Note: While I do not give valuations, I am happy to discuss the relative merits of any Chance glassware
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New Chance Website
A new website has been started to include all those items and topics that have occurred since Chance Additions was published.
Aqualux has finally been photographed; the Flora pressed glass range is photographed; more on the Fiesta Glass and Joseph Joseph range; more ephemera. And it will keep on growing – already 120 brand-new photos and counting.
Go to Chance Glassware for more details!
Updates to the third book in the trilogy will also be posted there: Chance Reflections – Vol. 3: The History of Chance Brothers, 1824–1981
Phew! Chance Additions finally here!
After some seven years since Chance Expressions was printed, the long-awaited sequel is now shipping, go to the Cortex Design website to order.
Chance Expressions now reprinted!
To purchase the second edition, go to the Cortex Design website
A new book by Patricia Coccoris on the fascinating 300 year history of the bulb vase. Fantastic for collectors, growers, researchers or historians - something for everyone!
295pp, full colour
See Cortex Design for details on how to purchase, and the HyacinthBulbVases.com web site for more details of the book.
Dr David C Watts
I was saddened to learn of David Watts' passing last December. His knowledge on glass - particularly the technology side - was amazing and his book, A History of Glassmaking in London (see his website) a seminal piece of research. After contacting his son, Ben, I decided to publish the eulogies and obituries. All are in PDF form.
Obituary, Ben Watts
The Curious History
of the Bulb Vase
A RECORD OF THE PROGRESS MADE CATALOGUING THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION OF BRITAIN'S PREMIER GLASS MANUFACTURER AT SANDWELL COMMUNITY HISTORY AND ARCHIVES SERVICE
Laura was appointed as archivist to Sandwell, although sadly her tenure has now finished. But in her short time there she managed to organise 300 boxes of papers and 400 ledgers dating from 1824–1980.
|VIEW the BLOG
So you think you know all about Swirl?
Think again. There is so much disinformation written about Swirl, with this being perpetuated through the internet, I have decided to publish pages 86 and 87 from Chance Expressions to (hopefully) dispel these totally false and highly misleading attributions. Let me make it clear: there is absolutely no proof that Margaret Casson or Robert Goodden designed this enigmatic pattern. Instead, read my findings and draw your own conclusions.
This is a totally free, press quality PDF, about 3.5MB in size.
Errata & Updates
Another free download which lists all the errata and updates that can be applied to Chance Expressions. Again, this is a freely downloadable file, about 700KB in size.
Note: Since the original upload, this version, published 15th February 2010, contains an amendment.
A new publication to supplement Chance Expressions
Since Chance Expressions was published a lot more information has surfaced. Enough, in fact, to fill a booklet which will be produced shortly. A 122 page publication, A4 in size (297 x 210mm), with the usual lashings of photographs in full colour - over 650 to be precise, that's over five photos per page!
See here for a full feature list and for other books!
Buying Chance Glass
If you are looking for that elusive piece of Chance Glass, then please contact me.
While I cannot promise that the rarest items are available, there is a good 'chance' I will have a shape or pattern that might just help. Far too much to list, so please just mail your request.
As a 'Glassie' your help is appreciated in making your voice heard regarding the proposed closure of Broadfield House. Please visit the following links:
Friends of Broadfield House
With thanks to everyone from GlassMessages.com
who helped identify and contributed their examples.
About Chance glass (briefly...)
The history of the domestic glassware produced by Chance Bros. is extensive. Massive in fact: enough for two books! But here are a few highlights.
The first domestic glassware produced by Chance was 'Orlak';
a range of heat-resistant ovenware and tableware designed
Stabler, who was better known as part of Carter, Stabler & Adams
partnership, that later became Poole Pottery.
Some ovenware is identifiable as being octagonal-shaped
with recessed handles on the lid. The orange enamel decoration
on the example shown (right) is not generally
Production started from 1929 to 1933 before Chance sold
the rights to Jobling, who were at this stage manufacturing
Pyrex and probably
purchased Orlak purely to stifle the competition – whatever
the circumstances, Orlak never reappeared.
| Chances' first foray into
Prior to Fiestware, Chance were major producers
of quality pressed domestic glassware
that including bowls, jugs and vases,
and were developed with intriguing
and exceptional optical characteristics.
Seven designs were created from 1934 and
these continued until 1953 in a variety
of shapes and styles, when the manufacturing
process proved uneconomical and
The predominant feature of Chance pressed
glass from this era is it's all
created from clear glass. Examples
shown in colour are actually enamel
sprayed onto clear glass.
With the advent of 2006, Chance's most
popular creation, Fiestaware,
has now reached 'Vintage' status
throughout the entire range!
Fiestaware was Chance's
most successful creation:
for the domestic market that
stood the test of time over
a period of thirty years. This
glassware was produced flat-rolled
decorative screen- and
transfer-prints applied prior
to it being formed
by reheating and slumping.
Their most popular creations were
from the 'Fiestaware'
like Michael Harris
and Margaret Casson
(neither of whom designed Swirl!) helped create, with the most
popular designs being Swirl
(1955 — see 50th
Anniversary page), Calypto
(1959, Harris) and Lace. One
well-known and highly collectable
pattern, is Margaret Casson's 'Night
Fiestaware was often
with a gilt rim, but this
is not always the case,
and while the
on clear glass is seen
as the norm,
in fact there
are many other
on clear glass
and gold transfers
on ruby-flashed glass can be
Additionally, Chance Brothers produced
a wide range of
names of towns,
for example) and
range of 'Floral'
The use of silk-screen and transfer
printing as the design
medium had another advantage;
using regular production
lines for the glass blanks,
Chance could create
new designs quickly to
cover special commemorative
events, like the
Wedding in 1977. The
commercial side was also
and 'Adware' became a
popular way for salesman
to leave their
customers a permanent
reminder: more often
than not, this took
the shape of a dish/ashtray.
holder in the familiar
design, but which was not
made by Chance!
Anemone pattern was
the most popular
An entire subset of the Fiestaware range;
these vases represented a bewildering
array of sizes, patterns and
colours. If all these combinations
were used up, you'd probably be looking
at well over 500 different vases
to collect! However, we estimate
there are 'only'
around 150 different varieties.
that's alright then...!
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stack of Gingham
Posy Vases: red, burgundy
and the 'choc & cream'