In 1675, George Ravenscroft invented the lead glass formula which was to transform glass selling in England. Previously table glass was imported from the continent, mostly from Venice, but w an indigeus industry developed rapidly, producing drinking glasses of such quality and fascinating design as to capture the entire home market. This book explores the variety of drinking glasses, from the heavy balusters pre-dating 1700 to the faceted stems of around 1800, which are so sought after by collectors. Superb craftsmanship and ingenuity, typical of all art forms in the eighteenth century, are beautifully encapsulated in the drinking glass, and a large and significant collection can be housed in a couple of display cases. Accompanied with detailed illustrations of the range of glass designs, this is an ideal guide for any collector.
Leonard Bickerton's interest in drinking glasses was first aroused when, as Curator of the Museum and Art Gallery at Worthing, he mounted an exhibition of more than five hundred drinking glasses based on the Hartshorne collection, supplemented by fine specimens from private owners in the south-east of England. He wrote articles on the subject and in 1971 his book Eighteenth Century English Drinking Glasses was published. From 1970 to 1985 Mr Bickerton was Art Consultant to the Edward James Foundation.