The National Glass Collectors Fair
Royal Brierley Studio Ware
On Sunday 13 November 2016 the National Glass Fair featured an exhibition showcasing glass manufactured by Royal Brierley Crystal. The exhibition was curated by Keith Fenton and focused on the Studio range they produced towards the end of the 20th century.
The history of Royal Brierley Crystal dates as far back as 1776, tracing it's origins to the Moor Lane Glassworks at Briar Lea Hill. The factory would later go on to become the home to the renowned glass works of Stevens & Williams.
Moving forward to the 20th century, Stevens & Williams were granted a Royal Charter and as a result the company became known as Royal Brierley Crystal. In the early 1980s David Williams-Thomas decided that the company should produce their own Studio ware range. The initial designs were created by Gwyneth Newland (now Ashcroft) and after proving a success, Royal Brierley approached Michael Harris (Isle of Wight Studio Glass, Mdina, Chances glass etc.) to add further designs.
Keith Fenton's interest in glass is partly inspired by family connections in the glass industry; both his grandfather and great uncle worked at Chance Brothers. His collection of Royal Brierley Studio ware started around five years ago with a large 'snowflake' vase. Discovering who made the piece and where it came from kicked of his fascination with Royal Brierley Crystal and their brief foray into the world of studio glass. The collection has grown to comprise around 130 pieces and is sure to keep expanding as his discussions with designer Gwyneth Ashcroft (nee Newland) has made it apparent that there are many more designs to track down.
Royal Brierley's Studio range ran from 1982-1999 and included a wide range of products - including table lamps, vases, bowls, goblets, paperweights and atomizers. The above exhibition included 65 examples of glass that reflected the diverse scope of the designs produced during this time.
|Pearl Open Bowl by Royal Brierley Crystal|
|Pink 'Shoulder' Vase, A Small Black & White 'amphora' Vase & A Large Yellow 'freesia' Vase.|
|Short Black 'Amphora' Vase, A Small Orange 'Globe' Vase & A Large 'Neon' Goblet.|
|Large 'Indigo Amphora' With Zig-zag Pattern And A Large Green 'Amphora' Vase.|
|Display From The November 2016 Royal Brierley Exhibition|
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