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James Powell and Sons

Information about glassmakers James Powell and Sons

James Powell and Sons were one of the most important glass makers and stained glass window manufacturers at the turn of the century. The origins of their business can be traced back to the 17th century as Whitefriars Glass.

James Powell (1774–1840), a London wine merchant and entrepreneur, purchased Whitefriars Glass in 1834, acquiring its small glassworks that was located just off Fleet Street in London in the process.

Although Powell and his sons had no experience in glass-making, they soon learnt the basics and started to innovate extensively, applying for a number of patents. Their business flourished and they established a name for themselves in the production of ecclesiastical stained glass.

Henry Holiday (1839-1927) was the firm's chief designer from 1862 and was succeeded by JW Brown (1842-1928).

The company flourished until World War II, being regarded as a world leader. However, its fortunes changed after the war and experienced a steady decline in the post-war period. In 1962, the company reverted to its former name of Whitefriars Glass Ltd and concentrated on domestic glass before eventually being taken over by Caithness Glass in 1981.

The records of James Powell & Sons is held in the Archive of Art & Design at The Victorian & Albert Museum.

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Lot FS19/661: James Powell and Sons (Manufacturers) 'The Annunciation'

James Powell and Sons (manufacturers) 'The Annunciation', a pair of original pen, ink and pencil designs for a pair of stained glass windows, London, Circa 1860-1920, in later ebonised and gilt frames, 106cm x 40cm.

Estimate: £300 - £500
Realised: £500