Tortoiseshell

Dates produced

1973-1982

Designer

Michael Harris

About this design

Before Tortoiseshell was finalized there was an experimental forerunner with a much darker, treacle colour. Mark Hill calls the earlier colourway 'brown streaks and swirls' (see pages 72 and 80 in his book [1]). These were probably made in 1973 and are harder to find than the typical colourway.

Examples

Early Treacle Colourway

Tortoiseshell inside-out vase, 9.5 cm high

An inside-out vase 9.5 cm high. It has a coachbolt pontil mark, indicating it was made in the second half of 1973. This item was released from the IOWSG archive in December 2010.


Tortoiseshell heavy pot vase, 7.5 cm high, 8.9 cm diameter

A heavy pot vase, 7.5 cm high and 8.9 cm in diameter. It has a coachbolt pontil mark. This piece is much rarer than the inside-out vase.


Typical Colourway

Early Tortoiseshell attenuated bottle, 37 cm high

A heavy attenuated bottle with a distinctive bulbous base, 37 cm high. The glass is unusually thick, hence the weight, and has a rough broken pontil scar on the base. These features may indicate an early date of manufacture. The brown colour is dark, and there is a distinctive white stripe as well. Tortoiseshell seems to get lighter in weight and colour with later dates.


Tortoiseshell fish, 25.5 cm long, 5.5 cm high

This fish is said to be made in 1974. It is 25.5 cm long measured round the curve and 5.5 cm high.


Tortoiseshell squat vase

Squat vase, 13 cm diameter, 7.5 cm high.


Tortoiseshell bell vase, 14 cm high

A bell vase, 14 cm high.


Tortoiseshell globe vase, 14 cm diameter

Globe vase, 14 cm diameter, 13 cm high.


Tortoiseshell attenuated bottles, 36 and 40 cm tall

These Tortoiseshell attenuated bottles measure 36 and 40 cm tall. Image courtesy of Mike Collinson.


Bibliography
1. Hill, M. (2006) Michael Harris : Mdina Glass & Isle of Wight Studio Glass. 158 pp. Mark Hill Publishing.

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