History and invention of Whitefriars Glass

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young & Mawer Auctioneers & Valuers
Featured in:
January 2016

The history of Whitefriars Glass goes back a long way and shows the company was always adapting to new techniques and designs.
Records show that the company was producing glass from the early eighteenth century. From the early nineteenth century the factory was owned by James Powell. At that time the company specialised in the production of stained glass windows, reacting to the increased demand during the Victorian period of church building when they invented and refined many of the manufacturing processes.

The company continued to flourish through the Victorian period and by the 1930s had moved to a new factory. Production was divided between domestic and industrial uses, although during the Second World War domestic production was reduced considerably.

From the 1960s the company was influenced by North Continental design and a range of thick moulded designs were produced for the decorative market.

The Textured and Studio ranges captured the style of the period, with designs such as Drunken Bricklayers, Television and Banjo vases produced in bold tangerine, cinnamon, indigo and deep blue colours.

These modern and contemporary designs are today what the company is possibly best remembered for. Easily identifiable by design and colour they appeal to collectors around the world.

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