James Powell & Sons | Victorian Brass & Vaseline Glass “Lyre” Lantern | England c.1880


A Victorian hanging lantern of lyre form, the brass framework inset with a highly opalescent cylinder by James Powell & Sons of Whitfrisrs. England c1880

Ht.84cm/33in W.33/13

Whitefriars Glass Company, London

James Powell & Sons

  • 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.

  • 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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