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.
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.
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.
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.
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.