Burtles Tate Glass

Burtles Tate Glass
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Burtles Tate Glass swan

Burtles Tate glass
swan posy vase in
opalescent glass;
Manchester, c. 1885.


Burtles Tate glass wall pocket

Burtles Tate Glass
Wall Pocket in lemon
opalescent glass
made c. 1885

Burtles Tate Glass: A short explanation
Burtles, Tate, and Company operated glassworks in Ancoats, Manchester from 1858 to 1924, when they were absorbed into another Manchester glass company, Butterworth's. For a short time until the 1880s they also operated the Victoria Glass Works in Bolton, a town just North of Manchester, until they built a second glassworks in Manchester and closed their Oldam works.

The company's advertisement in the Pottery Gazette of 1889 showed drawings of two glassworks, one in Poland Street and the other in German Street, both near Oldham Road Manchester, and referred to their London Show Rooms in Ely Place, Holborn.

Burtles Tate are well known for their novelties, like the opalescent glass swan shown above left which is marked with the registration number 20086. They made both pressed and blown glass, and there is an excellent example of their blown glass on page 100 of Cyril Manley's book "Decorative Victorian Glass" (item 334).

From 1891 onwards they produced an opalescent colored glass shading to white at the rim, very similar to Davidson's pearline. They called this glass "Topas Opalescent" and produced it in a wider variety of colors than Davidson's pearline, including amber. The wall pocket shown on the left is their pale lemon version, which is similar in colour to Davidson's lemon Pearline. This piece is marked with the registration number 39807.

The company's advertisement in the 1902 Pottery Gazette Diary referred to their glass as "Burtles Glass" but gave the company name as "Burtles, Tate, & Co." with the address Poland Street, Oldham Road, Mandchester. They were offering Flint and Coloured glass, Ornamental Fancy Glass and "glass novelties of all descriptions".

Manchester was the second great center producing pressed glass in England during the 19th century. The first was the North East (Gateshead, Sunderland, and Newcastle) with three giant companies Sowerby, Davidson, and Greener, and several smaller ones. There were five glassworks in Manchester producing high quality pressed glass which today is highly collectible, plus several lesser known ones. The main five were:

  1. Burtles Tate
  2. James Derbyshire
  3. John Derbyshire
  4. Molineux & Webb
  5. Percival Yates & Vickers

Pressed glass designs from Manchester were popular in the 1860s and 1870s, slightly earlier than most of the pressed glass innovations from the North East of England where the first pressed glass designs were registered in the 1870s.

To see examples of Burtles Tate Glass click here.


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References, Sources & Further Reading:

Click on the book covers or titles below to read more about these books.

British glass book British Glass Book 2 English Pressed Glass 1987 English Pressed Glass by Thomson 2000 19th C British Glass 1982 Victorian Decorative glass book

1: English Pressed Glass by Raymond Slack (Oct 1987).
2: The Identification of English Pressed Glass, 1842-1908 by Jenny Thompson (Jan 1990).
3:
British Glass 1800-1914, by Charles R. Hajdamach, (1991).
4: Nineteenth Century British Glass by Hugh Wakefield (1982). Still an excellent reference book on glass factories in the early years of pressed glass.
5: Victorian Decorative Glass 1850-1914, by Mervyn Gulliver, (2002).
6: The Manchester Glass Industry by Roger Dodsworth (article in The Glass Circle No 4).








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