Sunday, August 23, 2009
How about a basement filled with floats? Approximately 200 glass floats from
Moss, Herman Heye, Flesland, Larvik and +pcf+. All common varieties.
Anyway, we had a great time, and we are now taking a well-earned dinner at a local restaurant. They are serving fresh water fish (not saltwater). The Norwegian name for the fish is Røye.
Our next plan is to go out fishing later, and tomorrow morning-out fishing. Late afternoon Monday, we are packing, then driving until midnight. By 01:00, our
destination is Trondheim, and the vessel "Richard With," from the Hurtigruten
Company. From there we are sailing down to our final destination-Bergen.
So, "that's all folks." We will send a few better pictures from our last
meeting later on.
Per and Amund
It's 8:00 P.M., and time to kick back with Nancy. Per has not been able to send any last photos yet, but when he does, I will do a postscript.
I don't know about you, but for me, the email was anticlimactic, as was the final meeting for Per.
It's been so much fun doing the trip diary along with Per and Amund. The day-to-day excitement was wonderful, especially getting up in the morning to find emails from the guys. Thoughts of floats and the blog filled my mind for two glorious weeks.
From the emails I've received, many of the readers have enjoyed it too. Discoveries were made, and I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to some Pereinar 123 auctions once the dust settles. Hope there are some good ones!
Enjoy tonight's auctions, and the anticipation of new floats appearing for each of us.
The photos from the top:
Sleneset and Lovund (the Eagles' mountain);
an abandoned boat house;
a rebuilt trawler;
Herringnet marker barrel and
Boathouse 1, the front.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
After finishing last night's post, and putting that baby to bed, I spent time with Nancy. Before hitting the sack, I always shut the computer down. This is necessary if you want to prolong the life of the computer by not letting it continuously run hot, as well as protecting the cooling fan. I have to look for late emails, and Ebay auctions one more time. In the email account was a final note from Per and Amund.
We have been out fishing again tonight, and saw a few tiny whales (Nise.) Nise is the Norwegian name for the tiny whales that hunt Herring in the fjords. As we watched the whales chasing Herring, that very same second, two Herring was hooked on my fishing gear. They are the very first herring I have caught in my life on sportfishing gear.
I wrote back to comment on the fact that they were once again back at the base camp. I thought they might still be on the island, then realized that Per did say that they needed to find a room for one night. Not sure if they were going float hunting this weekend, and thought that maybe they were going to take a weekend's rest, I asked what their plans were.
We had at least three big thunder and lightening storms during the night, and lots of rain. We've had a very wet summer compared to the norm. Getting up before dawn to a storm, I sat down at the computer, and found Per's answer to my question:
Amund's and my plans are:
Tomorrow, we have a meeting with a woman who is the daughter of one of the only two and biggest fishing boats in this area. She has some floats.
Later, Per sent some wonderful photos shown above, and explanations:
From boathouse 1 are two teardrops, one approx 18" and one 12". Two beauties, and not for sale.
Closeup of the wodden fish at boathouse 2.
Pictures of the earlier owners of boathouse 2, repairing a fishing net. They are the father and grandpa of the fisherman we had a one hour interview with yesterday.
A photo of his and his father's fishing boat.
I have to listen more closely to the interview to find out interesting parts for you and the blog. An example: there was something he mentioned about using green color glass floats on one type of fishing net, and I've got to listen to the recording to remember what he said.
Will send one picture from floats that we found today. Looked hard, but nothing very interesting. It is very difficult to find rare floats!
There was a second email with photos, and Per's explanations.
Outside Boathouse 1 on the left is a German Bomb or float-bomb from WW II. It was found on the open sea, by the grandfather.
On the right is a marker bouy made from a wooden stick, iron, flag, rope and of course, glass floats 5", also owned by grandfather from boathouse 1.
Per than commented further on tomorrow's meeting with the daughter of the area's prominent commercial fisherman.
The woman we are meeting, her father was a fisherman in this area who owned huge fishing boats back in the old days. The very best interviewing subjects and the best float finds are always from these fishermens' families. So we will hope for the best.
We met her at an antique store. She was looking at the floats stored in my SUV, and we begin talking about old times and glassfloats.
I gave her a gift of an old oval float from my earlier finds. I like to give away beautiful floats as goodwill to people. Perhaps they might have interesting floats or info from the old days. As you can see, the gift resulted in a new meeting. She is now digging for floats all over the property for us to examine when we arrive on Sunday.
Per and Amund
Hello again Tom,
You have plenty to do reading all those emails. Lots of fun, and also very interesting for all blog followers out there.
Picture below is from today. we were visiting a local antique store. I did purchase old medicine glass "poison" bottle from year 1800, and some very old glass bottles for decoration. And of course, two floats, one FG Made In Norway and one amber unmarked float.
