The National Glass Collectors Fair

Heading: National Glass Collectors Fair

In-Fair Exhibition:
Royal Commemorative Glass

Sowerby - George V silver jubilee mug.
Sowerby - George V silver jubilee mug.

Elizabeth II is only the second reigning monarch in the history of this country to have reached sixty years on the throne. Queen Victoria was the first and whilst King George III nearly managed to reach his Diamond Jubilee, he passed away just ten months short of sixty years of rule.

The Glass Association marked the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, by mounting an exhibition of British Royal Commemorative Glass at the May 2012 National Glass Fair.

Of the many examples that were on display, some were rare and some more everyday: ranging through Queen Victoria’s Coronation and Jubilee’s to the reigns of Edward VII, with his wife Alexandra, George V and Queen Mary’s Coronation and Silver Jubilee, the short eleven month reign from Accession to Abdication of Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth’s Coronation, to the Accession and Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, her Silver and Golden Jubilee’s and this year, her Diamond Jubilee.


George VI coronation wine glass by Stuart.
George VI coronation wine glass by Stuart.

Two of the three showcases held glass that was designed to be made in large numbers, bought and used by the public throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the World. This is usually pressed glass or machine blown moulded glass, decorated by designs on the inside walls of the mould, and additionally by applied transfers, etching, sandblasting, engraving and gilding, or a mixture of several of these techniques. There were many plates and tumblers with “dot patterns”, some jugs and vases, ale glasses and a few tankards, with all manner of decoration.

The third cabinet featured mostly hand blown glass. When engraved, either by copper wheel or diamond point, the wording on the glass often proclaims statements of fealty and loyalty to the monarchy. These were produced in much smaller numbers, from special editions of sometimes only seven glasses up to one thousand for the relatively low cost and popular tankards produced initially for the coronation of King Edward VIII and then for King George VI. Due to the investment already put into the souvenir market for the coming of Edward as King, and the short time between his Abdication in December 1936 to the Coronation of George VI in May 1937, it’s usual to find that the production runs for the George VI commemorative souvenirs were smaller than those for Edward VIII.

The glass on display was kindly loaned by members of the Glass Association, with several important pieces from the collection of The Broadfield House Glass Museum.

Image Gallery

Please find below a gallery of images featuring some of the highlights from the collection of glass that was displayed on May 6 2012.

All images are courtesy and copyright of the Glass Association.



Further Information

Please visit our Fair Details page for information about the next National Glass Fair.

If you are interested in the type of glass featured in this exhibition, then you may wish to visit our Preview Gallery, where you can view similar items that were offered for sale at our May 2012 glass fair.

Other Past Exhibitions

May 2009: Fair Lamp Exhibition >>>
May 2010: All That Jazz Exhibition >>>
November 2011 >>>
November 2012: Portland Vase>>>
May 2013: Gray-Stan Art Glass >>>
November 2014: Short History of Art Glass in Hungary >>>
May 2015: Hyacinth Vases >>>