Author Topic: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?  (Read 960 times)

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Offline agincourt17

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This pedestal bowl was listed recently on eBay as a Percival Vickers stemmed bowl with indistinct lozenge (but thought to be about 1864/5).

I was intrigued as, although there were similarities to some of the Manchester glass registrations of that period (type of stem, frosting, star decoration), nothing quite fitted the bill for any of the known Manchester registrations. So – last of the big spenders – I acquired it for the grand sum of £2.20.

It stands 14.5cm tall, with a top rim diameter of 13.5cm. The bowl is frosted and the rim scalloped. The bowl is decorated with three horizontal rows of impressed, graduated, 8-pointed stars. The baluster stem and circular foot are clear, and the underside of the foot has an impressed 36-point star pattern. Registration lozenge off-centre from the polished bowl interior. The quality of the pressing is excellent, and the bowl has an a nice ‘ring’ when struck.

To me the lozenge reads:

Class III (looks like lower case ‘m instead of the standard ‘III’); year N (but written backwards) – for 1864; day 11 (looks like lower case ‘n’); parcel 11 (looks like lower case ‘n’); month C – for January.

If my interpretation of this rather strange lozenge is correct, then the only registration on 11 January 1864 was for RD 170914; the  registrant the The Tutbury Glass Company, Tutbury, Staffordshire and London, and the registered parcel number is 11 (as expected).

This appears to be the first design registration for the Tutbury Glass Company. Their next 3 registrations from were a batch on February 28 1868 (RDs 217107-9). I can’t see any more ‘lozenge’ registrations, and I haven’t checked the 1884+ registration numbers.

A continuous presence in the glassmaking industry had existed in Tutbury since at
least 1810 with the establishment of works on the Ludgate Street and Burton Street
site. The earliest history of the site was associated with a glass cutting works - glass vessels were produced offsite in Birmingham and imported to be cut, patterned and finished, but by 1839-40, the site was making own glass. The Tutbury Glass Co., principally manufactured cut-glass, until 1880. By 1884 the business had been bought and reopened by Sir Tonman Mosley of Rolleston Hall, who retained the company name. The company at this time was predominantly involved in the production of jugs, tumblers and measures for the Burton brewery houses. In 1894 the works was leased to theTutbury Glass Co. Ltd., and in 1906 the lease was taken over by Thomas Webb &Corbett Ltd. of Wordsley, in Kingswinford, which bought the works in 1920.

Presuming that the piece is indeed by the Tutbury Glass Company, it’s the first I have seen, and probably the earliest definitively documented design from the glassworks.

Were there any other shapes bearing this [1864] lozenge?

Does anyone have images of any (or all) of the 1868 TGC registered designs to share?

Are there any other known pressed glass pieces attributed to the TGC?




Offline David E

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 08:26:21 AM »
'Tis certainly a strange one!

It does happen that the mouldmaker might have forgotten to inscribe some letters in mirror image. The information I have on Tutbury is that it was founded in the 1830s and the works were sold in 1880 so it certainly fits within the time period.

However, it does mention that only one design was registered and that was in 1864 for "a suite of table glass with multiple star pattern."  :)

Source: English 19th C Press-Moulded Glass, Colin R Lattimore
(only just bought, but quite a good book!)
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book


Offline agincourt17

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 11:23:56 AM »
Thank you for the Lattimore reference  to the 1864 suite.

The 1868 registrations bundle is in Slack (English Pressed Glass 1830-1900) and in Jenny Thompson 1(Identification of English Pressed Glass 1842-1908).


Offline tutburymuseum

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 10:09:30 AM »
Hello Agincourt17

We have a small museum in Tutbury, run on a voluntary basis, and at present have a project to try and put together a documentary archive on the 200 year history of glass-making in the village. Our presently available evidence on the 19th century business is pretty thin. Your posting last October has just come to our attention and is obviously of interest.  Can I add a bit more context, which might be relevant to the identification of the bowl you purchased:

The Tutbury Glass Company was started c1810 by a local man, Henry Jackson.  Jackson died in 1849, and the business continued in the ownership of his wife and daughters for the next thirty years, but was run by a series of managers brought in from outside, mainly from the Stourbridge area.  The most notable of these was John Thomas Haden Richardson, of the Richardson glass-making dynasty in Stourbridge.  He came to Tutbury in 1863 as "managing partner" and appears to have been in charge of the factory through that decade (before setting up on his own account in the early 1870's in the neighbouring hamlet of Hatton as the Royal Castle Glass Works).