We have found a meaning for the unknown AP mark. That's me and Amund's
ID float. Amund & Per... He, he, he
Unlike the normal weekend's break from float hunting while on the move, or in this case, Per and Amund kicking back to some cold beers, fishing, photographing, etc., the guys are thick into the hunt. Hopefully, tomorrow's meeting with the fisherman's daughter will be filled with excitement for them, and for us. Until then, have a good Sunday.
P.S. Forgot to tell you-Per did answer my question about the large floats in the photo: Looking In The Door. He said that the large floats were PCF floats, and that there was 1-9" Made In Germany float, but not for sale. So they were not as large as they looked in the photo, and definitely, not Japanese floats. The netting on them is superb. Go back and look at the photo, and enlarge them at will.
Friday, August 21, 2009
After yesterday's boathouse explorations by Per and Amund, I went to sleep thinking about the photos, and the possibilities for today. Per started today's emails by answering my question about the fish-shaped marker with the two glass floats attached. Attached to the first email was a photo showing a different fish-shaped wooden buoy, and Per's explanation:
This wodden (wooden) fish similar to the white wodden fish with floats, is
called "Nise." Glass floats did hang from below the fish as seen on last night's marker picture. The floats on this "Nise" are gone-only the float hangers are still intact. Often used on nets at the beginning or end as a marker.
The wodden fish was also used to find out the power of the seawater's drift, and which direction it ran. They were often used together with the wodden stick with four floats that were attached below the mid-point on the stick, and there was a flag on top. (See photo of one of those markers on the 2/05/09 post) I will send a picture later tonight.
The wodden fish were also used together with a fishing line baited with Herring on many hooks. Remember that wodden float I sent you with 3 floats inside? The line was turned around it together with the hooks. When the whole line was set out at sea, the wooden marker was floating at the surface, the baited hooks and line below. Sometimes just the float box and gear, without the flag, or only the flag without the wodden fish-when the fisherman knew the current's direction.
I hope you understood my explanation and my English.
There was also an email from Todd the "Norsknailpounder," asking a question, and telling of his enjoyment of the photos that Roger and Marie sent:
Now that shot of those teardrops is mouthwatering ! Did Per say what the two cork or bark sectional floats at the bottom of the picture were used for? Great to see all your pictures of the Stranne floats !!!
I forwarded Todd's question to Per, and he answered:
Here is an answer to Todd's questions. The two ordinary cork floats...Those floats are oval and approx 16cm tall and 12cm wide. Cork floats were used on Herring nets. Cork floats of this type were buildt up by adding slices of cork together.
They were no good for deep water because pressure filled the corks with salt water and the whole fishing net was lost!
Per also added:
The wodden fish without floats were used as frightening gear just outside the opening of 10 or so Herring nets strung together. The nets was tied together and set out at sea in a round circle which surrounded the Herring. A small rowboat was
situated at the opening of the nets, and the woodfish sent down into the seawater to frighten the Herring back into the circle of nets.
The day ends with Per and Amund's closing:
Am sending pictures from yesterday and this morning. More to come tomorrow, history too! Enjoy folks! And please ask questions of Tom if there is anything you wish to know.
Per and Amund
Enjoy the photos, and look at the mark on that float! I've never seen that one before. An email was sent to Per asking a variety of questions. One of the question concerned the photo, "Looking In The Door." I asked Per if those very large floats to the right were Euros or Japanese floats, and if Japanese, how did the Norwegian fishermen get them? Hopefully Per will be able to answer those questions. If they are Euros, they appear to be the largest Euro glassballs I've ever seen. What will tomorrow bring?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Time passes, and Per and Amund are into their second week of the expedition. Yesterday was a quiet day. The morning was windless, and perfect for taking the boat out for a ride to the deeper waters in search for big ones.
I woke up, and read Per's first email:
God morgen and good morning,
Vi ligger nå et stykke ute i velfjorden og fisker, vi har sett stor
hval og ørn, en flott morgen.
We Are now out fishing far out at Velfjorden, we have seen a huge whale
and Eagles. A beautiful Morning.
Per and Amund
Later Per sent me a photo of their catch. They caught a bunch of really nice-sized Cod and Whiting. Lots of good eating that night, and plenty of fish to freeze and take home for eating this winter.
This morning's emails started out with:
God morning Tom. Time is 04:25 New York time. Get out of bed! ;-) You
have a blog waiting for your input! ;-)
We are on our way travelling among fjords and Islands. The picture is ferry #2 out of 5.
Will send you a picture now and then from today's finds, and our travel route.
One picture per email, since I'am using my iPhone.
Weather is cloudy w/rain, not the best photoshooting weather, but excellent for inside boathouse digging.
Take good care Tom and the blog followers out there.
Per and Amund
After coming in, I was greeted with another email from the guys:
Hello again Tom,
I think you just have finished your breakfast, and we are entering the ferry for a nice cup of coffee and a meal. Time is 06:30 New York time and 12:30 Eu time.
