School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461



In 1925 Sidney Greenslade purchased four vases designed by French goldsmith and glass-maker René Lalique from the landmark Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris which launched the Art Deco style in Europe. It was the only modern glass to be acquired by the Gallery of Crafts at Aberystwyth. However, the historical glass collection developed very quickly, particularly since examples could be readily acquired. Both Greenslade and Dan Jones purchased the glass between 1923 and 1935 from antique dealers in Aberystwyth and as far afield as Exeter, Oxford and York.

There were no indigenous makers of fine glass in Britain until George Ravenscroft developed a good quality clear glass in 1675 using a high proportion of lead oxide. His glass was heavy and bright and ideally suited to engraving. The Aberystwyth collection of 18th and 19th century drinking vessels illustrates the subsequent development of glass making from a localised handcraft to a large and profitable industry producing hand-made glass-it also demonstrates different means of manufacture and the evolution of form and decoration. The air and opaque-twist stems in particular represent the zenith of the glass-maker's craft, the skill evident in the complex construction and decoration of the tall slender-stemmed vessels with small engraved bowls in the Rococo fashion. The concern to illustrate the localised characteristics of glass making, however, is best seen in the Bristol and Nailsea coloured-glass wares: spirit flasks, rolling pins, bottles, tumblers and a pipe.

Nailsea Glass

Nailsea Glass