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

Sowerby pattern 1852 opalescent uranium glass swan.

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The Sowerby pattern books for 1895 and 1898 shown a glass swan in two sizes - large, pattern 1852, and a smaller pattern 1852. It would seem to be an unregistered design.

The only photo of the pattern 1852 swan that I know of is a beautifully-detailed  turquoise vitro-porcelain version shown as colour plate 30 in Sheilagh Murray's "Peacock and the Lions..." (Oriel Press, 1982). She gives the size as 16cm long by 12 cm high, and bearing the peacock trademark.  The shape and surface detail differ significantly from the Burtles & Tate swans, and to that from Jane Webb &c.

Here are some photos of a similar swan in opalescent yellow-green uranium glass.  The swan has no identifying marks. It is 15cm long x 11cm tall x 7.5cm wide, and weighs 392 gm. The uranium glass is highly reactive to UV light. The detail is not so crisp as Murray's example, but I presume that is largely due to the different working and finishing properties of the two types of glass.
(Permission to re-use these images on the GMB granted by Kevin Collins).

Does anyone have photos of the pattern 1852 swan to show in other colours, please?

Does anyone have photos of the smaller Sowerby pattern 1852 swan to show, please?


It would surprise me if this swan were Sowerby, as I can't think of anything else Sowerby in this "primrose pearline" like uranium glass. Other Sowerby opalescent glass is not uranium and other Sowerby uranium glass is not oplaescent

Perhaps I should have stuck to my initial idea of putting a question mark at the end of the topic title, Christine, because what you say about Sowerby opalescent glass and their uranium glass seems to be the rule.

On checking back though my reference photos, there is a single Sowerby piece made from 'pearline-like' opalescent glass with a strongish yellow base colour - a small 2-handled dish pattern 1254, Sowerby RD 314279 of 18 September 1877. Unfortunately, I don't have a record as to whether it was UV-reactive or not, but certainly other opalescent versions of this pattern (usually with a more-or-less uniform opalescence on quite pale base colours) were definitely not UV reactive. 

Other than Davidson, Greener & Co. made opalescent uranium glass items from as early as 1891, but they never registered a design for a swan.

I will be interested to see if anyone posts photos of a marked Sowerby pattern 1852 swan in other colours.


Maybe they made a very small batch  ???

Hi Fred,
There is a clear glass Sowerby swan in the V&A collections, see:
It looks similar to your 'primrose' version Fred, but not quite the same.
Kind regards


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