Friday, 2 October 2009

This is my first attempt at a blog of this type I hope you will enjoy it.  I have tried to keep it simple. If there are any mistakes I should correct, please Email me!   

Also happy to have your comments at the end of the blog.

Some of the layout may be a bit wobbly, but I am no techie, and found it quite hard to get what I wanted in the right place!!!

I will be updating from time with new information, including photos of rare "one offs",  look-a-likes(Mistaken Identies), and other items of interest, so it's an idea to Bookmark this blog!

There is a total of 15 catalogued colours in the knobbly range and so far discovered three uncatalogued  colours..  There is a total of  9 vase shapes ,  plus 4 bowls.

I show examples of all colours and all vase shapes - the bowls regardless of diameter look more or less the same, so there are just one or two examples.

Thanks for looking.  Emmi Smith

For my Whitefriars sales, please click on the photo to the right, it will take you to my sales Blog.

1964 - 1969

The Knobblies were launched at the Blackpool Trade Fair in 1964, and they appeared in the catalogue of that year. They were designed by William Wilson and Harry Dyer.

Knobbly vases are very heavy, thick walled items, created by an S shaped tool used to manipulate the molten glass prior to blowing.The plain colours cased in clear, were made from Soda glass, but the Streaky versions were made from lead crystal, using sub standard glass left over from tableware and to which the colours were added, making a kind of water mark effect.

Colours:  Streaky Green, Streaky Brown, Green Cased , Blue Cased and Ruby cased.

Patterns for all colours were:

9608  5”/ 9609 7” / 9610 9” / 9611 10” / 9612  9.5” for vases.  Bowls: 9613 5” d / 9614 7.5” d /  9615   9”d.

                          L - R: 9610 St. Brown: 9608 Green cased: 9612 B. Cased: 9610 S. Green

5/10/09  BREAKING NEWS!  Until today, knobbly collectors have thought that the two vases in the photo above were Indigo on the left, and Willow on the right.  However, Julian Knowles, a fellow knobbly  enthusiast and a member of, has unearthed some interesting information.    On a recent visit to the Museum of London, he discovered a page in a Whitefriars work book dated 10/7/1965 which clearly shows that 58 Knobbly vases in pattern 9610 were made in the colour Shadow Green.  And therefore the one on the right can now be clearly identified as Shadow Green and not Willow as first thought, Willow being a colour for 1966 textured vases.

We have yet to discover whether the ‘Indigo” vase on the left is indeed Indigo, or whether it may well be Midnight Blue, another Soda glass colour for 1965. Either way these vases in these colours are very scarce.  The work book also shows two 9611 (10") as also having been made.  Watch this space.

And here's another very interesting one.  Is it a frigger? Certainly looks like Midnight Blue or Indigo, but it doesn't quite match a catalogued shape.  Any info - please Email me!  Photo © Simon Etheridge


Green cased was discontinued.  Otherwise colours and patterns were as for 1965.

1968  - 1969

Kingfisher Blue  (new):  Ruby / Streaky Brown/ Streaky Green

1969 was the last year in which we saw the 10” 9611.

 Ruby 9611  (10") -  Kingfisher 9609 (7")

Ruby collection c 1966

Kingfisher group c. 1968-69

1970 - 1973

1970 - 1973

Pattern Nos:
1970:  9608 5” : 9609 7” : 9610” 9” : 9612 9.5” - the larger 10” 9611 was discontinued in this year.  Bowls: 9613 and 9614  ( the 9” bowl 9615 was also discontinued)
Colours for 1970 were:  Meadow Green/ Kingfisher Blue / Ruby / Streaky Green

1970 was the year that a new colour for ANOTHER range was introduced - LICHEN - the knobblies were not made in this colour, but I do have a lampbase 9612 Streaky which is in this Lichen colourway.  Was this experimental?  Was it a frigger?  If you have the answer, please let me know.

See here:  Pictured alongside a regular Streaky Green.  The Lichen vase has a definite Pewter hue to the glass whereas the S. Green has very clear glass.

And here is what is thought to be another frigger on the left, Kingfisher with purple streaks and shown alongside a "normal Kingfisher 9612.   Photo: © Peter Simpson                                                                                                   

Pattern Nos: 9608 / 9609 / 9610 / 9612 :  Bowls 9613 and 9614
Colours:  Meadow Green/ Kingfisher Blue / Ruby / Streaky Green

1972 and 1973
Pattern Nos: 9608 / 9609 / 9612/9613  (the 9” 9610 and bowl 9614 were discontinued)
Colours:   Aubergine (new colour)  / Meadow Green /  Ruby /  Kingfisher Blue

Photos of new colours Aubergine and Meadow Green

Left: Meadow Green 9610 9"  Right Aubergine 9609 7"
All the 9612s (1965 - 1973)


In 1974 there were some changes.  The small 9608 was discontinued and replaced by the curvier 9843.
9613 (5") bowl was replaced by another bowl 9846 (6")

Geoffrey Baxter together with Ray Annenberg also introduced some new forms.

