September 2003 Newsletter


Welcome to the September 2003 edition of the Cloud Glass Newsletter. In this newsletter we have:

  • Web site updates

  • Broadfield House Pressed Glass Weekend 27/28 September 2003

  • Jobling 'Cloud Glass' Patent

  • An unrecorded Davidson Cloud Colour

  • Last will and testament of Thomas Davidson

Web Site Updates

The summer has meant that we have not been able to add much to the web site. But after a trip back to the archives we have all the data necessary to complete the long promised pages on Chippendale, Jade, Holophane and Jacobean glassware. We also have many new images to add to the site, including some new cloud designs. We hope to be doing this over the next few months.

Broadfield House Pressed Glass Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 September Broadfield House Glass Museum will be holding another Pressed Glass Weekend. We will be there with a display of Cloud Glass and Davidson glass from the 1950s onwards. Entrance is free. For more details visit the museum's web site at

Jobling 'Cloud Glass' Patent

Tony Haytor has discovered a 1933 patent (401,710) by Jobling which describes a method of making "variegated glass" (cloud glass by any other name?) in an automatic production system. They describe their invention thus:

'This invention relates to the manufacture of glass, the chief object  being to provide a new or improved method of manufacturing variegated glass, that is glass which is formed or streaked with different colours or the like.'

The patent goes on to describe how the coloured glass is added in rod, powder or granular form to the forehearth of an automatic feeder.

Although this patent is dated 1933, Jobling did not market any Cloud Glass until 1936, and then in very limited quantities. This patent was submitted 10 years after Davidson first introduced Cloud Glass and at a time when production of Cloud Glass by Davidson was falling. Jobling may have submitted the patent with a view to creating glass effects other than simple Cloud Glass.

You can view the complete specification on Tony's web site at

An Unrecorded Davidson Cloud Colour

A collector has kindly sent us a CD-ROM full of amazing and rare Cloud Glass. We will be adding these to the web site as pages are updated, but three images were so unusual we could not wait to show them. The first two are of a 283 sugar and a No 20 flower bowl. They are made of frosted flint glass with blue trails. We have never seen this particular version of 'Blue' Cloud Glass before. As both of these designs were being made from the 1920s to the 1960s it is almost impossible to date them. Were they an early form of Blue which was rejected in favour of the Blue Cloud introduced in 1925 or was this a later trial to revive Cloud Glass after the war? We can speculate, but probably we will never know for certain. In making these pieces the company may have decided that the frosted glass improved the appearance of the blue trails. This is certainly true with other colours such as Green and Briar. We have seen unfrosted examples of 732 flower bowls in which the trails are almost lost. In fact in one instance we had to have the trails pointed out as they were so faint!

The blue is very reminiscent of Cobalt Blue which is most often seen in the Dressing table set and the chamber stick designs of which we have photos on the web site. We cannot conclude from this that all items in this shade of Cobalt Blue were made by Davidson any more than all Amber Cloud Glass items were made by Davidson.

The third picture is of a Chippendale No 1528 Cress Bowl. The trails are a most unusual shade of green. Most of the trails are a 'turquoise' like Green with some 'normal' Cloud Glass Green. It is rare to find any Chippendale in Cloud Glass. Davidson's records from 1932 to 1945 show they only made the 1445/1446 flower bowls in Cloud Glass.

If you have any other examples of these colours, we would love to here from you and post the images on the web site for everybody to view.


The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Davidson

Thomas Davidson died on the 29th June 1937 at the age of 77. He took over the running of the glass  business in 1891 on the death of his father, George. He was 31 at the time. Thomas was a dynamic business man: he designed most of the glassware the company produced and submitted many patents. The two most well known were for 'Pearline' glass and for the dome flower support.

Thomas never married, and in his younger days he was a keen sportsman, playing both cricket and rugby football. In 1883 he played for North Durham when they won the Durham Rugby Senior Cup. He was also a patron of the turf and owned many horses. His most successful horses were Dandy Fifth, Greenrooth and Constant Son. Thomas was also a noted shot.

Thomas made his will on the 20th September 1933, 4 years before he died and one year before the Davidson company changed from a family firm into a stock holding limited company. In the will Thomas chose his nephew Claude Fraser and his friend Thomas Lambert as the trustees.

The will is in complete contrast to his fathers'. George Davidson's will (see here) was very precise even to the extent of stipulating under what circumstances his wife could replace broken furniture and how the glass works was to be run. Thomas's will is much more relaxed in tone. He includes some legacies, but in regard to the Teams Glass Works he leaves it entirely up to his trustees. They can run the business, sell it, appoint managers or dispose of it as they think fit.

