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One that got away


I’m going to propose a law — let’s call it Weasel’s Law — which states that the very first time you look for something on eBay, you will find a splendid example of that thing, better than any subsequent example you will see, even if you look and look. And the Corollary: it will go for reasonable money and, like an idiot, you won’t buy it.

When I was grinding up old watercolors over the weekend, I got to wondering how much mullers were going for on eBay, and I found this beautiful little object. It is a tiny Georgian hand blown blue glass muller, about three inches high. In the days of powdered wigs and beauty spots, it was used to prepare makeup at m’lady’s dressing table.

Here’s the description from the seller:

This little glass muller is two and three-eighths inches high and the base is just under two inches in diameter.

It was hand blown from Bristol Blue-Glass and dates from 1700s England. The dead-flat base is honed to create friction during the grinding, and the top where the pontil was is simple cut off and polished.

Some types of pan make-up were made in the household of the lady who wore it, and the ingredients (often containing white lead!) would be put onto a small glass or marble sheet. The muller would be placed on the ingredients and spread with downward pressure and circular movements until it formed a fine paste with the base medium, which was some type of fat. The make-up could then be applied immediately.

This would go nicely with the patch-stand already in your collection!

Yes, you may see it in color. Isn’t it a pip?

When I first spotted it, the price was hovering around £14. Later, though, someone must have put in a pretty high bid, because every time I upped mine his automagically topped it. In the end, I let it go for £27. I just couldn’t see paying so much for a tiny, precious object I’d be terrified to use. Even though it’s less than most brand new ones.

Okay, that’s enough art sperging for one week. Tomorrow, we have Dead Pool Round Whatever. Back here, 6 sharp, getcher favorite soon-to-be stiff!

I leave you with this picture of Cornellisen’s painting grinding room back in the day:


September 7, 2017 — 9:17 pm
Comments: 28