So the 1864 dating on the bowl design coincides closely with Richardson's arrival in the firm, and I imagine the registration would have come from his initiative.  Do you you know if the design has any similarities to what was being produced by the Richardson firm in Stourbridge at the time?  We were not previously aware of any pressed glass manufactured by the Tutbury Glass Company (though in later years this was probably the case at the Royal Castle Glass Works).  Again, I wonder if the Stourbridge Richardsons were perhaps involved with pressed glass and JTHR brought the technique with him?

Kind regards
Tutbury Museum


Offline agincourt17

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 11:19:44 AM »
Thank you for your informative reply.

The Richardson registered design representations for the period 1847-1914 are shown on pages 259-265 of Mervyn Gulliver’s “ Victorian Decorative Glass – British Designs 1850-1914” (Schiffer Publishing Limited, USA, 2002; ISBN 0764315978). They are all for blown glass designs and seem to have little or no relationship to the design of my bowl.

The only Stourbridge glass works that produced pressed glass in a significant quantity was that of Joseph Webb of the Coalbourn Hill Glass works, who registered 15 designs between 1851 and 1885. Several of the Joseph Webb designs of the 1850s and 1860s were for pressed glass tableware, and were often part frosted, though they were very much in the general style of pressed glass tableware produced in Manchester by Molineaux, Webb & Co. and Percival, Vickers & Co. Ltd (who produced pieces with frosting and with clear star-decorations).

I will seek more information about the details of the 1864 and 1868 Tutbury design registrations (which should be the definitive source material) by adding them to the GMB RD look-up list.

If, indeed, the documentation indicates that my bowl is by the Tutbury Glass Company, then I will gladly donate it to the Museum (and will email you direct through GMB in the event). I also have the link for the Tutbury Glassworks research project at
http://tutburymuseum.btck.co.uk/Articles

Thank you for bringing the Royal Castle Glass Works to my attention. I see that the Tutbury Museum has some examples of their cut glass (obviously very accomplished work, as might be expected from the company’s history and the links with the Stourbridge glass trade) – do you have any evidence for pressed glass production on the site? If so, I would really appreciate any details.

The Museum is within reasonable expedition distance of the mid-Wales borders, so I have a feeling that a visit to the Museum may well be on the cards in the not-too-distant future.

Fred.


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 12:07:59 PM »
I have to go out now, and if I've not read any of the foregoing I apologise for any errors........really rushing to get this onto the Board before I have to disappear.

I have taken the attached from my series of images relating to Kew's Board of Trade reference BT 43/61, which covers the period 1852 - 1870.............hope it is of some use  -  I can't see that I have any other images relating to 170914.       If you wish to discuss further I will be available this evening.           cheers, have to go :)


Offline agincourt17

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 04:05:57 PM »
Thank you, Paul.

I don't think there is any doubt that the design representation shows that the star ornamentation matches that on my bowl, and that the putative attribution of RD 170174 to the bowl can be changed to a positive ID.

I am away on holiday very shortly, but my bowl will be on its way to the Tutbury Museum (probably by courier, viz., me) as soon as feasible after my return.

I would be delighted if you had any information on the three Tutbury Glass Company registrations in the batch of February 28 1868 (RDs 217107-109), otherwise I will add them to the GMB RD look-up list in due course.

So, just the 37 pages of the 1884+ registrations to check in Thompson for Tutbury Glass Company then.....  Simples!

Fred.





Offline Paul S.

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 06:54:19 PM »
See the attached for 217107 - 109 .........can't now remember why this pic lacks wording - either it wasn't there or I've cropped the image too heavily.         However, would imagine any text would be the same as 170914  -  I can check when next I go to Kew, although unsure when that will be.

As for checking post 1884 for Tutbury - I get the feeling that Slack is a little easier on the eye..............Thompson's text appears visually more dense and more tiring on the eyes. :)

Have a good holiday, and don't buy too much glass. ;)


Offline agincourt17

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 07:21:25 PM »
Thank you again, Paul.

The registrations representations you've kindly provided are fine, and seem to be purely for the decorative ornamentation, (with no indication of any shapes) and at least it is now possible to compare the decoration on any putative Tutbury Glass Company pieces that come to light against the representations.

A trawl through Thompson hasn't produced any Tutbury registrations for 1884-1908, though I will repeat the exercise with Slack before finally abandoning all hope.

