Glass Circle Lectures

Thursday 16th March: Jill Turnbull

From Goblets to Gaslights, the rise and decline of the Scottish glass industry
LECTURE: Thursday, 16 March 2017

After several decades when no table glass was made in Scotland, the establishment of the Verreville glassworks in 1777 began a revival which lasted until Edinburgh Crystal closed in 2006. The archival material available is patchy but, using a wide range of primary material, the history of the factories making table and other domestic glass can be told. For some, like the glassworks at Greenock, there are no known examples, for others, such as the Holyrood Flint Glass Works in Edinburgh, numerous design drawings and actual examples are available, including a pattern book now in America. Price lists, bills, catalogues and advertisements are other sources of product information while legal documents, newspaper reports and government enquiries provide insights into working practices and the difficulties faced by both workers and owners. Unless it is marked – or decorated with a thistle – very little Scottish glass would be recognised, so one aim of the book on which this talk is based is to encourage collectors to sometimes think ‘Or maybe Scottish’ when they attribute a glass to Stourbridge!
Jill Turnbull acquired an interest in glass – and in research – while studying as a mature student for a degree in the History of Design and the Visual Arts at Stoke on Trent Polytechnic in 1989. In 1999 she obtained a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh and her thesis, ‘The Scottish Glass Industry, 1610-1750’ was published in 2001. Since then she has written numerous articles and her book ‘From Goblets to Gaslights, the Scottish glass industry 1750-2006’ will be published by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, including a CD of the Holyrood pattern book.
Meeting Place: The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT (Ground Floor Lecture Hall) (Gradidge Room, first floor – please give notice if you need help with mobility)
Co-Hosts: Brian Clarke, Robin Wilson
Time: The lecture will start promptly at 19.15. Coffee and light refreshments are provided from 18.30. The meeting will finish by 21.00
NB There is now a charge of £10 each per meeting.
Queen Square lies between Southampton Row and Gt. Ormond St. It can be reached by Underground using either Russell Sq. (Piccadilly) or Holborn (Piccadilly and Central). Buses 68, 91, 168 and 188 run along Southampton Row and 19, 38, 55 and 505 along Theobald's Rd. Access by car is one-way only: take the first turning to the left off Theobald's Rd (after the junction with Southampton Row) into Old Gloucester St which continues into Queen Sq. The Artworkers’ Guild is half way along on the left. The congestion charge finishes at 6.00. Cars may readily be parked in the square after 6.30 free of charge.

Thursday April: Mike Noble
'The Invention of Flint Glass and Other Patents'

Thursday 18th May: Anna Moran
'Glasshouses, Glass Retailers and Glass Consumers: New Research on Glass in Ireland, c. 1780-c. 1830'

Susan Newell
Honorary Secretary
The Glass Circle