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Author Topic: What year did Stevens and Williams change their name to Royal Brierley  (Read 2433 times)

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Offline nigelbenson

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    • British glass - mainly 20th ce
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A couple of things to say I guess.

I have always been under the impression that the company added the Royal Brierley after a Royal visit, with the suggestion of 1931, but this is just hearsay I'm afraid.

You can certainly take the use of the name Royal Brierley back to 1933, when Keith Murray started working for the company. Whenever Keith Murray pieces were marked they had the RB name, as well as the 'S' and 'W' either side of a fleur-de-lis etched to the base of an item.

So, both names were being used.

Nigel

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Hi Nigel :)

Thank you for confirming that.  Searching isn't throwing up much but this did come up -

From the Royal Institute of Architects 1934 (I think - only a snippet view from google and these can be misleading - and it seems like an  advertisement from Stevens and Williams)
a book called International Architecture 1924-1934 page xv:

quote 'Ask your dealer to show you Royal Brierley Crystal in Keith Murray's designs'

https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/International_Architecture_1924_1934/r-VIAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=brierley+hill+glassworks+keith+murray&dq=brierley+hill+glassworks+keith+murray&printsec=frontcover

From what I'm reading (snippets in various publications/various dates) it seems to me that Keith Murray joined in 1932 (signed a contract to design for S&W).  Absolutely not meaning to split hairs but I'm just wondering if when his designs started being made, that was when they launched the brand and named it 'Royal Brierley Crystal' and that might be why all the Keith Murray designs are marked with both the S&W fleur de lys and the words Royal Brierley Crystal.

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This bowl in the V&A appears to have been marked 'Keith Murray S W Brierley' with a fleur-de-lis, acid etched (Makers's mark)'  i.e. no Royal mentioned.

However their description is remarkably confusing as it says it was designed in 1938-1939 but shown in 1935  ::)  - I think it's not possible it was shown before it was designed  :-X  so it's equally possible that where it says 'Marks' it could be incorrect.

'BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Glass Bowl, Britain (Brierley Hill), designed by Keith Murray, for Stevens & Williams Glassworks, 1938-1939'

and
'GALLERY LABEL
Shown in the exhibition 'Glass, Pottery and Silver designed by Mr Keith Murray, Medici Galleries, London, 1935'




https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6545/bowl-murray-keith/

Bowl
1938-1939 (made)
ARTIST/MAKER
Murray, Keith (designer)
Stevens & Williams (manufacturer)
PLACE OF ORIGIN
Brierley Hill (made)



OBJECT DETAILS
CATEGORY
Glass
OBJECT TYPE
Bowl
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES
Glass
BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Glass Bowl, Britain (Brierley Hill), designed by Keith Murray, for Stevens & Williams Glassworks, 1938-1939
DIMENSIONS
Maximum width: 27.3cm
STYLE
20TH GB
MARKS AND INSCRIPTIONS
'Keith Murray S W Brierley' with a fleur-de-lis, acid etched (Makers's mark)
GALLERY LABEL
Shown in the exhibition 'Glass, Pottery and Silver designed by Mr Keith Murray, Medici Galleries, London, 1935





This one is marked the same it appears (dated c. 1934/35) and also doesn't mention the word Royal:

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6541/bowl-murray-keith/




This one is just marked Keith Murray S&W with a fleur de lys - no mention of Brierley or Royal Brierley:
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6998/vase-murray-keith/



The other two I've checked  in the V& A also have no mention of Brierley or Royal Brierley in the marks and date to the 1930s. :-\

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this cup was designed by Keith Murray 1938-1939 and engraved by W H Cooke and is called the Democracy Cup.
It was engraved and is the first mention of Royal Brierley Crystal as a mark that I could find (1939):

'Marks and Inscriptions':
'-The Royal Coat-of-arms and 'King George VI 'Queen Elizabeth' with American and Canadian emblems 'Peace Goodwill and Strength Unite our Great Democracies. To commemorate the First Visit of Britain's reigning Sovereign May 1939' (Decoration)
-'Royal Brierley Crystal England demovracy Cup no. 1 engraved by W H Cooke' (Makers's mark; engraving)'

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O6134/democracy-cup-bowl-murray-keith/

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So just a re-cap on the context of this most recent discussion about the use of the wording 'Royal Brierley Crystal' as of Nigel's recent post about Keith Murray  onwards:

The company name itself was changed from Stevens and Williams and renamed Royal Brierley Crystal in May 1985.

However, prior to this the company Stevens and Williams seemed to have been using a brand name of Royal Brierley Crystal at some point in the 1930s onwards - and what we are discussing here is the first date of when this new brand name started being used.

 

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