Saturday, February 2, 2008
Daryle Lambert: The Best. English Glass - Thomas Webb & Sons Glass
Stourbridge, Worcestershire England, was the center of the glass industry, producing many great glass works from many companies. Thomas Webb and Sons, formed in 1837, was probably the most famous glass producer, having been formed by Thomas Webb after his partnership with the Richardson Brothers dissolved in 1836.
Thomas Webb wasn't a man to be just content with having a great glass company. He wanted to be the best ever. I think he succeeded. While Thomas Webb died in 1896, Thomas Wilkes Webb, one of his three sons, led the company to becoming the most prominent English company.
Thomas Webb and Sons is mostly known best for their Cameo Glass, which is highly collected, and their Rock Crystal Glass. Queen’s Burmese Ware was a very popular, commercially successful glass produced by Webb and is considered more common.
Producing Cameo Glass is a process where a design is drawn on the glass with a acid resistance substance and then it is dipped into hydrofluoric acid to eat away the unprotected surface. Then it can be polished and tinted. Thomas took out a patent on Ivory Cameo in 1887. Cameo glass goes back thousands of years, and it is an interesting study you might want to look into further to see how the process evolved.
If you are ever fortune enough to find a piece of Webb glass you should hope that it was produced by the Woodall brothers, Thomas or George. They both joined Webb at about the same time in1874. There is so much to share with you about Webb Glass, I'll have to finish tomorrow. This just might be my favorite glass, even though I haven't been fortune enough to own a piece.
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