Frank Thrower label

above: example of a
Dartington label

above: "Nipple vase"
FT95 designed by
Frank Thrower in 1968
for Dartington

Glass Encyclopedia

Click here for the full
list of latest topics

or click on any of
the following links:

Advertising glass
Akro Agate glass
Amberina glass
American glass
Ancient glass
Apothecary glass
Apsley Pellatt glass
Art Deco glass
Art nouveau glass
Arts and Crafts glass
August Walther Glass
Baccarat glass
Bagley glass
Barolac glass
Beads (glass)
Bimini glass
Blenko glass
Books on glass
Bottles (glass)
Boyd's Crystal Glass
Brierley Crystal glass
E O Brody glass
Bubble glass
Burtles Tate glass
Caithness glass
Cameo glass
Cameo incrustations
Carnival glass
Cast glass
Chance glass
Charder glass
Cire Perdue glass
Cloud glass
Cobalt blue glass
Consolidated glass
Contemporary glass
Coralene glass
Coudersport glass
Crackle glass
Cranberry glass
Custard cups (glass)
Custard glass
Cut crystal glass
Dartington glass
Daum glass
Davidson's glass
Depression glass
Dew drop glass
Dorothy Thorpe glass
Drinking glasses
DVDs on Glass
EAPG glassware
End-of-day glass
Etling glass
European glass
Fairy Lights
Federal glass
Fenton glass
Fire-King glass
Flygsfors glass
Fostoria glass
Frank Thrower glass
French glass
Fry Glass
Galle Glass
Glass hand vases
Glass Dumps
Gold ruby glass
Goofus Glass
Gray-stan glass
Greeners glass
Hand vases
Hazel Atlas glass
Heisey glass
Historismus glass
Hobnail glass
Hunebelle glass
Imperial glass
Intaglio glass
Irradiated glass
Isle of Wight glass
Italian glass
Jack-in-Pulpit glass
Jade glass
James Derbyshire
Jeannette Glass
Joblings glass
Joe Rice glass
John Derbyshire
J Walsh Walsh glass
Kemple glass
King's Lynn glass
Komaromy glass
Lalique glass
Leerdam glass
Le Verre Francais
L G Wright glass
Libbey glass
Libensky glass
Lobmeyr glass
Loetz or Lotz glass
Lost wax technique
Malachite glass
Manchester glass
Marbles (glass)
Marqueterie de Verre
Mary Gregory glass
Mdina glass
Mercury glass
Milk glass
Molineux Webb glass
Monart glass
Murano glass
Nailsea glass
Nazeing glass
New Zealand glass
NZ paperweights
Northwood glass
Opalescent glass
Orient & Flume glass
Orplid glass
Orrefors glass
Pallme-Konig glass
Paperweights of NZ
Pate de Verre
Peachblow glass
Pearline glass
Percival Yates & Vickers
Perthshire Paperw'ts
Phoenix glass
Pictures on glass
Pilgrim glass
Pirelli glass
Powell glass
Riverside glass
Reverse paint on glass
Roman glass
Rose bowls
Royal Brierley glass
Ruby glass
Sabino glass
Scandinavian glass
Schneider glass
Shoes in glass
Silhouettes on glass
Silvered glass
Silver overlay glass
Slag glass
Sowerby glass
Spatter glass
Stained glass
St Clair glass
Steuben Glass
Stevens & Williams
Strathearn glass
Stretch glass
STS Abel Zagreb glass
Sulphides in glass
Sun changed glass
Thomas Webb glass
Tiara glass
Tiffany glass
Tiffin glass
Toothpick Holders
Tortoiseshell glass
Tudor Crystal glass
Uranium glass
Val St Lambert glass
Vasart glass
Vaseline glass
Venetian glass
Venini glass
Verlys glass
Videos on Glass
Vistosi Glass
Vitro Porcelain Glass
Walther Glass
Waterford Crystal
Webb Corbett glass
Webb, Thomas glass
Wedgwood glass
Westmoreland glass
Whitefriars glass
WMF glass
Ysart glass

Useful glass links

Glass Message Board

Glass Museum on Line

Books on Glass

Glass Target Searches

Frank Thrower Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of the glass designed by Frank Thrower (1932 - 1987):

Frank Thrower was the chief designer for Dartington Glass from the time it was founded in 1966 until his death in 1987. One of the key objectives of the Dartington Hall Trust in setting up this glass factory was to provide employment for the young people of North Devon, and the town of Torrington was chosen as their glassworks site. Frank Thrower was a protege of Ronald Stennett-Willson who had been Managing Director of J. Wuidart & Co. Ltd, a company importing Scandinavian glass which employed Frank Thrower as a salesman from 1953 to 1960. During this period Frank worked closely with Ronald Stennett-Willson, one of Britain's greatest glass designers, and saw how Ronald designed glass for Scandinavian glassworks to produce.

