Collecting Articles and Features

Monart Glass Scotland’s Majestic Art Glass

Monart Glass was produced at the Moncrieff’s North British Glassworks by John Moncrieff Ltd, Perth, Scotland from 1924-1961. The design works was headed by Salvador Ysart, a Spanish glassworker, and his four sons (Paul, Vincent, Augustine, and Antoine). Monart Glass is recognisable for its mottled and marbled colour patterns and its distinctive iridising of the white decoration in its earlier pieces.

monart glass pumice effect glass vase
JOHN MONCRIEFF LTD., PERTH RARE ‘MONART’ ‘PUMICE EFFECT’ GLASS VASE, CIRCA 1930 of circular baluster form, with milky off-white interior, surface decorated in blue/green and with some iridescence. Sold for £550 at Lyon & Turnbull, April 2020.

Salvador Ysart was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1878. He apprenticed as a glassblower in Barcelona and later moved to France in 1909, influenced by Emile Gallé’s School of Nancy, to work in various glass factories which included the Schneider Art Glass factory (founded by Charles and Ernest Schneider). In 1915 he moved to Scotland with his family where he was recruited to teach glassblowing at Leith Flint Glassworks in Edinburgh. In 1922 he moved to the Moncrieff glassworks in Perth, initially to make laboratory glassware with his eldest son Paul.

Isobel Moncrieff, wife of John Moncrieff, saw a vase made by Salvador at the factory and he realised its commercial potential. A new range of decorative glasswares was developed in 1923 and eventually released in 1924 under the brand “Monart Ware”. The Monart was from the name MONcrieff and YsART. The range to include vases, bowls, lampshades, candlesticks, scent bottles, ashtrays and paperweights and became to be sold in London by Liberty’s as well as being exported to Australia and North America including at Tiffany & Co.

A rare and early Monart red and millefiori glass vase c1924 by Salvador Ysart
A rare and early Monart red and millefiori glass vase, c.1924, shape A, colour code 4, the mottled red ground with scattered canes by Salvador Ysart. Sold for £3,000 at Gorringes, December 2015.

Monart became especially well known for their range of table lamps and ceiling shades became an important part of production. The Monart lamps are among the most valuable of the all the Monart ranges. The designs of some of the lamps reflecting Salvador’s earlier training with Schneider as well as the influence of Daum and Gallé. The Monart Ware Lighting Pattern Book recorded thirty-four bases and twenty-seven shades, some available in at least three different sizes.

JOHN MONCRIEFF LTD., PERTH RARE 'MONART' CAMEO GLASS LAMP, CIRCA 1930
JOHN MONCRIEFF LTD., PERTH RARE ‘MONART’ CAMEO GLASS LAMP, CIRCA 1930 the domed shade above a baluster shaped body, the mottled orange glass overlaid with green and brown glass and acid etched with a frieze of trees. Sold for £1,700 at Lyon & Turnbull, November 2020.

Production of art glass at Moncrieff’s ceased during World War II. After the war, Moncrieff’s were reluctant to continue producing art glass, so in 1947, Salvador, with his younger sons Vincent and Augustine, set up Vasart Glass. Paul Ysart stayed on at Moncreiff’s and Monart glass production was restarted in 1947, then continued for another 14 years, but on a much smaller scale than before the War. The colours were also paler after 1945 because fashion tastes had changed and also it was difficult to obtain the bold pre-war colours.

Paul Ysart, Monart vase with flowers paperweight on a black ground, Monart vase with aventurine splashes
Paul Ysart, Monart vase with flowers paperweight on a black ground, Monart vase with aventurine splashes. Sold for £1,100 at Kinghams Auctioneers, October 2020.

During this time Paul Ysart developed line of paperweights at Monart which have become highly collectables. In fact Paul has is recognised as one the fathers of the Scottish fame in paperweights. He later designed paperweights for Caithness Glass.

Production finally ended in 1961 but the legacy of Monart Glass and the Ysart infleunce continues today.

Related
Monart Glass – from The Glass Encyclopedia
Monart Glass information and Antique Ethos