Saturday, 18 October 2014

Are These Early Pieces by Keith Mahy?

Garry Nash said this handle was a Mahy trademark 19cm h
In June last year I wrote about the death on 14 June 2013 of Keith Mahy, one of the pioneers of glass in New Zealand One of my considerable regrets is that although Keith lived and worked so close to me in Northland, I never got to interview him about his life and work. I spoke to him about my intention several times and he responded willingly, but I never got round to it.
Sadly now broken, this handle was the identifier too

Again the handle form is distinctive 13cm h
One of the things I intended to do in that interview was to show Keith a number of pieces in my collection that I believe to be his, seeking confirmation that they are Mahy pieces. Keith seldom signed his work, and certainly in the early period I don't think he signed anything. So identifying his work is problematical. Some times a former owner will attribute a piece to Keith, sometimes other glass artists have recognised a piece as being made by Keith, but often I have made a (more or less well-) informed guess, based on design, glass colour and quality, and ultimately, 'gut feel'. It's not a very good way to identify pieces, but it is usually all I have. 
The TradeMe vendor said Keith made this pair of beer mugs
Mugs 12.5cm h left, 15.5 right

Bottle 28cm h, vase 13cm dia
I believe the pieces shown here were all made by Keith in the 1970s or early 1980s. But my purpose is to seek feedback from others who may know. Please let me know if you think Keith did not make a piece (or if you can confirm that he did, better still!). And for those of you who may use my blogs to help develop your own collections, 'caveat emptor et lector' - buyer and reader beware! 

The same vendor said these two were also by Keith

25cm h

23cm h

As I see more pieces, my confidence grows, but equally, the risk of making a mistake grows too! These two bottles 'feel' like Keith Mahy pieces, but are they?

And then, if those are Keith's, what about these?

22cm h

23cm h
21.5cm h
28.5cm h
14.5cm h

21cm h

Sam Halstead, Mt Eden stained glass maker in the 1980s sent me this photo of a Mahy piece he has, which he thought he bought in the early 1980s. That made me more confident about the brown one above.
9cm diam
A neighbour of Keith's in Pahi bought the piece at right from him in the 1970s, which gives me confidence the piece at left is by him too.
And lastly, of course, there can be no doubt about these, though Keith was the designer rather than the maker of these Crown Crystal glass pieces

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