Sunday - 21 December 2014

Scottish glass comes south for sale

04 October 2003Written by Kate Hunt

IAN Turner’s 142-lot collection of Monart sold by Christie’s South Kensington was the largest auction dispersal of this colourful Scottish art glass to date.

Offered on September 24, it was 95 per cent sold by lot and totalled £87,710.

Turner had spent 20 years scouring dealers' shops, auctions and fairs in the UK for all manner of vases, bowls, paperweights and lamps by the Ysarts, the Spanish family of glass blowers that produced the art glass for Perth-based North British Glassworks from 1924-1961.

He had also contributed to several books including Ysart, edited by Frank Andrews, 1990, and wrote the article on inter-War Monart for the British Glass Between The Wars  exhibition at Broadfield House Glass Museum, 1987 - a landmark show responsible for bringing Monart to the wider attention of the collecting fraternity.

"He was a pioneering force in the market in terms of his academic interest in the field and his collecting," explained Joy McCall. His collection complete, he stopped buying Monart about 18 months ago and has decided to turn his attention to ceramics.

"We broke no records in terms of prices but by virtue of holding the sale we broke new ground and the prices realised can only be seen as a step forward," she added.

Retailed in Scotland, England and the US, the demand for Monart glass continues to be focused exclusively in these countries where it remains a collector-driven­­ market. "There is often no rhyme or reason as to why individual entries sell. It is a whim market, people buy what they like," explained Joy McCall.

The difference in the prices realised for two vases offered in consecutive lots towards the end of the sale illustrated these fickle market machinations and the difficulties in setting estimates. Although an opaque pink stoneware vase skilfully modelled with pulled up green and black panels was a one-off example, from the personal collection of Paul Ysart, and made to celebrate the end of the Second World War, it still failed to reach its low estimate of £2500 and sold for £1800.

 

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Above: the Monart Paisley Shawlvase which made £2800 at CSK.

 

By contrast, the visual appeal of a highly decorative green, blue and white Paisley Shawl  vase was enough to see this sell at £2800 against pre-sale hopes of £1500-1800.

While many entries sold on personal preference, the success of the highlight could be attributed to more traditional collecting criteria. The Paul Ysart paperweight containing a Monart vase with aventurine on a black ground, with a PY cane and a paper label marked Personal PY, was one of only five such paperweights thought to exist.

Purchased by Ian Turner directly from the personal collection of Paul Ysart (whose family own a second example), it was never produced for retail. Although it had been dropped and slightly bruised, a private European buyer contested it to £4200 against a £2500-3000 estimate.

Colour schemes played an important factor in some of the prices realised. The vivid orange, yellow and green hues of a mushroom lamp made this a must-have for more than one buyer and a private Scottish collector went to £2800 for ownership, while the mottled green and yellow tones of an identically shaped lamp in the following lot that lacked some pigmentation to its shade fetched a more modest £1800.

Similarly, the more muted hues of an orange, brown and white lamp in excellent condition and estimated to fetch £4000-6000 failed to spark a bidding battle and it sold for £3000.

In total, 15 works broke through the £1000 barrier but there was no shortage of interest for the more financially accessible entries that formed the bulk of the collection.

To give a idea of the range, a purple, blue-streaked and mottled green dressing table set, comprising two lidded bowls, ring stand and candlestick, fetched £900, a mottled green and blue whorled ginger jar sold for £1100, a millefiore cane ink bottle with blue and yellow stripes was taken to £600 and a mottled fluorescent pink vase with a white interior - Turner's first Monart purchase bought in 1983 - went for £320.

The buyer's premium was 17.5/10%

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Written by

Kate Hunt

Tags

Monart

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