volume.  Phoenix is also known to have produced a wide line of optic glass including MOP. 

Additional research into period documentation will hopefully reveal the answer as to the glasshouse that produced the Shell and Seaweed rose bowls, if the answer is ever to be found.  Our research is ongoing.

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