Saturday, April 21, 2018

No outlet?

"Sidewalk", unknown artist, 6" x 4", Artist Proof, linocut on paper 

This was a $.25 thrift shop find. It was framed in a generic oak frame and the backing material showed lots of paint and ink stains,like it been lying on an artist's work table. Guessing the artist recycled an 8x10 frame and mat for this piece. It is marked "AP", for artist proof, titled and illegibly signed, verso. I am more hopeful that someone will recognize the print than the signature. I think I have seen this print before. The signature looks something like "G Anl...e"?

Inscription, verso

Enlarged signature

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pitcher this!

Art glass pitcher, unknown maker, 8"h x7.5"w ( w/ handle)x5.5"w (w/o handle)

(MYSTERY SOLVED. See bottom of post.)This unmarked pitcher sat on a shelf for weeks at a local thrift shop that normally turns items over in a few days, at most. It was marked $2.99. Items that don't move quickly enough are relegated to a "Shelf of Shame" where the price is cut until the item sells or I guess it becomes landfill. Despite living in the shop long enough to grow roots, it never migrated to the dreaded shelf, though, I think because it is so obviously a good piece. It weighs about 5 pounds, I would guess. It is hard enough to manage empty and I think one would need to be a body builder to pour from it one handed when full. Probably why it didn't sell. It looked like a Blenko pitcher to me, based on the color of the glass (Yeah I know that several glass makers bought glass blanks from the same sources). I finally couldn't stand it any longer and, with my veterans discount (sweet) put it out of its misery and paid a whopping $2.64 out the door for it. 

I was convinced that I would get home and look through images of Blenko pitchers on ebay and there it would be. Nope. Sigh. Then I branched out to other makers. Re-nope, Re-sigh. Then just art glass pitchers. Re-re-nope, Re-re-sigh.

I feel sure that this is a an American art glass piece, not Italian, etc., or "shudder" Made in China. It is so unwieldy that I am not sure that it is meant to be used, or if it is, only with two hands. 

Even the bottom is textured. Not sure how this piece was made. I ruled out Pilgrim as maker, since there is no "strawberry" mark. There is no noticeable wear to the bottom, so it is either not too old, or was very gently used.

There is an annoying lip around the inside bottom that had collected a couple of grunge spots and after trying to remove them by hand, I finally gave up and soaked the inside in vinegar and water until they could be removed.

Yep, the handle is crooked and I think this may be intentional. I am a lefty and it felt awkward in my left hand, but as soon as I switched to my right had it was comfortable to hold. Maybe a coincidence? There is a suggestion of a mold line to the right of the handle, which can be seen and not felt, and some roughness on the neck of the pitcher where one would place their hand to support pouring from it. The roughness does not go around the whole neck, only for a few inches on either side of the neck. Not sure if this is wear from use or if it was made this way. I might be imagining the mold line... There should be a corresponding mold line on the opposite side of the pitcher, if it was made with a two piece mold, and I can imagine I see one there if I stare at it long enough. So maybe a molded piece? If so, a lot of care was taken to remove any mold lines.

Several shots of the join of the handle to the body. It doesn't look familiar to me....

A real elephant foot join at the bottom of the handle.

If we can't figure out who made it, I think that I will be buried clutching this pitcher to my chest as revenge against any archaeologists who tamper with my remains.


Morgantown Glass Works operated in Morgantown, West Virginia, from 1900 to 1974. Some of their wares are marked with an adhesive label that says Old Morgantown Glass.  This is an example of 'Crinkle' c1962; AKA: Ockner. A companion pattern called 'El Mexicano' was made using opaque glass.

Mine is about 56 years old and is in mint condition. I guess being too heavy to use preserved it.