Copyright 2006 Frank Andrews — Glass HomeYsartnews Newsletter Menu — Contact: Contact

Ysartnews Issue 6 - January 1993

Edited by Mary Houston-Lambert 2002

Vasart Catalogue Reconstruction Now updated on this website
Ysart News Looking back.


This is a strongly emotional moment for me, after 6 years to be writing what I know will be the last editorial for the last issue of Ysartnews. Over the years it has been a cause of intense joy and excitement; sometimes the effort threatened to overwhelm me. The newsletters took longer to produce each time. But now as I begin to write this last issue there is a frog in my throat.

The club grew faster and larger than I had ever anticipated and it has been a really wonderful experience meeting many of our members and seeing their collections. We come from many backgrounds and our reasons for collecting the glass produced by this remarkable family are many. But perhaps the greatest joy is knowing that next week we could find something totally unexpected. Not every piece is a beauty and the frustration of the annealing problems can take the edge of some discoveries — but certainly they are all different. The excitement when a collector finds a pair of vases is quickly followed by noticing just how different each of the ‘pair’ usually is.

It is one of my greatest regrets that the club never managed to organise a meeting, but our ninety plus membership spreads around the world and barely a handful lived close enough to meet. The Scottish Glass Society, of which many of the club members have now become members, are currently trying to arrange a private view of the Perth Museum reserve collection.

NEWS & Round-up of unused information on file.

  • Paul Ysart died peacefully in his sleep at 11.30am on Wednesday 18th December 1991. He was 87 years old. His body was cremated in Perth the following week.
  • Perhaps the most talked about item since the book and the fake episode has been the surface decorated lamp that sold in Scotland during 1991 for £5,000; a remarkable price, but I know that I would not have regretted it had I been able to afford it.
  • A new numbered Monart paperweight has turned up — the Dragonfly weight had the standard paper label with the code P/W No 21
  • Rumours of a Strathearn model catalogue continue to circulate but persist in remaining just rumours.
  • A spurious hand-written Monart colour guide appeared a couple of years ago headed “Ysart Colours” . I quote a few examples:

    1. 1 1
    1. 2 1
    COATS M2 (ORANGE) at Base 2 WAY UP
    1. 3 1

    3. 1 2

    227. 1 1
    227. 2 2
    227. 3 1

    It went on to No. 318 by which time the handwritten notes were much lazier. There were also some other notes:

    • e.g. Heat Control (Working) Left hand burner: Gas No. 1 1/2, Air No 2 Right hand side, Back burner. Gas No. 1 1/2 Air No 2 etc.

    If any glass worker can comment on the content of these I would be interested to hear.

  • Photographs of Monart and Vasart glassware, weights and workers by the McClaren’s [or McLaren?] in Perth appear to have been mostly lost. Perth Museum & Art Gallery lists 14 negatives of which 10 are recorded as NOW LOST. Anyone who has copies of photographs or knows of the whereabouts of the missing negatives should contact the Museum. The McClaren s were frequent visitors to the factories and took hundreds of photographs of the glass being produced. It is terrible that such an important archive has been lost.
  • The supply of fake ‘PY’ weights seems to have stopped but further fakes did appear with a ‘JD’ cane instead of a ‘J’ for John Deacons. Again the characteristics of these weights are as described in the special newsletter. Investigations have all but finished after analysis showed the glass itself to be indistinguishable from that used by most of the manufacturers. But the network of informed collectors are keeping eyes and ears open for any new examples appearing. It would be a good idea for paperweight collectors to join the Cambridge Paperweight Circle to keep up to date on any further developments.
  • If you had the Vasart cane photograph in 1989 these comments will be of interest to you: No. 13 found in a Paul Ysart Triple Flower Magnum. No 37 & 50 seen in Vasart weights. No 22 found in a weight with Paul Ysart canes but not made by him.
  • Paul Ysart Limited was formed 1st May 1975. In August 1975 the following took shares: Paul Jokelson, Paperweight importer living in the USA (25); Edmond Rottemborg, a French industrialist living in Paris (25); Paul Lorraine, a retired Britain living in Paris (25); Paul Ysart (24), Margaret Ysart (1). The company, No 57842 Edinburgh, was dissolved on 3rd December 1982. Sales in 1976 were £15,763 and a net loss of £15,321 was reported for that year. A loan of £23,590.52 was made by Paul Jokelson.
  • John Simmonds produces videos of paperweights; he can be contacted on +44 634 31995 for details.
  • Paperweight dealer Anne Metcalfe sells by post and at fairs; her telephone number is +44 928 723851.
  • The September 1955 issue of the Antique Dealer and Collectors Guide carried an advert for reproduction paperweights from: T.B. Farrell, 24 York St., London W1. An M.I.Dawson, phone Great Milton (Oxford) 422, offered modern paperweights in the March 1970 issue.
  • James Havens, P.O. Box 180, Treadwell, NY 13846, USA. Offers Monart by mail order in the US. He was the author of ‘Paperweight Find: An Adventure in Antiquing’ about a Queen Victoria & Albert cameo sulphide weight. Printed in the US magazine ‘Glass Collectors Digest’ October 1990.
  • My attempts to contact survivors from Pirelli Glass of Potters Bar were generally unsuccessful but a couple of names can be added to the list: George Dunlop & Hollingdale, both were directors. I wonder if there is any connection to the Moncrieff/Dunlop family.
  • Another Monart Colour (240) is a bubble piece in white, lilacs and pinks.
  • An advert for Vasart Glass appears in the Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, June 1957 page 758. The half page advert shows four small bowls and a photo of Vincent working on a vase. The advert mentions Pirelli Glass Limited and also a London showroom at Dorann House, 37 Sloane Street, London SW1. It also states that ‘aventurine gold’ is now included.
  • Michael T. Vaughan, 13 The Croft, Larkhall, Lanarkshire, Scotland. ML9 1AX, offers a Monograph about Mrs Moncrieff. Please contact him for availability and price.



