Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cloud Glass

I have been a collector of cloud glass for many years since my time working in Europe. Cloud glass was made by British manufacturer George Davidson & Co in Gateshead in the 20's and 30's but the company ceased producing this decorative glass around the time of World War II and switched their production to the war effort as a lot of companies did then.

I purchased my first 3-piece set from flea market in Holland for about 30 guilders. The stall holder also gave me a photocopy of the article (from Antiques Collector - August 1983) on Cloud Glass and the manufacturer's brief history by John P Smith. My collection has grown quite a bit and my prized-piece is amber cloud glass lamp that I picked up fairly cheap from the collectible fair in North Shore 10 years ago.

My love of cloud glass also led me to get to know a fellow collector in New Zealand who used to have her collection exhibited at the Glass Museum in Paihia. Sadly the museum is not there anymore (physically) since the donation box was stolen and Angela called it quits years ago . However, she still runs Glass Museum on line here.

Cloud glass comes in many colours - amber, purple, green, blue, orange, red and briar. Red is the rarest and the most expensive and that is why I still do not yet own a piece in this colour.

As far as I know, Cloud Glass is not unique to Davidson's but other manufacturers such as Sowerby and Walther also made cloud glass but with different details. My collection is mainly Davidson's with a few pieces of Walther's. You can find out more about cloud glass from this reference site. Chris and Val are very knowledgeable in the subject.

Cloud glass is no good if you put it in storage. It needs light (and a lot of it) to show off its best colour tone and cloud-like patterns. I alternate my pieces in the lounge every month. This month it is purple (some people call it mauve rather than purple). And next month it might be blue.

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