Glass Newsletter October 2009 from Angela

Here is my October Glass Newsletter - I hope you find it interesting and useful. Have you ever heard of a Water Lamp? See what you think of the idea which I've explained below. Last month we discussed outsourcing glass and the fact Wedgwood glass had refused to accept a special series designed for them by Frank Thrower, on the grounds that it had been made in Jugoslavia and not England. This month I've been doing some research on Jugoslavian glass and cleared up some mysteries about the STS Abel trademark, which I want to share with you. Then there's some information about forthcoming glass conventions, shows, and other events; some recently published books on glass that you might have missed (all different from last month); some glass from my collection which is now for sale; and our own glass publications. I do hope you find something here to enjoy.

Water Lamps
So what do you think a water lamp is? I hadn't heard of them until I read two articles from the mid 1920s reprinted in this months's journal "All about glass" from the WV Museum of American Glass. Apparently they were very fashionable in the 1920s, and were produced by a number of companies including H.C.Fry Glass of Rochester, Westmoreland Glass of Grapeville, and even Frederick Carder designed some for Steuben Glass. Basically they consisted of a fairly large bulbous glass lamp base which could be filled with coloured water, and a plug for the top with an electric socket and cable attached. The idea, according to the text, was that the water lamp was filled with distilled water and a few drops of dye were added to make it coloured, and the colour could be changed at will "every few days"!! And the reason for doing this, you might well ask! So the hostess could have a lamp which matched her dress or her floral decorations every day. Seriously, that's what they were suggesting, and presumably it was a popular idea. There were even some with partially coloured glass, so you could get an exotic two-toned effect. It doesn't sound at all safe to me - perhaps that's why the idea didn't seem to last very long.

STS Abel Glass
This company has been a mystery to most of us for some time, so I'm pleased to be able to say the mystery is now solved! By way of background, you probably realise I am selling some of my glass collection, and one bowl I decided to sell was, I thought, made by August Walther & Sohne in about 1935, and is shown in that company's 1935 and 1936 catalogues. However, as I was taking the photographs I remembered that there had been a discussion on the Glass Message Board about this bowl design, questioning whether it was made by Walther or by a Jugoslavian company with the trademark STS Abel. So, inspired by last week's discussion about outsourcing glass to countries like Jugoslavia, I did some more research. It was hard going because none of my books made any mention of the glass company STS Abel. Sincere thanks go to Siegmar Geiselberger of the Pressglas-Korrespondenz and to Pamela Wessendorf of the Pressglas-pavillon, for their help and information. So here is what I found out - mostly from Jugoslavian internet sites and from the STS catalogue of 1936. I thought it could be useful to you.

In 1921 four glass factories in Jugoslavia merged to form a new company called Sjedinjene Tvornice Stakla N.D. (STA) which translates into "United Glass Factories", with its head office in Zagreb. Those four factories were Hrastnik, Rogatec, Rogaska Slatina, and Daruvar, each located in a different town, the first three in present-day Slovenia, and Daruvar in Croatia. Their STS catalogue for 1936 shows a trademark of STS inside the bowl of a stemmed goblet, surrounded by a circle with the word ABEL. I believe there is another trademark of a stemmed goblet inside a star which was embossed on some of their glass. Now, I don't associate Jugoslavia with a long history of high quality glass. But I'm wrong. Rogaska Slatina has a proud history which they date back to 1665 and their website tells that story together with a video showing the detailed blowing, shaping and cutting of some superb crystal glasses. The other one of the four still thriving today is the Hrastnik glassworks which was built in 1860, but was preceded by a glassworks called Jurkloster operating there since 1790. And if that were not impressive enough, Daruvar is famous for the Daruvar Cage Cup, a rare Roman glass vessel unearthed at Daruvar in 1785. Today the companies are independent - STS disappeared after the second world war when all the glassworks in Jugoslavia were nationalised under Marshall Tito's communist regime. They re-emerged as separate companies in the 1990s. Steklarska Rogaska Slatina make a wide range of high quality cut crystal and art glass; Steklarna Hrastnik have a 27m Euro recently-built factory making glass containers and two other factories making lighting products and general glassware; Daruvar has a factory in Lipik making automotive, flat, and industrial glass products. And Rogatek may be making glass jewelry (not sure of this one). These are some of the glassworks with their massive new factories that British and USA glassworks have been using to outsource glass production, as discussed last month.

But my interest today is not really in their ancient history, nor in their current activities, but in the period between 1921 when STS was formed and 1941 when it all fell apart (due to the war in Europe). During this Art Deco period the company made some beautiful art deco designs, including my bowl. Hrasnik was the largest and the leading factory in the group. Their glass has been mistaken for Val St Lambert's Luxval range, for Rindskopf's 1934 vase 8259, for some Polish art deco glass by Hortensja, and for August Walther's "Berlin" bowl. There are some very nice art deco designs in their 1936 catalogue, but also a fair number of mundane pieces. There are major difference between the Walther's bowl and the STS one (the rim and the base are completely different). Whilst the Rindskopf vase 8259 is similar in concept to STS vase 2017 there are some major differences. So is it possible that STS Abel obtained moulds from August Walther and from Rindskopf and simply altered them? Both of my bowls (a green Walther's Berlin bowl and a pink STS one) are currently on ebay and you can compare them. They are the same height and the handles are the same height, but the pink one is 7.9" (200mm) in diameter across the top and the Walther's green one measures 8.5" (214mm) in diameter. See what you think. ebay #170394043923 is the pink STS bowl and ebay #170394106774 is the green Walther's Berlin bowl. I think it is more likely that they were making moulds from the original glass items and adding their own variations. And there is always the possibility that the copying was the other way around - that possibly Walthers copied STS.

