Blog - Grand Auctions


British rummers were initially produced during the Georgian period from around 1780 onwards. The name rummer is thought to probably derive from the Germanic word 'roemer' meaning ‘Roman type’. Roemers were in fact traditional German wine glasses produced during the 15th and 16th centuries. They would typically have been designed with a flared foot and decorated with prunts in the the form of blackberries, raspberries or lions' heads applied to the stem and functioning as a grip. Roemers were not produced in Britain during this period. However, a few were known to have been made in England towards the end of the 17th century.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
19th century Russian Niello silver snuff box

In a previous blog, Early British Glass Scent Bottles, I mentioned that the last notable milestone in the manufacture of British glass scent bottles during the 19th century was the introduction of cameo glass. Due to the wide range of beautiful cameo glassware produced during the 19th century and leading well into the 20th century, I thought it would be interesting to take a moment to expand upon this.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
glass paperweight

Glass paperweights are avidly collected worldwide. The earliest and most sought after examples were produced during the 1840s by the three leading French companies Baccarat, St. Louis and Clichy. Out of these, Clichy paperweights tend to be considered by many to be the finest and hence are often the most expensive. The best Clichy paperweights were manufactured circa 1846 – 1852. However, Clichy paperweights are not only difficult to source but can prove to be difficult to identify due to never being dated and only signed with the letter 'C' being subtly integrated within the pattern.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
silver deposit glass

Silver deposit glass was a decorative technique primarily used in the late 19th/early 20th century. The manufacturing process involved silver being applied to a glass body which would then be fired and buffed to create a course surface. The next process involved electrolysis whereby the object would be immersed in a plating solution with a low electrical current passing through it for several hours. Finally the object would be polished to achieve a shiny finish. Examples like the ones illustrated would have sections of the silver pierced and then finely engraved with further detail.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
early English glass seal bottles

Prior to the late 16th century, there is very little evidence to suggest that much glass was being produced in England. The earliest signs which appear are from the time when England was under Roman occupation. Other than this only a very small amount of medieval “forest” glass from The Weald area of Southern England have been discovered. All other glass found was imported predominantly from Italy.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
Chinese overlay glass bottle

When thinking of glass objects, one of the last places to think of is China. This is partially due to the sheer volume that has been produced elsewhere in the world, combined with the fact that the Chinese are typically renowned for their production of fine porcelain and jade, amongst other things. The truth is that glassmaking in China has never been a major industry. Prior to the introduction of Western techniques and through the influences of Jesuit missionaries during the Kangxi period (1661 - 1722 AD), glass was considered second to both porcelain and jade and only used to imitate these materials at a much lower price.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
David Chihuly glass spheres sculpture

On a cold winter’s evening back in 2005, I visited Kew Gardens where a major exhibition was being held featuring a multitude of works by the internationally renowned, contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly. Both inside and outside the glasshouses was a stunning display of organically shaped, beautifully lit glass sculptures. Wondering around admiring these magnificent sculptures really left a huge impression on me. The sheer scale of some was incredible.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe

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