1889 Paris Exposition & “Chrysanthemum” Question

The Grand Prize awarded to Webb [of England], like that given to Hawkes, was for the total exhibit, not for any one piece, pattern, or type of glass. Awards at expositions were almost always given for a manufacturer’s entire exhibit rather than for a single piece of glass. . . . (Spillman 1996, p. 236)(emphasis added by JMH).

The extensive list [of objects sent to Paris] given here shows that there was no engraved glass shown and nothing in Chrysanthemum pattern, although that has been widely published as a “Paris Exhibition” pattern. . . . (Spillman 1996, p. 228) (emphasis added by JMH).

The quotations above, from Spillman’s book, THE AMERICAN CUT GLASS INDUSTRY, T. G. HAWKES AND HIS COMPETITORS, summarize the opinions currently held by most serious-minded dealers and collectors of American cut glass, thanks largely to Spillman’s book. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to track the suppositions that have served as “facts” during the past half century. They provide a necessary background.

Unfortunately, the true situation regarding this subject is still not widely known. One regularly reads about the two so-called Paris patterns, Chrysanthemum and Grecian, whenever examples of them are for sale on eBay, and how they won the day for Hawkes at the fair. But we now know that only the Grecian pattern was shipped to Paris. and that the Grand Prize was awarded to Hawkes on the basis of his entire display of glass which, incidentally, included only rich-cut glass; there was no engraved glass, as earlier believed.

In addition to repeating the incorrect statements that have been part of American cut-glass lore for decades, this file also proposes that there is a slight possibility that the Chrysanthemum pattern actually did make it to Paris but under a different name! To substantiate this proposition or hypothesis, it is necessary to review the shipping lists (manifests) that accompanied the glass to Paris. They are detailed in Spillman’s book, but there are several errors in her transcription of the first manifest.


Background Chronology

Daniel, 1950:

p.184: Chrysanthemum. . .was patented in 1890, but was certainly known before that time as it won a prize at the Paris Exposition in 1889.

p. 205: Designed by T. G. Hawkes, [the Grecian pattern] was cut in a full dinner service as one of two sets to be displayed at the Paris Exposition in 1889, where they won the international grand prize. Because of the Paris award, Grecian is of particular interest to collectors. . .

Revi, 1965:

p. 176: Hawkes’s “Grecian pattern (patented October 25, 1887) and “Chrysanthemum” pattern (patented November 4, 1890) won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition of 1889, giving additional impetus to the company’s rising star in the cut glass industry. . .

Pearson and Pearson, 1965:

p. 57: In 1889, [the Chrysanthemum pattern] was one of the entries at the Paris Exposition to win the grand international prize for cut glass. . .
p. 124: The “Grecian” and the “Chrysanthemum” patterns won the grand prize at the Paris Exposition in 1889.

Pearson and Pearson, 1969:

[Caption to photograph, p. 113:] 13 inch tray in Chrysanthemum pattern by Hawkes, Grand Prize winner at the Paris Exposition in 1889.

Pearson, 1975 (ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol. 1):

[Description of illustrations on p. 232:] “Chrysanthemum” pattern by T. G. Hawkes, patented November 4, 1890, and advertised as late as 1902. In 1889, this design was one of the entries at the Paris Exposition to win the grand international prize for cut glass. . .

Excerpts from THE COMPLETE CUT AND ENGRAVED GLASS OF CORNING. 1979 edition by Farrar (see Sinclaire) and Spillman. 1997 edition by Sinclaire and Spillman:

[1979 caption to Illus. 111, p. 54:] Plate cut in Chrysanthemum pattern and exhibited in Paris, T. G. Hawkes Rich-Cut Glass, 1889. . .

[1997, ditto:] Plate cut in Chrysanthemum pattern and said to have been exhibited in Paris, T. G. Hawkes Rich-Cut Glass, 1889. . . .

[1979, p. 54:] Unfortunately, no records identify all the pieces sent to Paris, but doubtless some were in the Russian pattern. A Chrysanthemum pattern plate (Ill. 111) was one entry. An engraved vase (Ill. 14) designed by H. P. Sinclaire and engraved by Joseph Haselbauer was another. . .

[1997, ditto:] Unfortunately, no records identify all the pieces sent to Paris, but doubtless some were in the Russian pattern. (See THE AMERICAN CUT GLASS INDUSTRY, T. G. HAWKES AND HIS COMPETITORS, Jane Shadel Spillman, Antique Collectors’ Club, 1996, chapter 9, for a nearly complete list of the objects sent to Paris.) . . .

