It has been a while since Monart or Vasart glass featured here. Well, the wait has been worth it. Earlier this month Edinburgh auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull sold one of the finest Monart lamps brought to market for many years.
Monart is the brand name for the distinctive, decorative glassware manufactured in Perth in the inter-war era by John Moncrieff Ltd to designs by the Spanish glassblower Salvador Ysart.
Apart from exceptional and experimental pieces, Monart table lamps have generally taken the highest prices. Indeed, in April 2004, Lyon & Turnbull established the auction record for Monart with a £4000 bid for a unique acid-etched lamp with a design of trees.
Prices for the Perth art glass have dipped over the last decade, however.
The L&T lamp sold this month carried an estimate of £1000-£1500. It was a fine cameo glass table lamp, c1930, with a domed shade above a baluster-shaped body, the mottled orange glass overlaid with green and brown glass and acid etched with a frieze of trees.
Some 14 inches tall, its base carried a Monart paper label inscribed ‘special etched’.
A similar acid-etched example appears in the Turner/Clarke/Andrews study of Ysart glass, published in 1990.
That describes how cameo lamps were made in four layers, the innermost of clear glass, secondly colours were marvered in, then another layer of clear glass and then the external colours were added to the surface.
Another lamp with the foliage design is in the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow.
‘Special’ in every way, the lamp sold for £2125, inclusive of buyer’s premium. Wouldn’t it illuminate any room?
Picture: Monart lamp, £2125 (Lyon & Turnbull).