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Ysartnews Issue 5 - January 1989

Edited by Mary Houston-Lambert 2002

Damaged Ysart Glass
Care of Ysart Glass
Fake Glass! Fake Labels!
Ysart News (The Book, Auction Records)
Paperweight News (The ‘Y’ Cane)
Nazeing Glass External page
Ysart Decoration Styles External page
1988 Members Survey Results

Survey covers: Paperweights by identification and size, Monart label colour codes, label shapes, Monart shapes and sizes.

[2002. The First Monart Catalogue was reproduced in this issue of Ysartnews.
The first two pages were not reproduced: the cover and a text introduction page. I have scanned from the screened versions of the original photographs which I have, but they are framed.
In the future I will get those scanned but for now...]

Page 3 Shapes A-Z
Page 4 Shapes AA-ZA
Page 5 Shapes AB-ZB
Page 6 Shapes AC-ZC

This site now contains a colour version of the second catalogue.


The superb response to the survey has left me staggered. Some of you obviously have spent a lot of time filling out the forms, and I thank you very much. Analysing all this information is going to be a long process and will spread over into the next issue that will concentrate on Vasart. The next issue will also be the first Vasart catalogue. Obviously, that is going to take a lot of work so I am afraid it will take about one year to complete. Part of this work will involve gathering colour and size information on the different shapes, to keep this as standard as possible I will try and visit the larger Vasart collections over the next year. The Strathearn story needs to be undertaken at some point; where are the collectors? If you did not respond to the survey and feel that you may have some special pieces of Vasart please send a snap of the piece or of the collection. I would like to have all the shapes photographed professionally in colour so may need to borrow individual pieces. If anyone has made a study of Vasart shapes already please get in touch. Unlike the Monart catalogue, the Vasart catalogue will be arranged by object type and will indicate sizes and colour, signed and/or unsigned known. I expect a colour original will be prepared but it will be reproduced in black and white for YsartNews. The colour original would be given to the Perth Museum.

[2001. A colour original was never created until the version on this website was produced.]

Sadly, the next issue may well be the last issue of the newsletter, unless someone can take over, or give a substantial amount of time to its production. I have enjoyed running the club but with the bulk of the story of Ysart glass now complete, I have to give up the not inconsiderable amount of time it demands. The future will see many anecdotal facts being added to the story, but the research and its collation demand more time than I can reasonably provide. It has been wonderful to have been involved with so many other collectors and to know that others exhibit the same enthusiasm for the glass that I do. If we can continue to run the club, I would like to see more work on other makers of Art Glass. I have been invited to give a talk to the ‘Barnet Ceramic and Glass Society’ about Ysart Glass on Wednesday, 7th June 1989 at 7.45pm, at the East Barnet Upper School, East Barnet, Hertfordshire. All of our members are invited as their guests and this will give many of us a chance to meet each other for the first time. Please write and let me know if you will be able to attend.

It is still possible that we could arrange a meeting of our own at some point but the last attempt failed due to lack of time for organising the event. If anyone would like to undertake the organisation please get in touch.

Perhaps one meeting in the South and another in Scotland?

Frank Andrews, January 1989


Damaged Ysart Glass

My remarks, Ysartnews 4 editorial, on the collectability of damaged glass have attracted some pointed comments. For many collectors, including myself, the desirability of a piece of Monart has many and varied criteria, one of the most important being the visual and tactile qualities of the piece. If these are met, for me, any damage becomes just a minor irritation. I have a few examples in my collection that I regard to be the ultimate effort in their particular shape, pattern and colour. Yet, they have massive cracks! One of these is a footed vase in shape ‘WC’ decorated with blue and purple stripes with bubbles. In this shape and pattern, I have seen three other examples, two damaged; but not one of these had the elements in quite as good a combination as my own. In fact, one was almost unpleasant. Yet I can appreciate that to some collectors any damage is anathema. Therefore, it really becomes a matter of personal taste.

