Author Topic: Ravenhead not Royale Castle!  (Read 2639 times)

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vidfletch

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Ravenhead not Royale Castle!
« on: April 26, 2006, 01:27:31 AM »
About 3 years ago I bought two vases in a charity shop that both had the same label on them. The particular reason I bought them was that the type of vase they are was continually being mistaken as Whitefriars bark vases. The label said "Royale Castle" .

I posted on the relevant glass forums that I had found these and that I could not find out anything about who Royale Castle were. I have still never found out anything.

Over a year ago I saw a vase on Ebay in a box. The vase was a "Royale Castle" vase, as they have now almost universally been named! This vase was in a "Ravenhead Glass" box. Unfortunately I was otherwise engaged when the auction finished and someone else won it! I am sure we all know how that feels. However that got me doing research.

In the book "20th Century Factory Glass" by Lesley Jackson it mentions textured Ravenhead tableware such as the Siesta range made in the early seventies. This type of glass was added to by pieces designed by John Clappison later on in the seventies. Apparently this was so succesful that they created some textured vases. Something they had not really been  involved with before. Clappison worked as Chief Designer from 1972 to 1976. Prior to that he is more famous as designing for Hornsea Pottery where he actually returned to after his stint with Ravenhead.

It is quite well known that Ravenhead and Whitefriars had a run in with each other in the seventies. Ravenhead launching crystal tableware called "White Fire". Whitefriars were furious at this as it sounded so much like their name. They went as far as taking legal action against Ravenhead but when presented with the costs involved and Ravenhead's wealth they had to back down. Whitefriars was not very financially sound at the time as we all know! Cheap glass made by Ravenhead and others were certainly a factor in their downfall. Whitefriars quality was very high but then so were the prices. A similar position today then. Compare prices between Ravenhead and Whitefriars now.

I have finally managed to acquire two boxed Ravenhead vases. One is 21cm high and the other is 17cm high. Both are in clear glass. The smaller one is identical to my "Royale Castle" vases in every way. Shape, height, texture, quality and the same horrible waxy, almost plastic feel to the touch!!! There is no name for the vases on the boxes only code numbers. P1260 for the large one and P1246 for the small one.

I think this explains the vast amount of these vases that are around. Ravenhead produced millions of pieces of glass every year. You only have to look at all the Siesta tableware that abounds at car boot sales.

Now, why my two vases have the "Royale Castle" labels I don't know. Did Ravenhead possibly sell them to retailers under plain wrap to increase sales? Stack 'em high, sell them cheap!?!? The trade maybe were allowed to label them as their own. One thing is for sure though, they are RAVENHEAD vases!!!

Click the thumbnails for images of the glass.

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/7695/newglass0011rb.th.jpg)


(http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/7609/newglass0023xg.th.jpg)

(http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/258/newglass0042ts.th.jpg)

(http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/1624/newglass0056xn.th.jpg)

(http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/3771/newglass0064vt.th.jpg)

(http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/2181/newglass0072ej.th.jpg)

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/7489/newglass0084os.th.jpg)

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/8/newglass0091ud.th.jpg)

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/1364/newglass0109us.th.jpg)

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/4427/newglass0111tj.th.jpg)

(http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/4189/newglass0129ht.th.jpg)

(http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/5779/newglass0167jp.th.jpg)

(http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/6365/newglass0185sj.th.jpg)

(http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/8320/newglass0196hy.th.jpg)

(http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/1429/newglass0204wp.th.jpg)


Offline Pinkspoons

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Re: Ravenhead not Royale Castle!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2006, 06:17:18 AM »
Quote from: "vidfletch"
Now, why my two vases have the "Royale Castle" labels I don't know. Did Ravenhead possibly sell them to retailers under plain wrap to increase sales? Stack 'em high, sell them cheap!?!? The trade maybe were allowed to label them as their own.


My unofficial in-laws remember that some Ravenhead glass used to be given away a lot at petrol stations in the '70s under some kind of token-collecting scheme (i.e. buying petrol gets you tokens gets you Ravenhead glass). I have no idea, though, if this extended to 'bark' vases, or if it was under their own name or the name of whomever was doing the promotion, but it might explain the amount of them in existence?

Just a thought.  :)


Offline Pip

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Re: Ravenhead not Royale Castle!
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2006, 03:05:33 PM »
Pinkspoons said: My unofficial in-laws remember that some Ravenhead glass used to be given away a lot at petrol stations in the '70s under some kind of token-collecting scheme (i.e. buying petrol gets you tokens gets you Ravenhead glass). I have no idea, though, if this extended to 'bark' vases, or if it was under their own name or the name of whomever was doing the promotion

Obviously Pinky I was just a teeny child in the 1970s  :shock:  but I do remember Ravenhead giving away really nasty cheap drinking glasses in petrol stations -  I don't remember them giving away vases but I could be mistaken.


 

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