Museum buys the Mark Hill Collection of Mdina and IOWSG

15 Mar 2016 22:38
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Mark Hill

The museum is pleased to announce that its has purchased the Mark Hill Collection of Mdina glass and Isle of Wight Studio Glass, one of the most important private collections of glass made by Michael Harris. The collection distinguishes itself not by its size but by its quality. It contains some astonishing and unique pieces, many of which are illustrated in Mark's well known book on Michael Harris.

The collection includes a Mdina Crizzle Stone. It is "one of the best I have seen," says Mark.

Other Mdina highlights are a unique sculpture signed by Michael Harris with his name (see page 34 of Mark's book); a huge onion vase signed by Michael Harris with his name (page 49); a small, unique, early and almost certainly experimental cylindrical bottle; an experimental Side Stripe vase (page 43); and a very rare small Tricorn bowl, of which Mark says "I’ve only ever seen two of these, this being one."

In total there are 19 Mdina pieces.

The Isle of Wight Studio Glass collection is equally exciting. It includes the only Azurene bowl ever made (see page 84 of Mark's book). William Walker, the co-designer of Azurene with Michael Harris, confirmed he made it. William visited the museum today. Other highlights include a Jazz trial (page 68); a super-rare paperweight with silver insect (page 91); and a Pink Azurene fish vase signed by Michael Harris (page 63).

In total there are 26 Isle of Wight Studio Glass pieces.

Perhaps to top it all is a small bowl signed "Michael Harris RCA 1967," which Mark kindly lent to the museum. To find anything signed by Michael Harris when he was at the Royal College of Art in London is astonishingly rare.

The whole collection went into the museum cabinets today. Mark kindly delivered the glass personally.

So why no pictures of the glass with this story? Some are in Mark's book, as said above. For the rest you will have to come to the museum. It's worth it, I promise!

by Anton Doroszenko, Museum Director

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