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Watson leadlight window

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Watson leadlight window

This window and frame is a fine example of the so-called ‘Watson’ window that was used to divide the dining room from the drawing room in the more elaborate late 19th Century villas in Adelaide, South Australia.

The whole window panel was counterbalanced and moved up as a giant window to open the space between two rooms or when it was pulled down the rooms became separated.

The three leadlight panels were made by Heinrich Ludwig Vosz (1812-1886), the pre-eminent Adelaide lead-lighter who produced a wide range of fancy art nouveau glazing for the local domestic market.  He used subtle tones and shades in English muffle glass and his designs are characterised by floral motifs enclosed by geometric patterns and borders.  The glass panels are highly decorative, and interestingly they appear as different colours in different amounts of light (in low light the colours deepen and soften).

The glass and lead canes are all original.  There is a small amount of damage to the clear glass in the central panel and one or two other minor cracks.  The glass shows the signature of H L Vosz.  The joinery work is American sugar pine.  The original rollers in the frames are still attached as are part of the lifting cables.

Vosz died of old age at North Terrace, Adelaide, on 10 March 1886 and was buried in West Terrace cemetery. His estate, sworn for probate at £73,947, was distributed among local charities, relatives in Germany and many former employees. His business, said to have been the first to manufacture paint in Australia (originally in a backyard workshop), became a limited liability company, H. L. Vosz Ltd, in 1904 and in 1915 changed its name to Clarkson Ltd.

The frame measures 2145  x 2160 x 38 mm deep.  The leadlight panels are 1155 x 610 mm and the wooden panels are 550 x 470 mm.
 
Provenance - The panel is ‘as found’, in the attic space of a Kensington villa and the dust and cobwebs still remain!




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