James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) | A satin-glass lantern | England c.1900
A satin-glass lantern of domed onion shape attributed to James Powell & Sons, Whitefriars Glass Company, London with original brass support designed with cockeral finials. English early c20th
Ht.71cm/28in, Ht.(of shade & rim)25/10, Diam.(max)27/10
Whitefriars Glass Company, London
James Powell & Sons/ Harry Powell
- In 1834 James Powell, then a 60-year-old London wine merchant and entrepreneur, purchased the Whitefriars Glass Company, a small glass-works off Fleet Street in London.
- Powell, and his sons Arthur and Nathanael, were newcomers to glass making, but soon acquired the necessary expertise and specialised in making church stain glass windows.
- When Harry Powell “Grandson of James” took over as Manager in 1876, James Crofts Powell, his cousin, ran the important stained glass department using in-house designers and famous artists like Burne-Jones for important commissions.
- From 1875 Harry Powell had a blacksmith called Edminstone with a boy called Edmund Francis employed to make wrought iron lighting fixtures, which again used his fabulous shades. He supplied many other makers with various shade shapes.
- During the latter part of the c.19th, the firm formed a close association with leading architects and designers. Whitefriars produced the glass that Phillip Webb used in his designs for William Morris
- By 1900 production lines of vaseline and opalescent glass-ware, including lampshades, were proving to be extremely successful with clients such as William Arthur Smith Benson using their glass in the design of their lights.
- The firm’s name was changed to Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd in 1919