Connoisseur 1911 - Nailsea Glass

The Connoisseur magazine 85 June 1911

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Nailsea Glass

By H. St. George Gray

“The good name of a man is like a Venice glass, which one drop of poison will break; or like a sheet of paper, which one drop of ink will defile.” — Ward's Diary.

Glass-making is a thing of the past in Somerset. The industry, however, flourished for some eighty-five years at Nailsea, the works being finally closed in 1873. This home of Somerset glass is 100 feet above sea level, and is situated in the north of the county, nine miles west-south-west of Bristol, and four and a half miles east-south-east of Clevedon. The works covered an area of just over five acres, excluding the cottage property adjoining. The specimens here figured represent not only some of the rarer forms and qualities of Nailsea glass, but also several which are comparatively common. Many pieces doubtless find their way into the cabinets of collectors non-resident in the south-western counties, and it often occurs that when local products are collected in districts far distant from the source of manufacture they are not easily identified. Nailsea being practically in the Bristol district, its productions doubtless have been usually classed as “old Bristol glass," which accounts for the fact that so little has been placed on record having exclusive reference to Nailsea.



The writer has taken all the illustrations for this article from the Nailsea glass belonging to Mrs. C. E. Challicom, of Scarthingwell, Clevedon, whose collection has a wide reputation extending far beyond the bounds of the county. Mrs. Challicom is not a glass collector of long standing; but has recently been so assiduous in the pursuit that she now owns about two hundred pieces, many of which have been obtained in the parish of Nailsea and the neighbouring villages. In many cases the pieces have been handed down in families from grandfather to son, and from son to grandson, and she has been careful to preserve such records whenever practicable. She very kindly allows interested collectors and other visitors to see her treasures by appointment.

Previously to Mrs. Challicom becoming interested in this pursuit, the largest collection of Nailsea glass was to be seen in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, which consists of a representative and fine series, and the writer is indebted to that institution for some of the undermentioned information extracted from labels accompanying the specimens. There are smaller collections in private hands in Somerset, and a few pieces in Taunton Castle Museum. The S. G. Hewlett collection of glass in Brighton Museum includes several specimens of Nailsea glass, including [Page 85] flasks, a porringer, bells, a wand, jugs, and two “pipes.”

The Connoisseur magazine 86 June 1911

.In collecting there is always a certain amount of rivalry. Forgeries, perhaps, make collecting more exciting, and, of course, add considerably to its complications. Fabrications of Nailsea glass (sometimes excellent imitations), specially prepared for the unwary collector, are already in the market. Some of the most flagrant imitations offered for sale (perhaps more in the neighbourhood of Bristol than elsewhere) are copies of the splashed Nailsea glass, especially those pieces in the form of long-necked bottles. An effective imitation of age and wear is obtained by the application of acids.

Even Mrs. Challicom can never hope to make a complete collection of glass vessels, utensils, and ornaments from the Nailsea works; but she has had some unmistakable triumphs. Many pieces of this glass cannot be prized for their beauty, but only for their relative scarcity and characteristic style ; and a large collection of the kind, of course, brings many objects together which are estranged from their proper use and environment.

Except at Bristol there was never much glass-making carried on in the south-western counties; but there were glaziers and glass-wrights in Gloucester as far back as the thirteenth century. By the end of the sixteenth century it was reported that “in Gloucestershire, one Hoe, a Frenchman, hath built a glass-house and furnace, and doth make great quantities of glasses.” He was condemned in the order issued by the magistrates in 1598 to put down the manufacture of drinking-glasses, for which a patent had been granted to Sir Jerome Bowes. Certain landowners in Kent appear to have had glass-houses at the end of the sixteenth century.*[The Antiquary, vol. xli., p. 127.]

Stow says that Venetian glass-blowers first came to London in Elizabeth’s time. In the beginning of the seventeenth century another party of Venetians were established at Lambeth as glass-blowers.

Mention of a local glass-grinder occurs in 1683 at Bristol, when a man was admitted a freeman on his undertaking to take a city schoolboy as an apprentice without the usual premium of £7. The first glass-maker does not appear on the roll till 1690. At that date glass windows to shops were a novelty, and they were never seen in the houses of the poor. †[Latimer’s Annals of Bristol.]

Latimer says that the history of the rise and progress of glass-making in Bristol seems to be lost. From an official return among the State Papers, showing the produce of the duty on glass for the year 1695-6, it would appear that the city was one of the chief centres of the industry. The gross receipts of the duty were £17,642; but a “drawback” was allowed on the glass exported, and this deduction amounted to £2,976 at Bristol, £1,020 at Newcastle, and £840 at London.

The first Bristol will to mention table-glass is of the date 1715. On the occasion of Queen Anne visiting Bristol in 1702, we read that the Corporation’s dinner to the Queen cost a large sum, including £6 14s. 0d. for glasses.

In 1728, “A fiscal interference with the glass trade, exciting much local irritation, was resolved upon by the Government during the session. With the object of preventing smuggling, the importation of wine in bottles and small casks was absolutely prohibited. The Bristol glass-makers petitioned against the proposal, asserting that many thousand persons were employed in making bottles for exportation, which were re-imported filled with wine, and that the stoppage of the business would cause the entire destruction of the bottle trade; but the protest was ineffectual.” *[Latimer’s Annals of Bristol.]

In September, 1754, the Bristol Corporation was called upon to pay £4 16s. 0d. for “a glass put into Mr. Alderman Laroche’s coach, in the place of one broken at the gaol delivery.” Glass evidently at that time was very costly.

Evans recorded, under December 27th, 1761, that the Duke of York visited the Bristol glass-houses, and that at the time the black bottle, flint-glass, and plate-glass manufacturers occupied fifteen large houses — some being confined to bottle-making. †[ Evans’s History of Bristol, 1824.]

By 1794, however, “glass bottles were already a flourishing manufacture, occasioned by the demand for the export of Bristol waters, beer, cider, and perry.” On August 22nd, 1789, Wadham, Ricketts and Co. opened “the Phoenix flint-glass works, without Temple Gate (late the Phoenix Inn), ‡[ These works were built in 1785.] a place which was subsequently converted into a bottle manufactory.” §[ These works still exist, the industry being carried on by Powell & Ricketts.] In 1797 there were fourteen glassworks in operation at Bristol. ‡[ Latimer’s Annals of Bristol.]

Matthews (1828) says that in Bristol there were “twelve glass houses which might be visited by presenting a small gratuity to the workmen, who living in hot climates were very glad of some suction to moisten their clay.” By 1828 flint-glass was being made at Bristol.

The Connoisseur magazine 87 June 1911


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The Nailsea Glass Works were opened in 1788 by John Robert Lucas (married 1781), son of Robert Lucas, a glass bottle manufacturer of Bristol, who died in 1775. John previously had works at Wick, near Bristol. In 1793, the firm of Lucas, Chance, Homer & Coathupe was established at Nailsea (the partners being J. R. Lucas, William Chance, Edward Homer, and William Coathupe). In 1807, when the partnership was renewed, the firm possessed a capital of £60,000, and owned in addition to the Crown Glass Works at Nailsea, some glass houses at Stanton Drew (Somerset), and probably at Wick, with an office and warehouse in Nicholas Street, Bristol. In 1810, Robert Lucas Chance, son of William Chance, had shares in the business, and managed the Nailsea works. In 1812 he introduced John Hartley, of Dumbarton, then the leading expert in glass manufacturing in the country. R. L. Chance left Nailsea for London in 1815, and sold his shares shortly afterwards. In 1821, on the expiry of the renewed partnership of 1807, W. Chance sold his shares, and E. Homer part of his, to William Coathupe, and James Edward Homer, a son of E. Homer, was taken into partnership, the firm then trading as Lucas, Coathupe & Homer. In 1827, R. L. Chance induced Hartley to leave Nailsea, and join him in a glass works which he had bought in 1824, at Spon Lane, about five miles west of Birmingham. Hartley died in 1833, his place being taken by his sons, when the firm became “Chances & Hartleys”; but the latter retired to Sunderland in 1836, thus bringing about the establishment of the well-known firm of Chance Bros. & Co.

To return to the Nailsea works, Edward Homer died in 1825, and John Robert Lucas, the founder, in 1828. The executors of the latter on behalf of his grandsons — John Rodbard Bean and Henry Lucas Bean, to whom he left his shares — formed, in 1835, a partnership with three Coathupes, J. E. Homer, and Thomas Cliffe, for nine years, i.e., until H. L. Bean should come of age, under the style of Lucas, Coathupes, Homer & Cliffe. In 1844, on the termination of the agreement, the partners of the new firm of Coathupe & Co. were Charles Thornton Coathupe, Oliver Coathupe (who managed the Bristol office), J. Rodbard Bean (afterwards Rodbard), H. L. Bean and J. E. Homer; the latter retiring in 1846, and dying in 1856.*[One of the chief bottle factories at Birmingham at the present day is that of James F. Homer & Sons, Cecil Street.] C. T. Coathupe retired in 1848, when Oliver Coathupe removed from Bristol to Nailsea to manage the works. In 1854, Richard Hadlen became interested for a few months, and in 1855 Oliver Coathupe sold his rights to Isaac White, who owned a mine at Nailsea. In 1857 John Rodbard disposed of his share to his brother, H. L. Bean, by whom, in conjunction with White, the works were leased to Samuel Bowen,†[ Bowen’s “new” offices still stand.] glass manufacturer of West Bromwich, and John Powis of London, in 1862, who made “patent undulating glass.” “Brilliant cut [Page 87] glass” was also made by Bowen, and before his time too.



The Connoisseur magazine 88 June 1911

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In 1869 the freehold was sold to the Hartleys of Sunderland, and Bowen becoming bankrupt just afterwards, the Hartleys sold the works in 1870 to Chance Bros. & Co.,*[ An Indenture dated May 19th, 1870, was made between James Hartley and John James Kayll of the first part, John Hartley, Thomas Blenkinsop Hartley, and Hartley Perks Kayll of the second part, and James Timmins Chance, Robert Lucas Chance, Edward Chance, John Homer Chance, and Henry Chance of the third part.] of Smethwick, near Birmingham (now a limited company), who carried it on till May, 1873, when it was finally closed.

The writer recently had the advantage of interviewing William Stonier (now deceased), of Waltom, Clevedon, who was apprenticed at Birmingham, and came to Nailsea when the glass-works were taken over by the Chances. With Stonier many men came from Birmingham, chiefly glass-blowers and “flatteners,” the unskilled labourers being Somerset men. It is stated that this firm employed from 200 to 250 hands at Nailsea — sometimes more — and some of the blowers of heavy glass earned from £6 to £8 a week.

Chance & Co. did not buy the Nailsea works as a good speculation, but to keep other workers out. They manufactured only sheet and rolled plate glass, of which they kept a large stock; some of it was sent by water to Ireland, Scotland, and Bristol Conflicting statements are made as to the reasons why Chance & Co. closed the Nailsea works. It has been stated in print that the quality of the coal obtained at that time was so poor that it did not give sufficient heat for glass-making. Others report that the machinery became worn out, and that some of it fell into adjacent holes. Others, again, say that some of the buildings collapsed, and the firm suffered considerably from the endless expenditure in keeping the works in repair. The glass is said, too, to have been of poor quality in the seventies. But the true reason is probably summed up in the words, “The works did not pay.”

According to Stonier, Chance & Co.’s outlay on taking over the dilapidated works is said to have been between £30,000 and £40,000. After the works had been closed for several years, Samuel Davis, of the “Royal Oak Inn,” Nailsea, at the sale held on July 25th, 1889, *[Sale conducted by Alexander, Daniel, Selfe & Co., Corn Street, Bristol] bought the works and offices, †[It is stated that Davis only paid £1,200 for this property, and that afterwards he sold all the iron connected with the works for over £800.] with about 410 feet frontage to the main road from Nailsea to Bristol, on the condition that the glass-making ceased at the Nailsea works (although no objection was made to bottle-making). Some of the machinery went back to Birmingham. A double cottage on the north side of the works was, previously to 1907, a public-house known as the “Glass-Makers’ Arms.” A large building, formerly used for two French kilns, adjoining the “ Royal Oak Inn” and the old gas works and gas retort, has now been converted into the Nailsea rifle range. All the other buildings, including the annealing sheds, cones, furnaces, kilns, retorts, cutting-rooms, carpenters’ shops, ware-rooms, offices, stables, cart-sheds, and yards, are in a ruinous condition; but the ever-increasing growth of ivy and blackberry bushes now lends an almost picturesque aspect to the scene. Mr. S. Davis died on February 9th, 1905, and those portions of the works which he owned at the time of his death were again offered for sale by auction on June 15th, 1905.

The glass works were distinguished by “cones,” in the centre of which was the furnace resting on arches, where a relay of glass vessels was prepared for the furnace. Two of these “cones” are still standing; but the largest at the west end (No.i.) ‡[From a photograph by Mr. Tom Thatcher, June 8th, 1905.] was demolished by means of dynamite in 1905 for the purpose of obtaining bricks (few of which were afterwards sold).

The Connoisseur magazine 89 June 1911


In Mrs. Challicom’s collection there are several masses of bright transparent green glass, and no doubt other kinds can still be collected among the debris of the works. As Mr. W. Turner has pointed [Page 88] out, *[ The Queen, June 15th, 1907.] excavation on the spot is necessary in search of representative fragments of broken vessels to determine whether all the kinds of ornamental glass attributed to Nailsea actually have their origin on Somerset soil. Stonier informed the writer that some of the “freaks” sold as Nailsea glass were made at Bristol, Birmingham, etc., some being brought by Chance’s men into Somerset, and that much of the ornamental glass was made by the workmen in their own time as tours de force, and sold for their own profit. At Birmingham, too, the Chances made rolling-pins and pastry- and milk-pans among other things. ‡[ Mr. C.E. Evans,of Nailsea Court, has some clear pale green glass milk-pans nearly two feet in diameter, which were collected in Nailsea village.]

Turning to directories and other records we get the following information: In 1859 “crown and sheet glass works on a large scale “ existed at Nailsea. ‡[Old Bristol Directory.] In 1866 there were at Nailsea “extensive glass works, where three hundred and fifty persons are employed.” §[ Kelly’s Directory.] Several French workmen were engaged at the works as glass-blowers. In Blackie’s Gazetteer, 1856, it is stated that “an extensive manufactory of crown glass, numerous collieries and quarries of building and paving-stone” existed at Nailsea. In addition, the writer has been informed on good authority that there was a shoe factory, and another for sulphur, used at the glass works. The population of Nailsea

  In 1801 was 1,093   In 1861 was 2,337  
  ” 1811 " 1,313   ” 1871 ” 2,237  
  ” 1821 ” 1,678   ” 1881 ” 1,852  
  ” 1831 ” 2,114   ” 1891 ” 1,793  
  ” 1841 ” 2,550   ” 1901 ” 1,718  
  ” 1851 ” 2,543        
The coal-basin of Nailsea is exposed at the surface.

John Rutter (1829) records that excellent coal was to be found underneath the whole extent of Nailsea Heath, “and is worked in several places by shafts and pits varying from 50 to 70 fathoms, and in some instances has been worked underground to a distance of a quarter of a mile from the main shaft.” Some of the coal seams, however, are only a few inches thick.



The Connoisseur magazine 90 June 1911


The sand used at the works occasionally came from Belgium, but generally from Wareham in Dorset. The limestone used in the form of slaked lime was quarried, for the most part, at Clevedon; but some came from Bristol. [Page 89] Manganese, carbonate of soda, etc., were also used. In the manufacture of the glass the raw materials were melted in crucibles called “glass-pots.” The manufacture of these clay vessels has long formed a large business at Stourbridge; but the place of origin of those used at Nailsea has not been identified, as far as the writer is aware. Both triangular and round crucibles exhibiting a semi-fused vesicular structure, and composed of fireclay and gannister beds of the Bristol coal-field, have been found in the lake villages of Glastonbury and Meare dating from the early Iron Age (some two hundred years before Christ).

It is on record under date 1792 that the glass-house people lived in nineteen cottages in a row — mere hovels — containing nearly two hundred people, who were known as Nailsea “savages” or “heads,” as they chose to style themselves. Both sexes and all ages herded together. The high buildings comprising the factories ranged before the very doors of the cottages. The inhabitants welcomed strangers who came to minister to them to “Botany Bay” or to “Little Hell,” as they were in the habit of designating their little colony. Through the endeavours of Hannah and Martha Moore, philanthropists and religious teachers, these so-called “savages” became considerably tamed before the close of the eighteenth century; but it appears probable that some of these records are somewhat exaggerated.

The wages were high when there was work to do — some families earning over £10 a week — and they were in the habit of eating and drinking like “fighting-cocks”; nevertheless, many of these people in their old age became so reduced in means that they had “to live on the parish.” The story is told in Dr. W. Hardman’s manuscript of a thrifty Frenchman, who, finding his wages were considerably more than he needed for his support, asked his employers to take charge of the balance, as he only wanted to spend a maximum of £1 a week, and he arranged that he should be allowed interest on his undrawn wages. Thus several years passed, when at length he requested his employers to make up his accounts, and it was found that he had £4,000 to his credit. With this sum he returned to his own country, and when last heard of was mayor or prefect of his native town, and lived in great dignity on an income that, calculated in francs, seemed very considerable.

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We must now deal with the illustrations accompanying this article. The coloured frontispiece (No. ii. on page 91) represents no less than forty-six flasks, which are perhaps the most characteristic of the Nailsea ornamental glass. They display the well-known ribbon or latticinio effects, probably produced by the [Page 90] French and Venetian workmen, who moved from one glass factory to another as necessity required. Many of the Frenchmen, however, permanently resided at Nailsea, and a row of cottages was built for their special colony; this block of buildings is still known as “French Rank.” Many of these foreigners thought that snails were useful in chest diseases, to which glass-workers are liable, and it was a very common sight to see these workmen searching the old walls for snails. The Bristol glass-workers still eat them, and they may have learnt the habit from the Nailsea “Frenchmen.” * [The snail-gatherer is well known in West Somerset. The favourite species is Helix hortensis.]

The latticinio glass generally took the form of flasks, large pipes, bells, bottles, and rolling-pins. The flasks were sometimes used, it is said, by ladies and gentlemen taking the waters at Bath; and no doubt they were brought into requisition by our grandparents for carrying wine and other liquor during the wearisome journeys of the times.

These flasks vary in height from 3Œ in. (third row) to 10œ in., and four of them have the double neck. In the first and third rows are two specimens of the greenish-black bottle glass flecked with white. The smaller specimen with red and blue, in the top row, was exhibited in the Great Exhibition of 1851. Nearly every colour is represented in this fine series — clear white, opaque white, pale golden brown, yellow (rare), dark red (rare), pink and salmon, greens, blues (dark and pale). In referring to colour, mention should be made of the glass kaleidoscope in Mrs. Challicom’s collection, which is interesting as exhibiting specimens of the various colours of glass manufactured at Nailsea. It is 11Œ in. long, 3 in. in diameter, and was made by one Tom Bryant.

The first operation in making glass bottles and flasks is called “gathering”; a “parison” is next formed, which is put into the mould, and then blown to the required shape. On the second row, No. ii., are three specimens of these “parisons”; one, Ÿ in. long, is ovoid, and consists of clear white glass streaked with milky white and ruby glass inside ; the other two are almost circular, and about 1œ in. in diameter — greenish-black glass, flecked with white and very pale opaque blue. They are said to have been called “ boisters “ at the Nailsea works. On the same row a charming little scent-bottle, still containing part of its sponge, is seen; height 111/16 in. It is of clear white glass with opaque spiral streaking; at the [Page 93] bottom a small pink boss; on one face J x K; and on the other 1819 in relief in blue.

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No. iii. represents a piece of plaited glass, pink and white, collected in Nailsea village (scale about one-third). Spun glass for practical use was very well known to the Ancient Egyptians; but it has long been a curiosity. It is recorded that a Frenchman in the middle of last century developed the process upon commercial lines, and died without revealing its secrets; but the process has been recently discovered in Germany. Glass thus drawn out into very thin threads is flexible, and it is possible [Page 94] to spin and weave it into clothes; such garments would be incombustible, non-conducting, and impervious to acids. The insulating properties of the glass-wool would render it valuable as a packing where it is desirable to keep in or exclude heat.


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Among the choicest specimens of Nailsea glass are the latticinio glass pipes, of which three examples are given in No. iv. The writer is not prepared to say that all the examples met with can be referred to Nailsea; but the two left-hand figures were collected in the neighbourhood. Mrs. Challicom’s collection also includes a plain ruby specimen from Nailsea. It is difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether they could be put to any practical use. The left-hand pipe in No. iv. is streaked with pink and opaque white, and is 20 ins. long. The middle figure is of clear white glass with a bright green rim, the latticinio work being in opaque white. The third figure is of clear white glass streaked with opaque white and pale pink.

Perhaps the most interesting specimens in the Challicom collection are the two objects represented in No. v., height 6 in. and 12œ in. respectively, which came from a public-house at Nailsea. These are examples of the emblems, or pole-heads, of the old Nailsea Glass-workers' Guild, which held its meetings at the “Glass Makers' Arms” before-mentioned. Whether they were carried in procession by all the members on the annual “walking-day” is unknown; but, at any rate, they represent the insignia of the guild. The brass pole-heads formerly carried (and at the present day very rarely) by the village clubs of Somerset and parishes on its borders are already well known and eagerly sought after by collectors. (The Connoisseur Magazine, Vol. XVII., pp. 256-262.) A few varieties in wood, and at least one each in iron and nickel-plate are known; but the glass emblems here figured are probably unique. They are of opaque white glass streaked with pink and royal blue. These objects, like the flasks and some other specimens in the collection, are mounted on dark oak removed from the old glass-works.

Very interesting also are the three hollow glass balls (No. vi.), the inner surface smeared and daubed with a variety of gaudy colours (diameter of the largest 7 in., the others 4œ in.). These were preserved in cottages for superstitious purposes — to ward off the Evil Eye.

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A series of six glass rolling-pins with knops at the end, all undoubtedly Nailsea, are given in No. vii. Flour was often kept in them, the open end being [Page 95] stopped by means of a cork; but in the days of smuggling it is said that these cylindrical vessels were used for illicit practices. The upper roller is not a striking specimen, and appears to have been painted. The scale must be gauged by the bottom figure, which is 16 in. long; this is of clear white glass waved with blue, and was made by a workman named Samuel Knight. No. 2 from the top is clear white, flecked with blue and blood-red; No. 3, clear pale green streaked with opaque white; No. 4, clear ruby, with the latticinio work in opaque white ; and No. 5 has blue and reddish-brown flecks on clear white glass. Two other rolling-pins, without cork-holes, are represented in No. viii., the upper specimen, 14œ in. long, being engraved and bearing the inscriptions, “May the eye of the Lord watch over you,” and “Mary Archer, 1843.” Some of the rolling-pins met with are of doubtful age, and it is said that some of the late specimens were brought from Birmingham by Chance’s men and sold in Somerset.

The other objects in No. viii. are typical specimens of the common flecked greenish-black bottle glass. The large jug, 9 in. high, is, like the similar jug of the same height in No. ix., an excellent example of opaque white and milky-blue spotting or flecking. The coarse heavy flecking on the outside vases of the top row (No. viii.) and one of the top hats (the other being plain bottle glass) is rarer than the finer flecking and is extremely effective. The streaking on the left-hand lower specimen is also among the best work of the kind. Of bottles of this character it would be difficult to find an example of better workmanship and proportions (height 9Œ in.) than the middle figure of the upper row (No. ix.). Another, 9œ in., without fleckings, is represented in No. x. The pitcher (height 10œ in.), of a dirty light green colour with occasional fleckings, here represented, is a grand specimen of Nailsea glass. It was bought at High-dale Farm, in the parish of Clevedon, in 1908, and belonged to an old family named Lock, who lived at Nailsea. The mug (middle of lower row), height 5 in., is a handsome specimen of the “bottle-glass” variety, having very heavy opaque white fleckings, interspersed with patches of translucent sapphire-blue glass. A tea-poy is figured on either side of the mug ; the right one (one of a pair), which has greyish-white fleckings, contains traces of candle-grease, and had no doubt been used as a candlestick. The collection of this variety of glass also includes an inkpot, 2œ in. in diameter and 2 in. high.

The oval bottle in No. x. is black, and the decanter with small circular handle of a brownish-claret shade; the other handled bottle is pale green. The small vases, it will be seen, are somewhat contorted; all are green except the second from the right-hand side, which is of amber glass.

In No. xi. are seen a handled jug (height 9Ÿ in.), and two bottles (10 in. and 14 in. high respectively), all of clear pale green glass. The largest came from Wrington; it is said that at a public-house three men drank beer from it to the health of King Edward VII. on his wedding day.

In No. xii. a miscellaneous group is shown, but the bottle in the middle of the top row is regarded as one of the finest specimens in the collection. It is of clear glass with royal blue and claret-coloured fleckings; height 11œ in. *[Some glass ewers of amber colour and pale green splashed with white, red, and yellow are said to have been made at Sunderland, Wrockwardine Wood (Salop), Hopton Waters, etc.] The left-hand bottle (height 7Œ in.) is also very handsome — clear glass with heavy claret-coloured loops. Streaking of the same colour is seen in the handled mug. The third bottle is of pale green clear glass, the opaque loops being of a very pale bluish-green tint (it was made by one James Kelly). This photograph includes an egg-cup (with detachable egg) of opaque glass - red, white and blue. It is probable that glass of this kind and colour was made by French workmen. In the middle of the same row is a biscuit marker, diameter 2 5/8 in., of yellowish-black glass {circa 1850).

Two of the glass bells in the collection appear in No. xiii., the larger being of pale ruby colour, the clapper in clear white glass; the handle a greenish-opaque white ; the top, peacock blue. The smaller, 8Ÿ in. high, is a choice specimen of its kind, the bell being of clear white glass with latticinio work in opaque white; the clapper, clear white; the handle, cobalt blue. Another large bell in the collection, 13œ in. high, is of ruby glass waved with pale blue, the handle being clear white. A fourth is opaque white with pink loops, the handle being bright green. The model bellows are from 8 to 9 in. long; that on the left hand is white (opaque and clear); the other, ruby with clear white ornament — this was bought at Nailsea. The green glass paper-weight, in the middle, has white floral work inside. The high vase in No. xiii. (11Ÿ in.) is pink and white.

In No. xiv. three jugs of dark green bottle-glass are represented, the height of the largest being 7 in. They are dulled at the top, probably in imitation of hide, and the makers evidently had leathern bottles in their mind at the time of production.

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6 (8Ÿ in.)




The Connoisseur magazine 98 June 1911
No. xv. includes an interesting series of nine [Page 96] pieces of long glass. The coach-horn of clear white glass (stained at one end) is 40 in. long, the bell-mouth having a diameter of 43/8 in.; the tube tapers from œ in. to 1œ in. in diameter. There is another clear glass-horn in the collection, 201/8 in. long, the mouth bearing the scored inscription, “Nancy, 1838.” *[There is a coach-horn (38 in. long) of brilliant dark blue glass at Spye Park, North Wilts.] The twisted sedan-chair stick is a good piece of work, and measures 51Ÿ in. long; it has a cork at the end, the tube being filled with vinegar; it was blown by a Frenchman at the Nailsea works. The twisted crooks are commonly met with, and are of various colours — generally pale green, amber, or black. Some of them date from the eighteenth century, the longest in the photograph being made by one Richard Knight in 1790. In speaking of superstitions in Devonshire, George Soane, in his Curiosities of Literature (1847) †[Vol. i., p. 206.] says, “The most curious of their general superstitions is that of the glass rod, which they set up clean in their houses, and wipe clean every morning, under the idea that all diseases from malaria will gather about the rod innoxiously. It is twisted in the form of a walking-stick, and is from 4 to 8 feet long. They can seldom be persuaded to sell it, and if it gets broken, they argue that misfortune will ere long befall someone in the cottage where it has been set up.”

In the compass of this article it has not been possible to mention the whole of the specimens in the Challicom collection. Among other things not figured are a clear white glass tobacco-stopper in the form of an outstretched hand, bull’s-eye window glass, two clear white mugs with handles (good work in imitation of cut-glass), *[Little cut glass appears to have been produced at Nailsea. Coloured window glass in small squares was sometimes cut.] and a twisted rod, or drumstick, of pale green glass with bright blue inside (all obtained from descendants of the maker); also two pale green toasting - forks (made by men named Vowles and Hobbs). The collection also includes a sheet of blue glass roughly engraved as follows :— “Sacred to the memory of Eliza Ann Attwell, †[Members of the Attwell family are buried in old Nailsea churchyard.] who died 5th April, 1867, Nailsea.”

“Afflictions sore                 
A long time I bore
Physicians was (sic) in vain
Till Christ did please
For me to ease
And take me from my pain.”