Whitefriars factory working drawing for the Drunken Bricklayer vase, £1050 at Fieldings.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

All focus on the vibrant period in the late Sixties and early Seventies – the era of the famous Textured range and a host of shapes that earned nicknames such as Drunken Bricklayer, Banjo, Coffin and Haemorrhoid.

Many similar drawings were dispersed or destroyed when, against the backdrop of rising costs and economic decline, the Wealdstone glassworks closed its doors in 1980.

These examples, by Whitefriars designers such as William Wilson, Harry Dyer, Ray Annenberg and Geoffrey Baxter, were either pen and ink on tracing paper designs used as working boards or preparatory versionsin pencil on paper.

Most were annotated with instructions and corrections, and the factory code for the piece, and typically showed signed of workshop use with pin holes to the margins, stains and bruises.

The first and largest tranche of drawings offered on July 20 included those for some of the most celebrated Baxter designs including vase number 9673, the so-called Drunken Bricklayer.

This pattern, produced in two sizes and a number of colours, was achieved by glass blowing into moulds which had been spot welded to the sides to achieve a dotted effect. Probably the best known of all Whitefriars designs, it took £1050 (estimate £100-150).


Working drawing for three Bark pattern vases, £720 at Fieldings.

It was initially tree bark that provided the main inspiration for Baxter’s range. An original ‘master artwork design’ in pen and ink on tracing paper for three Bark vases, numbers 9689, 9690 and 9691, sold at £720.


Six preparatory drawings for Knobbly range vases, £620 at Fieldings.

More drawings were offered on August 17. A collection of Whitefriars working boards and a preparatory drawing for six Knobbly range vases sold at £620. The thick-walled Knobblies, created using an S-shaped tool pressed into the glass, were launched at the Blackpool Trade Fair in 1964, and they appeared in the factory catalogue of that year. The designs were by Wilson, Dyer and Annenberg.

Four illustrated working boards by Baxter for the 1970s Streaky range took £300, while a collection of boards for Random Strapped vases in production from 1972-80 made £460.