International studio — 15.1901/​1902(1902)

Page: 45
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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/international_studio15/0065
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Old English Glasses

OLD ENGLISH GLASSES : GROUr I

OLD ENGLISH GLASSES.
BY PERCY BATE.

The vagaries of collectors are many,
and one often fails to see the charm of certain
aggregations of unbeautiful objects which are
dignified by the name of collections ; old shoes
for example, or military buttons, can afford but
little pleasure to the cultured mind, and yet such
unsightly things are
eagerly sought for by a
certain section of collec-
tors, while other fields,
truly artistic and delight-
ful, are left compara-
tively ungleaned. It is
only recently that any
attention has been devoted
to old English drinking-
glasses, and yet the pro-
ductions of the glass-
blowers of the eighteenth
century—to take a limited
period—are usually beauti-
ful, always interesting, and
often of great historical
value. Apart, however,
from the antiquarian in-
terest attaching to these
old glasses, there is much

merit in them as regards
both design and crafts-
manship ; and the col-
lector of them, when he
looks at the modern
vessels which serve the
same purpose, is usually
struck with the great
falling-off both in design
and method of manu-
facture which is evident
when the wine-glasses of
recent days are compared
with those which date
between a.d. 1700 and
a.d. 1800. It is quite true
that modern glasses are,
as a rule, much more
delicate, lighter in struc-
ture and thinner in general
effect; but this, which
may be conceded as being
in one way desirable (as
glass lends itself so readily
to extreme delicacy of form), is in another way a
mark of decadence, inasmuch as it seems to
indicate a tendency to a mere mechanical pro-
duction of a certain grade of fineness and thinness
simply because it is fashionable. A similar
mechanical lack of initiative is also evident in the
perpetual repetition of certain forms, the four or
five types associated with particular wines being
repeated ad nauseam, with singular lack of inven-

OLD ENGLISH GLASSES : GROUP 2

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