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Judith Miller

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To the Heart of Glass

  • Judith Miller
  • 22 Sep 2010, 8:06 AM

I would love to be in Edinburgh between the 1st and 4th of October as there is a special conference celebrating 400 years of Scottish Glass. It will be held at Edinburgh College of Art and there will be a host of speakers from the UK and overseas as well as demonstrations of glass making.

It is the biggest conference on glass ever to be held in the UK. Among the speakers are Jill Turnbull, an expert on the history of Scottish glass, who will be tracing the decline and fall of the industry. The influence of Scotland abroad will be tackled by Eric Hilton, an important Steuben designer who trained at ECA. Paperweights will feature in several talks and demonstrations. The influence of Venetian glass on modern glass in Scotland will also be shown through talks and demonstrations, and Denis Mann - engraver of the Mastermind Trophy - will be engraving on the lathe installed by Helen Monro Turner, the lady who gave the glass department at ECA its international reputation and taught more than one generation of glassmakers their craft.

The 400th anniversary celebrates the date in 1610 when James 1 granted the first monopoly for glassmaking North of the Border to Sir George Hay (later the Earl of Kinnoull), who took Venetian makers from London.

The famous Amen series of diamond point engraved Jacobite goblets (one of which is above), made c.1745 are emblems of Scottish nationalism, although somewhat ironically it is assumed that the engraver of many of them was English. At a lecture on October 2, titled Jacobite Rebellion and Scottish Glass, by Geoffrey Seddon (author of The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses) the findings of research will reveal precisely who engraved these iconic drinking glasses.

Not that glass making in Scotland is over of course. Bonhams have assisted in the publication of a booklet about contemporary Scottish glass making and it can be downloaded for free HERE

Well enough about my former home and glass, how about something a little closer to my current home in London. Mark Hill has written a fascinating article about 20th century Geoffrey Baxter's Whitefriars Glass which traces its roots back to the 17th century glassworks that was established on the banks of the Thames. You can read more HERE

    Blair Clastle & Monart Glass

    • Judith Miller
    • 10 Sep 2010, 2:28 PM

    Yesterday we were so lucky! I found out when I was talking to people at the Antiques Roadshow that we had missed some horrendous weather on the previous two days. We had a lovely day at Blair Castle and as usual met so many nice people. I say we, because Mark Hill was with me and he told me in the evening just what a good day he had had. "Of course Mark, you are in Scotland!"

    This morning we took a quick trip into Perth to visit the Perth Museum and Art Gallery. I've been a collector of Monart glass for many years and it was delightful to see the museum's small collection that contained some unusual pieces. Monart Glass was manufactured from the early 1920s until the early 1960s at Moncrieff’s North British Glassworks in Perth by Salvador Ysart, a master glassmaker originally from Barcelona, Spain, and his four sons. I had my personal photographer (Mark!) take this picture alongside the exhibit.

      Displaying glass

      • Judith Miller
      • 02 Sep 2010, 4:48 PM

       Following my post about how interesting it is to see how people display their colectables I had an email from my friend Christine who lives in the Scottish Borders. She is on holiday on the Devon/Somerset border, not very far from Porlock Weir in fact, staying at her friend Jane's manor house and she sent me this picture of how she displays her collection  of 19th century glass. It makes for such an attractive display don't you think?

        Holmegaard Glass

        • Mark Hill
        • 23 Jul 2010, 10:47 AM

        Just to let you know I've put up an article on the web site about Holmegaard glass which was founded in Zealand, Denmark in 1825. You can read more HERE


          • Judith Miller
          • 14 Mar 2010, 3:52 PM

          As I mentioned yesterday there was a lovely litle micromosaic that was brought to the valuation evening at Chorleywood on Friday. In its honour I decided to post a longer piece on the subject of micromosaics and you can read it HERE