The recession has certainly affected values, currently down by around 50% since the book was published. On the plus side when above average examples have been appearing in auctions, which they do regularly now, they have often sold for reachable prices. The biggest effect seems to have been a reduction in new collectors and the more established collectors looking to refine rather than expand their collections. However the effects of the book have been rippling around the world and I have had much correspondence from new collectors in the USA, Italy and even South Africa. Pieces with annealing cracks are of little interest to the newer collectors but perfect exceptional examples are becoming almost impossible to find. The future looks good though as the glass has now become firmly established on the collecting scene. Vasart is gaining much ground at the moment and holding its price quite well. Paul Ysart paperweights continue to do well both in Europe and in the USA.

The Book

The book has been well received and had some very complimentary reviews. It is unfortunate that it became so expensive, but I was determined that the it be as accurate as possible both textually and in colour reproduction. Watching other expensive books in my collection fall victim to yellowing, the decision to use an acid free paper added further to the cost and finally a small print run forced the final price. The regular discovery of new colour schemes made it hard to reach a point of completion, and in fact one or two others came to light frustratingly just after the final proofs had been accepted. Too late. As it was, the late additions forced the bibliography from the back to the front, giving a slightly unconventional approach. Very few criticisms have been received — mostly about the price but one or two about the layout of the pictures. The sizes of the reproductions on any one page were intended to reflect the original object’s size so that details of decoration were not amplified if a small vase appeared next to a large one. Grouping of the pieces was essentially by decoration and with no reference to chronology. It is now known that Paul Ysart made surface decorated pieces with lustre in the Post War period at Moncrieff’s! So any attempt at chronologising would be inaccurate. Paperweights were reproduced full size and they determined the size and shape of the whole book. Many of the important pieces in the book have now been added to the collections of the Perth Museum and to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove. Apologies are due to William Manson for his mis-spelt name!


The Catalogue of Vasart Ware

This has now been modified and extended separately.

Can be accessed from the Vasart menu or overview.


YsartNews, Looking Back.

The original issues 1 & 2 of our newsletter had an edition of 100, of which the first 20 of issue 1 were printed individually on a very slow computer printer, the remainder being photocopies. Issue 2 was a not very successful attempt at quality printing. The following issues, 3, 4 & 5 were printed to a high standard in an edition of 600 copies with the publishers selling copies to defray costs of over £1 per copy. Issue 6 was once again a limited production of about 150 copies. The summaries of issues 1 and 2 that originally appeared in issue 6 are not included in the web version as the original articles are available here too.

In the history of Monart glass in the first issue it was stated that Salvador had been employed by Baccarat in France. From this information I had assumed that he had learnt the techniques of millefiori and latticino cane decoration there. Mr J Hutton, a retired glass dealer from Berkhampstead called me with some information about Baccarat that eliminates that theory. Baccarat ceased the use of millefiori from 1882 until 1952. The techniques of Millefiori decoration were re-introduced by Baccarat in 1958 interestingly close to Paul Ysart’s independence and the growth of the modern paperweight. This would also imply a much greater importance to the introduction of paperweights bt the Ysart family at Moncrieff’s than I had hitherto supposed. And it raises the question of how did Salvador Ysart, and in turn Paul, acquire these skills? Did he learn them in Spain during his early years? Did he perhaps independently rediscover the methods in Scotland? Certainly the development of his glass in Scotland shows him to have been extraordinarily gifted and creative. The ‘experimental cup’ by Salvador in the Perth Museum collection is dated 1922 and contains some simple Millefiori decoration.


Back to previous page