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ART DECO

The Art Deco movement included decanters, and as it did to furniture, ceramics and art, it did to decanters. Art Deco brought more geometric shaped decanters, non-traditional coloured glass, two tone decanters, and simple geometric or stylised cutting. Theoretically this movement was set in the 1920s and 30s, but many designs of that period ploughed on in production into the 50s and 60s. The influence of Art Deco is still being felt in designs being produced today.

A lot of UK glass made at this time is not the high art deco style you may see in continental glass of the period where French and Bohemian glass went in for more sharp geometric shapes, more use of enamels and colours, more everything. The UK glass has some of the motifs, but is softer overall, popular colours being green and amber.

If you want to look cool pouring out a tipple, Art Deco decanters is the way to go. The manufacturing quality is often good, which makes them good to use as they should have well fitting stoppers, but you also get a lot of style bang for your buck.

Decanters

This is an urn shaped decanter, with black glass stopper and foot, and amber body. The stopper is cut with panels into an octagonal shape. The foot has a polished pontil mark. In the late 1700s urn shaped decanters were created for liqueur and this might be a recreation of the shape for that purpose.

Black glass is a classic art deco feature, and I have even seen period bathrooms with black glass walls. Black or black painted glass is generally a sign glass from the 20s and 30s as it hasn't been as popular at any other period.

Height: 8.75 inches

Width: 3.5 inches

This is a Thomas Webb decanter, with green stopper and foot and clear glass body. The body and stopper of the decanter have optic ribbed waves, similar to the waved vases produced by Whitefriars that they produced in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Webb called this pattern Cascade and had been using it since 1904. In shape the decanter is reminiscent of the classical footed decanters of the late Victorian and Edwardian period only chunkier in look and feel.

A decanter similar to this is illustrated in the Miller's Glass of the 20s & 30s designed by Frankie Leibe. Whilst be exactly the same shape the illustrated decanter amethyst with an optic scale pattern called Conifer instead of Cascade. Thomas Webb also made this decanter with a pale blue stopper and foot, in the Conifer and Cascade pattern too.

These are great looking decanters that really stand out from the crowd.

Reference: Miller's Glass of the '20s & 30's, Frankie Leibe, page 11

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is a rhomboid shaped decanter, with milky green stopper and foot, clear glass body and frilled pouring lip.

Geometric shapes are classics of the art deco period. Design wise where the body of the decanter joins the foot seems a little weak as the rhomboid shape is broken by a step in to fit to the foot.

This might be Whitefriars as they had similar designs, but I have been unable to find this exact design pattern.

Height: 12 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is a tapered decanter, with a drop shaped stopper. It has broad criss cross cutting to the lower part of the body surmounted by broadly cut upright fern patterns, and panel cut shoulders. The stopper has a panel cut neck with criss-cross cutting surmounted by vertical cuts.

The tapered body with panel cut shoulders is very reminiscent of late 18th century decanters, however the broad criss-cross and fern patterns are very 1930s, with fern patterns being used in Stuart designs of the time, such as Woodchester.

Height: 13 inches

Width: 3.5 inches

This is a rhomboid shaped decanter, with a black painted stopper and clear glass body. It has horizontal bands etched on it that were probably originally painted black. Designed by Keith Murray for Stevens and Williams of Brierley Hill in 1933, pattern number KM 371a.

Keith Murray was one of the foremost designers in the Art Deco style and designed for Stevens and Williams from 1932 to 1939. Keith Murray was such a prolific designer that only a dozen of many of the decanters he designed were manufactured, consequently this might be quite rare.

I have seen a very similar decanter with vertical lines and a silver painted stopper. As this is a mold blown decanter and the molds were relatively expensive to make, I suspect the same mold was untilised with various patterns painted and etched on it.

It is not usual for me to put my trust in auction houses, but I would like to thank Fieldings Auctioneers for the pattern number. As they are in Stourbridge I presume they have better reference material than me.

Reference: The Journal of the Glass Association, Volume 2 1987. page 57.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, Page 505.

Reference: Christies Collecting Decanters, Jane Hollingworth.

Height: 12 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is amber Stuart Crystal decanter is based on the Stratford pattern, with additional stylised floral pattern in a band around the body and the stopper. Designed from 1921.

The Stuart Crystal Stratford pattern is recognised by a series of moulded steps formed into circumferential rings around the base and shoulder of decanters and the base of the bowl in glasses bowls and jugs.

Reference: Miller's 20th Century Glass, Andy McConnell, page 236

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is a conical decanter, with pointed stopper. It has a polished pontil, four bands of cut ellipses near the base, downward pointing cut fern pattern, under a band of fine hobnail cutting and slice cut neck. The pointed stopper is cut to echo the fine hobnail and fern pattern. It has an etched markers mark, Webb Corbett Made in England that was used from 1930-1947.

If Art Deco decanters are supposed to be elegant and geometric this fits the bill. Whilst it is tall it is also quite slender and would probably not take a whole bottle.

The etched mark on this decanter can be referenced in the books "British Glass between the wars" and "Miller's '20s and '30s Glass".

Height: 13.5 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is amber footed rhomboid shaped decanter has an ogee curve to the bottom half of the body and vertical optical ribs. The stopper is a plain mushroom with a flat but unpolished top.

This is an elegant light looking decanter in the ever popular period colour of amber. A well balanced shape and pattern, but I don't know who it's made by.

Height: 9.75 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is a Strombergshyttan rib molded pale brown decanter, the solid stopper mirrors the shape of the decanter body and has polished flat top. Elfverson pattern number E.624. Possibly designed by Hugh Dunne Cooke in the 1930s.

This decanter is similar to some of the Whitefriars patterns of the time. A key element of with Whitefriars is their stopper pegs are cut with more precision than decanters. Note how the stopper has a slight taper towards the base, Whitefriars stopper pegs have square cut ends with a slight bevel on them. Also I have not found this shade of brown being used by UK manufacturers.

Reference: The Journal of The Glass Association Journal Volume 8 2008, Page 59

Height: 9.5 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is a Stuart Crystal barrel shaped decanter with the Woodchester pattern. The body has six unpolished vertical stylised fern leaves cut into it, with two horizontal lines above. The mushroom stopper has a polished flat top and six ellipses cut around the edge. Etched underneath with the mark; Stuart ENGLAND. Designed in 1935 by Ludwig Kny.

Woodchester was a very popular long lived pattern that carried on being made after the war. Whilst the design is 1930s there is a strong probability that this was made after the war as production of this pattern went on until at least the 1960s.

Reference: British Glass Between the Wars, Roger Dodsworth, pages 97 & 98

Reference: Miller's 20th Century Glass, Andy McConnell, page 239

Height: 8.75 inches

Width: 4.25 inches

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