However, price is definitely related to damage and while a common green, black and gold, colour number 162, vase may sell for up to £350, a very large example, the identical piece with a quarter inch annealing crack is worth no more than £ 120. With smaller pieces, say a five inch vase, the perfect example could be up to £200; and with an annealing crack £70 would be the maximum. On the other hand, an outstanding surface decorated piece could fetch in excess of £1,500 if perfect and up to £600 with some minor damage. Annealing cracks cannot be felt and can be seen only by reflection of light on the crack. To find them can take a long time, so study each piece with great care. Vasart is plentiful, so any damage renders a piece valueless.

Up to now I have avoided quoting individual prices in the newsletter partly because I also deal in the glass and my own prices reflect my specialisation, but also because any price that I care to quote is only relevant to one piece. With each piece being unique, pairs almost unheard of and sets rarely matching, aesthetics play a major part in value. With the green pieces quoted above, I have given my price for a piece that attains perfection in all things. A less interesting shape or one that is perhaps uneven would be less and I would expect it to range from unsaleable at any price to that given. Also buying them elsewhere, other than from me, should see substantially lower prices as the varied stock of other dealers reduces their overheads. The ONLY cut rims in Monart are found on lamp-bases where the fire-finished surface was not even enough to support the fitting. Pieces cut and polished to imitate a fire rim cannot conceal the line of the colour seam. I have never seen a piece of Vasart with a cut rim, with the exception of a faked Mushroom Lamp made from a vase and a bowl. One final point on condition: if a piece has been altered to, for example, remove a chip or crack to rim or foot then it can be considered worthless. It has no place in any collection if the design has been altered. I personally would not have chips ground out preferring to keep the piece as close to its original form as possible, but I have seen more and more examples with cut down and polished rims lately. I do not recommend the purchase of such a piece.

Care of Ysart Glass

Stresses in Monart glass can cause cracks to appear if they are subject to large variations in temperature. To avoid this risk do not stand pieces on stone surfaces or windowsills; never immerse in water for cleaning, a damp soapy cloth is sufficient; do not keep on shelves above radiators. When keeping Ysart Glass in an enclosed cabinet the provision of air holes at the top and bottom is recommended to allow air to circulate and prevent hot spots. Protection from cold surfaces is best given by standing the glass on oriental wooden bases in the manner that they were displayed in the 1930’s.

[2003. The reason for this care is that Monart has, usually, three layers of glass which can be quite thick. Due to differences in composition of the different layers, or poor annealing, stresses in the glass can be affected by uneven temperature variation that could lead to cracking or even shattering. Vasart and Strathearn seem to be hardly affected by this problem.]



As the prices rise, so the fakes appear. Colours seen are brownish orange, small mottles, with brown at top and gold aventurine; crude pink or blue pastels, largish mottles, with purplish brown and gold aventurine. The glass has a ring when tapped and often has a diagonal rolling mark or ‘seam’ and the pattern may be off-centre. The pontil is small and often obliquely ground. Most obvious is the ‘applied’ wear that comes up around the edge of the base! These have been seen with fake labels. The source would appear to be Scotland.

The fake labels, seen on good pieces of Monart and Strathearn as well as the fake glass, are printed by the offset-litho process instead of the original letterpress. Viewed with a glass there is a slight ‘halo’ effect around the letters on genuine labels where the ink spread. The litho labels do not have this halo. The gold on the fakes is shinier and the labels have a large border or have been cut to fit the pontil. The fake labels are self-adhesive.

A Genuine Label A Fake Label
Genuine Monart label Fake Monart label

[2001. These were created from photocopies, I will try and tidy them up in the future. To be honest I never did an exhaustive study of the labels for variations, so the fake may have been copied from a real one. But it appears fairly crude so is probably a redrawn version. I presume the same dealer that is responsible for most of the fake glass and paperweights was involved in this and he never cared too much for fine detail. See the labels page for colour images.]


