'Banjo' vase

A striking vase with an angular spiral decoration on the flat side.

Mould-blown glass, designed by Geoffrey Baxter for James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars), Wealdstone, Middlesex, about 1967-73

The shape of this vase illustrates the use of geometric forms in contemporary architecture and design during the 1960s. The 'Pop' culture of the time encouraged the design of brightly coloured goods for the home, which were made using experimental techniques.

Geoffrey Baxter was recruited to Whitefriars glass in 1954 after graduating from the Royal College of Arts industrial glassware course. His interest in the effects that could be produced with moulds led to the development of the 'Textured Range' of glassware. Here, he incorporated natural materials, such as bark and wood and man-made fibres, like tacks and copper wire, into the mould to create surface textures.

Whitefriars were a small, London based firm, who after the purchase of the company in 1834 by James Powell, became one of Britain's most distinguished glass manufacturers. They were a very independent firm, driven by the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of the Powell family. The company produced tableware and stained glass windows. In 1980 however, the factory closed. This was due to the demise, in 1973, of the stained glass studio because of a lack of ecclesiastical commissions and an overall recession in the late 1970s.

Purchased, 1995