Thursday, January 13, 2011

Here Comes More Favorites Floats From 2010

Two additional collectors have sent me their favorites from 2010, Olaf Raabe and Stu Farnsworth. The floats are coming in!

Since Olaf and Stu's submissions, there are promises from at least 4-5 additional collectors. Can't wait to post them.

Included in this post is some information that I've been saving for years. I've wanted to reveal this with you since first discovering a description of Swedish Salmon line fishing using glassfloats, while studying for the post about the first American-made floats. Certain that sooner or later, I was going to do a post about Dog Necked floats, until now, I've written very little about them. David from Sweden, sent me the wonderful photo of a Swedish marker buoy seen above. Inside that "kavelhund-like" wooden frame are two Dog Necks or Dog Floats, end to end. Such a beautiful piece of float history!

How Dog Neck floats were used to fish for Salmon has been a mystery. Although I cannot be 100% certain that the drawings found below show Dog Neck floats. The shape in the drawings, leads me to believe they could be no other style of Swedish float. Also, I can easily deduce from the description, that the neck on this style of float would have been perfect to tie the lines to in order to have the Herring baits sway in the current-attracting the Salmon with a realistic-looking presentation.

If my deduction is correct, then the Swedish fishermen were using Dog Floats prior to 1884. As I've written a few times before, it is no stretch-at least in my mind- that the first Dog Floats were nothing more than Demijohn bottles with a glass seal. Could they have been used prior to 1800? That style of bottle dates quite a bit earlier than 1800.

From Olaf Raabe,

Hi Tom

2010 was a good year, having got a number of new rare euros in my collection.
I have picked out a few to share with your readers:

One out of many Norwegiana letter floats I have got this year.
They are all dated between 1850 and 1880, and made by different glassworks in Namsos area in Norway.
This float was received in a trade with my good Norwegian friend, "Bottleman." We have been having a very good time this year exchanging bottles for floats, and also having a wonderful dialogue about the Norwegian glassverks.

Was offered from France and USA respectively, and won on Ebay-auctions.
The JGO float was written about in one of last year's final blog posts, and is very interesting because of the placename on the embossing: "Savill."

The CM is almost an unbelievable float. This is the first time one has been seen to my knowlege, and is not a Christiania Magasin marking. This float comes from a country other than Norway.

The LX is now being considered as a French-made float. This particular embossing has one dot to the right of the L, with the X. Is there another one known of? Sometimes the L marked floats have a dot on either side of the L. Were the L floats made by the same glassworks as the LV's were?

Olaf's JS is almost identical to the author's brown/amber JS. Comparing floats with Olaf leads me to believe that both are of heavier than normal float glass, both are bottom heavy. The only difference may be in the look of the glass.

The author's float has that unmistakeable Portugese look that is often seen. I'm attempting to describe what appears to be thumb-like indentations pressed into the glass, but there is absolutely no texture to the outside of the float. Those circular formations are inside the float's glass. I only know of Portugese floats with that type of glass.

These beautiful euro-dognecks surround 3 old Norwegian one-knobbed from the glassworks in Namsos. The Dog Neck or Dog floats seem to have been primarily used in Sweden and on the islands of Denmark.

All the best from
Glassfloat-collector extraordinar

From the author: Whenever I've found information about Dog Neck Floats, the literature states that their use was in fishing for Salmon, but how were they used for this type of fishing? Why did they need a float in the shape of a Dog Neck Float in order to fish for Salmon? Why wouldn't a typical round ball have sufficed? I've been saving illustrations and the description found in: the "REPORT of the COMMISSIONER of fISH AND fISHERIES 1884,waiting for the opportunity to share it with you. Now, seems like the perfect time.

Here is a description of how they fished for Salmon, and I believe Dog Neck floats are the glassfloats used:

The Salmon Fisheries-These fisheries belong exclusively to the east and south coasts of Skane. In the Sound and on the west coast there are no salmon fisheries, although salmon are occasionally caught there with bottom-nets and codfish-nets. It therefore seems that the salmon do not migrate from the Baltic to the Cattegat and vice versa. salmon are caught in the sea with seines, floating nets, and lines, each of these apparatus being peculiar to some part of the coast.

