Thursday, October 27, 2011

A New One Of A Kind

Approximately two weeks ago, a beautifully shaped, tiny new example of a 19th. Century Norwegian glass fishing float was found in western Norway.

If the readers remember Per Einar's expedition in March 2009, on Per's first stop, he found four remarkable floats. The floats have been called Aalesund floats in honor of where they were found.

This new float is the same general shape as the Per Einar floats, but is much smaller - about the size of a small Egg float, or tiny One Knobbed.

Rather than having a body that is flattened and elongated the way the Aalesund is shaped, this float has a round body. Both this tiny example and the larger Aalesund floats have the same type of shaped button-like ends.

The float is now in the collection of the Float Collector Extraordinaire. The Raven and I believe that the Aalesund float, the small One Knobbed, as well as the larger One Knobbed, and the new tiny Aalesund type, were made at Aasnæs Glasverks. Aasnæs was one of the very early producers of glass floats. The glasverk started producing its products in 1813, and was in business until 1883. During its time in business, the company produced a huge number of glass fishing floats, and an array of shapes, sizes and beautifully embossed floats that included the large Teardrop Marker glass buoys.

Whether the shaped floats such as the One Knobbed came before the round Cod Gill Net floats produced after 1840/41, no one has yet shown proof of. These beautifully shaped floats were not mold blown, were finished on a pontil rod, and the ends were hand shaped/tooled. Why would the glassblowers have gone to so much trouble creating these pieces of fishing gear, when the round ball with the normal seal button could have been much easier and less costly to produce? Were Cod Gill Net floats the first type of glass floats used, or were smaller floats for smaller fish such as Herring used first? Always, there are questions, and once in a while an answer appears. Congratulations Raven! What a wonderful One Of A Kind to have in your collection.

The photos were provided by Olaf Raabe, and the author.


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