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Whitefriars Glass Logo
The Collectors Site for Whitefriars Glass





  About this site

In 1985 I was a young antique dealer, I specialized in glass, not because I was an expert, more because I could pick pieces up at extremely low pieces, With a bit of research I could often attribute a maker,and sometimes the designer, often making a handsome profit. Back then there was very little interest in 20th century glass unless of course it was Tiffany or from the famous French factories such as Lalique.

I recall, one day I bought a job lot of glass at auction, In it was a ribbon trailed vase, if memory serves me correctly there was also some Vassart and some Scandinavian bits and pieces, I sold all the glass but kept the ribbon trailed as I couldn't identify it. I was convinced the small green bowl with blue trailing was something special.

During the next few months I bought dozens more similar pieces. Then one day at a fair in Birmingham an antique dealer identified it as Whitefriars. I trawled through all the glass books I could find, and gleaned a small amount of information about the factory. But by then I had a feel for it, and bought all that l could afford. I was hooked!.

I gave up antique dealing as the recession took hold, but I continued collecting glass. Mainly Whitefriars from between the wars period . At one time I had 50 small drunken brick layer vases end to end, across the window pelmet of my apartment, foolishly I sold the lot for £500, oops.

Years later a friend became interested in my collection and decided he too would collect Whitefriars, he went on a shopping spree, he liked mainly the earlier periods and he bought many fabulous examples. Sadly he died 5 years ago. I eventually inherited his collection. I wrapped it all up and put it in storage, and there it stayed, until now.

Now a web designer and recently I’ve had a bit of spare time on my hands. With this time I needed to (a) do some DIYand (b) needed to catalogue the glass in storage, as I had forgotten what was there, and (c) I needed to learn a new programming language (PHP). So I put off the DIY and thought by making this web site, I could kill two birds with one stone, learn PHP, and catalogue the glass at the same time. So that’s exactly what I did.

There are other Whitefriars related web sites, but they tend to only relate to Geoffrey Baxter, There is an awful lot more to this glass factory than the last twenty years of its existence, so this site is intended to fill that massive void.

Most collector’s web sites don’t usually have much interactivity. So for this one I thought I’d "go to town" with functions, like file uploads and the ability to leave comments in real time and be able to rate the desirability and rarity of each piece.
The site runs from a database (data driven), which means whenever you change anything in the database the site changes instantly. To add a new page you just add a new entry in the database, you can search keywords or pattern numbers or search by designer. You can list for example only vases or only bowls, the idea being you can compare what you have with what we have quickly and make a positive or negative identification.
Another possibility is, you could add a link to this site to an auction or an online shop giving credibility to the glass you are trying to sell.

I am especially pleased with the “Is it Whitefriars” section which utilizes some pretty nifty web site technology. It will hopefully finally clear up some of the glass that is being passed off as Whitefriars


Steve Thompson

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