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MaryGregory

American artist working in the Boston and Sandwichglass company in Cape Cod Massachusetts. Article by Andrew Lineham. The History of Mary Gregory Glass. back to Mary Gregory Glass stock page Mary Gregory glass is easily recognised by its simplicity and nave charm. There is a myth that Mary Gregory (Miss) was an old lady who painted the children she longed for but never had. This probably is not true. We know that Mary Gregory was an American woman who lived from 1856-1908 and from about 1885 she and her sister worked for the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company till the late 1880s. Even if they had both worked everyday of their lives and were still alive now they could not have produced all the work bearing the Mary Gregory name We can all recognise Mary Gregory glass the painted and enamelled decoration consists of children (and very rarely babies see below) in silhouette typically Victorian and quite similar to the illustrations by Britains Kate Greenaway. These children could be flying kites bowling hoops blowing bubbles or simply playing usually surrounded by grass foliage or fern. They are dressed in typical Victorian Sunday Best clothes usually knickerbockers sailor suits or crinolines. These figures are usually found on a variety of coloured glass. The values are affected by the colour of the glass which I shall list from the least valuable upwards clear clear with amethyst dark green light green amber light blue turquoise cobalt blue ruby and finally cranberry. Some examples can be found where the childrens faces have flesh coloured tints. These seriously detract from the value and could even be reproduction. After all if they are in silhouette why pick out the face Almost all of the Mary Gregory glass that we see in Europe was made at the Hahn Factory at Gablonz which was in Bohemia but today is known as the Czech republic. Other factories in Bohemia also produced Mary Gregory glass even the highly regarded factory of Moser at Karlsbad. I have found no evidence of any Mary Gregory glass originating in the UK. Many shapes with the above colour combinations were produced but then as now a pair of any items with children facing each other is particularly sought after. However the most desirable type of decoration is of babies crawling in Victorian nursery-ware. Fakes Due to its popularity and simplicity there have been attempts to copy and reproduce this glass. This falls into two areas firstly contemporary glass made in other European countries andor America that is simply bad workmanship. This is easy to dismiss because it is displeasing to the trained eye and too light in weight. Secondly and far more difficult to spot is the genuine Victorian plain coloured glass that has had a Mary Gregory type child painted on it. This was prevalent in the 1980s and 90s and I was offered pieces which had been Mary-ed for considerably less than if the painting had started life with the glass. Look carefully at the decoration if it seems slap-dash or weak it is probably going to be an enhanced Victorian item of glass. This later decoration has rather ruined the market for the public who 25 years ago could safely buy a piece of Mary Gregory using their own judgement. However when faced with an obviously old piece of glass the public can talk themselves into buying an enhanced piece. In my experience this Mary-ing process was not performed on miniature pieces patch boxes or scent bottles probably because it was too difficult and time consuming. If you propose to purchase a correct piece of Mary Gregory you should go to a reputable dealer who will guarantee its authenticity and provide you with a receipt. Bargains do occur but with Mary Gregory and indeed with every sort of antique glass one should be careful and use common sense.

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