Cloud glass vases
above: Cloud glass
vases by Davidson's



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Cloud Glass there
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Cloud Glass


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Cloud Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Cloud Glass:

In 1922 Davidson's invented a kind of glass with streaks like clouds, which they aptly named "Cloud Glass" (pictured left). It was very popular in the 1920's and 30's.

Cloud Glass was heavy pressed coloured glass with a small amount of darker glass added at the last minute to the molten glass to produce cloud-like streaks. Each piece was hand finished and had its own unique pattern in the glass. It was made in a wide range of shapes in amber, brown, purple, blue, green, orange, & (rarely) in red & grey.

The Davidson glass company had special links with New Zealand & Australia; the founder's brother had emigrated to Australia towards the end of the nineteenth century, and set up trade with England. At one stage a barter system was set up, with shiploads of glass going to New Zealand & Australia in exchange for shiploads of food for Britain. Cloud Glass was exported in large quantities. Many pieces were also taken overseas by emigrating families.

"Amber Cloud Glass" was the first colour in "Cloud Glass" made by Davidson's of Gateshead, followed in 1928 by a transparent version, which Davidson's called "Tortoiseshell".

Sometimes the same mould was used with a slight modification for different pieces. For example the vases sometimes had a turnover rim and sometimes were flared.

Many people can still remember a Cloud Glass bowl taking pride of place on the family sideboard when they themselves were children. It was very practical as well as beautiful. The vases are heavy and very stable; they can hold tall top-heavy flowers without falling over. The bowls are sturdy and a delight to look at when the sun shines through the coloured glass.


Dressing table sets were popular in the 1930's, comprising a tray and containers for things like powder, trinkets, & hair- pins, usually with a bedroom candle stick.


The same designs were used by Davidson's for all their colours during this period. Jade Glass, black opaque glass, and several colours of clear glass, as well as all the colours of Cloud Glass were made in these same shapes.

During the Second World War Davidson's along with most other European factories, switched to war-related production; Cloud Glass was only briefly revived after the war.

Pressed glass should not be dismissed as inevitably inferior, just because some of the cheap forms of mass produced glass are pressed. It is equally true that some of the most expensive glass in the world is pressed such as the glass made by Rene Lalique in France.

After the war Davidson's, along with other glass manufacturers in Britain, had a short heyday supplying orders from overseas where demand had built up during the war years. For those first few years they were not allowed to meet orders from British retailers because the Government needed the foreign exchange. So for a few more years there was a pent up demand for glass on the domestic market, which kept British glassmakers very busy. Davidson's invested in new machinery and somehow did not foresee that their boom would only be shortlived. They ran into financial difficulties in the late 1950s and in 1966 were taken over by the company which had supplied much of the electroplate decoration which had been added to glassware in the 50s and 60s. Davidson's glassworks finally closed in 1987.

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Here are some books which include Davidson's Cloud Glass that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover to read more about that book.

Davidson Glass (2005) British glass book British Glass Book 2 British Glass Between the Wars 1987 20th Century glass Jackson 20th Century glass McConnell 20th Century glass 2004 English Pressed Glass 1987 English Pressed Glass by Thomson 2000 Arwas glass book 19th C British Glass 1982 Victorian Decorative glass book

Davidson Glass: A History (Aug 2005) by Chris Stewart and Val Stewart. This is a great book with comprehensive history, catalogue information, designs, types of glass and great photographs. It may be hard to obtain copies.
English Pressed Glass by Raymond Slack (Oct 1987).
The Identification of English Pressed Glass, 1842-1908 by Jenny Thompson (Jan 1990).
British Glass 1800-1914, by Charles R. Hajdamach, (1991).
Nineteenth Century British Glass by Hugh Wakefield (1982). Still an excellent reference book on glass factories in the early years of pressed glass.
Victorian Decorative Glass 1850-1914, by Mervyn Gulliver, (2002).








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INFORMATION about Bagley Glass!
Bagley Glass were competitors of Davidsons from the 1930s onwards so we thought you might be interested in this book. The first two editions sold out quickly.

The 3rd Edition is now available and has received a rave response - more information, more and better pictures, new items identified as Bagley for the first time, a helpful index, and more compehensive coverage; - so much so that there is no need for a supporting CD, which brings the price lower! A truly comprehensive guide to help you identify Bagley Glass.
Click on picture for more details.








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