The line fisheries begin in autumn after the herring fisheries have come to a close, and are continued throughout the winter, as long as the weather does not interfere with them. These lines (Fig 18) are constructed so that they can float near the surface, and are fastened only at one end, while the other is free and is swayed by the current. That portion which holds the apparatus in its place is called the rope, and is fastened at the bottom by a large stone. After the stone has been sunk, about a fathom of the rope is hauled up, and a glass floats is fastened to it. About 12 fathoms above this a second float is fastened, and about 5 fathoms below this the line is attached to the rope. It is kept floating near the surface by four wood or cork floats. At present, each line measuring 30 fathoms, has only three hooks. These hooks, of tinned-iron wire, are tolerable large (8 centimeters long and with a span of about 4 centimeters), and are baited with herring which are cut back of the anal aperture, and are fastened to the hook so that its point passes through the eyes and protrudes at the side. The salmon lines are set with a sufficiently large distance between them to prevent their becoming entangled when they are swayed to and fro by the current. The first glass float serves to keep the rope up in the water, and to prevent the current from carrying it too far from its original position. These lines are set at a depth of from 20-30 fathoms; the farther from the coast the better. As long as the water is still warm in autumn the hooks have to be baited afresh everyday. When the water gets colder the herring keep three or four days without turning sour. If the bait is not entirely fresh, the salmon will not bite. In the autumn fisheries four men go out in a boat with from 40 to 60 salmon lines. (that's a lot of Dog Neck floats...)

During the stormy and dark season of the year these fisheries are both dangerous and uncertain, but pay well because the apparatus is cheap, as a line costs only from 3 to 5 crowns (8o cents to $1.34). The success of these fisheries greatly depends upon the weather. The salmon also seem in some years to leave one part of the Baltic and go to another. On the south coast of Skane the method of catching salmon with lines has been almost entirely abandoned, because scarcely any were caught.

P.S. Just in case you were wondering...from Wikipedia comes this:

Scania ( Skåne (help·info) in Swedish) is the southernmost[3] of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces (landskap) of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision (län) Skåne County[4] is almost, but not totally, congruent with the province. The largest city is Malmö, which is also the third largest in Sweden and the administrative centre of Skåne County.

From Stu Farnsworth:

Hi Tom,

Here are a few scans of the gems I was able to get in 2010.

The Sun Colored Knobby came thru a trade for one of my better rare floats.

When the blog author got his first Knobbed Egg, I sent a photo of it to Woody aka: 2Fishing2. Woody replied that wasn't the same Knobbed float that he knew of, which confused me. It wasn't until seeing floatos of Japanese Knobbies that I understood what Woody was referring to. They are sometimes hard to tell from the Norwegian Knobbed Egg, except for the color. The Japanese Knobbies are most often either colorless or sunturned. Most of the Norwegian Knobbed Eggs are green glass. The early Norwegian Knobbed Eggs have been said to have been produced earlier than the 1840's, although at this time, there is no proof of that. One thing is certain, they were first produced long before the Japanese started making them after 1910.

From the number of photos of the Japanese Knobbies that I've seen online, and the very few that have come to Ebay auction beaches, the Knobbies may be rarer than the Norwegian Knobbed Eggs.

My very early Red Snakeskin came in a purchase.

My 14er Honey Amber Akita marking came in a purchase.

The large orange sized cherry red Hokuyo float came in a purchase in September.

The Green Pumpkin has 8 patches came in a purchase.


Now, we wait for other contributions to arrive. Hopefully in the next two days other great float collectors will be sending me their favorites to share with you. All of the photos above can be enlarged for greater clarity and enjoyment.

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting post Tom!

    Anyone out there who have read about my new expedition plans for year 2011?

    Take a look, new glass float treasures can be found also this time!