Ysart News

  • The Ysart Glass book is finally under way! The Monart Glass article by Ian Turner is currently with the editor, Jan Eaton. Over 200 colour photographs have been prepared for inclusion. Every major colour variety and decoration type is shown. An important collection of Paul Ysart paperweights, some 50 pieces, is included in its entirety and reproduced full size. Unfortunately, Vasart will not be well represented at this stage, as the state of knowledge on this chapter of Ysart glass is not yet complete enough for a definitive article. A brief article will be included, giving what is known about Vasart glass. Alison Clarke is revising and expanding her article on Paul Ysart from the last newsletter. But further research is needed on Paul Ysart in the US for a definitive study. The Ian Turner article is good; it contains a lot of new and surprising information from Ian’s original research since the ‘Between the Wars’ book appeared. At the moment, it is anticipated that the book should be in the shops before next Christmas, September/October being the earliest possible date.
  • Michael T. Vaughan, who submitted the article on John Moncrieff in the last Ysartnews (4), has told me that he is preparing a book on Ysart Glass. He has been researching the glass for ten years and is currently writing the book. So now we have two books to look forward to.
  • Alison Jane Clarke, author of the article on Paul Ysart and his paperweights in Ysartnews 4, has been successful in getting a place on the prestigious MA Design History course at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
  • The piece of glass described as Monart in a Tudric Mount, Liberty Style, has now been identified as by Webb-Corbett. I have recently obtained a similar piece in a mount and a vase in a shape not dissimilar to a Monart shape. This glass is illustrated in Decorative Victorian Glass by Cyril Manley, items 162-165.
  • Asprey’s, who sponsored the ‘British Glass between the Wars’ exhibition, have begun to stock Monart Glass and a comprehensive selection of the other glass covered by the exhibition.
  • Three record prices have been set for Monart Glass in auctions in London since our last issues. The first two in a minor Decorative Arts sale at Phillips auctioneers were good surface-decorated pieces. The first was a large, 9¼" high (235mm), shape ‘A’ vase, clear inner with iridescent trailing decoration in green, blue and rust, which fetched £1,282.25 including commission etc. The second was a medium, 7" high (175mm), shape ‘E’ vase decorated in diagonal yellow and iridescent brown stripes, which fetched £836.25. The third piece appeared on the last day of the ‘Elton John’ auction and was a large vase, 12" high (305mm), decorated in cloisonné, [2003. See colours catalogue, colour 18.], and labelled ‘Monart Ware’, IV.S.18 which fetched £1,561. It should be noted that all three pieces were in perfect condition.


Paperweight News

  • At the time of writing Asprey’s had only three weights in stock by Paul Ysart: two footed weights and a ‘Monart’ labelled but unsigned special weight. This weight had the initials I.E.A. made up from circular canes on a green ground with a border of circular canes. Any ideas as to its meaning? These weights have since been sold. Sadly, they have decided to discontinue paperweights in the antique department. [2003. See example in PY catalogue: PY1018.]
  • A paperweight has been discovered without a signature cane but with an etched ‘Monart’ signature and ‘Made in Great Britain’. This mark has also been found on one piece of Monart glassware. [2003. Export marking, mostly to US.]
  • Some paperweights bearing a strong similarity to Paul Ysart’s have appeared on the market recently. All the examples seen bore a paper label ‘Made in Scotland’ and another not in PY style but with the same label, and a matching base colour contained a ‘STK’ cane, for St. Kilda. These weights are almost certainly made by John Deacons who made the ‘J’ weights. The quality of the flower petals is good but leaves are not as good as PY and the Millefiori are a lot poorer than Paul Ysart quality.
  • Three paperweights have come to light bearing a ‘Y’ cane and an attribution to Salvador Ysart! These weights are of obvious Vasart manufacture and one includes a cane found in some samples that I have of Vasart canes.
  • It can be useful to compare the shapes of paperweights as this creates the magnification effects. It is a feature of Paul Ysart’s designs that magnification is well used. Often when viewed from underneath the design is quite small while from above it appears to fill the whole weight. Some designs are intended to be viewed from the side or a shallow angle from which the entire design can be viewed.
  • American paperweight artist Debbie Tarsitano produced a few flower weights including Paul Ysart’s Millefiori canes. [2003. See example in the PY Caithness Jewellery catalogue: PY5001.]
  • John Deacons of Jay Weight fame is rumoured to be producing weights again for a factory in Perthshire. Good examples of Paul Ysart fish with a ‘J’ cane and sometimes including a date cane have been reported on sale for about thirty pounds each.
  • Caithness Glass PLC have advised us that a former General Manager of Caithness Glass stole a quantity of Paul Ysart weights around 1972. He was caught and fined and all the stolen weights were recovered.
  • A video of the Cambridge Paperweight Circle 3rd Exhibition is available, featuring hundreds of paperweights in catalogue order; and feature antiques, modern French, English and Scottish weights, including Paul Ysart. For catalogues contact the Cambridge Paperweight Circle. Order VHS or BETA format. UK £8.00. Abroad £12 sterling. From: J Simmonds, ADDRESS REMOVED 2005.


