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  • Tumbler
    Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1859 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
    James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clear, mould-blown glass

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J. W. Mackail, daughter of Edward Burne-Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case 4

Object Type
This straight-sided, cylindrical form is standard for a tumbler of this period and typically it would have been used for water. By this date tumblers were invariably made of glass despite their earlier history as a form made in ceramic or metal which could take a tumble during a convivial meal. Glass as thinly-blown as this example would stand few if any falls. The designer, probably Philip Webb, has had the forethought to give the straight-sided form an anti-slip bulge around the body, much like present-day beer glasses.

Webb designed a set of table glass by 1860. It was intended for the personal use of William Morris at Red House, to be made by James Powell & Sons. That first set, for which drawings only survive, was elaborately historicist in style, influenced as it was by Roman glass, 17th-century enamelled German glasses and 18th-century English drinking glasses. This wide range of historic influences show how eclectic Morris's own interests were. By 1862, the more elaborate designs were being converted into a plainer range, probably by Webb, for multiple production by James Powell & Sons. This plainer range was subsequently added to by the glassworks. This tumbler was presented to the Museum by Mrs J. Mackail, daughter of William Morris's great friend, the painter Edward Burne-Jones, and the widow of William Morris's biographer.

Physical description

Table glass

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1859 (made)


Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
James Powell & Sons (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Clear, mould-blown glass


Height: 9.4 cm maximum, Diameter: 7.8 cm maximum

Object history note

Made by James Powell & Sons at their Whitefriars Glass Works, London, after a design by Philip Webb (born in Oxford, 1831, died in Worth, West Sussex, 1915)

Descriptive line

Tumbler, England (London), possibly designed by Philip Webb and made by J. Powell and Sons, 1855-1860

Labels and date

These tumblers are very much in the style of Philip Webb, and are possibly designs by him done for William Morris's shop. []
British Galleries:

In January 1860, Philip Webb designed enamel-painted glassware in historical style for William Morris's own use at the Red House. These were made by James Powell & Sons. By 1862, without the painting and with the shape simplified for commercial production, the glassware was sold through Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Two of these examples were used at the Morris family's country home, Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Possibly made 1862-1863


ELISE; Glass; Drinking


Ceramics Collection

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