Amber Cloud and Tortoiseshell

Amber Cloud was by far the most popular Cloud colour produced, with a few lines (mainly flower bowls) still being sold as late as 1954. Production ceased before 1960. So popular was the colour, that Thomas Davidson even had a colour advert made for the 1931 Pottery Gazette. Colour adverts in those days were rare and expensive to produce. This was the first colour advert that Davidson produced for the Gazette.

Like Purple and Blue Cloud, the trails in Amber Cloud are purple. The base glass is amber, which was a popular colour in the 1920s and 30s.

It is not clear when Amber Cloud was first introduced as no known catalogues exist for the period 1922 to 1928. The British Industries Fair report on the Davidson stand in 1931 says:

“It was with greater courage that the cloud effects were taken up as they came along - first the amber cloud, then the mauve cloud, followed by the blue cloud. A year ago saw the advent of a brilliant scarlet, networked in black....”

This suggests that Amber came before Purple. However this contradicts previous statements made in the Gazette when Purple and Blue Cloud were introduced. The reporter may also be confusing amber and Amber Cloud, as the amber colour was introduced about the same time as Purple Cloud. Until further evidence is available, this will always be a source of debate. Amber was in production before the 1929 'North East Coast Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art'.

As with other Cloud Glass colours the majority of Amber Cloud pieces are matt on one surface. It is rare to find pieces which are polished on both sides or indeed matt on both sides. When found pieces which are polished on both surfaces are known as Tortoiseshell by collectors. An example can be seen below:

Amber Cloud Flower Bowls were sold with matching flower blocks and stands.

Amber Cloud was copied by other manufacturers, although examples are extremely rare. For example Jobling produced some Amber and Purple Cloud which was put on show in the 1936 British Industries fair. Only limited quantities were produced and it s extremely rare today. The picture below is a Jobling Bowl, Registered Design No 801662.

Both Walther and Brockwitz made some Amber Cloud Glass. The piece, right, is from the Meissen service by Brockwitz. Below is a Lotus vase made by Walther which has been made as a lamp base.

A selection of amber pieces is shown below. The inkwell below was made in 1943. The three-footed bowl, bottom right, is from the Chippendale range.

Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2001/2003