Sunday, February 3, 2008

Daryle Lambert: The Continued Thomas Webb Glass Story

Example of a Thomas Webb Bronze Vase. Photo from

Cindy got after me today and told me that the Blog sounded like it came out of a book and that it was too boring. In the future, I will try to keep it personal, like she's asked me to. I am asking for your help in covering topics of interest to you, so please send me any ideas that you'd like written about in a Blog. I must finish this one on Webb class, as I promised I would.

The Webb factory continued and Mr. Webb assembled the greatest group of glass people in the world. Besides the Woodalls, there were names like John
Thomas Fereday, Daniel and Lionel Pearce, Frederick Englebert Kny and his three sons, and William Fritsche. There will never be another group of glass
masters like this assembled again. They won almost every award of their day for excellence.

In 1893, at the Chicago Colombian Worlds Fair, Webb exhibited Woodall's cameos and for years after that, most of the work coming from the factory was
shipped to the United States for sale. George Woodall retired in 1911 and died February 27, 1925. His brother, Thomas, died the next year in 1926.
This was the end of an era for excellence in glass. Since most of their work was shipped to this country, it gives us a greater chance of finding it than
even those in England.

I knew very little about Webb Glass, but a friend by the name of Jerry B. introduced me to it at Early's Auction in Cincinnati. I think he may be one
of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met when it comes it glass. I will be seeing him at the Early's April sale this year and also at the Lotton Collector's Club Annual Meeting that takes place at the same time in Cincinnati. I hope that I will be able to spend some time with him and become more knowledgeable on Webb. He also is very kind loves to share information, so if you ever have a question that I can't answer, I am sure that he would extend his knowledge to us.

Besides Cameo Glass, Webb produced several other types of glass. Bronze Glass is a glass made to imitate older glass from the Troy age. It had a slick mirror-like gold sheen with purple, blue and copper highlights. This effect was produced from the metallic chloride fumes that were used on the glass.

Another form of glass was one that became known as Peach Bloom glass, introduced in 1885. A porcelain vase that sold in New York for $18,000 was the inspiration for this glass, and one that American and British manufacturers tried to imitate in glass. This glass was two layered and began as pink at the base and progressively got more red until it reached the top. Either polished or in matte finish, today you can see many reproductions of this type of glass.

Webb's Queen's Burmese was another glass produced by Webb, under a license from Mount Washington Glass Company. This glass was a single layered glass with uranium oxide, fluorspar and feldspar added. It was often decorated with enameling, painting or gilding.

My hopes for you are that you will find a wonderful piece of Webb Glass before I do, but I assure you, I will be looking.

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