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A personal collection and
observations on Art Glass

Thomas Webb/Richardson

Why collect Webb glass from 1900-1970?

It's actually surprising there aren't more people who do: very high-quality and can be purchased remarkably cheaply.

This page details a fairly wide range of collectable Webb art glass from the 'Bull's Eye', 'Optic-ribbed' and 'Coin-moulded' glass ranges, and some of the later Thomas Webb glass from the 1960s & 70s – there is no glass from Webb Corbett (the Thomas Webb of this company is actually his son), Molineaux Webb, cut-glass or clear crystal. Well, just a little... but on another page.

One sign of good quality glass is where the pontil mark is ground away and polished – often resulting in a smooth concave area. After all, why go to this trouble if you could maximise profits by increasing production? Virtually all Webb glass from this period exhibits the polished pontil, along with an acid-etched mark that further signifies a need to impress by the quality. Webb glass also has a truly superb 'ring' – tap it lightly on the rim with your fingernail and it resonates very brightly!

Webb also collaborated with another Stourbridge company, Richardson, and glass from them was commonly stamped and marketed by Webb. See the Coin-moulded vases.

Webb glass can also be roughly dated according to the backstamp: see Webb acid-etch Marks, provided courtesy of David Levin.

Bull's Eye pattern

This design is very identifiable and unmistakably Webb. The glass is mould-blown and features large convex 'outdents' (not 'prunts') that coined the term 'Bull's Eye'.

The glass can sometimes have the odd defect with tiny grit inclusions, but generally speaking it is high quality – the 'ring' it produces after tapping is very pronounced and clear.

Was known to be produced in clear and amber glass – the latter more commonly – with some scarcer examples known in 'Amber Sunshine' (see below) and green. The variety of shapes and sizes produced is also quite staggering: anything from small conical glasses and thin-walled bowls to large, wide fruit bowls. Often Webb glass can have a foot applied after being mould-blown.


Webb's Bull's Eye pattern in amber and clear glass

Optic- or Wave-ribbed

A mould-blown technique pioneered by Webb sometime around 1910 and apparently predates the Whitefriars version of this effect. Normally quite thin and fragile glass (smaller items) with known colours to be Green, Bristol Green, Amber, Clear, Amethyst and Blue. The Green and Amber versions (trade names: 'Spring', 'Sunshine' and 'Evergreen' respectively) should glow brightly under Ultraviolet (UV) light due to the [harmless] presence of uranium and are from the 'Gay' glass range. The blue glass glows faintly green under UV, so probably indicates uranium traces.

Known examples are smaller bowls, glasses and vases although larger vessels such as the mushroom posy vases (up to 12", 30cm in diameter) despite the fragility of the glass. Some vases can also be seen with a different coloured foot, although not commonly.

Webb's Optic-ribbed pattern


Coin Moulded (Richardson)

Quite scarce, and believed to have been made by Richardson and marketed by Webb.

The 'Coin-moulded' glass feature circular indents that could either be on the inside or outside of the glass. Would appear to have only been made prior to 1940 due to the use of uranium and has the 1935-49 backstamp. These exhibit distinctive concave indents, evenly spaced and distributed. While these were originally circular, some vases were deliberately stretched or 'swung' to create the elongated design.

The second vase does not have the stamp, but the standard colour, shape and thickness of the glass strongly indicates a Webb influence.

Large 22cm tall uranium Coin-moulded vase, exterior indents, c.1935


Unlike the above vase, the indents are on the inside.

Other Webb glass

The 1960s and 70s

Flair Range
A wholescale change to their range in the early sixties allowed some stunning designs that drew influence from Scandinavian and Italian Art glass of this period. The 'Flair' range was designed by David Hammond & Stanley Eveson and often included controlled bubbles in the base. This was quite a departure for Webb with the glass being solid and chunky with sweeping freeformed lines. Vases, bowls, dishes, ashtrays and paperweights were all produced during this period, having the pre-1965 backstamp.

Later Webb glass in the 1970s took on a whole new aspect. Introduced was more utilitarian glassware with cleaner, contemporary lines. New colours were included from the mid-1960s such as Bristol Blue and Bristol Green, Amethyst.

A fabulous 'Flair' vase


Later Webb glass became more utilitarian

Collecting tips

Webb glass with uranium does tend to capture the imagination, while the basic amber coloured (but not 'Sunshine') and clear glass items appear less collectable, but can still realise a good response on eBay. Most of Webb glass does have the acid-etched mark and should be easily seen unless there is excessive wear in that area.

Bull's Eye
This type of glass cannot really be mistaken for much else, and is very much a Webb trademark. Some smaller examples can be unsigned and the 'outdents' can look more like prunts (where blobs of glass are applied).

Can be easily mistaken for Whitefriars Wave-ribbed, but as the valuation of Whitefriars can be the same or slightly higher, nothing is lost if you get it wrong! In any event, Webb's glass is almost always signed with an acid-etch mark.

Square peg in a round hole?

To distinguish between Webb & Whitefriars of the same style, when viewed from the top the waved effect of Webb glass give it a square look, while Whitefriars looks hexagonal and this is entirely due to the shape of the mould used by the respective factories *

*Note: while I can't positively confirm this, from the limited amount of Whitefriars glass I have it does appear to be the case.




Top: Whitefriars vase in Meadow Green.
Bottom: two Webb vases.

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