Purple/Amethyst Cloud Glass

Purple, also called amethyst by collectors, was the first colour produced in 1923. In October 1923 the Pottery Gazette and Glass Trades Review wrote:

“Geo. Davidson & Co., Teams Flint Glass Works, Gateshead-on-Tyne, the well-known specialists in pressed glass wares for domestic uses, brought out, some little time ago, a remarkable line of matt coloured glassware, which they appear to be steadily developing and extending. These new productions seem to open up quite a new field of possibilities for the Gateshead factory, for whereas at one time the productions of this firm were solely of utilitarian interest, they have now invaded the ornamental realm also. Some of the matt -colours which have already been produced by Davidson & Co. are uncommonly good. Blues, ambers, greens, and black were put upon the market at the beginning of the present year, and the latest addition is an unique purple cloud or alabaster effect. This new treatment is offered in. flower bowls of various shapes, which can be supplied, if desired, with flower blocks to match.”

The Cloud effect was achieved by adding purple trails onto a clear base glass. In fact purple trails were used in most of the different Cloud Colours. Flower Bowls in purple Cloud were sold with matching flower blocks and stands. Purple was produced in the full range of shapes including vases, ashtrays etc.

Like most Cloud Colours, Purple was normally sold with one surface polished and the other matt. The example, shown left, has all matt surfaces. This treatment produces a very pleasing affect. Examples with all surfaces polished are also known, but again are rare.

There are some rare and unusual pieces of ribbon Purple Cloud. An example is shown here (right). This small flower bowl has the Registered Design No 486298 stamped on the inside. This design was registered in 1906. As this bowl has the design number inside it suggests that this is an early example. The thick ribbon effect suggests, that they had not yet perfected the art of making cloud, or that it proved difficult in these small pieces. It may also be the case that this pre-dates the introduction of Cloud Glass in 1923. Other examples of early shapes are also known in this style of ribbon cloud.

1933 was the last year that Purple Cloud Glass was produced in significant quantities. As late as 1937 the odd small batch of Purple Cloud was being made. The colour was re-introduced by Sowerby in the early 1960s who produced a few posy bowls and fancy ashtrays in Purple Cloud. As can be seen in the picture below these pieces have a 'washed out' appearance and lack the crispness of earlier Davidson pieces.

Some other examples of Davidson Purple Cloud are shown below:

Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2001/2002