The following related excerpts are identical in both editions of THE COMPLETE CUT AND ENGRAVED GLASS OF CORNING. Note the errors in the 1997 edition:

p. 141: H. P. Sinclaire’s decision to entrust all his Paris expostion designs for Hawkes to Joseph [Haselbauer, engraver] provides another indication that Joseph had surpassed his teacher [i.e., probably his older brother, Augustus].

p. 142: The engraving on White House stemware of the 1880s can confidently be attributed to Joseph Haselbauer, as can the Paris exposition vase in Illustration 14. . .

p. 204: As already explained, Corning’s chief competitors for the lucrative East Coast markets were English, and it was the challenge to Corning posed by the importation of the Fritsche ewer in 1886 that prompted T. G. Hawkes to include engravings in the exhibit he sent to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. . .  Sinclaire designed all the six or seven pieces. Joseph Haselbauer engraved them.

Spillman, 1996: The two quotations at the beginning of this file and the following:

p. 224: Our exhibit will be exclusively rich cut glass with some few pieces mounted in silver to give tone to the exhibit, and when you get it all arranged with the taste that we think you are going to display in the matter, we are under the impression that there will be nothing better at the Exhibition (letter from T. G. Hawkes to C. W. Bonfils at Davis Collamore & Company, 4 Feb 1889).

The following are typical Hawkes ads that appeared after 1889. They can be compared to the foregoing chronology. Note that Hawkes’s ads refer to his cut glass in general
terms, not to any specific pattern:

Illustration: Carafe “Grecian” (Design Patented). Hawkes American Cut Glass received the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition, 1889, the highest award obtainable. It stands now as the only American Cut Glass holding the best foreign as well as home reputation. Sold in New-York only by Davis Collamore & Co. Limited, Broadway and 21st St.
Photographs of designs sent on application. (Century Magazine, February 1891)   The merits of Hawkes cut glass have been recognized by securing the Grand Prize, Paris Exposition, 1889, the most valuable award of the century. (Century Magazine, December 1895)


The Chrysanthemum Pattern Was Shipped to the Paris Exposition, but Under a Different Name

This hypothesis is suggested by a photograph, fig. 9-5, in Spillman’s book (1996, p. 229). This is one of a series of photographs that Hawkes had had taken prior to sending his glassware to the Exposition. The pattern in question appears on the salad bowl just beyond the midpoint between the cased salad set of the left and the ice bowl with its silver rim and bail on the right. Note the elaborately cut hobstar. Moreover, it is accompanied by a scallop slightly wider than the two pair of scallops that flank it and which appear to be fan-scallops. These are characteristics of the Chrysanthemum pattern and, therefore, this pattern, of which one can see only a small portion, might either actually be the Chrysanthemum pattern or else be a prototype of it. In either case it is necessary to determine the name given to this pattern, assuming that it appears on the manifest of the first shipment of glass. (The second shipment does not contain any bowls.) This is a serious assumption because Spillman reports that the Grecian pattern punch bowl that is illustrated in fig. 9-3 does not appear on any manifest. One wonders, therefore, how many other items might be missing?

Examination of the first manifest reveals an error that pertains to the identification of the pattern on the salad bowl. Spillman incorrectly lists four items, all bowls, as being cut in the Russian & Sharp Pillars & Stars pattern. In reality the pattern is listed simply as 6 Stars. Spillman has run together two patterns: Russian & Sharp Pillars and 6 Stars, probably because she has interpreted dirt flecks as ditto marks and the numeral 6 as an ampersand. This correction is important because in order to arrive at a plausible name for the salad bowl’s pattern it is necessary to find a name that fits the pattern. At this time Hawkes was under considerable pressure to produce a variety of patterns for Paris. Consequently, he probably had little time to come up with commercial names. And, as a result, he sometimes merely listed, at least initially, the motifs that were used in the new patterns and used them as pattern-names. Frequently these “temporary” names became permanent (e.g., Grecian & Hobnail).

In searching for the pattern name used on the salad bowl one must, therefore, look for a pattern that contains the word “stars” (hobstars were called stars at this time). How many patterns listed in the first manifest fit this criterion now that Spillman’s “combined” pattern has been eliminated? Only two: the 6 Stars pattern and the Stars & Fans & Lace Hobnail pattern, with the latter pattern a perfect fit: Not only does it contain the word “stars” but it also contains the two other main motifs that are present in the Chrysanthemum pattern: “fans” and “lace hobnail” (the name Hawkes used for cane). In this regard the Stars & Fans & Lace Hobnail pattern is unique.

