Attributed Harry Powell for James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) | Arts & Crafts Electrolier | England c.1900


A rare electrolier attributed to Harry Powell (James Powell & Sons) & Whitefriars’ resident blacksmith Mr Edminstone who was employed to produce wrought-iron light fittings on behalf of James Powell & Sons. The wrought-iron & brass arts & crafts electrolier now supports  4 sympathetic reproduction vaseline glass lampshades produced here in the UK by a specialist glass artisan using original techniques and methods.

Provenance: See LG644 for similar designed Harry Powell chandelier. Also 1900’s-1910’s by Charlotte & Peter Fiell P479 for other similar designed lights by James Powell & Sons

Ht.84cm/33in, Ht.(min)60/24, W.33/13

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


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