Use of the Double-Checkered Diamond Motif

 


Background

westropp1¬†True checkered diamonds are scarce; moreover, other diamonds, confusingly, are sometimes incorrectly given this name. The motif, introduced in the motifs3.htm file in Part 1, is shown on the right in a drawing that originated in Westropp’s book on (mainly) nineteenth century Irish glass. Notice the depth of cutting of the “cross-cuts” — this distinguishes the motif from its much more usually seen close relative, the cross-cut diamond.

In the double-checkered diamond the deep cross-cuts are, not unexpectedly, doubled. The four diamonds in the drawing (2 x 2) are replaced with nine (3 x 3). Most collectors are probably familiar with the less deeply cut double-cross-cut diamond as found, for example, in Hawkes’ Anson pattern (Sinclaire and Spillman 1997, p. 95). Also, Pearson gives several examples of it in Vol. 3 of his ENCYCLOPEDIA (pp. 127-8, p. 133). The double-checkered-diamond motif, on the other hand, is nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, it can be found as early as the late eighteenth century on Irish cut glass. See the bowl-on-stand pictured in Warren 1981, plate B. (This item is also illustrated in The Magazine Antiques, Sep 2004, p. 93 [plate III], where it is dated c1790.)

Applications by Dorflinger and John S. O’Connor

Until recently the only actual example of the double-checkered diamond on American cut glass known to the writer is an all-over cutting on a pocket flask owned by Christian Dorflinger (Feller 1988, p. 204) and probably cut about 1880 when O’Connor was superintendent of Dorflinger’s cutting shop. The motif also appears, accompanied by fans, in two illustrations reproduced, apparently, from a newspaper account of O’Connor’s cutting shop in Hawley, PA (Barbe and Reed 2003, p. 190).

All of these examples have patterns that match that on the following small rose or violet bowl. O’Connor called this pattern Lace Diamond. If Dorflinger used a pattern-name, it has been lost. This example could have been cut by either company. D = 3.5″ (8.9 cm), H = 3″ (7.6 cm). Sold for $49 at an eBay auction in 2004 (Image: Internet).

oconnor1a

This image of the double-checkered diamond motif shows how easy it is to confuse the motif with the sharp diamond and strawberry diamond motifs. Feller incorrectly uses the latter pattern-name to describe the Dorflinger flask, as did the ACGA at its 1999 Convention where the flask was included in an exhibit of Dorflinger glass.