Stevens and Williaims Glass

Stevens and WIlliams Glass

Stevens and WIlliams Glass

from the Glass Encyclopedia

Royal Brierley glass decanter
Royal Brierley crystal
Ships Decanter, a
typical cut crystal
Royal Brierley design

Stevens & Williams logo
above: logo used by
Stevens & Williams

Keith Murray decanter
above: decanter 1930s
designer Keith Murray
for Stevens & Williams

Royal Brierley Crystal logo
above: logo used by
Stevens & Williams for
Royal Brierley Crystal

Stevens and Williams Glass: A short explanation

Stevens & Williams Ltd. was a glass company in Brierley Hill, near Stourbridge in the English Midlands. A strong case can be made that they have existed for over 360 years if we accept that there have been changes of ownership and moving to nearby premises (never very far). The name Stevens and Williams Limited was established in 1847 and was used at least until the end of 1967, when it was abandoned. Royal Brierley Crystal was used for some of the company's glass from 1919 onwards, the date when George 5th awarded them a Royal Warrant. It became the company's name in 1968.

Stevens and Williams' and Royal Brierley Glass:

The glassworks which became Royal Brierley glass was making cut flint (crystal) glass and plain crystal for supply to specialist glass cutters as early as 1804 and probably from the 1770s. They also made coloured window glass for stained glass windows. In the 1880s they were producing high quality cut crystal glass which was termed "Rock Crystal" (as did other firms in the area).

Innovations in coloured glass became popular in the 1870s, and in the Stourbridge area cameo work became a speciality, led by John Northwood who undertook commissions for several glassworks including Stevens and Williams. In 1880 Frederick Carder, then aged 17, joined Stevens and Williams in their design section. John Northwood became "artist manager" in 1882 and the company produced several innovative and beautiful types of coloured glass, as well as their traditional cut and engraved crystal.

John Northwood's eldest son, Harry Northwood, left England in 1881 to work in the glass industry in America, and eventually to found his successful glass companies there. John Northwood continued to work for Stevens and Williams until he died in 1902, and a year later Frederick Carter left for America and subsequent fame. John Northwood II continued the innovative successes at Stevens and Williams, with Joshua Hodgetts as master craftsman.

The early 19th century was a time of change in the glass industry. There was a demand for attractive mass-produced glass, foreign imports competed strongly with local glassworks, and the design tastes of the art deco era were quite different from traditional Victorian art glass. Again Stevens and Williams led the way in design, by appointing the New Zealand architect Keith Murray in 1932 to produce some very modern designs, like the decanter shown on the left. Keith Murray's designs were given extensive promotion via advertising and displays; this decanter was shown in a whole page advertisement (September 1932) under the heading "MODERN ENGLISH GLASS Designed by Keith Murray and executed at STEVENS & WILLIAMS LTD at BRIERLEY HILL STAFFS". Throughout its history, from the earliest records until the present day, the company made traditional cut crystal glass of the highest quality alongside their other designs.

Brief History:
Jeremiah Bague's Glassworks was operating in Brettell Lane, Audnam (just South of Brierley Hill) in the 1640s and probably earlier (see Jason Ellis "Glassmakers of Stourbridge" p. 108). It was passed on within the Bague family but in 1698 Jeremiah Bague II was declared bankrupt (largely as a result of the crippling emergency tax on glass introduced in 1695) and shortly afterwards Thomas Hamond took over along with Jeremiah Bague III. When Thomas Hamond died in 1743 he left Bague's Glassworks to his son in law, Robert Honeyborne, and his granddaughter Mary Honeyborne. Because the glassworks was getting very old and was built on leased land, Robert and Mary decided to build a new glassworks at Moor Lane, Brierley Hill. The old Bague's Glassworks became a pottery and by the 1760s the Honeybornes were manufacturing glass at Moor Lane, the glassworks which eventually became Stevens and Williams. The company dates its origins to 1776.

The Honeyborne family continued to operate the Moor Lane glassworks until 1824 when it was leased to Joseph Silvers and Joseph Stevens (brothers-in-law). It was then passed on in the Silvers/Stevens family to Samual Cox Williams and William Stevens (son of Joseph Stevens) both of whom were married to daughers of Joseph Silvers. They formed Stevens and Williams Ltd. in 1847 and in 1870 built a new glassworks at North Street, Brierley Hill very close to the Moor Lane glassworks (which was demolished shortly afterwards). This glassworks continued to be run by descendants of Joseph Silvers until 1999, when it was sold to Epsom Enterprises but went into receivership in 2000. In 2002 Royal Brierley Crystal Ltd. started up in new premises in Tipton Road, Dudley, employing just a handful of skilled glassworkers and making very high quality studio glass. A few years later that company was taken over by Dartington Glass and production moved to their glassworks in Torringron, Devonshire. Dartington Glass still produce cut and engraved crystal and market it under the Royal Brierley brand.

Note that there is another company called Brierley Hill Crystal which was founded in 1913 in the Brierley Hill district of Stourbridge, is still a private family owned business, and produces full lead crystal cut and engraved glassware.

Stevens and Williams glass can be found on ebay, click Stevens and Williams glass to explore what is listed just now.

If you are looking for Royal Brierley Glass, click Brierley glass to see examples currently for sale on ebay.

Royal Brierley logo
above:Royal Brierley
studio glass logo.

Royal Brierley Glass bowl
above:Iridized glass
by New Royal Brierley.

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
Pyrex 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

References and Further Reading

Any book on British Glass will have some information on Stevens and Williams Ltd and their Royal Brierley glass. The following books are especially useful. Jason Ellis's book on the Glassmakers of Stourbridge is the most detailed. Jason spent 20 years researching for this book, which takes each glassworks in turn and gives its comprehensive history. Anyone writing about glass from the Stourbridge area needs this book as a reference. Charles Hajdamach's book is another excellent book which focuses on the glass itself and has information on how and when it was made with wonderful pictures. Lesley Jackson's book covers the glassmaking companies, with a good account of many glassworks not covered in detail in other books (including Stevens and Williams). Click on the titles or the bookcovers below to read more:

1: Glassmakers of Stourbridge and Dudley 1612-2002, by Jason Ellis, (2002).
2: British Glass 1800-1914, by Charles R. Hajdamach, (1991).
3: 20th Century Factory Glass by Lesley Jackson (May 2000).
4: British Glass Between the Wars (Jan 1987) by Roger Dodsworth. An Exhibition at Broadfield House Glass Museum in 1987.
5: 20th Century British Glass (Nov 2009) by Charles Hajdamach.

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

Stourbridge Glassmakers book British glass book Arwas glass book 20th Century glass book British Glass Book 2 British Glass Between the Wars 1987 Victorian Glass - British 19th C British Glass 20th Century glass McConnell 20th Century glass 2004

Glass Blog
have a look

Target ebay searches!

Find your kind of glass
with our Target Searches

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

Angela M. Bowey's books on Goodreads

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