The Glass Circle - a society for the information, appreciation and understanding of ancient, antique, modern and contemporary glass.  

Glass Circle Diary Dates - Meetings

7 T


Glass Circle lecture season


7.15pm Wednesday 6th May 2015:

(refreshments from 6.30pm)

Robert Charleston Memorial Lecture:

David C. Watts: 'Getting to know American glass'

Hobbs, Brockunier & Co. "Peachblow" copy of the Chinese porcelain "Morgan Vase" that sold at auction in 1886 for the astonishing price of $18,000!


Excluding the abortive glass factory at Jamestown, the American glass industry began roughly a century after that in England. The 18th century was largely dominated by three German families - Wistar, Stiegel and Amelung - who created an enclave and set up glasshouses in New Jersey near the Delaware River. Wistar and Stiegel made mainly bottles and window glass by the broad method while Amelung, who took over one of Stiegel’s factories, also made tableware and a form of lead crystal. None of these glasshouses survived.

All this glass is rare and expensive. The typical American collector’s period does not really start until after the American War of Independence (1776), and English imports were largely blocked. The main need, apart from windows, was for bottles, flasks and lamps, produced in great diversity. In the 19th century exquisite blown tableware and Art glass in distinctive styles and colours, decorated with painting, engraving embossing and cutting, were produced and continued almost to the present day.

The overwhelming demand was for cheap glass - met by the invention of the pressing machine, c.1825. It answered the shortage of skilled blowers. The initial pressing was often further worked in surprising ways not found in England. English emigrant glassmakers - Cain’s, Blenko, Bennet, Northwood, Nash etc. - many connected with Stourbridge, played prominent roles in these developments.

Following the introduction of machine-made glassware many of the traditional industries collapsed after WWII. Today it is being replaced by an exciting Studio Glass movement.

Please note the date and day of the week, which exceptionally is a Wednesday.
The lecture will start promptly at 19.15. Coffee and light refreshments are provided from 18.30. The meeting will finish by 21.00

(NB There is now a charge of £10 each per meeting.)

Glass Circle meetings May - June 2015:

7.15pm Wednesday 6th May 2015 David C. Watts: 'Getting to know American glass'

7.15pm Tuesday 9th June 2015 Anna Laméris: 'Three Diamond Line Engravers in Eighteenth Century Utrecht'

Lecture Meeting Place: The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

Members are reminded to advise the Secretary, in advance, of their intention to attend.

Please note: Lecture Meetings - members £10 per meeting attended and £15.00 for each guest. (The annual general meeting in the autumn is not subject to an entry charge)

If you are not a member and would like to attend a meeting please e-mail for further information.

(Please give the meeting date, your name, email address and phone number.)

Next meetings in 2015: 6th May, 9th June

Please note other Glass Circle Diary Dates:

 - Outings - Visits - Events of Interest

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