January 2002 Cloud Glass Newsletter

Menu

  In this issue:

  • Website updates

  • Fairs report

  • Cloud Glass on Ebay

  • Davidson during the Second World War

  • Reports from the Pottery Gazette

Cloud Glass Website

I have not made any major changes since the beginning of the year when I added the 1910 page. The introduction to the 1931 to 1945 registered design page has been changed as I have obtained some new information about designs registered in Australia. In the near future I will be adding the 1934 Walther Oralit catalogue to the website and adding some more pages in the Davidson catalogue section.

Antique Fairs

The only fair we have been to recently was the Art Deco fair at Liverpool Speke Airport. No Cloud Glass there, but the fair was held in the old 1930s departure building which has been converted into an Hotel. It is a wonderful Art Deco building, which still retains some of its original features. Definitely worth visiting if you have an interest in Art Deco Architecture.

Cloud Glass on Ebay

Christmas saw a slow down in the volume of Cloud Glass sold on Ebay in December. The table below lists the items that were auctioned on Ebay in December. In interpreting the table please note the following:

  1. I have only included items which are available to the UK

  2. Sale prices are in pounds sterling. A sale price of zero denotes the item did not have any bids or failed to reach the reserve price.  

  3. Identification is based on the photographs and descriptions given. I cannot guarantee my interpretation is 100% accurate.  

  4. The table has been sorted by item type and colour  

  5. ĎCompleteí applies to Flower sets and trinket sets and denotes whether the set was complete  

  6.  No regard has been made as to condition  

 

Description

Colour

Complete

Sale Price

EbayItemNo

End Date

Source Country

Comment

279 - 6" Vase

Green

No

£34.52

1308316606

17/12/2001

NZ

 

279 - 6" Vase

Green

No

£132.89

1301687199

01/12/2001

UK

 

279 - 8" Vase

Blue

No

£29.68

1305750396

13/12/2001

UK

 

279 - 8" Vase

Purple/Amethyst

No

£82.84

1310970973

18/12/2001

UK

Pair

279 - 8" Vase

Green

No

£49.50

1310917227

21/12/2001

UK

 

279 - 10" Vase

Amber

No

£0.00

1305119400

09/12/2001

SA

 

279 - 10" Vase

Amber

No

£57.99

1301688371

01/12/2001

UK

 

1910 MD Flower Set

Amber

No

£0.00

1305262410

10/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block

1910 MD Flower Set

Amber

No

£0.00

1309565599

20/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block

1910 MD Flower Set

Amber

No

£25.00

1304818586

08/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block

1910 BD Flower Set

Amber

Yes

£17.25

1310670587

21/12/2001

AUS

 

1910 BD Flower Set

Blue

No

£34.51

1309573703

20/12/2001

UK

No Plinth

1910 BD Flower Set

Blue

Yes

£0.00

1305372815

10/12/2001

UK

 

1910 BD Flower Set

Green

No

£0.00

1304209249

07/12/2001

USA

No Flower Block or Plinth

283 - 5" Powder Jar

Amber

No

£0.00

1305392852

10/12/2001

AUS

 

283 - 5" Powder Jar

Amber

No

£0.00

1313840264

31/12/2001

UK

 

283 - 5" Powder Jar

Blue

No

£63.30

1306129755

14/12/2001

UK

 

283 - 5" Powder Jar

Purple/Amethyst

No

£28.99

1313774032

30/12/2001

UK

 

283 - 7.5" Candlesticks

Amber

Yes

£27.61

1308293156

10/12/2001

UK

Pair

283S - 2.5" Candlesticks

Amber

No

£12.43

1301675303

01/12/2001

UK

 

283S - 2.5" Candlesticks

Green

No

£34.48

1314035137

31/12/2001

AUS

Possibly not frosted

283S - 2.5" Candlesticks

Orange

No

£10.35

1306613881

12/12/2001

AU

Single

Edith 31432 - 18cm Comport

Sepia

No

£28.99

1301448711

01/12/2001

USA

 

