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More Glass and Locks

Much more information on Rolled Figured Glass is available on this page

Our latest farmstay on the Sunshine coast came with a very pleasant surprise - an apparently abandoned shed full of salvage windows, glass and miscellaneous hardware. So I snuck out early one morning to see if I could find anything of interest.


Let's start with a selection of rolled figured glass, a hallmark of vintage Queensland houses that we've looked at in a previous post. These panes are all original and many were imported from British glassworks. How do we know that they're the real thing? Run your fingertips across the back and you'll feel the gentle undulations and imperfections of the manufacturing process. Reproduction figured glass is perfectly smooth and, I suppose, comparatively lifeless.

First out a louver window with (from the top) a clear pane of the ubiquitous "Kosciusko" glass, made in Australia after 1930, followed by an amber pane with a medallion pattern, registered by Pilkington Glass in 1901 and made in St Helens UK. The bottom pane is a green Kosciusko.

 More of the medallion-style pattern, in clear glass.

The pretty "Muranese" pattern was also manufactured by the Pilkington glassworks and came in a variety of colours, in small, medium and large pattern sizes. The design pre-dates 1901. This window has medium patterns of purple, amber, green and clear glass.

A large-pattern Muranese in green.

This pane has the Kosciusko pattern in cobalt blue - a bold and comparatively rare colour. A few of these panes in an external window is enough to dictate the colours of the rest of the house - it is that dominant.

Next up some product made locally by Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd., from about 1931 and onward. Before this date most window glass, figured or not, was imported from overseas. These clear panes are of the "Pyramid" (left) and "Glacier" (right) patterns. The bold geometry and prism-like effect of the Pyramid pattern goes well with Art Deco architecture.

More Pilkington medallions, in amber and purple.

I haven't come across this pattern before - basically a Granite-type pattern with transecting ribbons. Probably a later design aimed at industrial use, possibly by Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd.

And finally a wonderfully whimsical and naive "stars and swirls" pattern in green and purple. I found this glass in a homestead just North of the NSW border, built 1901. I've also had a report on it from a late 1910's rural bungalow in Kingaroy, a 20's house in Brisbane and many other locations.

The shed had stacks of salvaged doors with rim locks in varying states of decay. The most interesting is the first one, a pressed case rim lock marked "The Maryborough Special". Probably dating from the 1900s to 1930s. It was manufactured by the English lock maker J. Legge & Co in Willenhall and exported to a local retailer. The second lock is also by Legge & Co, and reader Ian Chelmer correctly pointed out that it bears the stamp of the Isle of Man triskele coat of arms.

I'm always on the lookout for examples of antique architectural glass and hardware - if you have any interesting examples or information please let me know.

For details on rolled figured glass and patterns in Australia, check this page.

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