|October 2001 Cloud Glass Newsletter|
In this Issue:
Glass Web Site
have made many changes to the web site since the last newsletter. Catalogue
pages for Davidson Ashtrays, Lamps, Trinket Sets and Vases have been created.
Also the Walther catalogue pages have been updated with some new styles and
photographs. In particular have a look at the Topaz-Violet bowl on the Walther
Bowls and Comports page (The last one on the page). It is very unusual. I have
seen a similar example in a photograph taken at an Exhibition at the
Broadfield House Glass Museum. Many thanks to Tony Hodgson for supplying the
and Fairs News
a while in September, there was very little rare Cloud Glass going through
Ebay. In seems to have picked up recently, and there has been some strong
competition for some pieces. Hopefully in the next few months we will se more
on Ebay. Most of the Sepia and Topaz-Violet is still coming from Australia and
New Zealand with some interesting examples coming from Holland. Now that Ebay
Germany is online, we should start seeing more coming from Germany the home of
did wonder what the effect would be on prices now that we know much of the
rare Cloud Glass is German. The dealers I have talked to say that collectors
are taking an interest in other types of Walther Glass as well as their Cloud
Glass. This should mean that prices will remain strong – which is either
good or bad depending on whether you are a collector or a dealer!!
Cloud Glass post World War 2
has been some debate in the past about how much Cloud Glass was made after
WWII. We know that Topaz-Briar was introduced in 1957, but what about before
then? Nick Dolan has suggested in the Guide for the 1993 Shipley Art Gallery
Exhibition that only old stocks were ‘finished’ and sold in the 1950s. My
own view is that Davidson continued to make Amber Cloud until about 1955. An
advert for Davidson in the 1952 Pottery Gazette featured a number of Cloud
Glass flower sets. Also Davidson’s 1954 price list (available from the
Shipley Art Gallery) includes about 18 articles that were sold in Amber Cloud.
So Amber Cloud was being sold for at least 10 years after the war.
this have all been pre-war stock? I think this was unlikely for a number of
reasons. Firstly, immediately after the war the British Government was
encouraging companies to export goods, as Britain desperately needed the
foreign currency. As Davidson switched from War work to normal production, any
domestic glass they produced would have been exported. Secondly that was a
shortage of domestic glassware in the UK. Reports in the Pottery Gazette talk
about glassware coming into shops and being sold on the same day. Some
shopkeepers were even exploiting the situation and charging very high prices
for what little glass was available. If Davidson had any pre-war stocks of
glassware, they would have very quickly sold. Also I would not have thought
that Davidson had the warehouse space to store domestic glassware during the
war. All available space would have been used for wartime production.
Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, was the main journal for the glass and
pottery industry. It is still going, but is now called Tableware
International. The Gazette featured adverts and articles of interest to
pottery and glass manufactures (and sellers). In the Gazette you can find
articles that range from how to display glassware to the latest techniques in
designing pottery kilns. It is also a mine of interesting social history as it
includes such things as employment statistics and reports on industrial
injuries. Also prior to WWII, the articles are long and very ‘wordy’.
After the war they are much shorter and generally convey less information.
Davidson Company normally placed only one or two adverts in the Pottery
Gazette each year. This compares to companies such as Clayton Meyers, which
advertised every month. Information about Davidson, and for that matter other
pressed glass companies such as Sowerby, is hard to find in the Gazette.
Occasionally Davidson would be featured in the ‘Buyers Notes’ articles and
towards Christmas in the ‘Gift Ideas’. Most information is obtained in the
report for the British Industries Fair (and later the Blackpool Gift fair).
The British Industries Fair was the main trade fair for British Industry until
the early 1950s. It was normally held in London in late February. When the BIF
ceased, the Blackpool fair became the main showcase for the pottery and glass
reports in the Pottery Gazette give a glimpse as to what styles Davidson, and
the reporter, thought important. I therefore intend to include a report from
the Pottery Gazette in each Newsletter. The first is from the year 1934:
Davidson & Co., Teams Flint Glass Works, Gateshead-on-Tyne.- This firm
made their usual wonderful display of pressed glass in all varieties, from
plain flint wares for utility to coloured wares for decorative purposes. The
coloured glasses were particularly impressive. Several new colours were
included amongst them, and in all shades good business was done with a range
of 5 piece bathroom sets. One noticed a new green cloud effect – on view for
the first time. We were told that with this wonderful business was done. We
also noticed that the orange cloud has been subjected to some modifications,
and in its new guise this appeared to be in great demand for the export trade.
Amongst the other leading colours were emerald – available either in clear
or matt glass – and cloud amber. The Queen visited the stand and purchased
several pieces of matt emerald, as well as a hors d’oeuvres set in plain
flint and some pieces in the Chippendale glass, which is now being made at
Gateshead-on-Tyne in a full range of articles. The stand of this house was a
real object lesson as regards display. The various coloured glasses were
suitably toned up with flowers of the critically correct shade to attain
perfect harmony, and the way in which the flowers were poised by utilising the
firm’s “Dome” flower block could have been made – and probably was –
a great point in salesmanship. Bunches of anemones, tulips and daffodils were
dotted around with an expert eye for effect, and fresh fruit also was employed
to attain to the perfectly correct display note. We could not help thinking
that if we ourselves had possessed a china and glass shop we should have been
tempted to hang around this particular stand for a long time absorbing some of
the display ideas.
should be noted that the Queen would not have handed over any money. Davidson
would have ‘donated’ the items to the Queen. This year Davidson excelled
them selves and had 4 adverts in the Pottery Gazette. Mostly
they were advertising Chippendale. Davidson had become the owners and sole
manufacturers of the range in 1933.
all for this newsletter – except for a warning. If you plan to use
Davidson’s hyacinth bowl (Pattern No 292) with the glass support (design No
809129) then pick the bulbs carefully. Modern prepared hyacinth bulbs are much
smaller than they were in 1936 – they fall through the holes. We have used a
layer of cotton wool to support ours!!
email email@example.com if you have
any comments or suggestions for this newsletter.