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Author Topic: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal  (Read 1708 times)

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Offline Pinkspoons

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Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« on: October 01, 2009, 12:58:14 PM »
A recent acquisition, more interesting for its provenance than its execution (IMHO).

A small commemorative 'medal' of pressed glass, moulded on the verso with the occasion and the Queen's monogram moulded on the front, it was designed by Helen Turner (Mrs.), glass artist, head of glass design at Edinburgh College of Art during the 1960s and 1970s, cold-technique tutor to Sam Herman, and seemingly very vocal proponant of better glass design education in Britian.

The inscription inside the original box states that it was produced at "one of the group's factories" - because of the vagueness, I'm assuming it wasn't St. Helen's. If not, does anybody have any idea where?

Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 02:34:21 PM »
Chance might be a good bet. Might be worth an email to David. St Helens was sheet glass.

Offline Pinkspoons

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 02:57:15 PM »
Ta. I did wonder about Chance, but wasn't sure what other works came under the Pilkington banner. I'll give David a nudge.

I'm assuming it wasn't St. Helen's. If not, does anybody have any idea where?

Argh, grocers' apostrophe!

Offline Frank

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 03:51:22 PM »
It was not uncommon to go to a completely different company to make such items - more likely to have been made by a company specialising in short-run items.
Frank A.
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Offline David E

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 08:15:32 PM »
I do have one of these myself, and they do appear fairly often on eBay. As my medallion comes in a very tatty box, and without the paperwork, I was very interesting to learn that Helen Turner designed it. Thanks for that.

As for the origin, it could very well have been pressed at Chance - by far the best bet. Other factories owned by Pilks was Triplex (taken over in 1964) and I think Hartley-Wood? Need to check my own scribblings...

Frank: I think, given the number that are circulating, it was a mass-produced item and probably Chance - besides, Chance did do some very short commemorative runs for special occasions. The edges on mine are as rough as a bear's bum incidentally.

I'll ask Ray Drury and Tony Cartwright to see if they can shed some light on it.
David
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Offline Pinkspoons

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 08:41:26 PM »
Thanks for that, David.

I'm not sure if the packaging with mine is original, as underneath the glued-down red velvet is a solid chunk of wood with a recess for the medal to sit in. Seems very odd packaging for something so incidental, when clearly cardboard would suffice. But, by the same logic, who would go to the effort to fashion it at home?

But it fits snuggly in the box and does the job!

Offline David E

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 09:07:34 PM »
That sounds like the right box - mine is also wood, covered in a paper, with a red velvet lining. These were given out (to the workers?) as presentation items to commemorate the Queen's visit to the factory, which may explain the substantial box.
David
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Offline Pinkspoons

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 09:24:41 PM »
With mine, the box itself is cardboard - just the velvet-covered inset to hold the medal is wood. Perhaps yours was given to someone a little more important originally!  ;D

According to the inscription attached to the inside lid of my box, they were given out to employees and pensioners - seemingly some more necessary to impress more than others.

Offline David E

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2009, 10:12:40 AM »
My box is very tatty and the paper covering is in a bad state and no lid.

I got a reply from Ray and Tony: neither can tell me for certain if it was a Chance product, but both remember receiving the medal. However, as it was made within the Pilks Group (one assumes then it was not made by Pilks themselves), it could simply be a process of elimination to determine which of the companies it was. I think we can also eliminate overseas branches.

Another point is that there may have been no more than 10,000 made if it was purely for employees/pensioners within the group?

To further quote Ray: "I believe that Chance Bros were the only part of the group liable to have made this item but I don't remember them being made..."
David
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Offline Anne

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Re: Helen Turner for Pilkington Bros. - Royal Commemorative Medal
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 03:10:33 PM »
Pilkington's World of Glass Online Museum shows details of two of these, listings state "Place of Manufacture: St Helens"

http://museum.worldofglass.com/displayitem.asp?accessionid=SAHMG.1997.071.0002
http://museum.worldofglass.com/displayitem.asp?accessionid=SAHMG.1993.065

 

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