Author Topic: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses - ID = Whitefriars C438 Sherry Set  (Read 4076 times)

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Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 03:18:54 PM »
JP — Profuse thanks for your post, suggesting Whitefriars.   You've saved me a lot of work, as, as you had probably realised, Stevens & Williams seemed the most likely candidate, with others coming before Whitefriars in my list of possibilities.

It's proved quite interesting working it out, hence the delay.   I've had to look at how drinks services were marketed, not just by Whitefriars, but by other British manufacturers, and then at their terminology.   Besides the amazing collection of Whitefriars catalogues online at www.whitefriars.com, the best resources I've had available to me relate to John Walsh Walsh and to Stevens & Williams.

What is interesting (and obvious, once you think about it) is that the trade catalogues took the same approach — not surprising, really, as they were mainly selling to the same trade buyers.   No drinks service was illustrated in its entirety, but most illustrated a few sets in some detail, usually a full range of glasses, together with a wine decanter, and sometimes a whisky bottle/decanter and/or a handled claret.   Price lists and factory pattern books are more comprehensive, showing a wider range of decanters, including liqueurs, spirits and sherries.   You generally find a revealing note somewhere in a price list, like this from Stevens & Williams:
  • Any other Articles to match at proportionate prices.
— indicating that they almost expected additional items to be ordered.


So, what is this set?   As JP said the glasses are Whitefriars.   Actually sherries in pattern C438, shown in catalogues 1957–1974.   In the last two catalogues, 1972 and 1974, the pattern is named GARLAND.   The pattern continued up to the end in 1980, but only as a sugar and cream set.

Whitefriars catalogues illustrate only the wine decanter in this pattern, see the 1966 page for example.   Sherry decanters are infrequently shown by any manufacturer, but the few shown are quite light in design.   I was fortunate to happen across this page in the 1957 catalogue, showing three Sherry Sets, all quite light, one showing a foot and a hollow stopper as here.   Note the Whitefriars terminology — not Sherry Suite, nor Sherry Service.

So, in conclusion, it's a Whitefriars C438 GARLAND Sherry Set, 1957–74 catalogues, complete and undamaged, so probably quite unusual.

Grateful thanks to all who helped.   :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp: :hiclp:

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline johnphilip

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 04:13:09 PM »
Hi Bernard glad i could help i had no doubt about them all along but didnt want to appear pushy , i have several sets  starting with hocks going right thru the range  down to tots , and about six decanters last time i looked . Dont forget i live in Whitefriars land and know all the guys that worked there .Regards old clever clogs . :cry: :cheers:


Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 07:51:29 AM »
...   Dont forget i live in Whitefriars land and know all the guys that worked there   ...

JP — Thanks for letting me know that I got it right!   Did this topic produce anything that you had not considered before?

I would be grateful if you would ask those who worked there how that bell/trumpet foot was made and let us know.

See you at Cambridge on Sunday.

Regards, Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline johnphilip

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 09:19:42 AM »
Nashy will be with me at Cambridge he was a glassmaker there so i will introduce you . watch your Ps&Qs he is a man mountain . :thup: Terry&Peggy have a lovely set of large wines  made by one of the boys from an upterned bell mould i believe all hand cut and polished  probably a one off they are FAB U LOUS . :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Offline Patrick

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 01:59:47 PM »
Hi,
 Interesting to see that the Stopper appears to be UNCUT................

Regards, Patrick.


Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2010, 05:37:46 PM »
Patrick — Yes, it's not cut.   Cutting would have spoiled that beautifully elegant hollow stopper, quite unlike the narrower solid stopper supplied with the wine decanter.   Of course, once the stopper was left uncut, the cut decoration we see on the wine decanter around the neck together with the base star would have been unbalanced applied to this sherry decanter, so all that decoration was left off.

The outcome is a much better match to the glasses.

I have to admit that had I been offered a C438 wine set, I probably wouldn't have bought it as I try to avoid being taken for a ride by mix 'n match merchants.   Now that I know that it's not a particularly good match I shall look out for it!

I wonder what C438 spirits and liqueur decanters look like, and whether other blanks were also used for wine and sherry.

Regards,

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2010, 02:58:16 PM »
Following some scepticism by whitefriars dot com member Richard Caethoven, I went back through my material on this topic and re-examined the set, and have come up with some new points.

I think it worth reiterating that I rarely buy decanters or decanter sets, and I bought this one recently off an impeccable source, a local general dealer who I've known quite well for about a decade, sourcing from charity shops, car boots, house clearances and the occasional local auction.   Neither of us knew what it was, save that it was reasonably good quality, complete and undamaged.

Following Richard's comment I spent some time examining the set under a glass.   The lovely striations that you find on the cut surfaces are a perfect match as I expected.   That was all I found.   Then I noticed something else.  There is a delightful idiosyncrasy about the interpretation of the pattern by the cutter.   And this is constant, on all of the glasses and on the decanter, proving that they were cut by the same expert hand.   Those who know me know that I am used to recognising such idiosyncrasies — see, for example, topic Recognising unnamed glassmakers from only two weeks ago.

...   What is interesting (and obvious, once you think about it) is that the trade catalogues took the same approach — not surprising, really, as they were mainly selling to the same trade buyers.   No drinks service was illustrated in its entirety, but most illustrated a few sets in some detail, usually a full range of glasses, together with a wine decanter, and sometimes a whisky bottle/decanter and/or a handled claret.   Price lists and factory pattern books are more comprehensive, showing a wider range of decanters, including liqueurs, spirits and sherries.   You generally find a revealing note somewhere in a price list, like this from Stevens & Williams:
  • Any other Articles to match at proportionate prices.
— indicating that they almost expected additional items to be ordered.   ...

I've always assumed that the reason for the lack of decanter illustrations in trade catalogues was to minimise printing costs.   The 1957 Whitefriars Sherry Sets page shows a huge variety in these decanters.   It could well be that my assumption was wrong and that the reason they were omitted was simply that the big trade buyers might have had their own very individual ideas about what shape a whisky or a sherry decanter should be, so detailing this in a trade catalogue would have inevitably caused aggravation to some of these buyers.   So not illustrating them would have been the best marketing approach, with the salesman showing them a range of blanks instead from which they could choose.

Does Andy McConnell discuss this in his recent book?

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2010, 08:28:44 AM »
...   the big trade buyers might have had their own very individual ideas about what shape a whisky or a sherry decanter should be   ...

I showed this set to Ray Annenberg on Sunday February 28 at the Cambridge Glass Fair, and he kindly confirmed that this set was Whitefriars.   Re the decanter he recalled that in the early years there were a lot of specials, but that in later years Whitefriars tried to standardise on a single design with the cut stopper and neck [Ray's exact words].   So the above speculation about the trade buyers' preferences doesn't seem too far from reality.   Ray prefers a 1960s date for this particular C438 Sherry Set.

Grateful thanks.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Bernard C

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Re: British? 1 + 6 cut decanter + glasses set
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2011, 02:17:06 PM »
...   Does Andy McConnell discuss this in his recent book?   ...

Andy — Apologies.   Not recent.   Full reference:

  • Andy McConnell, The Decanter: An Illustrated History 1650-1950, Antique Collectors' Club, 1999.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


 

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