A complete guide to understanding antique glass.
‘Having spent most of my working life since 1922 in glass, and walked in and out of glassworks all over the Stourbridge area since I was seven years old, I have acquired a great fascination for this very absorbing subject .’
Reginald Wilkinson began working at his brother Frank’s shop in 1922. Inspired by his late brothers creativity, Reginald wondered if there was a better and safer way to carry out the heavy glass cutting process. Originally a mixture of sand and water was dripped onto a steel mill, however this method would make it difficult to see what had been done and would result in a lot of breakages. He purchased some used carborundum wheels for a local bevelling company and with the aid of a diamond tool, he found that he could create just about any shape of wheel he wanted. This new method was cleaner, faster and considerably safer and within 2 years the whole industry had changed to this method. Today most of the modern glass cutting businesses use diamond wheels, however we still use the carborundum method.
R Wilkinson & Son was founded in 1947 when Reginald moved to London and set up a small workshop in Battersea, where they produced cut glass tableware for the London department stores and tableware wholesalers. A chance visit by an antique dealer, requesting they re-cut some glass to remove chips and damage, heralded the company’s change of direction to a glass repair and restoration business.
Reginald retired from the business in 1965, set up an antique shop in Wimbledon. “The Hallmarks of Antique Glass” is still regarded as one of the most authoritative books on the subject.
Reginald Wilkinson died in 1986 aged 80, shortly after seeing the company he founded receive perhaps the highest accolade, a Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
We’ll never spam or share your data with a third-party.