Objects | Industry


Spill Vase, about 1880

Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear

Glass and Ceramics, Inventions, Decorative Art and Design

1800 – 1899

John George Sowerby was the last in a Gateshead family which had been associated with glassmaking south of the Tyne since about 1750. He took over the firm, which became Sowerby & Co in 1874. By 1883, Sowerby’s maintained several showrooms and offices in Britain and overseas, including North America. 

Sowerby’s, famous for its pressed glass, was a pioneer in this successful glass manufacturing trade, with patents for new machinery to create ‘elegant articles of domestic use’ for ‘almost the poorest of the population’. Sowerby’s glassware was said to have opened up in Gateshead ‘a window on the world’.

By Sowerby’s

On display at the Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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