Edith 31432 - 18cm Comport

Sepia

No

£27.61

1492119172

08/12/2001

HOL

 

S/696 D 10"

Amber

No

£27.61

1312460087

25/12/2001

NZ

No Plinth

S/696 D 10"

Amber

No

£15.44

1303597545

05/12/2001

AUS

No Flower Block

S/696 D 10"

Amber

No

£15.53

1304288026

07/12/2001

AUS

No Flower Block or Plinth

283 - 6" Bowl

Purple/Amethyst

No

£31.78

1495242329

17/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block

1907T

Purple/Amethyst

No

£72.01

1308249225

16/12/2001

UK

Ribbon, no bowl or frog

1907 TD 5" Flower Set

Amber

No

£6.00

1310942853

23/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block or stand

Zentrum 21799 Drainer

Sepia

Yes

£0.00

1492118822

08/12/2001

HOL

 

293 Vase

Amber

No

£22.50

1303367947

05/12/2001

AUS

 

Flat 3 footed platter

Topaz-Violet

No

£81.16

1313346459

28/12/2001

CAN

 

Circular Dish with impressed patter

Sepia

No

£24.16

1499912251

27/12/2001

Can

 

8283 Trinket Set

Amber

No

£44.87

1301679393

01/12/2001

UK

Tray (p) Large pot small pot + 2 pin dishes

8283 Trinket Set

Amber

Yes

£82.84

1308293152

10/12/2001

UK

 

29/32 4" Bridge ashtrays

Amber

Yes

£52.46

1303373094

05/12/2001

AUS

All Four

24 Hexagonal Plinth

Purple/Amethyst

No

£24.85

1301681165

01/12/2001

UK

 

5P Trinket Tray

Amber

No

£0.00

1305392855

10/12/2001

AUS

 

5P Trinket Tray

Amber

No

£0.00

1313841126

31/12/2001

UK

Chipped

Rheingold 31439 Vase

Sepia

No

£105.96

1492133617

08/12/2001

HOL

 

48 Ashtray

Green

No

£17.26

1308234429

16/12/2001

UK

 

Sowerby Ashtray

Purple/Amethyst

No

£6.00

1305983260

11/12/2001

UK

 

204 D 9" Flower Set

Green

No

£17.00

1308608146

17/12/2001

UK

No Flower Block

1910 MG Flower Set

Amber

No

£0.00

1311448452

25/12/2001

AUS

No Flower Block

34 SD 9.5" Flower Set

Amber

Yes

£24.16

1312179675

27/12/2001

AUS

 

Davidson during the Second World War

The Second World War caused mixed fortunes for the Davidson Company. Higher costs and loss of exports hit the companyís finances, but this was offset to some extent by producing glassware and other products for the war effort. In the financial year 1939-1940 they made their first loss - £3,258-11-6 after adjustments. In 1942 an order came into force banning production of domestic glassware except for tumblers, jugs, cans and cruets. The order also give them the opportunity to realise some of their existing stock, which helped their financial position for the following year. Shortage of manpower, higher costs and lack of raw materials were to hit them, and other glass manufacturers, throughout the war and for two or three years afterwards.

The impact of the war was felt very early on. In mid 1939, the local Medical Officer for Gateshead requisitioned the company van. Initially they received no compensation for itís loss and were forced to buy a second hand Austin van at a cost of £25. Eventually they were awarded 8/6p per day for the loss of the van, which was returned to them early the following year. Costs also increased early. In November 1939 Davidson purchased War Risk Insurance at £43-18-0 per year. They also spent £400-0-0 on a fire engine and a shed to house it. Air Raid Precautions become a new category in their accounts book. By law they had to spend money on such things as air-raid shelters and blackout precautions.

The war also impacted their agents and commercial travellers. Petrol rationing hit the commercial travellers very hard. The extra ration granted to them was so small as to be of no use. On 10th May 1941 enemy bombing destroyed their London Showroom. Also in 1941 Mr Tinsley, their Far East Representative, was captured by the Germans. He had been acting for Davidson for only a short period of time.