I think the chances of finding any more actual pieces of registered Tutbury pressed glass pieces are pretty remote, but probably still very much greater than winning a national Lottery jackpot, so here's hoping...

I look forward to seeing the Tutbury Museum's glass collection when I deliver my bowl to them.

Fred.


Offline tutburymuseum

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Re: Pressed glass bowl from Tutbury Glass Co., RD 170914, 11 January 1864?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 06:12:00 PM »
Dear agincourt 17
Many thanks for your further investigations and your very generous offer to donate your bowl to our Museum.  Thanks also to your fellow expert and enthusiast, Paul S.

A bit more background on our local industry might be of interest:

The Tutbury Glass Company flourished in the first half of the 19th century under Henry Jackson's entrepreneurship making, it would seem, decent quality cut hand-blown glass, which was marketed with aggressive pricing principally around the East Midlands cities of Nottingham, Derby and Leicester, as well as in London.  The second half of the century saw a separation of management and ownership (firstly under Jackson's widow and daughters, and then after a brief closure in 1880 in the hands of the local squirearchy, the Oswald Mosleys (forefathers of the later fascist leader).  I sense that the product range became more utilitarian in this period, probably with a captive market in the licensed trade network of the great brewing houses in nearby Burton (Bass, Ind Coope, Marstons, etc.).

Things moved on with the 1906 acquisition of the business by Thomas Webb & Corbett Ltd (later renamed Webb Corbett Ltd) of Stourbridge, which had been founded in 1897 by one branch of the Webb family.  Under the direction initially of George Harry Corbett, then Walter Guest and his son Paul. for the next sixty years the factory flourished again, making high quality cut crystal, marketed worldwide and gaining an international reputation.  It operated in tandem with the   Webb Corbett HQ site at Coalburnhill, Stourbridge.  The factory dominated our village in both physical and  employment terms, with over 200 employees at its peak, and was the main contributor to Webb Corbett Ltd's profitability.  As trade conditions worsened in the late 1960's, Webb Corbett Ltd was acquired by Royal Doulton.  The Tutbury factory was closed by Doulton in 1980, followed by Stourbridge some years later. However, two groups of local employees resurrected the Tutbury business in 1981/2, trading as Tutbury Crystal Glass Ltd and Georgian Crystal Ltd - both prospered for a while, but finally and sadly closed in 2006 and 2011 respectively.

As I said before, I wasn't aware that the Tutbury factory ever produced anything other than hand-blown glass, before your discovery (certainly not in its Webb Corbett days).  I will ask around some of the ex-employees to check that I am not mistaken.

As regards the nearby factory in Hatton, this was started in the 1860's initially by an ex Jackson glassmaker, William Alexander Sivewright (who had also been the National Secretary of the Trades Union, the Flint Glass Makers' Friendly Society), then taken forward by J T H Richardson as the Royal Castle Glass Works.  It appears to have flourished in the latter decades of the 19th century.  In 1880 they were advertising as "Manufacturers of all kinds of Flint, Emerald & Ruby Glass, Cut & Engraved, for Home and Export Trade".  The factory shut just after the turn of the century, but was restarted in 1910 by George Harry Corbett, who had broken away from Thomas Webb & Corbett Ltd, and set up on his own as Corbett & Co Ltd, taking many of the skilled employees with him, it would seem.  After considerable vicissitudes in the next ten years, the Hatton factory then closed again in the early 1920's.  It re-opened yet again after WW2 trading as Trent Valley Glassworks, running to 1983 - throughout this period, as I understand it, production was all semi-automated and pressed glass.

You may have sensed from my notes that our research project is primarily focused on what one might call the "corporate" and "social" history of the local industry, rather than the technical aspects of glassmaking or indeed of the glass itself.  So please excuse our ignorance in the areas that may be your own prime interest and enthusiasm.  Nevertheless, we would be delighted to welcome you at any time to the museum.  I must add that it is a very modest, "amateur" affair - one small document room, and one small room of artefacts, including a cabinet of assorted glassware that villagers have passed on to us over the years.  I do not know if there is anything of particular significance, though we do have some pieces by two locally celebrated engravers from the Hatton factory in the early 1900's.  Perhaps you might be able to enlighten us...  Tutbury itself is a historic village, something of a tourist attraction on its own account, and hopefully might merit a trip from mid Wales.

We look forward to further contact from you after your return from holiday.
Kind regards
Chris
Tutbury Museum



 

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