The Red-Ashay range of Desna glass car mascots Part Two

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 Red - Ashay Car Mascots
A Short Guide to the Efforts & Life of Hermann George Ascher (Part 2 )

Continued from Part one

Sales took place at the major motor exhibitions in London and Edinburgh, also at the Manchester premises and later at outlets in London and Glasgow. The advert mentions items for sale at the famous Jenners store in Edinburgh, now a John Lewis store.
The London outlet at Holborn Viaduct was destroyed in the blitz, it is thought that the Manchester base on Acomb Street was
also damaged by bombing during 1940

As the firm grew we can see that the adverts began to name Ascher's sales outlets as belonging to the Company and also that he had started to sell other glassware. This 1931 advert still features "Acceleration", it must have been his favourite car mascot :

 red-ashay finishing touch


Readers will be interested in the mention of "illuminated Motor mascots" . Ascher used to sell mountings for the mascots, which could be mounted on most of the cars of the day. It comprised of a nickel silver or chrome plated mount that contained a 6 or 12 volt bulb from which the interior of the mascot could be illuminated. A novel and interesting feature was that by means of a cylinder of multi coloured glass surrounding the bulb the colour of the illumination could be controlled. Some had a small hand control, other more elaborate mount that had a small fan or propeller at the front. This started the colour change at speeds above 15 to 20 mph. Again these mounts were relatively expensive ranging between £1 and £5. The mounts and electrics were produced in Manchester at the firms Ducie Grove works. Sadly the Acomb and Ducie Grove works no longer exist due to the post WW2 developments in that area, which includes the Manchester University.

 cmount  cmount2  cmount3

An example of one of the Red-Ashay mounts is shown above (courtesy of John Forde @ Mascot Mania) This mounting bracket measures 600mm high, however it is missing the propeller that spins the shaft that hold the colour filleted inside the base above the light.
Ascher continued with his sales of Red-Ashay mascots, however tastes and vehicle design changed in the period leading up to WW2, in a rare and interesting advert below, it can be seen that the standard of advert and also a more primitive screw mount was evident. The car mascot which depicts a mans head with a crown motif is an unknown piece. However the "Mistral" or "Spirit of the Wind" is one of the most exciting Red-Ashay car mascots, still produced in very limited numbers by Desna and sold by Crystal-Art-Glass.


 red-ashay head sale

Following the WW2 all glass factories in the now Czech Republic were nationalised, this included the Josef Riedel factory. Ascher must have found it harder and harder to obtain the high quality items he needed to sell. In 1952 H.G. Ascher Ltd was dissolved, Ascher sadly having passed away in Manchester in April 1943.

However thanks to the enthusiasm of collectors and dealers around the world the interest in Red-Ashay mascots remain, Several dealers and auction have still have a small number of original items. Crystal-Art-Glass continue the tradition of importing and selling these fantastic pieces of art. They are produced from the original moulds used by the Josef Riedel factory, they have the Desna signature sandblasted on the base and certificate of Historic Continuity from the Czech Museum of Glass in Jablonec nad Nisou.

Crystal-Art-Glass also works closely with Desna in discovering more of the original moulds and producing a larger range of car mascots. Some examples can be seen below ;


"Longchamps" (Mould Broken)

 Desna Mephisto-1



We would be very interested in comments on his guide, also we are looking for a 1930's catalogue on the Red-Ashay range of car mascots. Thank you for your time and interest !

© Crystal-Art-Glass 2008





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