Nazeing Glass

[2002. This part is now a separate page on this web-site, click on title above to view.]


Ysart Decoration Styles

[2002 This part is now a separate page on this web-site, click on title above to view.]



Paperweights: number found by identification


Paul Ysart
no mark 42 no cane 22
with label 4 PY cane 44
Monart with etched mark 1 PY cane and PY label 5


PY cane & Caithness label 2
no mark 3 PY label 1
paper label 1 H cane 2
Salvador Ysart H cane & PY label 5
attributed 1
Y cane 3

Paperweights: by size (excluding objects)

Monart 60mm (2.4")   Paul Ysart 60mm (2.4")
Butterfly 1 Millefiori 2
Dragonfly 1 Paul Ysart 65mm (2.6")
Fish 1 Butterfly 1
Millefiori 2 Salamander 1
Monart 70mm (2.8") Fish 1
Butterfly 8 Paul Ysart 66mm (2.6")
Dragonfly 1 Three mice & cheese 1
Filigree 1 Paul Ysart 70mm (2.8")
Flowers in Monart vase 2 Barber pole 1
Flower 6 Butterfly 2
Flower posy 7 Dragonfly 1
Initials 2 Fish 1
Millefiori 5 Flower 12
Star 2 Flower posy 3
Barber pole 1 Pansy 1

Monart 75mm (3" - 3.1")

Crown 1
Millefiori 2 Millefiori 3
Four-leaf clover 1 Snake 1
Monart 80mm (3.2" - 3.25") Parrot 1
1 dragonfly with 2 butterflies 1 Parrot (pedestal) 1
Millefiori weight 20oz. 1 Two mice & cheese 1
Millefiori 2 Paul Ysart 75mm (3" - 3.1" )
Snake 1 Butterfly 2
Triple flower 1 Dragonfly 1
Monart or Paul Ysart or ? 110mm (4.3" - 4.4") Fish 1
WWII Spitfire plane 1 Flower 1
Vasart 50mm (2") Millefiori 7
Millefiori 2 Snake 2
Vasart 60mm (2.4") Ducks on a pond 1
Millefiori 3 Two butterflies and dragonfly 1
Vasart 80mm (3.2" - 3.25") Paul Ysart 80mm (3.2" - 3.25")
Millefiori 1 Millefiori 1
Vasart 90mm (3.5") Snake 1
Millefiori Weight 24 ozs. 1 Paul Ysart 85mm (3.4" - 3.6")
Salvador Ysart 45mm (1.8") x 95mm (3¾") Butterfly 2
upright flower Weight 13 ozs. 1 Paul Ysart 95mm (3.75")
Salvador Ysart 7mm (3" - 3.1") Triple flower Weight 30 ozs. 1
Millefiori 3


Monart Label Colour Codes

As the colours reported are personal interpretations, this cannot pretend to be an accurate guide. It does give a general indication of the breadth of colours used and some of their combinations.

We can build on this list. Please report any variations or colour codes that have not been included. This list will be updated as I receive updates.

Note that when different colours are reported with the same code they will be highlighted. This may be a fake label or a label transferred from a broken piece. Please check that shape code is valid before submitting.

This chart has now been expanded with colour pictures on this web-site:

Monart catalogue index


Monart Label Shape Codes

The size of the sample was not sufficient to give much indication of surviving shape distribution. A much better guide could be gotten from a comparison with the catalogues in this issue against unlabelled pieces. Shape Y was mostly the ashtray/pintray (3.75" diameter) but three larger sizes were reported. The frequency of shapes A, RA, UB and HF are consistent with my own experience. Shape HF, not in the catalogue but included in this issue, is a vase and is the shape used for illustrating the Ysart decoration styles. Shape HF is also found in Vasart.

