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.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


A selection of bud vases which are all too frequently advertised on ebay and elsewhere as having been made by Whitefriars.  NONE OF THEM ARE WHITEFRIARS.  Jack in the Pulpit vases, mostly BY ASEDA OF SWEDEN - some Czech and Swedish bubble based vases.   I’ll say it again - none of them are Whitefriars, not even vaguely similar to anything in the Whitefriars catalogues. But because of the bubble treatment, sellers automatically think they are Whitefriars. THEY NEVER ARE!!


Blue?  Bubbles?  Not always Whitefriars.  On the left we have a photo of a beautiful bubbled vase thought to be Swedish (but not confirmed) and on the right, two vases by William Wilson for Whitefriars in Sapphire Blue.


The Whitefriars Wave ribbed vases are often confused with similar from other makers, but the Wave ribbing is very different on the look-a-likes.

Two examples below which are NOT Whitefriars (possibly Webb) .  You will note that the wave ribs are in a continuous flow around the body of the vase.

The  examples below are of Whitefriars vases, where the wave ribs are "drawn up" rather like a curtain at each wave intersection.

Pattern number 8473 Amber (left) and Twilight (right)

                                     Whitefriars rare Emerald Lampbase Pattern Number 8057.

This is a view from the inside of a Whitefriars Wave ribbed vase which shows the six sided "star" shaped ribbing in the base.  This is unique to Whitefriars.


There are many, many Optic ribbed vases from a variety of different manufacturers and are often misdescribed.   They come in many shapes and forms, but to my eyes the Whitefriars is quite distinctive, having fewer and more spaced apart ribs and a "softer" appearance, than many of the look-a-likes.

Here are some look-a- likes, mostly Scandinavian in origin.

Above is another Scandinavian Optic ribed vase next to an original Whitefriars on the right Pattern Number 9094.
                          Above, another Whitefriars original Sea Green Pattern 9094 with label.

                                        Optic ribbed with Bohemian label  © Steve Rayner



See this link:

The following information on these Tea Light holders was supplied by Michael Bennett archivist of the Old Hall club, which I appreciate very much.
These photos are from the Old Hall Collectors' Club archive.

Website link:   
 The holders in the first pic were originally produced by the Cheltenham Tool Company as part of their 'Lifespan' tableware range, and listed in their catalogue as being "complete with a windlight in Swedish glass". The colours were described as ruby, amber, smoke blue, amethyst.  That company was taken over by Old Hall in 1967, which continued to produce them (in a limited range of colours after 1970 )  The trouble started when some blithering idiot had a description published by Miller's Guide to the effect that these holders were designed by Robert Welch and fitted with Whitefriars glass.  Sellers on eBay were not slow to take this up, and it's needed a couple of years to stamp out both of these attributions.

 © Michael Bennett

There are a lot of Soda Glass look-a-likes from many different glass companies.  Below left is a photo from a German glass company ( sorry can't read the name).  Photo  © Robert Leach.
The Photo on the right : Whitefriars Pattern number 9594. Photo  © . And here's a link to the full range of Soda Glasses made by Whitefriars and some of the history of them.......


Owl paperweights.  The one on the left is a labelled Royal Krona.  Without the label the Royal Krona is often described as Whitefriars, spot the subtle differences!!  The photo on the right is from the Whitefriars catalogues.