While the writer agrees with the majority, that the Chrysanthemum pattern was devised (and patented) after the Exposition closed and was not, therefore, sent to Paris, he also believes that it is necessary to keep an open mind in this matter and at least allow for the possibility that the foregoing is a possibility, that the Chrysanthemum pattern was originally called Stars & Fans & Lace Hobnail (note 2).

 A Comprehensive List of the Cut-Glass Patterns That Were Sent to the Paris Exposition in Two Shipments: 6 Mar 1889 (list corrected)
and 26 Mar 1889 (Hawkes Archive, Rakow Research Library)

Brazilian (“Venetian”)
Empress (“Star Rosette”?)
Grecian & Hobnail
Large Deep Hobnail
Large Hobnail
No. 3708
No. 6464 (sent in Aug 1889)
Passion Flower
Persian & Pillars
Pillars & Lace Hobnail
Pillars & Silver Diamonds
Quarter Diamond
Russian & Notched Pillars (a variation of patent no. 17,838)
Russian & Pillars
Russian & Sharp Pillars
6 Stars
Stars and Lace Hobnail
Stars & Fans & Lace Hobnail
Strawberry Diamond & Fan



1. The following errors appear on Spillman’s list of the contents of the first shipment of glass to Paris. A couple additional errors are likely, but the writer has found, as he is sure Spillman did, that the original manifest is, at times, difficult to read; therefore, only confirmed errors are reported here, where they are in bold type:

Package No. 1: No errors, but for completeness here are the items for which the American Morocco Case Company made the cases that are contained in this package. The items themselves were packaged separately: Cases for two 2-part punch bowls in the Large Hobnail and “Venetian” (subsequently, Brazilian) patterns; one ice-cream set in the Grecian pattern; three bowls in the Empress, Princess, and Russian & Sharp Pillars patterns; and two decanters in the Pillars & Lace Hobnail pattern.

Package No. 2: 13 in. punch bowl in Cobweb on shape no. 412.

Package No. 3: two 4-light [candelabras] for $45 each.

Package No. 4: two small 4-light candelabras at $30 each.
13 in. 463 bowl in Princess pattern.

Package No. 5: 11 in. 591 bowl in Russian & Sharp Pillars, at $27.
four bowls in 6 Stars pattern (Note: There is no Russian & Sharp Pillars & Stars pattern.).

Package No. 6: 10 in. 365 bowl in Grecian, at $25.
8 in. 707 bowl in Cobweb, at $10.
8 in. 707 bowl in Grecian, at $15.

Package No. 7: 705 Ice Bowl with silver rim in Princess pattern, at $32.
705 Ice Bowl with silver rim in Grecian & Hobnail, at $40. (Note: The numbers are smudged and are difficult to read. The shape number of this ice bowl was changed by Hawkes prior to his drawing up the manifest. 705 replaces 700 which he now reserves for a flat-bottomed bowl — a shape that was in use for many years, including the Exposition. In an illustration in ACGA’s HAWKES PHOTOGRAPHIC FOLIO (2003) this ice bowl is shown with its older, 700 number, but the illustration’s plate number has been left blank. Concerning the second example of this ice bowl, Spillman suggests 765 which is, in fact, an ink.)

Package No. 10: (Note that the 601 and 600 decanters are given shape nos. 501 and 600 in Package No. 1.)

2. Hawkes was not the first company to use the hobstar as part of a pattern, of course. Compare, for example, Libbey’s Victoria (1887), Clark’s “Baker’s Gothic” (1888), and Dorflinger’s Florentine (1888) patterns. But in such examples the hobstars play a much less prominant role than they do in Hawkes’s Chrysanthemum pattern and, presumably in his Stars & Fans & Lace Hobnail, Stars & Lace Hobnail, and 6 Stars patterns as well. Is it possible that one of these patterns is shown on the bowl just to the left of center in fig. 9-5, p. 229? If this bowl is shape no. 700, then the pattern is likely to be 6 Stars because this is the only pattern of the three that was cut on such a shape. Regardless, its hobstars are impressive and is proof that Hawkes was cutting multi-pointed hobstars away from “the bottom of the bowl” before he designed his Chrysanthemum pattern.