We visited an antique shop in the Mosjøen City neighborhood area. Found plenty of old bottles and medicine glass, china and old farmers gear. Not a single glass float. That's weird, because this area is a typical fishery district. Maybe these local antique shops don't find glass floats interesting, or the local people don't ask questions about floats for purchasing, and that's why you don't find
floats for sale? This antique store was not a typical tourist shop. It was hidden.
After breaktime, another:
Hello again Tom
Info from the area:
We Are waiting for the last carferry to our destination Sleneset, which is the nearest neighbor to the well known and famous bird mountain Lovund.
And at the end of the day, there were two more emails. The second-with its photo, knocked my socks off. How beautiful those two Teardrops are, and that marker buoy on the right hand side of the photo is absolutely wonderful. They are all family history, and just too precious to part with. I'm sure that all of us can relate to the feelings of the people that Per and Amund were with today.
It must be truly wonderful to be immersed the way the guys are, in all of that history. To handle and photograph those beautiful floats, to talk to the people who's ancestors used them, and to hear the stories-what a dream. A dream that is Per and Amund's reality.
We are all so fortunate to have a friend like Per, who is taking his time to study his countrymens' history, and for sharing it with all of us. Those who collect floats are getting a rare treat, and also a treat for those who may one day Google a key word that is in this blog, and suddenly come across Per and Amund's gift to all of us.
I will end here by letting Per tell you the story through today's last emails, and am looking forward to tomorrow:
We Are ok, in a nice room. Have been talking with several people, and made new contacts. So we are filled up with jobs for tomorrow.
And the final email today:
We have purchased approx 7 floats. A few have very interesting marks. Marks that are rare and completely unknown to me! There is another super rare float similar to the Wind mark that I sold to Greg a year ago, and a few nearly perfect Aasnæs floats.
Sorry, but the owner will not sell those teardrops in the photo and two teardrops from another owner-even if my offer was above 700USD each. Teardrops have been used by their families for several years: dad, grandad, gran-gran etc. The history continues, and I understood these people and why they do not want to sell those beautiful teardrops. I did my very best.
We will send plenty of pictures and info of the floats and marks, fishery history, the area and our one-hour interview with the peoples' valuable history.
the clear 4" and 5" floats were used on Sei nets. Sei is the Norwegian name for a fish I don't know the English name for. I will hopefully find out the name later when we are back home at the cabin situated at Nevernes.
Per and Amund
The photos from the top of the post:
The island room for two and
Inside the Boathouse.
Click on the photos for a larger view.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
On Sunday afternoon Roger and Maria sent photos of their floats collected while on vacation. I was, and remain incredulous to see such beautiful examples of previously unseen colors of Torvald Stranne floats.
I am under the impression that the netted example seen above, and in the photo shown in Sunday's post of the floats on the table at Margitt's home, have capnets made at Torvald Stranne's store. Perhaps woven by Torvald himself.
Enjoy seeing these wonderful floats, and enlarge them by clicking on the photos. Oh Man! How nice it must be to pick up and admire these whenever you wish to.
Thank you Roger and Maria.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Yesterday we beachcombed on Vega Island.
Have added a few pictures from yesterdays finds, and a falling-apart-boathouse on the other side of the island Vega.
While beachcombing, we found only cork floats and old nets-no glass floats, but we have an agreement with an old fisherman out there. He needs some days to look for glass floats among his fishing-nets and old fishing gear.
Today has been a beautiful day so far with sunny warm weather. So we traveled far out to sea to catch the big ones-and we did, 18 cod fish and only large sizes from 2-5Kg each.
We have a few huge boxes specially made for deep-frozen fish so we can get all fish safely home.
Per, (Amund is taking a nap)
We were just in contact with a museum guy from the AAsnæs and Namsos districts who has buttons and maker's marks found in the sand and soil in these areas.
Next week we will concentrate more on the floats, and hopefully something interesting will show up on the islands we will visit.
Today 13:45 local time or 07:45 New York time, we have been fishing. Caught 10 cod and a took a few pictures of the baby Eagle. The mother or father that we have been photographing seems to be sick and tired of us traveling around in a boat in her territory-photoshooting her family. ;-)
Per and Amund
Today we have been visiting with a guy with who has several boxes filled with
floats-approx. 100 floats. We found 5 interesting floats: 2 from Bjørum,
one from Aasnæs W/sunken pontil and two 2" floats (BV).
I guess the ice blue color makes it diffucult to see the exact marks. One is BV and the other is an HV or BV. I will try to take a closeup of the marks for you to study later on.
Amund purchased two amber unmarkt floats yesterday.
Per and Amund
Hei sender ved bilder av ørn tatt i dag morges.
Ha en trivelig onsdag!
Will send photos of the eagle taken in the morning.
Have a good Wednesday!
Later today: I sent Per an email using a translator to send it in Norwegian, and wanted to know if Per was able to read it. I followed the translated version with the same email in English, to see how the translation service worked. Here is Per's reply, and news:
Very well done, just a few grammar faults. I did understand every
sentence, no problem ;-)
I think that you must be tired from work, emails and blog. You have done a fantastic job so far! (I've got a couple of months of work left, then vacation, in a new and exciting place, with terrific people to share the time with. Oh Boy!)
