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Thomas Webb & Sons was an English glass company, founded in 1837 by Thomas Webb (1804-1869) near Stourbridge, England. The name T. Webb & Co. was adopted in 1842, and later became Thomas Webb & Sons. Webb operated the Platts glasshouse from 1837 to 1856 and then the Dennis glassworks from 1855 to 1990.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Glass is a non-crystalline, amorphous solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical, technological, and decorative uses in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optoelectronics. The most familiar, and historically the oldest, types of manufactured glass are "silicate glasses" based on the chemical compound silica (silicon dioxide, or quartz), the primary constituent of sand. The term glass, in popular usage, is often used to refer only to this type of material, which is familiar from use as window glass and in glass bottles. Of the many silica-based glasses that exist, ordinary glazing and container glass is formed from a specific type called soda-lime glass, composed of approximately 75% silicon dioxide (SiO2), sodium oxide (Na2O) from sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), calcium oxide (CaO), also called lime, and several minor additives.
Thomas Webb (1804–1869) was an English glassmaker and the founder of Thomas Webb & Sons, makers of fine English glass and crystal. Webb entered the glass industry in 1829 when he became a partner in the Wordsley glassworks of Webb and Richardsons. Webb entered into business with his father, John Webb in 1833 at the White House glassworks prior to founding the company known as "Thomas Webb & Sons" in 1837. Webb moved to the Platts, Amblecote in 1840, then relocated to the Dennis Hall site, near the town of Stourbridge, England in 1855. Thomas Webb died in 1869 and was succeeded by his son Thomas Wilkes Webb.
The company, known originally as the "Crystal King of England," was noted for the high quality of its Cameo glass. Cameo glass is created by a process of etching and carving through a layer of opaque white glass, leaving a white relief design on a darker colored glass body. Some pieces used two layers of etched glass to create a three-color Cameo glass product. In the 1870s John Northwood produced the first pieces, inspired by the Portland Vase. George Woodall would produce the most distinguished Webb Cameo work towards the end of the 19th century.
Cameo glass is a luxury form of glass art produced by cameo etching and carving through fused layers of differently colored glass to produce designs, usually with white opaque glass figures and motifs on a dark-colored background. The technique is first seen in ancient Roman art of about 30 BC, where it was an alternative to the more luxurious engraved gem vessels in cameo style that used naturally layered semi-precious gemstones such as onyx and agate. Glass allowed consistent and predictable colored layers, even for round objects.
Etching is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of material. As a method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today. In a number of modern variants such as microfabrication etching and photochemical milling it is a crucial technique in much modern technology, including circuit boards.
The Portland Vase is a Roman cameo glass vase, which is dated to between AD 1 and AD 25, though low BC dates have some scholarly support. It is the best known piece of Roman cameo glass and has served as an inspiration to many glass and porcelain makers from about the beginning of the 18th century onwards. It is first recorded in Rome in 1600–1601, and since 1810 has been in the British Museum in London. It was bought by the museum in 1945 and is normally on display in Room 70.
The finest and most valuable pieces were signed with "GEM CAMEO" included in the mark - Roman cameo glass was itself an imitation of the luxury art form of the cameo engraved gem.
An engraved gem, frequently referred to as an intaglio, is a small and usually semi-precious gemstone that has been carved, in the Western tradition normally with images or inscriptions only on one face. The engraving of gemstones was a major luxury art form in the Ancient world, and an important one in some later periods.
In 1889 Thomas Webb & Sons secured an American patent for their process, and in that same year they received a Grand Prix for their exquisite colored glass at the 1889 Paris Exposition. They were part of the Tiffany & Co. exhibit at the exposition.
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from 6 May to 31 October 1889.
Jewellery or jewelry consists of small decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and cufflinks. Jewellery may be attached to the body or the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal, often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials may be used. It is one of the oldest type of archaeological artefact – with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewellery. The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are often extremely long-lived; in European cultures the most common forms of jewellery listed above have persisted since ancient times, while other forms such as adornments for the nose or ankle, important in other cultures, are much less common.
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The color of a ruby is due to the element chromium.
Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements. He was affiliated with a prestigious collaborative of designers known as the Associated Artists, which included Lockwood de Forest, Candace Wheeler, and Samuel Colman. Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels, and metalwork. He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany.
Marquetry is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique may be applied to case furniture or even seat furniture, to decorative small objects with smooth, veneerable surfaces or to freestanding pictorial panels appreciated in their own right.
Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewellery or vessel. It nearly always features a raised (positive) relief image; contrast with intaglio, which has a negative image. Originally, and still in discussing historical work, cameo only referred to works where the relief image was of a contrasting colour to the background; this was achieved by carefully carving a piece of material with a flat plane where two contrasting colours met, removing all the first colour except for the image to leave a contrasting background.