The full pattern range was for 1974 - 1980:    9843 5.5” :   9842  7.5” :  9844 7” : 9845 10” :
Bowl 9846  6” d.

The colour range introduced Streaky Marine, Streaky Heather, Lilac and Sage. Old favourites Kingfisher Blue and Ruby completed the colours in this year.

The following photo shows the range of new colours and the new forms for 1974.

          Left to Right:  Sage 9845 :  Lilac 9844 : Heather 9842 :  Marine 9843

                                           All the 9843s

Photo illustrating the differences in shape and size for the 9608 on the left and 9843 on the right. 


Here's an interesting one.  Looks a similar shape of a 9842, but the Streaky colours are very different to Marine or Heather.  Is this a Frigger?  Photo © Simon Etheridge

Thursday, 1 October 2009

1978 - 1980

By 1978  - 80, the colour range for knobblies was down to four colours.  Aqua FLC, Gold FLC , Sky Blue FLC and Ruby cased.

Examples of these colours are shown in the following photograph and are all pattern 9845:  all 10” tall and which  was the shape designed by Ray Annenberg.

You will note that they are not all quite the same height, which should be 10" according to the catalogue.  The tolerances shown here are acceptable for a hand blown vase.

For the full range of shapes in these colours, please scroll down to the Sky Blues..


This fabulous range is hard to find.  They were in the 1980 catalogue,  and as the demise of Whitefriars was in September 1980,  there were fewer made, especially as Whitefriars was concentrating more on the production of cut lead crystal glass.

The photo below is of my complete set of Sky Blue Knobblies.

Left to right: 9844 7": 9842 7.5": 9845 10": 9857 5": 9856 6": 9843 5.5":  Bowl 9846 6" d.

These two small vases are not catalogued in
Sky Blue.   On the left Pat. 9857 (5") - Right 9856 (6")

L - R 9844 / 9845 / 9843  / 9842    

Sometime between 1970 and 1980 Ray Annenberg experimented with a completely new knobbly shape, shown in the two photos below.  These were not in the general Whitefriars production and thus not in any catalogues.  He made them for family and friends.  They were made with a different tool to that of the “S” shaped tool normally used for the production knobblies.

Ray made 45 - 50  of these large knobblies , and as far as he can remember the quantity and colours were as follows.

Kingfisher          10
Meadow green     5
Ruby                 10
Aqua                   4
Aubergine            5
Amber               12

The knobblies are 120 mm wide and 300 mm tall.


The Aqua one was made as a trial run to see how they looked.
These Photos are  © Terry and Peggy Martin


This beautiful 10" Pink knobbly was made by Whitefriars master glass blower  Ray Annenberg.   It is signed showing it was made by Ray at  the Aaronson Noon studio Whitefriars day in March 2007.  This was a day showing glass blowing techniques used at Whitefriars and a recreation of some of the patterns including knobblies .  Very few were made on this day, so could be considered a very limited edition!


This was made by Kingsware

  This is Czechoslovakian designed by Jan Berenek for        Skrdlovce Glass works.

Small knobbly bowl, has been ID'd as Czech.  Only 4 inches diameter, too small for Whitefriars and the knobbles are very different  to the Whitefriars style.  Also has indents for cigarettes which the Whitefriars bowls of this kind, do not.  These Czech bowls come in a purple colour which is similar to the W/F Aubergine, so therefore are often listed on ebay as Whitefriars.  Beware!

 This is a beautiful Czech vase designed by Jan Beranek  

Skrdlovice Glassworks c. 1964. Pattern number 5988/30.

Liskeard Glass.  Made by Jim Dyer who left Whitefriars for Liskeard and designed these similar looking knobbly vases.  They can be easily identified by the monogram  "LG" moulded into the base.Photo:  © Brett (ebay ID beaned106)

Below, a 6.5 inches kingfisher blue colour knobbly vase, bears some similarities to Whitefriars, but is by an unknown maker. Has a flat unpolished base.

Photos    © Chris Cooper

Tarbeklaas, Estonia, confirmed by Glass Message Board