There's a very heavy wind outside our cabin today. We had to walk across
and over land to avoid waves, and to be wet all over by using the boat. Nothing very interesting today, and something in my mind tells me that this expedition might turn into a catastrophe or a huge miss or whatever the name is for something that does not end up with several interesting and rare floats, and only the smell of fish!
I have been in contact with the woman on the Island again and two other people in the same area. This evening will have all the answers.
A well known human way to behave is to:
tell stories about huge finds and plenty of floats on the phone; or you have a personal meeting-outside the float area; or if someone know someone who know someone, who know someone; and when you finally show up, ohhh I will not sell. Sorry!
I don't have the key; or can't find it; or my brother has it and he is
unavailable. But I know another fisherman, he might have the info and
floats you are looking for...ughhh!
My point is:
Far too many unpolite people out there!
But when everything seems to be darkness and no floats, maybe something wonderful will show up tonight after all the phone calls are done?
Pictures added in earlier emails are:
damaged boats on the coast;
one restored fishing and whale boat at Nevernes harbor;
Amund with another box with floats, but not what I'm looking for
and me taking a picture as I am digging for floats among rope and netting.
Uh oh! Frustration is beginning to set in, but in Per's email there is also the positive outlook that things can change in a minute. Hope tonight's phone calls prove both Per and I right.
Just finished dinner, and wanted to finish this post. While Nancy and I were eating, I told her about receiving an email from our daughter. She wanted to see it, so we opened up my account, and I saw that Per had sent a final email for today. Hmmm. Looked forward to reading it, but wanted to wait until after dinner, and this is what I found:
Hello my friend,
As you can see from picture below, Amund is working on the computer
with emails and pictures. So am I. Not on my computer as you can
see from the picture. My computer has taken a day off, and my iPhone has
taken over. It's easy, and works-even if the pictures don't have the
We have finished an agreement with the island woman and her brother, and have been
invited over for a meeting on the Island far out. That's wonderful
news isn't it!
We both are looking forward to visiting that Island, and
the upcoming meeting with a few of the local people out there to
listen to their stories and stories of the Island's history. It must be like a fairytale living that far out at open ocean and very hard too.
We will leave our cabin and Nevernes early in the morning. Travel by
car for approx 4 hours, and 3 car ferries for approx an half hour or
more each. We will have a long travel-interesting and full of wonderful nature. We might have to stay over for one night on the Island. Time will tell. Wish us luck. ;-)
Per and Amund
Per and Amund are motivated to find floats. You can see the look on Amund's face as he carries that box of floats. You can see the excitement in his body as he looks through the crates of floats in the last post's photo. You can feel the need in Per's words. Now, they are going to be off on another adventure.
They've had a good time while at the cabin fishing, photographing, finding a few floats, etc., but it's time for the big time.
You bet Per! We're all hoping that the two of you have a great trip over the mountains and out to sea. I'm really hoping that the big one hanging in the boat house will at least be photographed for posterity's sake, and also hoping that you end up with that float along with at least three beautiful large eggs.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Since writing about Roger and Marie's trip to visit the town that Torvald Stranne lived and worked in, there has been quite a bit of interest from other collectors to post their trip finds. I would like to start with the initial email exchanged last spring between Roger and me.
Roger, Marie and I began corresponding this winter. My initial email congratulated them on their website post, which detailed the findings discovered in the Toulouse books. They had uncovered the makers, and the meaning of a number of marks. We began a very nice exchange across the Atlantic, between kindred glass float spirits.
Our first emails exchanged information about the new form of Swedish floats which were first seen on an auction last summer. This new type of float is a pontil-marked float that had what Roger calls, a "Doorknob," seal and raised neck.
I had just won a 3-float auction from Sweedie, that contained three of those beautiful little floats. Roger was intrigued by them, and told me that he had once seen that style of float at an auction in Sweden-years ago. The first Ebay auction for that style of float was a larger 5.5" amber/green version. I sent Roger a set of comparison photos which showed the larger and the smaller Swedish "Door Knob Necked" floats.
Roger thanked me for the photos and included plans for their July vacation. The exchange starts with my email, followed by Roger's reply:
On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM,
Good Morning Roger,
It's very enjoyable reading your emails, and I want to thank you for sending the link to the Swedish auctions. I will go there one day, and try to use a translator to decipher the language. Just now, there is little free time-hardly time enough to go to the auctions, or send emails off to friends.
After reading your email, I wanted to send you the attached photo. I was the winner of David's first knobbed float, and thought that you might enjoy the comparison. I almost let that first one go, but realized that it had been built on a pontil rod, and was something special. Luckily, I was able to win it.