The main clauses in the will are:

  1. The trustees each received 1,000

  2. His housekeep Elizabeth Jennings received 100

  3. His nephew Alan Cameron Macintyre (son of his sister Mary) received an annuity of 100 per year free of income tax.

  4. The trustees should dispose of and turn into cash all his real & personal estate to pay funeral expenses, death duties and to provide the legacies.

  5. The residue of the estate was to be held in trust with 80% going to Claude Fraser, 10% to his niece Dallas Audrey Fraser and 10% to his niece Marguerite Macintyre.

  6. The trustees were free to continue to run the Teams Glass Works, wind it up, appoint managers, convert to a limited company, etc entirely at their discretion.

George Davidson owned a lot of property in the Gateshead area on his death, but there is no mention of them in Thomas's will. The only property mentioned is his house in Tynemouth.

The value of his estate was given as 239,985-13-9 gross, 216,681-14-3 net for probate. He was by any standards of the day a wealthy man.

The full text of the will is given below:

1. THIS IS THE LAST WILL made this twentieth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and thirty-three of me THOMAS DAVIDSON of 18 Percy Gardens, Tynemouth, in the County of Northumberland, Glass Manufacturer.

2.  I HEREBY REVOKE all other Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me.

3. 1 NOMINATE AND APPOINT my nephew Claude Leslie Fraser and Thomas Lambert of the Town Hall, Gateshead, in the County of Durham, Solicitor (hereinafter together called 'my Trustees') to be the Executors and Trustees of this my Will and I BEQUEATH to each of them the said Claude Leslie Fraser aid the said Thomas Lambert who accepts the office of Trustee and Executor the sum of one thousand pounds free of duty.

4. 1 BEQUEATH to Elizabeth Jennings, my Housekeeper, the sum of one hundred pounds free of duty.

 5. 1 BEQUEATH  to my nephew Alan Cameron Macintyre an annuity of one hundred pounds for his life free of legacy duty and to be paid to him free of income tax at the current rate for the time being deductible at the source, such annuity to commence from my death and to be considered as accruing from day to day but to be paid by equal monthly payments the first payment to be made at the end of one month after my death AND I DIRECT that all rebates, allowances or repayments which may be made to or recovered by my said nephew, Alan Cameron Macintyre, in respect of income tax shall enure for his benefit and that he shall not account to my Trustees for the same or any part thereof. I DIRECT my Trustees to set apart as soon as conveniently may be and invest in their names in any of the investments in which my residuary estate is authorised to be invested, with power to vary investments a sum the income whereof when invested shall be sufficient at the time of investment to pay the said annuity, and to pay the same accordingly, with power to resort to the capital of the appropriated fund whenever. the income shall be insufficient: and until such sum shall be so appropriated I charge my said residuary estate with the said annuity but after appropriation my said residuary estate shall thereby be discharged from the said annuity. SUBJECT to the payment of the said annuity, the appropriated fund, or so much thereof as shall not be resorted to to make up deficiency of income, shall fall into and form part of my said residuary estate and any surplus income. of the appropriated fund shall be applied in the same manner as income of my said residuary estate. AFTER the determination of the said annuity and in the meantime subject thereto, the fund so set apart and the income thereof not required for the purposes aforesaid shall sink into and form part of my said residuary estate.

6. 1 DEVISE AND BEQUEATH all the real and personal estate not hereby or by any codicil hereto otherwise specifically disposed of and which 1 can dispose of by Will in any manner 1 think proper either as beneficially entitled thereto or under any general power unto my Trustees UPON TRUST that my Trustees shall sell the said real estate (including chattels real) and call in sell and convert into money such part of my personal estate as does not consist of money, with power to postpone such sale and conversion for such a period as my Trustees without being liable to account may think proper and do that any reversionary interest be not sold until it falls into possession, unless my Trustees see special reason for sale. My Trustees shall, out of the money to arise from the sale and  conversion of my said real and personal estate and out of my ready money, pay my funeral and testamentary expenses, death duties payable out of capital on my death and not charged on or primarily payable out of other property, and my debts except mortgage debts (if any) on property specifically devised or bequeathed which under the Administration of Estates Act 1925 are to be paid primarily out of the property charged therewith and shall also pay or provide for the legacies and annuities hereby or by any codicil hereto bequeathed but do that all legacies and annuities and the duty on all legacies annuities bequeathed free of duty shall be paid primarily out of my personal estate and my Trustees shall stand possessed of the residue of the said monies UPON TRUST to hold the same upon the following trusts that is to say:- (1) as to eight-tenth parts or shares thereof in trust for my said nephew Claude Leslie Fraser absolutely. (2) an to one-tenth part or share thereof in trust for my niece Dallas Audrey Fraser absolutely. (3) as to the remaining one-tenth part or share thereof in trust for my niece Marguerite Macintyre absolutely.

