George Davidson's "Pearline"
by Jim

Fairy Lamp Club Newsletter, Issue XII, August 1999

I recently acquired a blue version of R-10, Pearline by George Davidson Glass Company, Gateshead, England. I already had a Vaseline (yellow) version and was pleased to have a pair in different colors. However, with the help of a couple club members and few web searches, I was able to put together bits and pieces of information that you might be interested in.

The following information was extracted from The Glass Museum On-Line. If you have never been to this site, it is well worth the visit.

A short explanation of Pearline glass:

In 1889 George Davidson introduced one of their most popular and successful lines, a coloring which they called "Pearline." It was only made in two colors, blue and lemon yellow, each with a white (cream) edge. Pearline glass was so successful that Davidson's introduced a new suite of designs made in Pearline almost every year until 1903 and continued production of Pearline until the outbreak of the first World War (1914).

Davidson's Pearline glass is virtually always marked with a number or (on very early pieces) the word "Patent." The number is the British registration number of that particular pattern and identifies the manufacturer and the date of registration.

DavidsonPearlineCroped.jpg (17237 bytes)
Cream and sugar in Davidson's blue Pearline in "Brideshead" pattern

Pearline glass reacted to heat by turning white on the parts exposed to heat during the cooling process, a reaction caused by the chemicals mixed into the glass (notably arsenic). It was extremely popular in the 1890's.

DavidsonBrideheadBlues.jpg (218553 bytes)
R-10 in Davidson's yellow and blue Pearline in "Brideshead" pattern. Rd number 130643 is molded into the design on the inside near the top opening.

In 1889 Davidson registered a new design under the number 130643. The design was simply called the "643 Suite" by Davidson's and named "Brideshead" by American collectors. The Pearline color combination of a white opalescent edge on turquoise blue glass was almost unique to Davidson's. However, Greener's (from nearby Sunderland) produced a smaller number of patterns in a very similar color. These can be identified both by the registration numbers and from pattern books and advertisements of the time.

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