Code Label Type Quantity in survey   Code Label Type Quantity in survey   Code Label Type Quantity in survey
A Glass 5 UA 1 JC Glass 1
E Ware 1 ZA 2 MC Glass 1
F Ware 1 FB Ware 1 QC Glass 2
F Glass 2 FB Glass 1 TC 1
N Glass 2 GB Glass 2 OD Glass 1
S Ware 2 HB Glass 1 OE Glass 3
S Glass 2 IB 1 QE Glass 1
Y Glass 10 MB 3 AF Glass 2
AA Glass 2 RB 2 HF Glass 4
CA 1 SB Glass 1 MF Glass 2
FA 3 TB 2 OF Glass 1
JA Glass 2 UB Glass 5 TF Glass 1
KA Glass 1 YB 1 GG Glass 1
MA Glass 1 BC 1 OJ Glass 1
QA Glass 2 DC 1 OI Glass 1
RA Glass 4 IC Glass 1 PK Glass 1

Mushroom Lamps

P3 Glass 1 P/23 Glass 1 P/29 Glass 1

One Monart Ware lamp-base had its label inscribed ‘Lamp Standard’.

Only one label appeared in a different colour; this was black on green paper and was fixed to a lampshade. The matching base had a gold label. Can any chemists tell us if it is possible that the green label could have been caused by heat from the lamp changing the gold ink to green?


During the final preparations for printing some important news was sent to me. The fake Monart vases are now appearing in the Turquoise/Green, colour 162, with black and gold aventurine. A large quantity of these pieces were on display at a fair in Newark recently. Again wear has been added to the base. Also, surface-decorated pieces are appearing and are reported as having off white inners; the colour applied to the surface has a lumpy appearance. The surface is shiny.


1988 Monart Shapes and Sizes

The survey reviewed 348 pieces of Monart Glass including the Perth Museum collection. One interesting fact to emerge was the low number of bowls in the surface decorated category. My own experience is that with these bowls the surface decoration is often at its best when the bowl is upside down, I have rejected examples myself for that reason. But with many collectors now concentrating on this area of Monart more examples should come to light in the next few years.

Basic types of Monart by number counted in survey:

Surface type Shape Quantity Notes
Surface Decorated
Vases 24
Bowls 2
(One lampbase, one vase)
Clear cased
Vases 173
Bowls 61  
Ashtrays (pin-trays) 20 Note 1
Dishes 9
Drinking Glasses 9
Powder box with lid 8
Globe lamps 5 Note 2
Lampshades 5 Note 3
Lampbases 4 Note 4
Candle-holders 4  
Mushroom Lamps 3  
Decanters 3  
Tumblers 3  
Ginger Jars with lid 2 Note 5
Plates 2  
Bottles 2  
All glass Mushroom lamps 1  
Jug 1  
Tea-cup 1  
Tray 1  
Items with handles (included in shapes) 4  
  1. Ashtrays are also described as pin-trays.
  2. Globe lamps were sold with wooden bases as night-lights.
  3. It was not possible to distinguish between pendant shades and ceiling bowls.
  4. Lampbases include Mushrooms with missing shades as well as those fitted for fabric shades. The latter type are often standard vase shapes.
  5. Ginger Jars without lids could be mistaken for vases.

Size distribution by percentage:

Up to 3" 4" 5" 6" 8" 10" 12" Over 12"
75mm 100mm 125mm 150mm 200mm 250mm 300mm Over 300mm
Vases height 4.7% 8.7% 5.3% 9.3% 30.7% 24.7% 11.3% 5.3%
Bowls diameter 2.7% 23.4% 9.6% 5.5% 12.3% 20.5% 13.7% 12.3%
  • The smallest item in the survey was a candle-holder 2" (50mm) high.
  • The largest vase reported was 15" (380mm) high.
  • The largest bowl was shape UB at a massive 18" (455mm) diameter and 8" (200mm) high.
  • The catalogue shows a vase Shape UA at 18" (455mm) high and a bowl shape O at 18½" (470mm) diameter.
  • A lidded box (shape YH) is the smallest item in the Monart catalogue at 2.5" (63mm) height!


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