Footed goblet with bulging bowl

Various artists/makers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 516

This footed goblet provides an ideal bridge between the burgeoning Arts and Crafts movement championed by Morris and Company and the endeavors of James Powell & Sons’ Whitefriars Glassworks to encourage modern, British design in glassware. The goblet was designed by Philip Webb in 1860, as part of a series of table glasses with spiral trails for William Morris’s home, the Red House. Made by James Powell & Sons, the series of glassware was also sold through Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Harry Powell (grandson of the wine-merchant, James Powell, who had purchased the Whitefriars Glassworks in 1834 and principal designer at Whitefriars) singled out this group of designs for special comment, illustrating this goblet design in an article in the Architectural Review in 1899. At that time, such were the Whitefriars’ records of the commission that Harry Powell believed the designer to have been Morris himself. Following a visit to the Whitefriars Glassworks by the future director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Sydney Cockerell (at that time, still Morris & Co.’s manager) this mistake was rectified (on a postcard preserved in the Museum of London, acc. 3312) and when Harry Powell mentioned the Red House glassware designs in his revised entry for "Glass" in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1906, he ascribed them to Webb. Powell also sketched this goblet design among the series of designs annotated as "by Philip Webb for William Morris for the Red House at Upton" in his design notebook logging "Glasses with Histories," made around 1912 onwards (preserved in the Museum of London, acc. 3252). The page of this notebook illustrating this goblet’s design is illustrated by W. Evans, C. Ross & A. Werner, Whitefriars Glass. James Powell & Sons of London, London: Museum of London, 1995 (plate 422, p.275). Very soon after Whitefriars first produced this group of glassware designed by Webb, Christopher Dresser admired it, in 1862, calling attention to its "simplicity of treatment."

Footed goblet with bulging bowl, Philip Webb (British, Oxford 1831–1915 West Sussex), Flint glass, British, London

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