7. 1 DIRECT that if my said nephew Claude Leslie Fraser or my said niece Dallas Audrey Fraser or Marguerite Macintyre shall die in my lifetime leaving issue who shall survive me and who being male shall attain the age of twenty-one years or being female shall attain that age or marry under that age then such issue shall take and if more than one equally between or among them the share which his her or their parent would have taken of and in my said residuary estate if such parent had survived me.

8. AND I ALSO DECLARE that my Trustees may postpone the sale calling in and conversion of any part of my real and personal estate including leaseholds and debentures and stocks and shares in all kinds of Companies and shares in Building Societies and wasting securities and hazardous and speculative securities and reversionary interest and any other property which may not at the time of my death be invested in securities authorised by law for the investment of trust funds and retain the same in that state of investment in which it is found at my death for so long as they shall think fit with full power to pay out of my estate any calls on shares and any future liabilities of any description which may accrue in respect of any kind of property so retained, and that pending such sale calling in and conversion the whole of the income shall be applied as from my death as income and on the other hand on such sale calling in and conversion or on the falling in of any reversionary property no part of the proceeds of such sale calling in or conversion or of such property shall be paid or applied as past income.

9. WITH respect to the business of a glass manufacturer now carried on by me at The Teams, Gateshead, aforesaid or any other business in which I may be engaged at my death my Trustees may continue the same for so long as they may think fit or discontinue the same at any time and wind up the affairs thereof, with power for my Trustees if and so long as they shall continue the business to employ therein the whole or any part of the capital which shall be employed therein at my death, and also such further part (if any) of my estate as they shall think expedient, and with power also to employ managers, agents and clerks (including my said nephew Claude Leslie Fraser) and also to admit  any persons as partners with them in the business, and generally to act in the conduct of the said business as they shall in their absolute discretion think fit, without being answerable for any loss arising thereby. My Trustees may, if they think fit leave the entire management of the said business or businesses while so continued as aforesaid to the other partners (if any)  or if there shall be no such partner, then to any managers to be appointed for that purpose by my Trustees and my Trustees shall be under no obligation to attend personally to the said business or be in any wise responsible for any loss which may arise by their omission to attend personally to the said business or to interfere therein. AND if one or more of the Trustees for the time being of my Will shall be unwilling to engage in and continue such business as aforesaid, he or they may &allow his or their co-trustee or co-trustees to engage in and continue the same and to act alone in relation to the trusts Of my Will so far as regards such business (notwithstanding that any trustee continuing the same shall be a partner in the said firm)

10. My Trustees may discontinue and wind up the said business as far as regards my estate, either immediately after my death or at such other times as they shall think fit, and may make such arrangements in relation thereto as they may deem proper, and in particular my Trustees may

 (i) arrange or concur in arranging for the incorporation of a limited company to purchase the said business with or without other assets (with a view to carrying on the some) for such consideration whether wholly or partially in cash, shares or securities or otherwise as my Trustees may think fit and so that such shares and securities shall be treated as authorised investments for the purposes of my Will:

(ii) arrange or concur in arranging for the sale of the said business with or without other assets to any subsisting company for such consideration as aforesaid and so that shares and securities taken in or towards satisfaction of the purchase money shall be treated as authorised investments as aforesaid:

(iii) leave to any partner, agent or other person the collection of any outstanding debts:

 (iv) give such time as my Trustees shall think fit for payment by any partners of the sum which under any such arrangement as aforesaid shall become payable by them to my estate, wither with or without security:

(v) appoint or concur in appointing such accountants, valuers and other persons as be deemed proper for taking the accounts of the said partnership and for valuing any matters which may be capable of valuation:

(vi) settle and adjust accounts, refer to arbitration or otherwise compromise and settle any questions and differences:

(vii) generally have the same powers in relation to the winding up or disposal of the said business as if they were the absolute owners thereof:

11. DURING the continuance of such business or businesses  as part of my estate the net profits arising therefrom shall be applied in like manner as income arising from investments representing the proceeds of sale of such business would, if sold, be applicable.

12. ANY Executor or Trustee being a Solicitor or other person engaged in any profession or business shall be entitled to be paid all usual professional or proper charges for business transacted, time expended and acts done by him or any partner of his in connection with the trusts hereof including acts which an Executor or Trustee not being in any profession or business could have done personally.

IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand to this my Will the day and year first hereinbefore written


SIGNED by the said THOMAS DAVIDSON the Testator as and for his last Will in the presence of us together present at the same time who at his request, in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses..

A.W. TRUEMAN } Clerks with Messrs.. Lambert & Lambert , Solicitors,  Gateshead.

Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2003