There is a short article on the Glass Encyclopedia at and there will soon (in a day or two) be one about STS Abel of Zagreb at


If the links don't work in your email copy of this newsletter, you'll find another version with all its links working here:

And while we're on the subject of links, we have a great page of Glass Links at - hope you find them useful.

Designer Searches

Here's the link to those Designer Searches of eBay to be found at and the links


Hoosier Antiques Exposition 40th Anniversary show will be held on November 13, 14 and 15th, 2009 in the Toyota Exposition Hall, Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1200 E. 38th St., Indianapolis Indiana. They will even have an on-site glass grinder to repair chipped or broken glass! For more information about the Exposition visit their website at

Glass Art Society 41st Annual Annual Conference Deadline November 1st 2009. Proposals are invited for lectures, demonstrations, and panels that incorporate the theme, "Viva el Vidrio". The conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona from April 7-9, 2011 and the details for putting in a proposal can be found on their website at The deadline for submissions is November 1st 2009.

The Broadfield House Glass Museum (near Birmingham, UK) has an exhibition of "21st. Century British Glass" which will run from 17/10/09 to 04/04/10. Broadfield House Glass Museum is open from 12 noon to 4pm and admission is free. You can check out events at Broadfield House here - or here -

Blackwell the Arts and Crafts House in the Lake District, UK will hold an exhibition of contemporary glass by leading artists in the UK, called "Catching the Light" from November 13th 2009 to 3rd January 2010. Our own Adam Aaronson will be giving the introductory talk, so if you are lucky enough to get an invitation, make sure you go! More information on their website - They currently have an exhibition of Whitefriars Glass too.

The British National Glass Collectors Fair will be held on November 15th 2009 at The National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, UK, just off junction 6 on the M42. Website:

Events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York are listed on their website at

Upcoming Events in Carnival Glass in the USA can be found on Dave Doty's website at:, and many thanks to Dave.

Depression Glass Shows in the USA click here- - a listing with dozens of depression glass shows across the USA - really useful.

Glass Bottle Collecting Shows in the USA click here- - virtually every glass bottle collecting show in the USA.


- in case you missed them. All different from my last Newsletter. Click on any of these titles to read more about the book.

Corning Pyroceram Cookware by Debbie and Randy Coe. 160 pages published by Schiffer Books (November, 2008).

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2010 Price Guide: 43rd Edition by Mark F. Moran. 800 pages, published by Krause Publications (March, 2009).

Ancient Glass Research Along The Silk Road by Gan Fuxi. 496 pages, published by World Scientific Publishing Company (March, 2009).

Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2010: 42nd Edition by Terry and Kim Kovel. 816 pages, published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (September, 2009).

Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2010 Price Guide: 26th Edition edited by Dan Brownell. 816 pages, published by Krause Publications (October, 2009).

Making Tiffany Lamps: - Museum-Quality Authentic Reproductions by Hugh Archer. 128 pages published by Stackpole Books (October, 2009).

The Glass of an Eleventh-Century Shipwreck: SerCe Limani, Vol 2 by Dr. George F. Bass PhD, Berta Lledo, Sheila Matthews and Robert H. Brill. 536 pages published by TAMU Press (July, 2009).

Murano: Three Artists | Three Visions - Cristiano Biancin, Yoichi Ohira and Laura de Santillana. 400 pages published by Arnoldsche (October, 2009).

Glasstress by Adriano Berengo, Laura Mattioli Rossi, Rosa Mentasti and Francesca Giubilei. 176 pages published by Charta (November, 2009).

The Glass-Blowers of Roman London by John Shepherd and Angela Wardle. 64 pages published by Museum of London Archaeology Service (October, 2009).

Kids Design Glass by Benjamin Cobb. 128 pages published by University of Washington Press (November, 2009).

Glass Bead Workshop: Building Skills, Exploring Techniques, Finding Inspiration by Jeri L. Warhaftig. 144 pages published by Lark Books (May, 2008).

A Collector's Guide to Heisey Orchid Etch by Donald R. Oksa. 160 pages published by Schiffer Books (September, 2007).

George Woodall and the Art of English Cameo Glass From the Bill & Irma Runyon Art Collection by Joe R. Arredondo Jr. 32 pages published by MSC Forsyth Center Galleries.

In Glass Naturally by Anne Borella. Published by Dominion Glass Co Ltd.

Anchor Hocking Catalogs, 1940-Present by Philip L. Hopper. 160 pages published by Schiffer Books.

Books and CDs on glass by Angela Bowey Anything you buy here helps towards the costs of this Newsletter. Many thanks for your support.

Glass for Sale

I must admit that selling some of my glass has made space in my studio that really improves the way my collection looks. I shall continue to make more space, and try very hard not to keep buying new pieces to fill up those spaces!

You will receive a copy of my CD on Scottish Glass with any of the Scottish items I am selling, and a copy of my CD on New Zealand glass artists with any of the New Zealand items.

I hope you find something here that you would like. If you want to see a quick overview, you'll find these auctions at