About a year later, a friend, Caicos Bob, sent me an email with a photo of two small ones that he had purchased from a woman in Sweden. I was elated to know that others were made. David's second auction was an important one to me, and again, I was lucky to win. Now, I have comparisons, and the differences between the floats are very intriguing.
I know that one day you will have at least one example in your collection, and between us, perhaps we can come up with some good information on them. It would be fun to work together on this little project. I look forward to writing on the blog again.
Must run as it's getting late, and I've got work to do filling orders. Kindly say, "Hello," to Maria.
Thank you for the photo. We would very much like to use it on our website later if it is ok with you.
I think we will be working together on many float questions in the future, I wish there were more collectors in the south european countries also who could help with information and research, and that we could put our heads together with.
I believe that together we can find out much about them.
We have booked a summer house in Smøgen, Sweden which is the home village of Torvald Stranne. I got in touch with his daughter. Torvald passed away many years ago but she has photos of his bindery that she could show us. The floats were made at a glass works in Smaaland, Sweden. The rest of the history we will hopefully find out when we go there at the end of July. We will look for floats as well:)
Maria is sending greetings to you,
Immediately after reading the last part of Roger's email, I was struck by how fortunate it is for them to be living where a large part of the Euro float history is. The area where Norway and Sweden share their boarders, and their surnames, truly intrigue me. I often wonder if it is in that area where some of the rarest and oldest glass floats are to be found? There is a constant question in my mind about where the first glass floats were actually blown and used. A couple of nights ago, Todd and I exchanged emails filled with float thoughts about that subject.
I am of the impression that prior to the first commercial production of floats approx. 1841, that floats were already being used. Did Faye actually invent the glass ball? What is his history? Has anyone actually studied the man, and if someone has attempted a study, were they able to find anything historically accurate?
Well, it's about two hours after writing the above sentence. I tried to Google Christopher Faye, found little, and ended up on the road to studying Hadeland glass, where the first commercial floats were made. I've sent a query to the company in the hope that the company has archives which could shed light on the invention by Christopher Faye, and one of the owners of Hadeland Glassverk, Charles Berg., and/or records of glass float production or embossed markings that the company used on their float productions. Who knows? I might get lucky, and if I do, you will see the results of that email.
During the last two hours, I could not help but speculate again on the HV float with the stars surrounding the letters in a circle. Christopher Faye won a gold medal for his glass float invention at the Norwegian Fishery Exposition in 1865. Is it possible that float was one of his displays? That may be pretty farfetched, but both Per and I feel that there is a good chance that float was a display float. HV...Hadeland Glassverk?
Back to Torvald Stranne...
Spring ended; summer started, and we had entered the "Dog Days" of summer. In a conversation with my good friend and renowned collector Bruce, he told me that he had received an email from Maria and Roger. They had returned from their vacation, had found some beautiful colored Torvald Strannes, and were gone again to Moscow.
Curious to know what their experience had been while visiting Torvald's daughter, I sent them an email. Time passed. Then on Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 12:36 AM, I received this incredible email from Roger. It is so well-written, that nothing needs to be added. With Roger and Marie's permission, here is Roger's email.
Finally there is time to reply to you.
We just came home from Moscow, where we visited Maria's family.
It's been a very nice stay with good food and weather (a way better weather than it was in Norway or the west coast of Sweden - very windy in there).
But we had a very nice stay in Sweden with new float discoveries :)
The first thing we did before reaching Smøgen, was to stop by Bohuslen museum, where according to Stranne's daughter, the information about Torvald Stranne's business is kept. There are the archives, but there was no one working at the archives department at that moment, due to summer vacation. In a museum display there was a fishing net with beautiful small roller pins attached to it, as well as a big ruby red Torvald Stranne float, maybe of the 6" size.
We were browsing antique and second-hand stores in Smøgen and nearby villages, but there was not much to find, and when we inquired about glass floats, the answer was that there used to be very many floats, but the summer tourists were buying them as decoration.
Anyway we were lucky to find some small treasures in Smøgen and Kungshamn, a JA with the fish, amber L (the one without dots), a clear Torvald Stranne and one unmarked float with very thick glass that looks like it is all black.
The clear Torvald float was new to me, and it really looks used.
I called Margitt, Torvald Stranne's daughter, as we earlier informed her about our arrival, and she invited us to her home. Margitt is an amazingly nice 79 year old lady. She showed us true swedish hospitality.
She served us her homemade rhubarb pie with ice cream and coffee, while showing us some photos of her father's store and business in Smøgen. She couldn't tell us any particular dates regarding the business, but we found out that her brother (who passed away) gave all the documents of Torvald's business to the Bohuslen museum. We will be able to find out the dates, etc. a little later when the summer vacation at the archives department is over.
She told us that her father, Evald Yngve Torvald Stranne was born on 29/9-1898 and passed away in the year 1972.
Margitt believes that the business started in the 1920's and ended in the '60's. She said that summer tourists were buying glass floats from Stranne's store to be used as decorational objects in the end. I asked if these floats were made for decorational use only, but she did not know for sure. She said she knew that the floats were made at one of the glassworks in Smaaland, Sweden.
