Notching is another old motif. It can be used wherever two cut surfaces meet at an angle. When notching is emphatically cut — and especially where it incorporates cuts of different sizes — notching becomes beading which can be classified into two main types: simple and compound. The former uses beads of one size, the latter beads of at least two different sizes (e.g., long-short). Sometimes it is worthwhile paying attention to this aspect of beading because it may help to identify a particular piece of cut glass. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case; manufacturers gave little thought to future collectors of their wares and were not always consistent in their use of beading!
LEFT: Notched flutes on the neck of a “wine bottle” cut in the Arcola pattern by C. Dorflinger & Sons. In addition to the notching, there are three sets of triple prismatic rings, vestige of a design sometimes found on late eighteenth and early nineteenth century decanters cut in the Anglo-Irish tradition. RIGHT: Notched flutes on present-day cut glass: A William Yeoward Crystal (England) interpretation of a nineteenth century cut-glass carafe. Note the retention of a triple prismatic ring.
A typical use of simple beading: Salad bowl cut by L. Straus & Sons in the company’s Majestic pattern of 1894 (patent no. 23,727) on shape no. 426. Mechanically polished. D = 8″ (20.3 cm), H = 3.4″ 8.6 cm), wt = 3 lb (1.4 kg). Sold for $406 at an eBay auction in 1999.
Three examples of complex beading: LEFT: Pitcher with triple-notched handle. Three horizontal chains of Brunswick stars are separated by bullseyes and beading (long-short-long) arranged vertically. 32-pt hobstar base. Manufacturer/pattern unknown. H = 14.25″ (36.1 cm), base D = 5.5″ (14.0 cm), wt = 6 lb (2.7 kg). Sold for $375 in 1984. RIGHT: Pitcher with two columns of bullseyes and a median of double-Xs on its handle. Prominent beading (long-short-short-long) below a horizontal band of Russian Canterbury. Chain of hobstars, strawberry (fine) diamonds, and fans above the band. Step-cutting below the pitcher’s spout. 24-pt hobstar on base. Pattern possibly matches that on a footed bowl cut by Everett Stage, c 1910 as shown in Sinclaire and Spillman (1997, illus. 708). H = 10.5″ (26.7 cm), base D = 6.25″ (21.0 cm), wt = 6.5 lb (3.0 kg). Sold for $475 in 1983. BELOW: Complex beading as used in Libbey’s Prism pattern where it is partnered with the standard cane motif.
One of the most famous examples of beading (long-short-long) occurs in the patented Nautilus pattern by T. G. Hawkes & Company. Here is a detail (Image: Internet):
Two additional examples of cut glass that feature prominent beading can be seen at the following areas: the Boston pattern by Mt. Washington/Pairpoint and the Santa Maria pattern by L. Straus & Sons.