Stone-Wheel Engraving

When Tom Mortenson was foreman for [The Tuthill Cut Glass Company] he called and said to come down to Middletown [NY] and learn stone engraving … Our so-called stones were carborundum. We could take a 3″ diameter stone off [the frame] and put on an extension and use a stone down to three-quarters of an inch. — Leon Swope, recalling his experience at the Tuthill shop, 1911 to 1913, as quoted in Sinclaire and Spillman (1997, pp. 287-288)

One type of stone-wheel engraving at the Tuthill Cut Glass Company consisted of articles with various flowers and fruits, entirely engraved. The company also produced items that added brilliant, geometric cuttings to the engraved subjects (for an example see the Vintage with Geometric and Engraved Border image file). The company also made items that were entirely cut and included no engraving. Objects that contain both engraving and cutting are, perhaps, best known and, with few exceptions, are those that are most enthusiastically sought by collectors. H. P. Sinclaire & Company produced similar glassware (for an example see the Snow Flake & Holly image file) as did T. G. Hawkes & Company, as shown by the following two examples:

Hawkes introduced its version of stone-wheel engraving in 1903 and called the glassware “gravic.”  The engraved flowers usually have miter-cut leaves and stems (Sinclaire and Spillman 1997, p. 69). Three of the many Hawkes Gravic patterns were patented: Gravic Carnation, Gravic Floral, and “Gravic Tiger Lily.”  Some gravic pieces are signed with “Gravic Glass” acid-etched above the trademark’s familiar trefoil; one also finds “Gravic Glass Pat’d” in this position, but rarely. The company also signed some gravic pieces with the regular Hawkes trademark.

Early Hawkes gravic glass can be quite elaborately cut and engraved as shown by this fern dish. Later, gravic designs were considerably simplified.

Fern dish cut and engraved in the patented Gravic Floral pattern by T. G. Hawkes & Company. Patent no. 40,325 (1909). Signed with the gravic glass trademark (“Gravic Glass / Hawkes”). Originally the dish contained a metal liner or screen. Unusually thick blank, early twentieth century. D = 8.0″ (20.3 cm), H = 6.25″ (15.9 cm), wt = 6.25 (2.8 kg). Sold for $275 in 1984. (Photo: Bill Jarvis) 




A non-patented pattern, Satin Iris, was produced over many years. Although catalogued separately from the Gravic Iris pattern, the two patterns appear to be identical.

Tray cut and engraved in the Gravic (Satin) Iris pattern by T. G. Hawkes & Company. Signed with the “Gravic Glass” trademark. L = 11.25″ (28.6 cm), wt = 4.5 lb (2.0 kg). Sold for $749 at an eBay auction in 2003 (Images: Internet). 

giris1b giris1a

The Pairpoint Corporation’s Dianthus pattern is one of this company’s many stone-wheel engraved patterns that incorporate flowers and butterflies. Deeply engraved flowers, such as in the example below, are of particular interest. The stems and leaves are miter cut. Most of the company’s engraved patterns are shallower than this example.

Oval vase cut and engraved by The Pairpoint Corporation in the Dianthus pattern on shape no. 1082. H = 11.0″ (27.9 cm), rim L = 5.75″ (14.6 cm), rim W = 4.5″ (11.4 cm), wt = 6.5 lb (3.0 kg). Sold for $250 in 1984. (Photo: Bill Jarvis)