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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Very Interesting Photograph

From a recent Ebay auction: Report to the Governor by the Illinois State Fish Commission dated Sept. 30, 1890, comes this photograph. The net used was a seine net, and I'm wondering what the readers think the floats in the photos are? Are they glass floats?

As I look at the photo, and see the reflection of the light on the floats, they sure do look like glass. The first photo is at 100% magnification. The second is 200%, and the third is 400%. It would be terrific if the photo not only shows glass floats, but doesn't one of the floats in the foreground look like it has the Knob on one end? The float in the upper right, when looking at its shape and the shapes of one or two others, appears to be Egg-like. Can you see any capnets?

Are the floats tied directly onto the headline? This has been said to be the method used to tie the early Aasnaes Glasverk One Knob floats. Few of those floats seem to have survived, perhaps due to the lack of a protective net? The Raven has written in an email, that they broke easily due to not having a protective capnet, and may be why Aasnaes Glasverk discontinued their manufacture and use. If they are the Plumb Bob or One Knob type, could these floats be the floats on the S.H. Davis Brothers Patent?

What do you think you are seeing in the photos?

To see the photos in a larger format, put your cursor on the photo, and left click. If you roll the wheel on the cursor, you can go from one photo to the next...