What's for sale?
This is a early to mid 20th century soda siphon from the Flemish city of Ghent, in Belgium.
Unusually, it was made in pale green uranium glass, also known as Vaseline glass. Other noticeable features are the separate foot and the writhen, or twisted, ribbed body.
The front panel has a large, etched design with the Ghent coat of arms in the centre, flanked by what could be a pair of poppies. Above is written "D.PROVOOST", beneath is "MEULESTEDE. GENT" and then in tiny letters "SPIES. FAGARO. BRUXELLES". Meulestede is an area of Ghent, (Gent as spelled in the native Dutch).
The metal cap is engraved with "MERLE BLANC GILLY" and the maker's quality mark "ÉTAIN TITRE GARANTI RENAUD PARIS". Merle blanc is French for an albino blackbird and could refer to a hotel or restaurant, so is probably non-original.
Uranium glass glows under bright light which is a safe chemical (not radioactive) process. It is particularly noticeable under UV light, as shown in one of our pictures. To make it, very small quantities of uranium powder was added to the glass mix. It's a practice which fell out of favour during the 1950s.
There is the usual calcification inside, and it can't really be cleaned any further. The glass siphon tube is present and appears undamaged, but it will be difficult to remove the top.
Siphons were used globally in cafes, bars and hotels throughout the 20th century. They were designed to be reusable and tended to have a very hard life.
They were made in very large numbers, but branded in far more limited numbers to carry the supplier's or customer's branding.
What condition is it in?
- In fair condition
- The glass has scratches all over
- The top is pitted and corroded
- The base has a large chunk missing on one side and there are several smaller chips and scrapes on other parts of the base
- The trigger works
- The top can not be removed easily
- The glass siphon tube inside appears undamaged
- There is a lot of calcification on the inside of the base
What are the measurements?
- 30cm high (12 inches)
- 9.5cm diameter (3.75 inches)
- 1460 grams
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