Margitt brought a basket filled with floats to show us, and there were different Torvald Stranne floats in various colours: ruby red, purple, cobalt blue, green, yellow and clear. The yellow one was another new discovery. These floats were from 3-5".
She had 2 other examples in her collection after her father, that were 2-5" with the 'door knob'. This must be our rarest discovery ever. Of course we offered her a nice sum for them, but she did not want to sell these ones at the moment, She let us purchase the clear and the yellow Torvald Stranne floats, both 3".
In the end Margitt invited us to her garage where she stores more floats after her father, and there were Torvald Stranne floats up to 6" in red, cobalt blue, light blue, purple and amber.
The light blue and amber ones were very rare to come across. We had seen such colored floats at an auction once.
She also has 10" Wilhelmshutte floats and 8" Made in Czheckoslovakia in her posession. The 10" W float is also a new finding for us.
Margitt was so kind to let us pick some floats to buy from her.
We also asked if she knew anything about Stranne & Oresten. All she could tell was that these were relatives from Gothenburg. So the Stranne Oresten company was something that Torvald was not a part of.
When our week stay in Smøgen was over, we decided to drive along the coast back to Norway, searching for more floats, and we found something in Strømstad, a town near the Norwegian border: a clear L, clear Albrechtsons and another amber L float with old hemp net on it.
We are very happy with the trip, and Smøgen was a fantastic place worth visiting.
We have purchased lately some new additions to our collection: a Japanese float about 12" across with a beautiful old net, a UV, G, JMS and WD.
Attaching some photos to this email. Enjoy.
Roger and Maria
What a wonderful email! There is so much there to cogitate over. The history of Torvald Stranne's two stores, the floats seen and found-including the newly discovered colors of these wonderful floats, getting to "know" his daughter Margitt a bit, and simply, the reading of this well-written email, fills me with questions, speculation and excitement for future discoveries within Torvald's papers being kept at the Bohuslen Museum.
As I think about what Roger wrote, the question of whether the Torvald Stranne floats were true working floats or Contemporaries comes to mind. It is very interesting that Margitt said that tourists were buying Torvald's floats for decorations before the business closed in the 1960's. This coincides very well with the "sea forms" decorating scheme prevelent in the 1960's, as well as the production of Contemporary floats by glassmakers worldwide.
Roger also writes of his finding a colorless Torvald Stranne that "really looks used." This too can be an indication that not only were Contemporary floats used for decoration, they were also used for net fishing and the marking of lobster pots and fish traps. The Hokuyo Double F's, the Made in Czechoslovakia's, bright green Americans, Squares and now, Torvald Stranne floats have been found with the "well used" look.
Is it possible that the Torvald Stranne floats' appearances coincide with the passing on of family possessions as time and people have passed? Could that explain why they have begun to appear on Ebay auctions in the last 3-4 years and not earlier? Does anyone know of Torvald Stranne floats being bought or traded prior to 2005?
Before I close this post, I would like to describe the photos-starting at the top:
1. Torvald Stranne's first store advertising fishing gear and hardware;
2. Margitt's table top full of Torvalds and the two Door Knobs;
3. Smogen today down by the water;
4. The Light Yellow Torvald Stranne;
5. Torvald's second store;
6. Torvald's first store and,
3. Torvald's daughter, Margitt.
In closing, there will be more collaborations between Roger, Maria, myself and everyone else caught up in this historically-maritime passion. I would imagine that all of the readers and collectors who are seeing and reading about the wonderful new colors existent in Torvald Stranne floats, are fervently hoping that one or more will join their collections. I know that I am! Thank you so much Roger and Marie for sharing the wonderful story of your vacation with us.
Hi again Tom!
We are very glad to be useful with our discoveries and appreciate your friendship very much.
Have a nice weekend!
Roger & Maria
In some ways it's fortunate that Per and Amund are six hours ahead of us clock-wise. When I get up in the morning to check my emails, and begin the day, Per and Amund are getting close to lunch time. Per has been sending me emails to wake up to daily, and this morning was no exception:
We Are traveling far out fishing-trying to catch the big ones, on
Per og Amund
Good Morning and Good Luck!
Each of you catch at least one Whopper!
Hope that all is well with the waves. Keep your eyes open for rouge waves. Your coordinates are safe with me, now you be safe.
I'll be thinking about you as I'm planting Fig Trees today.
Later this morning, while taking a break, I found that Per had written again:
We Are traveling out to Norways biggest Island or Island plateau, to an old history and fishery district named Vega. The carferry departure is 07:30 New York time today.
Will look for floats, do history research out there and photoshoot from finds and the area. Weather was no good far out on the fjord this morning, so we took a new route with my SUV and gear. You can Goggle Vega and Ylvingen on the internet if you find time between your hard planting schedule.
