N.B. Glass Works Perth

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery

Our subject specimen is referenced as the “N. B. Glass Works Perth” target ball. We have a number of related examples in the museum. See the museum examples of N. B. Glass Works Perth feather-filled balls.

This specific example is not filled with feathers and was blown in a very deep cobalt blue glass in a 3-piece mold. It has an embossed quilted diamond pattern above and below a center band that contains the embossed copy ‘N. B. GLASS WORKS PERTH.’ The copy occurs twice. The 2-5/8″ diameter ball has a rough sheared mouth. With this mold, there is a backward “S” in “GLASS” and “WORKS” and an upside-down “P” in “PERTH.”

The “N. B. Glass Works Perth” is the most common of the English target balls. There are a few variants including one with a small flat base that is relatively common and another uncommon variant that has smaller lettering. 

The “N. B. Glass Works Perth” target balls were made by John Moncrieff who was born in 1834 in Cherrybank, Perth, Scotland. Moncrieff was 13 years old when he started working at the Perth Ink Works in 1847, which was owned by John Todd & Co. In 1855, at the age of 21, he was appointed manager of the glassworks, where he remained until John Todd’s death in 1865.

John Moncrieff proved to be a very practical man taking on the job of building furnaces and experimenting with the glass being produced. Following the death of John Todd, Moncrieff established his glassworks in 1865 initially naming it the North British Glass and Ink Works. He opened for business in 1868 at 189 South Street, Perth, Scotland.

Moncrieff was a prolific producer of glass for the target balls used in shotgun competitions. It is not known when Moncrieff’s started to make these balls, but an article in the ‘Hundred Years Ago’ section of the Perthshire Advertiser, February 1st, 1982, states, “The annual glass ball shooting competition took place at Harrietfield, near Perth, on Saturday.” Consequently, it is likely that the balls were being supplied by Moncrieff in 1882.

Primary Image: N. B. Glass Works Perth target ball imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support Primary Image: Auction Lot 728: “N.B. GLASS WORKS PERTH – N.B. GLASS WORKS PERTH” Target Ball, England, 1875 – 1900. Vivid, very deep cobalt blue, quilted diamond pattern above and below center band, 3-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. Note, mold with backwards “S” in “GLASS” and “WORKS”; upside-down “P” in “PERTH”. “N.B.” stands for New British. – The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019, John Pastor and American Glass Gallery

Support: John Moncrieff Ltd. also John Moncrieff’s North British Glassworks by Frank Andrews & Mary Houston-Lambert

Support: Reference to American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

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