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Details about  Vintage 1960s - Mdina Bottle Vase - Very Large 13" Heavy - Authenticated - RETRO

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Vintage 1960s - Mdina Bottle Vase - Very Large 13" Heavy - Authenticated - RETRO
Item Ended
--not specified

Excellent condition bar an error at the neck, good deep textures

18 Jun, 2015 18:13:38 BST
Free Economy Delivery | See details
Item location:
New Malden, United Kingdom


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  04 May, 2015 22:14:28 BST  View all revisions
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Item specifics

Seller notes: Excellent condition bar an error at the neck, good deep textures
Glassware Type: Art Glassware Object Type: Vases
Type of Glass: Blown Glass Maker: Mdina
Glassware Era: 1950s/ 1960s/ 1970s Country of Origin: Britain


Vintage 1960s - Mdina Bottle Vase - Very Large Heavy - Authenticated - RETRO

You are viewing a listing for a Michael Harris at Mdina bottle vase, it is massive.

I have had this vase for over 7 years but am now having to let it go. When I first found it I wrote to the Isle of White Studio Glass forum as I knew nothing about it other than a small image I found in a book - 20th Century Roadshow Collectables Price Guide Judith Miller. This is the reply I received from Mark Hill:

As the co-author with Judith Miller of the 20th century Roadshow price guide, I know the piece you refer to, it is indeed a Mdina piece, and even more exciting is that there is a story behind them . . .  one that you can read about in my book on Michael Harris and his work at Mdina and Isle of Wight studio glass . . .

Michael Harris first experimented with textured surfaces when he was tutor in industrial glass at the Royal College of Art, London. During his tenure he went to the Roguska Slatina glass factory in (modern day) Slovenia in the summers of 1963 and 1964, where he oversaw the fitting of some new equipment as well as undertaking a general exchange of information. He was intrigued by the texture of bark and may also have seen the bark textured Finlandia designs produced by Timo Sarpaneva of Finland's Iittala glassworks from 1963. He made some rudimentary moulds using bark that he had collected in the Slovenian mountains as a lining and blew hot glass into them. The resulting vases took on bark textures, but the hot molten glass all but destroyed the moulds. His examples were colourless and clear at this time. He repeated the exercise at the RCA and showed them to Sam Herman when he came in 1966. Importantly, he also knew Geoffrey Baxter well, who was to design the famous textured range for Whitefriars in 1967. . .

Jump forward to 1968, when Michael founded Medina glass on Malta. Here he reprised his experiments, but used the familiar green and blue coloured glass, as well as amethyst purple which is quite scarce today. Small vases with hand formed necks and bottles were produced. I have to admit to an error in my original description at this point -- the neck's are not 'dropped in' but the pieces are instead 'gathered on a post'. Here the neck and top curving part of the bottle are part formed on a rod, This is then used to scoop up and gather a mass of glass from the furnace, which is then blown into the mould to form the bottle body. The technique originates in Murano, Italy, but is known all over the world. At Mdina, moulds were made from more durable metal which was not destroyed when the glass was blown into it as the first bark lined moulds were. Of course bark was used to obtain the texture for the moulds but it was only used as a starting point. As the moulds were used they did wear down over time and the early ones with crisp deep moulding are the most desirable. The design was not produced after Michael left Mdina glass in 1972. As you say, the concave polished pontil mark on the base often means that they are mistaken for Whitefriars, most pieces are also not signed Mdina.

Height: 13 inch, 33 cm approx

Width: 4 3/8 inch, 11 cm approx

Weight: 2198g

Condition: Generally in excellent condition but there is a fault to the blue outer layer (not all the way through) at the neck in two places (please see the close-up picture), it is priced accordingly.

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