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2002.216  Hawkes Napoleon Pattern Low Bowl or Nappy

From the ACGA Collection

The low bowl catalog 2002.216 was cut in the Napoleon pattern by the TG Hawkes & Co., and was donated to the ACGA Collection in 2002. This is an early wheel-polished pattern having five straight major mitres that cross at the center to form ten decorative cutting wedges. Each wedge is identically cut, producing a "ten-way symmetric" pattern. Each wedge has a 12 point hobstar in a diamond beneath the rim, forming a chain of ten hobstars around the bowl. Midway down each wedge there is a "bow-tie" formed by a pair of horizontal fans joined at their tips. Each fan has five ray cuts, including the outermost rays that delimit adjacent decorative cutting areas. The bottom of each wedge is a kite of pyramidal star fill tailing into the center. The bowl rim has ten large scallops centered on the hobstars, separated by much smaller scallops centered on the panel-bounding major mitres.

The ACGA Napoleon low bowl is 2" tall, and weighs 2 lb. 1 oz. The rim is an unusual 7/16" thick, with an outer diameter of 7 1/8" and an inner rim diameter measuring 6 1/4". The metal of this high quality blank exhibits a bright crisp blue-white color.

Published illustrations and surviving pieces indicate that Hawkes cut the Napoleon pattern onto at least five different forms. The older (circa 1890) Hawkes catalog reprinted by the ACGA shows on p. 5 the Napoleon pattern cut on handle-less nappy blank 171, available in 5" and 6" sizes. Interestingly, the pictured version of the Napoleon pattern shows only eight (rather than ten) wedges, and the bow tie fans have only four rays. Page 24 of the same catalog shows on 6" and 7" plates (blank 350) in ten-wedge Napoleon cutting.

The 2003 ACGA Hawks catalog reprint (Rakow Research Library suggests the original was published circa 1910) does not show any Napoleon pieces, suggesting that Napoleon may have been discontinued before about 1910. Other Hawkes catalogs at the Rakow Library in Corning were examined; only one was found with Napoleon pattern cutting on another form. The circa 1902-1913 Hawkes catalog pictures ten-panel Napoleon cut onto handle-less nappy Blank No. 100, offered in 10", 9" 8" and 7" sizes. This strongly suggests that the piece pictured in Figure 1 is the 7" version of the Blank 100 handle-less "nappy."

A 10" sandwich plate cut in Napoleon is shown on an undated Hawkes advertisement reproduced on p. 183 of Pearsons' Collections. The same illustration was included in Encyclopedia I, on p. 92, where the Pearsons called the pattern "Lace."

There is a Napoleon pattern 7" low bowl shown on p. 18 of Rarities, by Wiener and Lipkowitz; unfortunately the authors call the pattern "Kohinoor and Hobstars." This is probably another Blank 100 7" nappy.

The Napoleon pattern is shown cut on a signed-Hawkes plate in Figure 302 p. 84 of Boggess Identifying; this is probably a surviving example cut onto Blank No. 350.

A signed-Hawkes 8" diameter by 2" tall low bowl cut in Napoleon is shown on p. 8 (CNP 118) of the May, 1981 Hobstar. This is probably a surviving example of the Blank No. 100 8" handle-less nappy. The Hobstar image was reproduced on p. 52 of The Hawkes Hunter, by Waher. An unidentified piece (perhaps a plate or platter?) cut in Napoleon is pictured on the back cover (CNP 2394) of the December, 1995 Hobstar. A 7" plate in Napoleon is pictured for sale ($385) on CNP 2767.

A surviving example of the Blank 350 7" plate cut in Napoleon pattern and signed Hawkes sold as Lot #205 in the 2/5/05 Woody auction.

A ships decanter cut in Hawkes Napoleon pattern is in an ACGA member collection. The unsigned decanter has a silver stopper and a hobstar base.

Boggess Collecting shows an engraved teapot signed Hawkes in floral pattern identified as "Napoleon I." No other information on this Hawkes pattern has been discovered.

The ACGA Collection piece bears the Hawkes "three leaf clover" signature. The extensive accumulation of Hawkes advertisements in Cut Glass Advertisements Book Two indicates that Hawkes began advertising "engraved" glass trefoil signatures rather than the "labels" about January of 1903 (see HAW-17). The signature on this piece combined with the circa 1890 catalog presentations suggest that Napoleon may have been cut by Hawkes for at least 13 years.

Hawkes called this wonderful low bowl a "nappy." What is the difference between a low bowl and a handle-less nappy? Nappies were low serving bowls, made with and without handles. According to surviving catalogs and advertisements, many cutting houses called the relatively short bowls "nappies," but a few called them "bowls." A few catalogs contain listings for nappies offered with and without handles, plus short bowls simply designated "bowls." The value of surviving pieces seems to be higher for "low bowls" than for "nappies." Pragmatists might prefer that all of their collected short bowls be termed (and valued as) "low bowls." However, if (as in the present case) the maker provides documentat-ion for a designation, an accurate description should follow the maker nomenclature. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: perhaps there's no real difference?

Higgins and Seiter cut a very different "Napoleon" pattern shown in Cut Glass Advertisements Book Two, p. HIG-8 or Pearson Encyclopedia III, p. 170. Straus advertised another pattern named "Napoleon," which is pictured in Advertisements Book Three pp. 20-21; the Straus pattern used hobstars surrounded by strawberry diamond and fans. Averbeck cut a Napoleon pattern that is shown on pages 24 and 27 of Standard Cut Glass Value Guide by Evers.

J. S. O'Conner cut a "Napoleon" pattern pictured on a claret on p. 270 of Revi's Encyclopedia (2000 ed.). A wide mouthed jug in the J.S. O'Conner "Napoleon" pattern is shown on p. 249 of American Cut and Engraved Glass by Swan. (Swan suggests that this pattern is exactally like Hoare's "Monarch" pattern!)

Research Issues.

1. Need side view image. 2. Did other Woody auctions sell any Napoleon pieces? 3. Need more precise condition detail. 4. Where is signature located? 5. Do the Rakow Hawkes microfilmed archives contain Napoleon pattern references? 6. Are there any other Hawkes catalogs or documents that show Napoleon pattern pieces? 7. Does Janet Jerome have a Napoleon pattern plate, or know of one? 8. Were other pieces cut in Napoleon pattern? If so, they could be added to the description of the pictured piece.

Revision. Version 5. 5/7/5 RJS Added decanter shape information. 2/26/5 RJS added pyramidal star nomenclature per suggestions of KH & HCB. Resubmitted derived version to Hobstar. 2/17/5 RJS reformatted, fixed typos, added Woody Auction plate note. 6/9/4 RJS added Rarities and Pearson data; 5/21/4 added JS O'C; 5/14/04 RJS article version submitted to Hobstar.

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