Monday 20 November 2017. Domestic Glass; Stourbridge and the Golden Age of English Glass with Caroline MacDonald-Haig

This will be an historical overview 1830 – 1914.

19th cent. Left. The Wonder claret jug 1830. Hawkes of Dudley. Right. ‘Silveria’ glass by Stevens and Williams c. 1900

The Victorian era is often called the Golden Age of British Glass. Huge quantities in the widest range of quality and style were made and exported worldwide.

Two fine pieces of glass exhibited in the early 1900s designed by Harry James Powell. Left, goblet in blue glass trailed with pale green chain decoration inspired by Roman examples; the knop has gold foil inclusions and the foot shows subtle optic moulding. Right, silver mounted claret jug.

There will be three sessions: two in the morning, one after lunch.
The approximate schedule is as follows

09:30: Coffee/tea

10:00 Session one: We will look at the three great Stourbridge manufacturers, the Richardson Brothers. Thomas Webb and Stevens and Williams and their influence. 

11:00: short break

11:10 Session two:  Some pressed glass manufacturers from other glass making centres and the supreme achievement of the Arts and Crafts pieces produced by James Powell and Sons at the Whitefriars Glasshouse in London.

12:10: Buffet lunch

13:00 Session three:  Hands on.  Looking at glass owned by members.  Ideally, bring pieces which may fit the time period. During this period enormous quantities of glass were made, some fine, some quirky, all of interest:  the more distinctive, the easier it is to identify. Decanters, wine glasses, bowls, jugs, dishes, luminaria, novelties: nothing is so insignificant as not to be of interest! Please search the back of your cupboards: the more pieces the better.    No valuations will be made. Please note:  due to time constraints it may not be possible to comment on every item of glass brought in by members.

Price: £35 per person. Tickets will go on sale from Tues Sept 5.

Book list:

English Glass by R. J. Charleston. Published by George Allen & Unwin 1984. ISBN 0-04-7480033.

British Glass 1800 – 1914. Charles R. Hajdamach. Published by Antique Collectors’ Club. ISBN 1 85149 1411

Miller’s Antique Checklist: Glass. By Mark West. ISBN 185732 2711

The Decanter: An Illustrated History of Glass from 1600.  Andy McConnell. Published by Antique Collectors’ Club. ISBN 1 85149 428 6

The Golden Age of English Glass 1650 – 1775. By Dwight P Lammon. Published by Antique Collectors’ Club 2011. ISBN 978185149563


Caroline MacDonald-Haig started her career writing about design and the decorative arts. Following an interview  with design genius Terence Conran, he offered her a job at Habitat, then based in Covent Garden, as merchandise assistant and copywriting and editing Habitat Catalogues.

Later she was awarded a scholarship to study the History of Art and began lecturing, firstly for the Workers Education Authority and then NADFAS.  Her interest in the decorative arts goes to back to childhood. In particular she is fascinated by the social history surrounding any and every object.  The history of glassmaking in England is a marvellous medium for this story telling; it reflects the rise of Polite Society in the 18th century, and the astonishing abundance of objects produced during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and which were sold all over the world.  Caroline is also a London Blue Badge Guide and often hosts The Arts Societies on visits to London.

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