Anne E.B recently posted about a âMonster Bowlâ she had bought, and requested more information. Whilst flipping through an old edition of The Glass Circle News
, I came across a photo of Anneâs bowl taken from a recently discovered sales ledger:http://tinypic.com/ajusew.jpg
Anne's bowl, right way uphttp://tinypic.com/ajs4lt.jpg
Anne's bowl 'upside down plinth'http://tinypic.com/dbk22d.jpg
Photo of 'Century Glass' Mould 450**
The article was about a previously unknown glassworks based in Edmonton, London, known as Century Glass. Glen and Anne (the 'other' Anne...
)expressed an interest in this article by Nicholas Dolan, which I am using as the basis for my posting:
âThe discovery of a hitherto unrecognised glassworks resulted from the donation of a sales ledger to Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead. Numbered 401, it appeared to be the third in a series of ledgers and was labelled âCENTURY GLASSâ on the spine. This was identified from the Pottery Gazette Reference Book of 1956, as being the trade name of Century Glassworks Ltd, based at the Angel Factory Colony, Angel Road, Edmonton, London (now part of the A406 North Circular Road).
Their products are listed as Pressed Glassware â biscuit jars, ashtrays, candlesticks, celeries, cigarette boxes, comports, condiments sets, cups and saucers, fruit sets, grapefruits, hotel ware, lemon squeezers, mounting glass, novelties, plates, rose (bowls), salad bowls, salad servers, sundae glasses, trinket sets, tumblers, vases, water sets, hors dâoeuvres sets, sugars and creams, baskets, jardiniĂ¨res, etc. The ledger contains 59 different pattern names, most evocative of the era â place names, the Festival of Britain etc. as well as those descriptive of the patterns. In fact, their utilitarian products were so all pervading that many houses will still have examples in their cupboards today.
The Angel Factory Colony was established in 1920/21 but it is unlikely that the glassworks was formed there before 1941. The site was redeveloped in the 1980âs as a supermarket complex. The ledger spans from 16th April 1945 for celery vases and bowls, to 25th April 1953 for a fancy dish.
None of the glass seems to have been marked, although there is one Application for a Registered Design mould number 41: âToy set. Coffee set. Filed under No. 843996 11/7/45 through G.R. Walsh & Co. Crosby St. Halifax. Circle print, Sugar basin 8gr. Pr small chest. 8 body moulds. 8 bottoms. 6 plungers. 6 ringsâ.
The majority of the patterns illustrated are typical honest designs â chunky diamonds, crosses, ovals and circles on timeless shapes for an era needing salts, mustards, bowls, candlesticks, trinket sets and vases doubling up as celeries to avoid the luxury tax. Familiar items from the ledger were illustrated. Notable are a bowl with dolphin-shaped handles (mould 417, 15th Feb. 1950, supplied to Schwartz), a stepped square plinth that, upside down, could be used as a bowl (**
mould 450, 16th Sept. 1950) and an ashtray for the Pipesmoker with a shaped hollow to hold the bowl of the pipe (mould 504, 29th May 1951)'.
Iâm sure Anne E.B. will be cheered to know that she wasnât far wrong in using the stepped plinth in the âupside downâ position. With thanks to: Mr Nicholas Dolan, Author of article âCentury
Glass', pages 16/17, No.103, Glass Circle News.
Dr D Watts, Glass Circle News Editor & Hon. Vice President
Also thanks to: Shipley Art Gallery, GatesheadThe above work is not a direct quote, but has been altered slightly by myself for the Glass Message Board. M Kimber