Good luck and thank you for all blog updates.
After Nancy and I returned from the post office at about 5:00 P.M., I found that Per had sent me a couple of emails prior to going to bed.
Thank you for your email Tom. You have been lucky, (My friend Olaf, had sent me an offer for some very nice German and Norwegian floats that he had found while on vacation. I wrote Per about them this morning.) Send pictures. ;-)
We will send pictures from todays travel in the next two emails. Transport ferry time is 45min, so I will take a short break from driving.
Always great to receive your answers on email, and an excellent communication between two buddies across the Atlantic ocean. Technology and electronics have been a must on my travels in Europe and into the deepest fjords of Norway.
The next email reads:
Have meet some fishermen today, and floats Are available, but we have to
arrange a new meeting next week out on the Island again to look thru
all the floats.
Pictures of the neighborhood area close to our cabin, and floats in wooden boxes.
We have to examine each one, and some floats that are not seen on the picture,
tomorrow or monday.
Those are two great photos. The spot they are staying at sure is beautiful, and seeing Amund digging into those boxes of floats has me salivating. The amber float in the bottom left of the box in the foreground, intrigues me. Those two beautifully-netted floats in the box under his hand and the clean bright colors of the glass on the other floats, energize me. I just love amber floats, and wonder if that one is marked? The weekend is ahead, and I look forward to the further adventures of
Per and Amund.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Where have I been? Well, let's see...got up at dawn yesterday, watered, came in at 8:15 to find that Nancy, Chloe and the children were all asleep, and we were supposed to leave for the airport at 9:00. Woke everyone up, we got it together at a solid pace, and made it to the airport in excellent time. The children made it to Amarillo,Texas sans luggage. I cooked a nice dinner for the two of us. Gees! It was quiet, so quiet that Nancy and I looked at the visit photos on the laptop as we ate, and talked about the time with Chloe and our grandchildren. Made three quarts of great-tasting tomato sauce, then hit the sack. Woke up this morning feeling a bit guilty for not posting, but could do nothing about that-my crew was arriving at 8:00 to plant next spring's daylilly crop. We finished the planting just as the rain started in the afternoon. Made three more quarts of sauce, watched a funny movie: Tropic Thunder, and finally, here I am.
But all of that stuff is not why you've come to read the blog. You want to know where Per and Amund are, and what they've been doing. So, OK, here goes:
We are still out fishing ;-)
And Amund has shot a great photograph of an beautiful eagle catching fish.
After getting home from the airport, I found that Per had sent another email:
We have been fishing, floathunting, eagle-photo-hunting, and the day has
Your email have been very interesting reading, and I can't wait to hear
the Stranne story and see the pictures.
Roger's photograph of the net with similar glass floats as the Ålesund floats is a a great find! Plenty of interesting float finds among all your friends out there.
Nothing very interesting from Amund and Per today, plenty floats-only
one interesting mark.
We talked to a woman out on the Island about a possibility to find a
place to stay for one or two nights, not easy, all rooms are occupied in
the only place available on the Island, so we have to wait until
Sunday or Monday.
Take good care my friend and the same to all the blog followers out there.
Per and Amund
Early this morning, Per started my day out with this email:
We Are about to leave the cabin, destination Brønnøysund. My SUV needs
service. We have an appointment with a local car-repair company
Per and Amund
I thought the guys were out in the middle of nowhere, yet there is an auto dealership not that far away, that can take care of their SUV. Who would have thunk it?
Later in the day, Per wrote again:
My SUV have got new parts and we are safe now.
Today, we caught several cod fish, whiting and plenty of other fish that I don't remember their names, but they was excellent food for the wild Eagles. We where throwing the fish to them in order to study the birds as they dived for fish on the water's surface. Got some great pictures. One Eagle was very huge and dominant, not afraid. The other eagle was afraid, so we had to set the engine in reverse, and give her some space before she finally took off from the top of a tree and dived down to the bait.
We took pictures of one huge King Eagle and those two Sea Eagles as mentioned above. It is a very fantastic moment to view these Eagles in action and wait for the perfect shot-when light, color and distance is perfect!
The weather is no good...heavy rain. The next few days and next week is also not the best, but we have warm clothes and rain clothes so there will be no problem ;-)
We have been discussing going fishing far out in the fjord outside of our cabin, toward the open sea for catching that really BIG fish, but high waves and wind can be a problem.
No floats today, but better times will come NeXT week! We have been climbing mountains (Torghatten). It has a big hole near the mountain top and is very fascinating to look at. The hole was made from nature-not people or engines. (try google Torghatten on the internet) I will send a picture from the top in my next email.
Per and Amund
So the guys are enjoying their surroundings as they wait for the right time and conditions to visit one of their destinations. If you remember from an earlier post, Per has a contact on one of the islands who may have some very rare oval floats. It is such a long trip to get there, that Per and Amund want to make certain of the floats' existance, and their ability to purchase them, as well as get a place to stay once there.