Relationships with other glass manufacturers was mixed. For example in November 1940, the Davidson Company reported that:

ĎRepeated attempts had been made by Jobling to have some of our glassmakers compulsively transferred to Sunderland to make tumblers for a government order which Jobling had apparently accepted for quantities in excess of their ability to produce. Up to the present we had successfully resisted these attempts but only at a cost of exceptional amount of time and thoughtí

There appears to have been a price agreement between the different companies. In January 1941, Lauderdale of Sowerby informed Davidson that Bagley and Sowerby had decided to increase the price of tumblers. Davidson followed with their own price increase. At the same time Davidson and Sowerby were in discussion about arrangements should either one of their factories be damaged by enemy action. Fortunately bombing damaged neither, although the roof of the glassworks was damaged by fire at one point. This was not caused by enemy action.

Toughened Tumblers were a lifesaver for the Davidson Company during the war years. At the end of 1939 J.K. Kimwold joined the technical staff at Davidsonís and his first assignment was top develop production techniques for Toughened tumblers. The Davidson Company agreed not to market toughened tumblers themselves providing:

  • Clayton Meyers would take their full production.
  • It was not in Davidsonís interest to strength their own claims for the supply of raw material.

Clayton Meyers did take the full production and by 1942 the total production of domestic glassware consisted of toughened tumblers and other cheaper lines. By 1943 turnover from Clayton Meyers was £37,000 per year of which £27,000 was due to the sale of toughened tumblers. This compares with sales of £13,000 to the Holophane Company who had a long established relationship with Davidsonís (the first Holophane moulds were made on the 23rd July 1896).

Davidsonís contribution to the war effort included parts for naval gun mounts, bomb suspension blocks, parts for tanks, brackets for aircraft seats and munitions. Munitions production was worth £3,000 to the company in 1943. Glassware for the war effort included runway lights, screens for radar sets lenses and glass fronts for instruments.

The end of the war saw a slow return to normality. Initially there was a virtually unlimited demand for glassware once restrictions were lifted. Exports quickly returned, despite temporary import controls introduced by some countries. In 1946 the company estimated that the value of unexecuted export orders amounted to £30,000, which was about 4 years work. Production was still initially limited by a shortage of raw materials and labour. However, things quickly improved and turnover rose rapidly. In 1947 turnover for the company was £164,000, a rise of £31,000 over the previous year.

The Davidson Company always regarded themselves as primarily a manufacturer of domestic glassware, and were concerned that they did not lose this identity. Sales of their own glassware returned to around 50 to 60% of turnover after the war. In 1947, the breakdown of their sales was as follows:

Clayton Meyers Toughened tumblers                   £23759

Clayton Meyers Ė general glassware                    £3601

Holophane                                                         £16382

Other lighting glassware                                     £21329

Industrial & non-domestic glassware                    £16666

Geo. Davidson Domestic                                    £82707

New markets were found, but still Clayton Meyers and Holophane remained their largest single customers for a number years,

Reports from the Pottery Gazette

Having a stand at the British Industries Fair was not inexpensive. The cost to Davidsonís of attending the fair was between £250 and £500 year. This compares with Davidsonís advertising budget of between £70 and £100 per year (1932-1939). It must have therefore been disappointing for Davidson to only receive a small write-up in the Pottery Gazette. A typical example is for the year 1929:

ĎGeo. Davidson & Co. Teams Flint Glass Works, Gateshead-on-Tyne, made an excellent showing of their domestic and fancy pressed glassware and specialities, including not only the ordinary suites in plain flint glass, but the very attractively coloured lines in useful and ornamental wares which have latterly become such a feature of the firmís productions. It was a display that was thoroughly deserving of the interest which it obviously excited, and one hopes that the final results in the shape of orders were all that have been desired.í 

For most of the 1920s, Davidson did not get a mention in the BIF report in the Gazette.

And Finally

Thatís all for this newsletter. If you have anything to include in the next letter, then please email info@cloudglass.com.

 Best Wishes,

Val & Chris

 


Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2002