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CHRISTOPHER DRESSER DECANTERS

For none of these decanters can I prove the Christopher Dresser was actually commissioned by a factory and designed these. None of them have the Christopher Dresser name written on them. In addition to being hired to design stuff by manufacturers Christopher Dresser published books on design and wrote articles for various professional magazines. He described how he thought a decanter should work and produced various outline drawings with these books and articles. What I am showing here goes with those descriptions and drawings.

Some of the drawings don't seem to follow his own description of the function of decanters (Gluk Gluk decanters) and I suspect he saw them on his travels and just thought they looked good.

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Decanters

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Description, References and Size

This is a footed inverted pear shaped decanter with wrythen moulding on the body and neck. The decanter also has a similar wrythen hollow ball stopper with small knops on top. This decanter comes in different sizes, but is not common. Made in the late 19th Century.

This decanter is in Miller's Glass Antiques Checklist under the heading of Christopher Dresser, however, it is unclear if it is considered a Dresser design or if it is just following Dresser design principles. I am not sure I entirely trust the Miller's books and in particular in this instance as I have seen nothing to back this assertion in any of the many Christopher Dresser books that I have. Whatever, it's still a nice decanter.

Reference: Miller's Glass Antiques Checklist, Mark West, page 121

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is a footed pedestal decanter with cup mouth. The body and neck line etched classical palmate friezes. Made circa. 1870-1895

This decanter is one that I have picked out as following the Christopher Dresser ethos. This decanter is pretty much lifted off the Dresser design book. He might of designed this decanter, but on the other hand someone may just read his book and outlined this decanter to follow those designs.

Christopher Dresser proposed decanters to have cup and funnel mouths and to be footed. Finding decanters with these features is very hard and the only footed funnel mouth decanter I have ever found got broken in the post. It broke my heart.

Reference: Dresser, Mark Lyon. fig 120

Reference: The Journal of the Glass Association, Volume 3 1990, 14

Reference: Principles of Decorative Design, Christopher Dresser, page 131

Height: 11 inches

Width: 5 inches

This is a pair of plain footed pedestal decanters with cup mouths. Made circa. 1870-1895

These decanters are simpler than the one above but they are closer in shape to the one in the Dresser book. Cup mouth decanters are relatively rare and I usually get bid off when they appear in auction. I really got lucky when I won this pair.

Reference: Dresser, Mark Lyon. fig 120

Reference: The Journal of the Glass Association, Volume 3 1990, 14

Reference: Principles of Decorative Design, Christopher Dresser, page 131

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.25 inches

This is a "Gluk Gluk" decanter with a larger bottom half than top and a silver collar. The stopper is a silver ball with small bubble in it. The collar is hallmarked H&H for Hukin and Heath and made in Birmingham 1941.

The unusual "Gluk Gluk" shape was derived from glass from ancient times, it was taken up on the continent and is still made today by the Danish firm Holmegaard. Christopher Dresser didn't really design it, it was more of a design proposal endorsing an existing, if totally wacky, design.

This one is like the incredible hulk of Gluk Gluks, it with its wider base and thick necked look with silver collar and short stopper neck. I have seen other H&H Gluk Gluks with exactly the same stopper so I am happy this is how it is supposed to look.

Christopher Dresser did a lot of work for H&H, so this is as close as you are going to get saying something at least has the Christopher Dresser design DNA even though this was produced many decades after his contract with them had ceased.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 461

Reference: The Decanter Ancient to Modern, Andy McConnell, page 121

Reference: The Journal of the Glass Association, Volume 3 1990, 14

Reference: Christopher Dresser, Widar Halen, page 191

Reference: Principles of Decorative Design, Christopher Dresser, page 131

Reference: Christie's Catalogue 19th Oct 2004, The Harry Lyons Collection, Lot.354

Height: 10.5 inches

Width: 5.5 inches

This is a "Gluk Gluk" decanter with wrythen moulding on the body and neck. The stopper is a blown wrythen ball type. Made circa 1900.

I have given such a wide range on the date because I would expect that UK companies may have started making Gluk Gluks soon after Christopher Dresser proposed them as a shape and as the hallmark on the one above is for 1941, that seems to be an appropriate time to put and end date.

The reason I believe this is an English example because of the stopper peg. On the whole I have found that the stopper pegs of the Scandinavian decanters are not made in the precision engineering way that English ones are.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 461

Reference: The Decanter Ancient to Modern, Andy McConnell, page 121

Reference: The Journal of the Glass Association, Volume 3 1990, 14

Reference: Christopher Dresser, Widar Halen, page 191

Reference: Principles of Decorative Design, Christopher Dresser, page 131

Reference: Edwardian Shopping, R H Langbridge, Chapter 1902

Height: 10 inches

Width: 3.5 inches

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