I don't know what the next few days will bring as far as floats are concerned, but I am in the process of getting ready to write a post about Roger and Marie's wonderful vacation and finds.
If there is not too much to write about the expedition, and floats, I will post Roger's wonderful emails with photos. He sent me the nicest follow-up email this morning.
After reading the blog post discussing his original email, and my desire to direct the readers to what he and Maria found, Roger graciously has allowed me to post for the readers. I'm looking forward to that.
I hope that you enjoy Per and Amunds photos, and the beautiful AV float that they found yesterday. Click on the second photo-the gray-nondescript one, and you will see a Whale feeding on Herring.
Now, you know where they've been.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Today was quite an interesting day. There was a mix of emotions. Waking up at dawn to go out and water the plants, and accomplish something before it became too hot to work, I could not help but feel melancholy. Today was the last day that our daughter and two grandchildren would spend with us. They leave for their Texas home tomorrow morning. We had such a good time these last three weeks, and today was no exception.
We had planned to spend the day on the beach and boardwalk at Ocean City, N.J., with my Father and Sister, but a cold got in the way. No sense passing one of those onto everyone! Instead, we enjoyed the morning, then went out for lunch at a favorite Italian restaurant. After returning home, there was a pool party with our neighbors, Patty, and Anna, picking blackberries, and a nice dinner. Everyone is gone for a while visiting one of Chloe's artist friends for a going away gift. I'm cooking down the blackberries for jam, and writing.
In addition to spending time with our loved ones and friends, I received some terrific emails today from Caicos Bob, Bruce, Marie and Roger Kornilova, and Per and Amund.
Marie and Roger just returned from Sweden and Moscow, and had some wonderful history to impart about the Torvald Stranne business, and some amazing photos of floats they saw and came home with. I've got to write them back to ask if I should share the information here on this blog, or let them share it first with the readers of their website. You will be amazed, no matter where you read the history, or see the floats.
Per and Amund had a great day. Some of it was spent fishing, and boy! did they catch some beautiful Cod. They also did some research, and Per wrote early this morning to clear up some of the translation from yesterday's historical findings.
It was a full day, and no matter how the heart aches at times, a very happy day.
Per and Amund's emails are as follows:
I have some problems with a few words when I am writing, I'll try my very best.
Bjørum Glasswork was situated in Overhallsveien on the eastedge from
Namsos at Stensbekken.
The Glasshut was approx 50 x 23 meters and 12 meters high, similar to
the Glasshut situated at Aasnæs Glasswork.
When Namsos Glassverk was shut down, all equpments was sold at an
auction to Bjørum Glassverk.
18 people was working at Bjørum Glassverk: 1 head master, 4
glassblowers, 4 helpers, 2 people took care of the oven and the
rest were extra helpers.
In the year 1875, the glasswork production was 53,948 glass floats for nets,
4,717 oval knapkavl ( buttonfloats) and 534 Teardrops.
The picture send yesterday (the list of floats and sizes that is shown in the photos from yesterday's post) shows a sale from year 1886 at Bjørum
Glassverk. The floats ranged in size from 5", 4.1/2", 4", 3.1/2", 2.1/2", 2" and approx 12" teardrop which were named middels bøjer (medium teardrops)
Seagras was a very important ingredient in glass production at all
glassworks situated in Norway. The Seagras was hung and dried then used for glass production..
Seagras or seaweed was dried and applied to the glass mix for its potash content. I asked Per if the Oval Knapkavls were used on longlines or along the headline of the net to help mark it. And whether the Flat Ended or Button Ended Alesund floats found on the spring expedition might have been made in the Namsos area. His replies were as follows:
You Are right, oval knapkavl was used on longlines baited with plenty of
I don't know if the Ålesund floats was produced in Namsos area.
The netting sorrounding floats was dipped in tar, and some Teardrops had
skin inside the rope and some did not.
See you later, we Are gone fishing, hopefully we will catch a huge
fish or five.
Just a picture from an perfect AASNES float with hole in sealbutton
All the best from Amund
Float is not damaged it has a minor glass bubble inside and the hole
is from the glassblower pipe.
We are planning the Island visit. It is a 6 hour drive and there are 4 car ferries. One of the ferries has a travel time as long as 1 hour and 50 minutes.
So we will have to stay on the Island for one night. We will try to get all the
facts about floats and purchasing before we drive, so we don't buy junk
after several hours travel time. You never know. Hopefully there will be
superb and interesting floats, if not..##%&*!!..all that travel for
I guess you miss your family! I guess they all have travel back home
when you are reading this email?
Too bad, I miss my family too, even if I love to travel, fish and
treasure hunt with my good friend and brother in law Amund.
Hopefully we will have great news from the island far out tomorrow.
Take good care to you and your lovely family Tom.
Per and Amund
There you have it! They've found their first float of the trip, caught a mess of nice fish, and uncovered some wonderful history to add to our knowledge. Good luck tomorrow guys!