The National Glass Collectors Fair

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Glass News

This section of the National Glass Collectors Fair website will keep you up to date about glass-related news items. This includes information about forthcoming museum exhibitions, lectures and seminars, as well as important sales at major auction houses.

You can also keep up to date with the latest glass news via Twitter and Facebook.

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End of an Era: Glass Fair Closure

May 2021 Glass Fair Cancellation!

Antique Stourbridge Glass: A New Website Resource

The Dynasty Builder by David Williams-Thomas

Charles Schneider: French Art Deco Glass

Book Launch: Chance Additions

Isle of Wight Studio Glass Recommences Production

Homes & Antiques Magazine: Fair Of The Month

Book: 'Rummers: A Social History Told In Glass'

Book: 'The Portland Vase Project 2012'

'Encyclopaedia of Caithness Glass Paperweights: The First 40 Years'

Book Release: 'The Curious History of the Bulb Vase'

20th Century British Glass by Charles R. Hajdamach

News Updates

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End of an Era: Glass Fair Closure

Specialist Glass Fairs is sorry to announce that not only has our November 2021 fair been cancelled, but we have regrettably decided to call it a day on all future glass fairs.

There were a number of factors that influenced this decision but the set-backs and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 proved to be the final undoing for all of our events. Progress of the Delta variant has pushed back the lifting of social distancing until the 19th of July, which is too close to the date of the November fair to put any necessary arrangements into place. It is also proving impossible to secure any Covid cancellation insurance, which is necessary to protect us against any unforeseen roll-back on the relaxing of social distancing rules.

Since our last fair in 2019 we have seen many of our regular exhibitors going into retirement or moving on from the glass trade. Replacing those valued dealers has proved extremely difficult and we do not feel that it's possible to find enough new exhibitors to put on a glass fair that would meet the high expectations our loyal attendees have come to expect.

The well-being of the exhibitors and visitors attending the fair is of paramount importance to us and it has become increasingly clear that our mostly older clientele would be uncomfortable attending a crowded indoor event. Although most visitors will be fully vaccinated by November, many people still are hesitant to attend any events when there is a prospect of new Covid variants arising.

Rather than just postpone the fair again we have taken the decision to permanently close the National Glass Fair. This is the end of an era for us and it has been an extremely difficult decision to make considering that we have been running glass fairs for nearly 20 years - beginning with the first Cambridge Guildhall fair in 2003.

Many of our regular exhibitors and visitors were there at the very start and we would like to thank them and everyone else who has supported us through the years.

Paul & Christina



Urgent Notice! May 2021 Glass Fair Cancellation

Glass COVID-19 Sculpture Concept by David Hier
Glass COVID-19 Sculpture Concept
by David Hier

Specialist Glass Fairs is sorry to announce that the May 2021 National Glass Fair will no longer go ahead as planned.

We had hoped that the availability of a vaccine and stronger lockdown restrictions would have paved the way for the fair to take place in May. Unfortunately the continued severity of the virus and need for for strict restrictions on public gatherings means that this will not be possible.

We are continuing to liaise with the National Motorcycle Museum whilst keeping a close eye on changing government advice and we are optimistically committed to putting on a glass fair this year.

The next National Glass fair is now scheduled to take place on Sunday 7 November 2021 and it will once again take place at the National Motorcycle Museum. We hope to see you there.

You can receive notifications and news about our next fair by signing up to our mailing list.


Antique Stourbridge Glass: A New Website Resource

A new website resource has been launched, which aims to make it easier to identify antique and collectable glassware produced by the the various factories that operated out of the Stourbridge area. The website covers the development of Stourbridge decorative art glass from around 1860 to the 1920s - as produced primarily by Stevens & Williams and Thomas Webb & Sons.

The website is well illustrated and documents the research carried out by the site's creator, Dilwyn Hier. The information has been made available as a result of Dilwyn's many years of research as a collector.

The site is structured to show the various techniques and styles of glass that have been produced. These are illustrated with numerous photographs, as well as original factory records, patents and contemporary publications.

