How Do You Identify Whitefriars Glass?

Identify Whitefriars glass by looking for engraved marks, paper labels and general characteristics. Because not many Whitefriars glass pieces are marked, take the item to an expert for definitive identification.

  1. Check for marks and labels

    Check the item for an engraved mark. The only Whitefriars items engraved with the pattern number and the date were those in the studio range of 1969 by Peter Wheeler. Check for a paper label. The first paper label, used from 1870 to 1923, was a simple round label with the words “Powell – Whitefriars glass works.” The next label, used from 1920 to 1950, featured the picture of a friar with the words “Powell’s Whitefriars English glass.” Other labels through the decades often had a picture of a friar and almost always had the word “Whitefriars.” Some items, though, had only a circular or rectangular sticker with a pattern number.

  2. Look for identifying characteristics

    Although patterns and styles changed over time, Whitefriars glass makers used distinctive decorative techniques. Look for hand-blown glass with ground and polished pontils, heat-treated lips, feet with folded rims, a flattened merese in the stems and hollow decanter stoppers. Certain pieces may have optic molding or ribbing, knobby or textured surfaces, ribbon trailing, random strapping, tears on the outside and other distinctive effects. Compare items with those in online or paper catalogs.

  3. Consult an expert

    Because of the scarcity of labels on older items, if you believe you have a piece of genuine Whitefriars glass, take it to a dealer or expert collector for analysis and verification.