In the early 1960s Frank took on the post in charge of sales for the Portmeirion Pottery company, and soon led that company to follow the Ronald Stennett-Willson model of importing Scandinavian glass, and getting his own designs made in Sweden to sell in the UK.

Frank was influential in persuading the Dartington Hall Trust that a glassworks which created high quality Scandinavian style glass would succeed in Devon, and he became the first Sales Director and Designer for the newly formed Dartington Glass in 1967. Their first Managing Director was Eskil Vilhelmsson, who came from being works manager of a Swedish glassworks. He recruited a workforce of some 35 people which included many skilled Scandinavian glass blowers who then trained local employees.

The glass factory opened in June 1967 with a hugely extravagent opening celebration, but it was to be four years before they actually made a profit. Once their success started, however, the orders flooded in and they soon had the reverse problem of too many orders for their limited production capabilities. Glassworks in the UK, in Sweden, and in Norway were used to supplement their production. This dramatic success was partly due to Erskil Wilhelmsson's skills in managing his workforce and the efficiency and quality of production; and partly due to Frank Thrower's brilliant salesmanship and his readily identifiable designs.

In the early years Dartington glass was soda glass, but in later years they turned to lead crystal. All their output was hand-made, and amongst their several signature ranges designed by Frank Thrower there were:

  • - simple Scandinavian-cum-18th-century English goblets, glasses and decanters in clear soda-glass and later in crystal
  • - angular and cylindrical mold-blown vases and candleholders with textured surfaces in clear, smoke, kingfisher blue, and flame (like the "nipple" vase shown on the left)
  • - straight and spiral blown optic "Ripple" vases
  • - and their range of kitchen accessories.

A merger with Wedgwood Glass in 1982 (formerly Ronald Stennett-Willson's glassworks) produced initial financial benefits for Dartington and fresh designs and management ideas for Wedgwood. Frank Thrower and several other Dartington managers were unhappy with the new regime however, and in 1984 their problems worsened due to poor quality glass (which was eventually traced to poor quality sand supplies). Marketing and Distribution decisions made by Wedgwood further upset Frank; and when Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal in 1986 the management of Dartington seized the opportunity to negotiate a deal to end the partnership between Dartington and Wedgwood. The company name was changed to Dartington Crystal. It was only a few months after this that Frank Thrower died from a brain tumour.

After Frank Thrower's twenty years of designs for Dartington there were many different designers and teams of designers who contributed to the Dartington range. The company went through further takeovers, mergers, and two management buy-outs, returning to being an independant company from 2007 onwards, and acquiring Caithness Glass and Royal Brierley Crystal along the way. They produce a range of art glass by recognised designers and export it to over 50 countries. Their visitor centre entertains tourists, and the company still fulfills its founders' aims of providing skilled employment for people in North Devon.

If you are looking for Dartington glass, you can often find items on offer on ebay. Dartington Glass

Further Reading

Frank Thrower Dartington Glass (2007) British Glass Book 2 20th Century glass Jackson 20th Century glass McConnell 20th Century glass 2004

Or make your own search of

Glass Blog
have a look

Browse specialist books on Glass
- what's new?
- what did you miss?
The place to browse through interesting glass books ->

Target ebay searches!

Find your favourite glass
with our Target Searches

- save time when you are busy
and don't miss an opportunity!


INFORMATION about Pirelli Glass!
A new book on Pirelli Glass. This is the second part of the London Lampworkers Trilogy covering Pirelli Glass.

And if you didn't read the first part of this Trilogy, you can take a look here:

Copyright (c) 1998 - 2021 Angela M. Bowey.
All rights reserved. Copying material from this page for
reproduction in any format is expressly forbidden.
Web site designed by: Angela M. Bowey.
URL to this page: