three hundred years of collectable glass in one day

The Cambridge Glass Fair


Foyer Exhibition:
february 2014


Our foyer exhibition for February 2014 will be loaned by exhibitor Nigel Benson and offer visitors to the fair a great opportunity to see a collection of over forty pieces of British Art Deco glass. Nigel is well known in the art glass world and at the glass fairs as an experienced and knowledgeable specialist in twentieth century British glass in particular.

Hailware enamelled vase, c1930.

He says:

'It is commonly felt that Britain added little or nothing to the Art Deco genre within the world of glass design; however, just by scratching the surface it is possible to find examples of glass design that could not be mistaken for anything other than Art Deco. Naturally, as with any other country that one might look at, Britain had its own twist on the subject, as we shall see.

Traditionally, British glass is commonly recognised by other countries for its high quality cut glass, which, in turn, makes one think of multi-cut items where the whole of the surface is often intricately covered with criss-cross mitre cutting. Whilst this is a tour de force illustrating the skill and the quality of the cutting, it has little design merit, and owes more to the excesses of Victorian (over) decoration. Sadly, it is often these pieces, usually owned by older generations, that are valued by family members but, which, when on the open market, seem to achieve very little in financial terms.

There are, however, jewels that can be found, some rare and sought-after, some a tad more common. All have the merit of being conceived and designed within the prevailing fashion of the time. This exhibition aims to give the lie to the thought that, with the exception of rarefied examples made for the Harrods exhibition of 1934, or by Keith Murray and Clyne Farquharson, there was no British Art Deco glass.

The exhibition will hopefully help to show how British manufacturers, from the major Stourbridge factories to James Powell & Sons, through to the lesser known brand of ‘Hailware’ made by Hailwood & Ackroyd and even Bermondsey Art Glass, all produced examples of glassware that can easily be associated with Art Deco.'


'Rain' decanter by Paul Nash, 1934.




exhibition highlights


  • 'Rain' decanter designed by Paul Nash and featured in the 1934 Harrods exhibition, 'Art for the Table'.
  • Cactus design vase designed by Anna Fogelberg for the Rembrandt Guild, Birmingham. Made by Thomas Webb.
  • Enamelled decanter by Keith Murray for Stevens and Williams, c1930.








Note: All images supplied by Nigel Benson.







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