Art glass is an item that is made, generally as an artwork for decoration but often also for utility, from glass, sometimes combined with other materials. Techniques include stained glass windows, leaded lights, glass that has been placed into a kiln so that it will mould into a shape, glassblowing, sandblasted glass, and copper-foil glasswork. In general the term is restricted to relatively modern pieces made by people who see themselves as artists who have chosen to work in the medium of glass and both design and make their own pieces as fine art, rather than traditional glassworker craftsmen, who often produce pieces designed by others, though their pieces certainly may form part of art. Studio glass is another term often used for modern glass made for artistic purposes. Art glass has grown in popularity in recent years with many artists becoming famous for their work; and, as a result, more colleges are offering courses in glass work.
Onyx primarily refers to the parallel banded variety of the silicate mineral chalcedony. Agate and onyx are both varieties of layered chalcedony that differ only in the form of the bands: agate has curved bands and onyx has parallel bands. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color. Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and/or white. Onyx, as a descriptive term, has also been applied to parallel banded varieties of alabaster, marble, obsidian and opal, and misleadingly to materials with contorted banding, such as "Cave Onyx" and "Mexican Onyx".
Mokume-gane is a Japanese metalworking procedure which produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns, as well as that laminate itself. Mokume gane translates closely to "wood grain metal" or "wood eye metal" and describes the way metal takes on the appearance of natural wood grain. Mokume gane fuses several layers of differently coloured precious metals together to form a sandwich of alloys called a "billet." The billet is then manipulated in such a way that a pattern resembling wood grain emerges over its surface. Numerous ways of working the mokume gane create diverse pattens. Once the metal has been rolled into a sheet or bar, several techniques are used to produce a range of effects.
Mercury glass is glass that was blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution, and sealed. Although mercury was originally used to provide the reflective coating for mirrors, elemental mercury was never used to create tableware. Silvered glass was free-blown, then silvered with a solution containing silver nitrate and grape sugar in solution, heated, then closed. Sealing methods include metal discs covered with a glass round or a cork inserted into the unpolished pontil scar. "Mercury" silvered glass was produced originally around 1840 until at least 1930 in Bohemia, Germany and was also manufactured in England from 1849 to 1855. Edward Varnish and Frederick Hale Thomson patented the technique for silvering glass vessels in 1849. The English examples were often cased with a layer of colored glass then cut to silver as illustrated in the photograph.
Bakewell Glass is nineteenth century glassware from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania produced by a company founded by Benjamin Bakewell. Bakewell's company can be found under the names ThePittsburgh Glass Manufactory, Bakewell & Page and, Bakewell, Pears & Co. Bakewell glass built a reputation of being both luxurious and utilitarian during the 80 years it was in business.
The term "opaline" in current times refers to many forms of opaque and colored glass. In France the term opaline is used to refer to multiple types of glass and not specifically antique colored crystal or semi-crystal. The idea that the term opaline is strictly antique French crystal is incorrect. For instance when shopping in France you may see a piece of American slag glass for sale labeled opaline in reference to the color of glass and not the age, origin or content of the glass.
Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer, typically of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), between its two or more layers of glass. The interlayer keeps the layers of glass bonded even when broken, and its high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces. This produces a characteristic "spider web" cracking pattern when the impact is not enough to completely pierce the glass. In the case of the EVA, the thermoset EVA, offers a complete bounding (cross-linking) with the material whether it is glass, polycarbonate, PET, or other types of products.
Chance Brothers and Company was a glassworks originally based in Spon Lane, Smethwick, West Midlands, in England. It was a leading glass manufacturer and a pioneer of British glassmaking technology.
George Ravenscroft was an English businessman in the import/export and glass making trades. He is primarily known for his work in developing clear lead crystal glass in England.
Duncan & Miller Glass Company was a well-known glass manufacturing company in Washington, Pennsylvania. Items that were produced by the company are known as "Duncan glass" or "Duncan Miller glass." The company was founded in 1865 by George Duncan with his two sons and son-in-law in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By 1890, the company joined other glass companies to form the United States Glass Company, a powerful glass trust. In 1892, the factory was destroyed in a fire, and the company was relieved of its trust relationship with the US Glass Company. After the fire, the second generation of the Duncan family moved operations to Washington, Pennsylvania. In 1900, John Ernest Miller, the company's long-time designer, became a full shareholder along with members of the Duncan family. By 1955, economic pressures from machine-produced glass forced the company to sell off its assets to the US Glass Company, who continued to produce Duncan-style glass until 1980.
Peking glass is a form of Chinese glassware that originated in 18th century Peking, China. Originally used in the fabrication of glass snuff bottles, Peking glass has since been appropriated for a number of uses and continues to be produced in China.