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If you really want to learn about Whitefriars glass then I thoroughly recommend you join this Facebook group.  The knowledge and advice you will find here is second to none and far exceeds that of those supposed tv experts!


Cirrus Range

The design of the Cirrus Range is often accredited (wrongly) to Geoffrey Baxter.  Now is the time to set the record straight and give the credit where credit is due.  Whitefriars Cirrus Range Studio, listed in the 1980 catalogue, was, in fact, designed by Colin Bywater, Geoffrey Baxter's assistant designer at the time. Ray Annenberg was the blower of all the Cirrus range. The range only went into production in 1980, just before Whitefriars closed.  Colin also designed labels and letterheads after the logo changed, drew the drawings in the catalogues, organised and set up Whitefriars stands at buyers fairs, designed cutting patterns and came up with new ideas for the paperweights which unfortunately weren't used as the factory closed.

Punty/Puntee Mark


In the glass-blowing process the "rod" is known as the punty/puntee iron. After a glass vessel has been blown to approximate size and the bottom of the piece has been finalized, the rod, which is tipped with a wad of hot glass, known as the punty, is attached to the bottom of the vessel to hold it while the top is finalized. It often leaves an irregular or ring-shaped scar on the base when removed called the "punty mark".  This is often, mistakenly, referred to as the pontil or pontil mark, which is French.  The presence of such a scar indicates that a glass bottle or bowl was blown freehand, while the absence of a punty mark suggests either that the mark has been obliterated or that the work was mould-blown.   

Some glass-blowers grind a hollow into the base of their work, obliterating the natural punty scar. Where the base of the work is sufficiently heavy, the entire natural base can be sawed or ground flat. Where the base of the work is concave, after the punty has been broken from the work, the punty iron may be used to attach a small gather of hot glass over the punty scar, into which a maker's mark is impressed.




A tazza (Italian, "cup", plural tazze) is a wide but shallow saucer-like dish either mounted on a stem and foot or on a foot alone. The word has been generally adopted for this type of vessel which is used either for drinking, serving small items of food, or just for display. Tazze are most commonly made in glass, metal, or ceramics, but may be made in other materials.

Pattern No 916 

Designed by Thomas Carney West around 1909, Registration No 543290, and made under licence by James Powell/Whitefriars as pattern 916.  Many other glass firms made this design, in varying sizes, but Whitefriars only made it in 5" & 6.75".  Most were of excellent quality, some not so, and one firm made it without ribbing and another in uranium.

Fake drunken bricklayer


Whitefriars used a good, heavy lead crystal but so do some of the fakes. The puntee mark is moulded, which is a giveaway. More obvious is the pattern of dimples on the central brick. On genuine vases the dimples are set randomly but in some of the more obvious fakes this is not the case. The column of dimples on the left should be random, not perpendicular. Knowledgeable collectors will also recognise non standard colours, such as yellow. Standard colours, like meadow green and kingfisher blue, have been faked but they tend to be darker than the originals.








Whitefriars Glass:

Art of James Powell & Sons

by Lesley Jackson.  

First published in Great Britain in 1996 by Richard Dennis.                                                      





Whitefriars Glass:

James Powell and Sons of London

by Wendy Evans, Catherine Ross and Alex Werner.

First published in Great Britain in 1995 by the Museum of London.

Great Britain Glass Paris Universal Exposition 1878 

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