Percival Vickers jug

Percival Yates & Vickers Glass:

19th Century glass from
Manchester in Lancashire, UK
Brought to you by The Glass Encyclopedia

Percival Yates & Vickers operated from the 1844 to 1914 first as Percival Yates, then as Percival Yates & Vickers and from the 1870's onwards, as Percival Vickers. Their first registered design for pressed glass was in 1847 (a bottle). Most of their glass is clear good quality tableware, some with frosted designs.

Their advertisement in the Pottery Gazette Diary in 1902 showed their extensive glassworks in Jersey Street, Manchester, and described the company as manufacturers of "FLINT and COLOURED GLASS, Cut, Moulded, and Engraved; also Retorts and Chemical Appliances. CONTRACTORS TO H.M. NAVY." They had a London showroom in Queen Anne's Chambers, Holborn Viaduct, and they also offered "SPECIALITIES for MOUNTERS, ELECTRO-PLATERS, and ELECTRICIANS."

above: cream jug by
Percival Vickers, 1865
Variant on registration
number 183353

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One of their well known designs was based on triangular sections of parallel horizontal and vertical mitres, and they registered a small number of designs in this pattern in 1891 (registration number 168130 from 1891). Another highly collectible design was a vase shaped like a dolphin wrapped around the stem of a sheaf of rushes and leaves (registration number 284031 from 1874).

Manchester was the second great center producing pressed glass in England during the 19th century, the first being the North East (Gateshead, Sunderland, and Newcastle). In the 1870s there were approximately 25 glassworks in the Manchester area, with five which are well-known today for producing high quality pressed glass which is highly collectible. The main five were:
  1. Burtles Tate
  2. James Derbyshire
  3. John Derbyshire
  4. Molineux & Webb
  5. Percival Yates & Vickers
In 1844 Thomas Percival and William Yates opened their glassworks (Percival and Yates) near the Rochdale Canal in Ancoats, Manchester. In the early 1850s Thomas Vickers joined the company, which then became Percival, Yates and Vickers, changing again to Percival Vickers some ten years later when William Yates left. 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. Percival Vickers became one of the largest and most successful glassworks in Manchester, employing over 370 workers. The company expanded during the 1880s but later did not survive the difficult period leading up to the First World War, and Percival Vickers closed in 1914. The glassworks was pulled down but in 2003-2004 the site was excavated and interesting information was discovered about the way this kind of glassworks was built/designed.

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References, Sources & Further Reading:

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

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

Etched Glass from Percival Vickers & Co. in the 1880s (1990) by Tom Percival. An article in THE JOURNAL OF THE GLASS ASSOCIATION VOLUME 3, 1990.

"Percival, Vickers & Co. Ltd: The Archaeology of a 19th-Century Manchester Flint Glass Works" by Ian Miller (2007)an article in the Industrial Archaeology Review, Volume 29, Number 1, May 2007

English Pressed Glass by Raymond Slack (1987). Really good information about the English pressed glass companies from late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

The Identification of English Pressed Glass, 1842-1908 by Jenny Thompson (1990). Detailed information.

British Glass 1800-1914, by Charles R. Hajdamach, (1991). One of the great reference books on British Glass.

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).

The Manchester Glass Industry by Roger Dodsworth (article in The Glass Circle No 4).

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