You will also find a guide to the identification of Stourbridge decorative glass, including information on the replicas produced by continental glassmakers.

Visitors can also explore research data and census records for the people behind the success of the Stourbridge glass making industry. This helps to provide some personal insights on figures like Northwood, Barbe, Carder, O’Fallon, Orchard and many others who normally do not get a mention.

Threaded Air-trap

Frequently referred to as "Jewel" ware, this type of glass is often incorrectly attributed to Stevens & Williams. Research by Dilwyn Hier has busted this myth by identifying the designs from the Thomas Webb & Sons pattern books.

The pattern number is 13655, dated 1881/2, which describes a threaded ware: "Body, flint, slightly cased in ruby, gold threads & large diamond mould.". The Webb pattern is reproduced on the website.

The website has been produced in preference to publishing a book, as the format makes it easier to reproduce (in quantity) pattern books, photos and other archive materials, which can be thumbed through and enlarged. The same applies to the numerous photographs, some of which offer 360˚ rotating views, as well videos that demonstrate techniques use to create different styles of glass.

Links to research materials, sources and institutions are available, as well as guides to books and museums.

The site is partly free but the main content is subject to two levels of subscription. The premium level provides access to the patterns and archive materials. £10 of the upgrade fee will be donated to the White House Cone Museum of Glass and contributes towards it's upkeep.

Below you can view a couple of sample articles from the premium section of the Antique Stourbridge Glass website.

Sample Article on Oscar Pierre Erard >>>

Sample Article on Engraving >>>


The Dynasty Builder by David Williams-Thomas

Book Cover: The Dynasty Builder by David Williams-Thomas

Book Cover: The Dynasty Builder by David Williams-Thomas

In addition to the many attractions at our November 2016 Glass Fair, David Williams-Thomas was in attendance to promote his new book: 'The Dynasty Builder: The Hidden Diaries of Samuel Cox Williams, Founder of Stevens & Williams'.

The author is a former director of Stevens and Williams (later Royal Brierley Crystal) and the book is based on the diaries of Samuel Cox Williams, who was one of the most influential figures in the Victorian glass industry.

Samuel lived near Stourbridge for forty years and is possibly best known for founding Stevens & Williams in 1846. He proceeded to build the firm up to become one of the most important Art Glass manufacturers in the world. Under Royal Charter the company later became known as Royal Brierley Crystal.

This book is based on the diaries Samuel Cox Williams kept from 1869-1883 and is primarily concerned with his exploits, family life and business dealings during this time. The author also covers the history of Williams' glassmaking firm: from the end of this period up to 1998, when the family's involvement in the business finished.

Author David Williams-Thomas On The Day Of The November 2016 National Glass Fair.

Author David Williams-Thomas On The Day Of The November 2016 National Glass Fair.

The author, David Williams-Thomas, is Samuel's great-great-grandson and ran the family business throughout his own working life.

If you are interested in learning more about Royal Brierly Crystal, you may also be interested in reading about the exhibition that was held at the National Glass Collectors fair on Sunday 13 November 2016. Read More >>>








Charles Schneider: French Art Deco Glass

Book Cover: Charles Schneider French Art Deco Glass.

Book Cover: Charles Schneider French Art Deco Glass 

Charles Schneider: French Art Deco Glass is the title of this new book written by Tiny Esveld and Marie-Christine Joulin.

The book features a wealth of information, covering the life and pioneering glass designs produced by Charles Schneider (1881-1953).

Starting with a brief biography the authors bring to life Schneider’s early years and artistic ambitions, his design work for Daum and his predilection for engraving medals and semi-precious stones.

A short history of Verreries Schneider S.A., covers it's two production lines: Schneider and Le Verre Français. This includes details of the glass etching and engraving techniques employed, and the use of coloured powder, marquetry and lustre glass are also explained.

The authors were especially privileged in being allowed to research the family archives and discover new information. Consequently the book features 500 illustrations, including period photographs of the family and the Schneider factory, as well as numerous original glass designs.

'Charles Schneider: French Art Deco Glass' will be available to purchase from the end of November and can be ordered from the following website (price €48):

About the Authors

Tiny Esveld owns a gallery specialized in the artworks of the Art Nouveau and French Art Déco periods, with a preference for the École de Nancy, the glass of Émile Gallé, Daum, and Charles Schneider, and an emphasis on rare and exceptional pieces.

Marie-Christine Joulin is known all over the world today as the greatest expert of Charles Schneider’s oeuvre, which she has studied for the past thirty years in close contact with the artist’s family.


Book Launch: Chance Additions

Book Cover: Chance Additions

Book Cover: Chance Additions

David Encill attended our November 2014 glass fair in order to launch his latest book on Chance Glass.

The book is entitled 'Chance Additions: A Sequel to Chance Expressions, The History of Domestic Glassware from...Chance Brothers'.

Since publishing Chance Expressions, several new revelations have emerged about the glassware that prompted this second volume.

The most significant reason for this is due to the Chance archives moving back to their ancestral home in Smethwick, West Midlands. This permitted unparalleled access to previously unseen documentation.

This new volume expands on the history of domestic glassware from Chance Brothers, from 1929 to 1981. This includes the entire ranges of Orlak and Aqualux tableware, along with details of new pressed-glass and Fiestaware ranges.

Further information can be found on David Encill's website.


Isle of Wight Studio Glass Recommences Production


Glass vase by Timothy Harris

Glass vase by Timothy Harris

We have some great news for anyone interested in contemporary studio glass and the work of Isle of Wight Studio Glass.

Timothy Harris has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible with glass and his work is gaining a lot of attention and appreciation. Increasingly discerning glass lovers are coming to recognise that he has produced some of the best works in the history of British Studio Glass.

Following the liquidation of Isle of Wight Studio Glass, all was thought lost. Fortunately Timothy looked at this as just another boundary he had to overcome. Thankfully the company has now been resurrected from the furnace as Timothy Harris @ I of W Studio Glass.

Better still, Timothy has finally recommenced glass production and launched some of his newest pieces at May 2014 National Glass Fair. Artius Glass - long time supporters of Timothy Harris' work - were delighted to make these available for purchase and allow collectors the opportunity to get hold of Timothy's most recent creations 'straight from the furnace'!


Homes & Antiques Magazine Fair Of The Month!

BBC Homes and Antiques Article

We are extremely excited to announce that the National Glass Fair was featured as 'Fair of the Month' in the November 2013 issue of Homes & Antiques Magazine.

The magazine included a great write-up, which should really wet your appetite for the glass that will be available at our future glass fairs.

To view some of the amazing glass that was offered for sale at our November 2013 fair, head over to our November 2013 Preview Gallery >>>


Rummers: A Social History Told In Glass

Book Cover: Rummers: A Social History Told In Glass by Tim Mills
Book Cover: Rummers: A Social History Told In Glass by Tim Mills

Regular National Glass Fair exhibitor Timothy Mills has recently published an exciting new book: 'Rummers - A Social History Told in Glass'.

Whilst a great deal has been written about stemmed 18th century drinking glasses, Rummers have rarely received more than a passing mention.

Tim's book has been written in order to address this relative neglect and to give these glasses the exposure they deserve.

The book describes and illustrates the development of the rummer form, detailing the evolution of different styles and techniques. This journey takes you from their first appearance around 1780, through to their demise in the later decades of the nineteenth century.

The glasses used to illustrate the book range from the humble to the grand, from the cheap to the expensive, and from those encountered everyday to museum examples. Detailed captions provide the reader with useful information, whether they are browsing or reading cover to cover. It is hoped that the book will prove to be a valuable resource for those interested in British drinking glasses in general and rummers in particular.

Further information about 'Rummers - A Social History Told in Glass' >>>


'The 2012 Portland Vase Project'

Book Cover: 'The 2012 Portland Vase Project - Recreation of a Masterpiece'
Book Cover: 'The 2012 Portland Vase Project - Recreation of a Masterpiece'

Our 11th November 2012 glass fair featured an exhibition celebrating the latest recreation of the Portland Vase.

As an accompaniment to the exhibition, author Graham Fisher was in attendance selling copies of his book 'The 2012 Portland Vase Project' (ISBN: 9780954878146).

Graham is a trustee of the British Glass Foundation, an outreach worker for Broadfield House Glass Museum and has previously written about the historic Stourbridge glass industry in his book 'Jewel In the Cut'.

Graham's latest publication documents the making of the 2012 Portland Vase replica, which he describes as being a "tribute to all the glassmakers and artists who have helped, and continue to help, make the Stourbridge Glass industry the envy of the world".

The book also includes information on the principles of glassmaking, an historic guide to 400 years of glassmaking in the Stourbridge region, as well as some background on the development of cameo glass from the Roman period and a detailed account of the original Portland Vase.

Further information about the November 2012 National Glass Fair exhibition >>>


'Encyclopaedia of Caithness Glass Paperweights.'Encyclopaedia of Caithness Glass Paperweights: The First 40 Years'

In addition to the glass offered for sale at our May 2012 National Glass Fair, Andrew Nowson was once again in attendance selling copies of his paperweight encyclopedia.

'Encyclopaedia of Caithness Glass Paperweights: The First 40 Years' is a 'must-have' for paperweight collectors, dealers and anyone else who wants to know more about this fascinating subject.




'The Curious History of the Bulb Vase' by Patricia Coccoris

Book Cover: The Curious History of the Bulb Vase.Patricia Coccoris attended our 6 May 2012 glass fair, selling copies of her newly released book about bulb vases.

'The Curious History of the Bulb Vase' catalogues the diverse range of bulb vases manufactured  in Great Britain from the mid-18th century to the present day.

Although interest in bulb vases trailed off in the early part of the 20th century, it is now showing something of a revival. Modern vases, such as those designed by Dartington Crystal and Margaret Howdle demonstrate that the art and the interest in this area are as high as ever.

The book contains a full 300-year history of the bulb vase and a valuable reference guide for collectors. A compilation of pages from previously unseen factory pattern books (Richardson, Stevens & Williams, Stuart & Sons and Thomas Webb) places the reader in the enviable position of being able identify a huge range of bulb vases: hyacinth, tulip, crocus and snowdrop. The book also provides bulb vase collectors with an invaluable guide to the various glassmaking effects employed by manufacturers.

Follies and oddities in the world of bulb vases and indoor cultivation are also explored and show the many diverse ways in which bulb vases were put to use. Some are amusing, fanciful or ridiculous, and others are downright dangerous.

Finally, the author puts to bed the many misapprehensions that collectors may have about ‘bulb vases’; from candlesticks to hurricane lamps, many glass items have been assumed to be bulb vases – until now.

For further information visit Patricia's website

20th Century British Glass by Charles R. Hajdamach

20th Century British Glass by Charles R. Hajdamach.
20th Century British Glass
by Charles R. Hajdamach

In addition to the vast array of glass available at our November 2009 glass fair, Charles Hajdamach was in attendance to promote the launch of what promises to be the most comprehensive guide to 20th century British glass.

The book covers everything from Art Nouveau and Art Deco
masterpieces through to engraved glass, cameo glass, paperweights and even the now much ignored Pyrex ovenware.

Chapters focus on the effects of both World Wars and there are special features looking at significant designers such as Keith Murray.

Major exhibitions, including The Festival of Britain (1951), are
fully discussed and biographical sections look at post-war designers,
including Geoffrey Baxter, Ronald Stennett-Willson and Frank

Armed with this book the beginner, the collector, the
museum curator, the designer and the social historian will have an
indispensable and complete guide to a fascinating period of British
glass making. Budding new collectors of 20th century glass will also find the book extremely helpful, as it will help them to easily spot important pieces of glass that might be found at antique fairs and in charity shops.

20th Century British Glass (ISBN: 1851495878 ) is illustrated with over 900 superb photographs, including previously unpublished catalogues and images from important public and private collections.

Charles' book is available for sale at Broadfield House Glass Museum, as well as various high street and online shops: RRP £49.50

You can also read more about Charles Hajdamach and his previous publications on his Website: