three hundred years of collectable glass in one day

The Cambridge Glass Fair

knebworth Exhibition: february 2012

Wuidart designs and the 1931 catalogue

Display of Sky Blue pieces
Forum members.

For February 2012, the forum members decided to theme their exhibition at the fair around a representative selection of some of the designs from both the 1931 catalogue and those produced for the Belgian glass importers, J.Wuidart & Co. of Holborn.

Originally produced in 1930 for the Swedish import/export company, Elfverson & Co, the Wealdstone range was comprised of mainly domestic glassware designs and used a variety of different colours to those used in the main Whitefriars ranges.

In 1932, the range began to be supplied directly to Wuidart.

Many of the designs are attributed to Barnaby Powell and pieces from the range were illustrated in 1931 in the Pottery Gazette, Modern Glass and Country Life.

In 1933, the range was shown in the Dorland Hall exhibition, British Art in Relation to the Home, and although it was openly acknowledged at the time to be made by Whitefriars, it was displayed under the Wuidart name separately from the main Whitefriars display. The two ranges were also listed separately in the exhibition catalogue.

The designs are unusual in that in the original catalogue sheets the line drawings are not instantly recognisable as Whitefriars, being somewhat more ungainly. This characteristic may have contributed though to their popularity among the Industrial Art fraternity as they represented the elevation of the design of 'everyday' items, something for which in the 1960's Terence Conran became well known with his Habitat stores.

The exhibition was loaned by various members of the forum including:

Nigel Benson
Richard Caethoven
Stan J
Wolfie Rayner
Graham Hudson
John Hobbs
Julian Knowles
Layna Manning and
Leni Simons.

It was collated by Terry and Peggy Martin and Nigel Benson helped by coordinating the list of pieces contributed and by whom. Patrick Hogan helped to put the display together on the day.

The image above shows some of the members discussing the items alongside the two large cabinets.

The 1931 catalogue pieces included some fabulous cloudy designs, some sanctuary blue vases, the complete range of Govette decanters, Woodchester pieces and some wonderful Roman-cut items.

The Wuidart display showed a selection of the different colours used for this range. These colours include Helion, Lido Blue, Violet, Peacock Blue and Silver Grey. The patterns are mainly optic and wave ribbed and are quite distinct from the usual Whitefriars ranges, as can be seen in the image below.

Wuidart display

Terry Martin was also interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridge who were covering the fair. He spoke about his extensive collection of Whitefriars and other glass and about a Ray Annenberg black and white penguin that he had bought at the fair and which was one of only two or so ever made.

The members pull out all the stops at each fair to present a wonderful display of the high quality glass produced by this factory whose work they rightfully admire so much and because Whitefriars was such an innovative manufacturer they have much to choose from, so we can hopefully look forward to many more stunning exhibitions.


These displays and the effort of coordinating them are much appreciated by visitors to the fair, whether Whitefriars collectors or not, as they provide a valuable insight into the varied and imaginative glass designs produced during the factory's long history.

To see more images of the exhibition, please click here.

This was another superb exhibition which gave lots of opportunity and material for discussion among the group and other visitors to the fair.


exhibition highlights

Display cases

  • M54 Govette decanters Patt 2720 in flint, sea green, early sky, old amber, amber and emerald.
  • Patt no 1168, a diamond moulded sea green goblet with gold knop.
  • A Wuidart vase in Violet, Patt no W72.

Note: Images provided by Richard Caethoven