Thursday, 20 June 2013


None of the photos above are of Whitefriars glass!  This is a  blog in which I hope to show some glass which is so often wrongly attributed as Whitefriars when it is not.  Time and time again you will find them on ebay, in  auction houses, Antique shops and Collector’s Centres, independent dealers and at Fairs,  all misattributed!

It drives me absolutely crazy to see new collectors of Whitefriars spend good money on glass which is as far removed from being Whitefriars as it is possible to get.

This is not to say that the items shown here are particularly inferior in any way.  Some of the makers illustrated on this blog have a high profile and are hugely collectable in their own right. 

But not every piece of glass that has a polished pontil mark, or bubbles, or has a texture or similar shape to some Whitefriars pieces can be attributed to Whitefriars.

I am an active member of the specialist web site  I certainly do not know everything about all glass, so this blog, although my idea, has also some valuable contributions from my fellow members by way of photographs and information.

I would like to consider this as a “collective” blog   and I thank all of those forum members and friends who have  contributed to make it a hopefully useful resource. I hope you will find this informative and useful.


Most photos here are by kind permission of the owners.  Some have been used from the Whitefriars Mistaken Identities section, where people have freely posted them for identification purposes.  If there are any objections to such photos having been used, then please email me, and they can be removed.  This blog is intended as a friendly learning experience and not to gain in any way from publication of the photos.

Emmi Smith


Whitefriars made swans from 1938 - 1980 in sizes 5"/6"/8"/10".  They were a classic shape and actually do look like a swan, although I have seen them described as sea-horses or dragons !  In 1978, this classic swan was changed by the addition of a foot, so can be clearly identified as the later swan. Below are some examples of both non Whitefriars and Whitefriars.

The above photo shows two swans which are NOT Whitefriars.  The dark blue one at the back was made by Kingsware, a slightly distorted shape and the glass is characterised by streams of small bubbles throughout .  They also normally have a rough "scar" on the base.  The smaller one at the front may be by Murano, comes in several sizes and many colours and sizes.

Above two Whitefriars swans.  The FLC Aqua one at the back sits on a "foot" and was made 1978 - 80 in this colour, plus Ruby, Sky Blue, Gold and Flint only.
The smaller one is a 6" Sapphire swan.  The base of the Whitefriars swans is usually flat and polished.

Some examples of Whitefriars ducks.

               Below,   a Czechoslovakian duck with label  often mistaken for Whitefriars.
Czechoslovakian Duck

Close up of label of above duck


These must be the most mis-described vases of all.  Almost anything with a "bark like" texture is described as Whitefriars

Above this text is a photo of the standard Whitefriars bark vases  As these vases were mould blown, then the sizes rarely differ significantly.
Left to right:  Pat. No: 9689 6 " tall, diameter 2.75" / Pat. No: 9690 7.5" tall, diameter 3.25" / Pat. No: 9691 9" tall 4" diameter.


6 inch tall Bark vase is Catalogue pattern no: 9689
Approx. diameter at rim:  2.5 inches
Approx: weight: 686 gm.

7.5 inch tall Bark vase is Catalogue pattern no: 9690
Approx. Diameter at rim:  3.25 inches
Approx. weight:  931 gm

9 inch tall Bark vase is Catalogue pattern no:  9691
Approx. diameter at rim: 4 inches
Approx. weight: 1675 gm

By comparison, a Ravenhead “lookalike” is 6.5 inches tall, 2.25 inches at rim and weighs only approximately 349 gm.

 Above  is Pat. No: 9734, a bark vase with a fluted base.  This measures 10.5 inches and was made just for a few months only in 1969.

Below are photos of some vases seen on ebay or elsewhere which are often described as Whitefriars.  Unless tagged with the makers name, actual maker is unknown.

   Red vase by Ingridglas.


Above a genuine Whitefriars bowl Pat.  No: 9687 c. 1972. Colour is Aubergine.


This is the view of the bases of two Ruby vases.  On the left - not Whitefriars ; and on the right - Whitefriars, below the full profile

                                                                                Oberglas Austria                  
I have been told these are by Davidson, but I am not sure, only thing I am sure about is that they are not Whitefriars. New information come to light is that these vases are from Japan.

Here is a useful link to the Glass Message board  which shows some of the Japanese vases with labels.,52989.msg300971.html#msg300971

Viking Hyacinth vase USA

Viking Hyacinth vase label

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


The above is one of the rarest Whitefriars vases, known as the Haemorrhoid vase and is Pattern number 9829 in the 1974 catalogue.  On the left is one in Lilac and on the right, one in Sage.  Also made in Kingfisher.  Height  is 13 inches. Photo  ©

Below, a photo of vases, clearly inspired by the Geoffrey Baxter vases, which were, made by OTK
Japan.  Height 10.25 inches.  They quite regularly appear on ebay as Whitefriars.  Caution! The two photos below of OTK (Japan) vases are                                               ©mid20c

Sunday, 22 August 2010


Top Photo: Beaked vase by Kastrup, Denmark,  often mistaken for Whitefriars. Photo   ©  Nic Wilson  -
Bottom photo:   A   W h i t e f r i a r s   b e a k e d   v a s e   P a t t e r n   n u m b e r   9 5 5 6   i n   A r c t i c   B l u e


Chimney vases were made in similar shapes and colours by many glassworks.  Below are two from different Swedish glassworks, and an illustration of the Whitefriars versions.


Bergdala © Robert Leach .........................................>

For such a small difference in height the Whitefriars vase is much more substantial in weight, being 843 gms compared to the Ekenas one at 283 gms.

 Gullaskruf (Sweden) Chimney vase ©spoonman68(ebayID)


This boxed Ravenhead "bark" vase must the most commonly misdescribed vase. (photo  © David Fletcher)  It is sold on ebay, by dealers and in auction houses wrongly attributed to Whitefriars. I imagine thousands were made as they just don't stop turning up, and they also come in a bright blue colour - possibly other colours too. They are commonly found in two sizes - 6.5 inches and 8.25 inches approximately.
                                                         Blue Ravenhead vase

Below is a photo of the three Whitefriars catalogues vases - sizes are 6 inches, 7.5 inches and 9 inches.

The following is a photo for comparison purposes . L - R: 7.5 inch Whitefriars, 6.5 inch Ravenhead and a 6 inch Whitefriars.

As you can see, the Whitefriars Bark vases by comparison are far more substantial.

More comparison photos..........

Rim finish is totally different.  The Whitefriars on the right has a rounded and fire polished rim, whilst the Ravenhead has a flat ground rim with a band of crimped
detail at the top.

Above is a photo of the base treatment.  On the left the Ravenhead vase is flat, on the right the Whitefriars vase has a ground out and polished pontil mark.

And finally a photo of the "bark" texture.  On the Ravenhead one the moulding is vertical compared to the Whitefriars distinctive bark design.

BEWARE of falling into the trap of buying a Ravenhead vase which is described as Whitefriars.  They are a very inferior glass quality by comparison and have little resale value.

Finally, a comparison photo of a Ravenhead tumber(on the left) and a Whitefriars tumbler on the right.
 The Ravenhead tumbler is far lighter in weight, thinner and with a rounded rim.  The Whitefriars has the distinctive bark moulding, has a thinner top rim which is ground and polished.