Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > British & Irish Glass

An unusual Bryant & May advertising piece by Davidson, Rd. No. 96945.

(1/3) > >>

A shallow, oval,  pressed glass dish (about 5 inches x 3 ½ inches) with a central rectangular pillar or column (open from the underside of the dish). The decorative detail is all on the exterior, and the pillar is pressed from the underside so that the flat top of the pillar has the words ‘Bryant & May’ when viewed from above.

The dish bears the raised Rd. No. 96945, registered by Davidson of Gateshead on 31 March 1888, a design for a decorative pattern often known as Richelieu by American collectors. In fact, presumably due to the physical limitations of the item, the top and bottom edges of the pattern have been quite truncated to fit onto the relatively narrow rim. The quality of the pressing is not of the best, and the rim has a couple of slaggy broken bubbles.

This is obviously a matchbox holder / ashtray promoting the well known match manufacturing company.

Although pieces with this Rd. No. are relatively common, the only pieces I have previously seen have been either standard tableware or decorative posy baskets, with lots of space available to display the flamboyant details  –  this is the first promotional / advertising piece that I have seen in this pattern.

Chris & Val Stewart have a section on Davidson advertising glassware on pages 131 and 132 of “Davidson Glass – a history”, and they show a round dish in the 1892 pattern (Rd. 176566) modified to advertise Sainsbury’s butter. The other advertising pieces seem to be modifications of much later designs.

I may well be, therefore, that this Bryant & May matchbox holder, is the earliest recorded modified Davidson pattern to be used for advertising purposes.

Has anyone else encountered this matchbox holder?  If so, has anyone seen coloured (transparent or pearline examples), and if so, do they have photos to share, please?

Has anyone come across other examples of Davidson advertising glassware other than the matchbox holder and the examples shown in Chris & Val’s book?

The only other example of Bryant & May advertising glassware that I have been able to find is an example by DG Ware, Stourbridge, and that is not entirely of glass (having a ceramic liner and a metal or bakelite top forming the match box holder column).  See

The company papers of Bryant & May can be found in the Hackney Archives. I guess if you're very lucky they might contain some relevant information. One of my ancestors married into a Manchester match maker company called Dixon, Son and Evans who eventually sold out to Bryant and May. The B&M archives contained a Carte De Viste photo of company owner Elijah Dixon, a rather colourful character who was largely responsible for building the New Moston area of Manchester. If the Bryant & May archives contain family photos of tenous interest then perhaps they may be reasonably extensive - I have not checked them myself.

Thank you for the lead, Neil.

Bernard C:

--- Quote from: agincourt17 on May 02, 2013, 04:19:51 PM ---...   Has anyone come across other examples of Davidson advertising glassware other than the matchbox holder and the examples shown in Chris & Val’s book?    ...
--- End quote ---

No, but I'm always looking.   Only a few weeks ago I acquired a Jobling promotional ashtray with what might well be an error on it, and on my oddities shelf I have a Bagley advertising ashtray for a Knottingley bicycle shop.

That DG Ware reference trebles the number of advertising pieces they made known to me — the only one I knew about before was their Colmans DSF Mustard.

Unknown examples will continue to emerge as quantities made can be very small, and, until comparatively recently, such items were not valued by the secondhand and antiques trade.   Now, of course, they are considered by many to be star items in their collections, and they are also important historically.

Bernard C.  8)

Have a look at these two examples of DG Ware advertising pieces, Bernard, before they disappear from the completed listings:

An ashtray advertising Samuel Thornley Ltd, Birmingham at

There is a 1960 photo of Thornley’s premises at 213 Deritend High Street, Digbeth showing them as paint merchants and drysalters at

Another ashtray, this time plus a wooden match box holder block, advertising Dewar’s  White Label [Whisky] at


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version