Artist Detail

James Powell & Sons (England 1834-1980)

James Powell and Sons, Whitefriars, London.

James Powell and Sons of Whitefriars were arguably the most creative glass factory Britain has ever produced. Producing superlative examples of finely crafted glass wares from 1834 until 1980, they made glass of exceptional artistic and technical quality. Although Whitefriars art glass is world renowned and highly collectible, the studio was also one of the most important manufacturers and suppliers of ecclesiastical stained glass. So popular and competent was the work done at Powell and Sons, that none other than William Morris, regularly had his designs transferred to glass by the company. By the 1880s, Powell and Sons glass figured prominently in the Morris and Company retail showroom at 449 Oxford Street, London. In addition, Powell and Sons were instrumental in the transfer of many of Edward Burne-Jones’ Stained Glass Window designs to glass.

English firm of glass manufacturers. The late 17th-century Whitefriars Glass Works, on the site of the Whitefriars monastery in the City of London, was bought in 1834 by a merchant James Powell (1774–1840). In 1844 his sons added a stained-glass department to cater for the growing demand for windows. In 1851 the firm was commissioned by the stained-glass specialist Charles Winston (1814–64) to re-create medieval glass through its proper chemical constituents. This ‘antique’ glass was produced on a large scale from 1853 (e.g. the west window of Norwich Cathedral, painted by George Hedgeland in 1854) and was used by many other studios. Powell’s was one of the most successful Victorian firms because it had a policy of employing many distinguished artists as freelance designers. Although there was no distinctive house style, standards of design were high. Edward Burne-Jones provided cartoons from 1857 to 1861; he was succeeded in 1863 by Henry Holiday, whose style changed from Pre-Raphaelite to classical during his long association with the firm, which continued until 1891. Other celebrated designers included H. E. Wooldridge (1845–1917), Henry Stacy Marks, William De Morgan, Philip Webb and Ford Madox Brown. By the end of the century the firm was also producing fine tableware, paperweights and tesserae for mosaics. Twentieth-century works include windows for Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and are generally ‘signed’ in the border by the figure of a friar. In 1962 it became Whitefriars Glass Ltd. The stained-glass department closed in 1973 and the glassworks in 1980.

Needless to say, these works of art are one of a kind originals. Most often the drawings were destroyed after the window had been completed.

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St Paulinus Church, Paul, Cornwall  Original Stained Glass Cartoon St Paulinus Church, Paul, Cornwall Original Stained Glass Cartoon

James Powell and Sons

Original Stained Glass Cartoon

Paul Church, Cornwall.

CT Base
6982/45

Note: I have included a photo of the Church that I believe this window was intended for.

St Paulinus Church, Paul

“The Parish of Paul covers the villages of Paul, Mousehole, parts of Newlyn and the rural area surrounding them. Although parts of the building are much older, the Church was largely rebuilt after the burning by Spanish invaders in 1595. St Pol de Leon is another name for this church.”

Condition: These drawings were stored (rolled-up) for decades. They have general overall soiling and rough margin wear. Major defects are duly noted. They are fascinating historical documents and make for stunning decorative appeal.

James Powell and Sons Original Stained Glass Cartoon dsc01059 dsc01060 dsc01058

Paul Church

Paul Church

 

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