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This is a quick guide in how to spot a genuine Geoffrey Baxter designed Whitefriars 'Drunken Bricklayer' Vase

These were designed by Geoffrey Baxter in 1966 and produced from 1967- c1977 in various colours

Pattern number 9673

The standard Whitefriars drunken bricklayer vase is around 8.25 inches tall.  It does not matter if it is 'around' this height as there were fairly wide production tolerances as these were of course entirely hand made

The pattern of indentations on this standard drunken bricklayer is totally different to that of a Large (13") bricklayer - do not confuse the two! 

The Drunken Bricklayer, or Whitefriars pattern number 9673 is now undoubtably Geoffrey Baxter's most iconic and popular design for Whitefriars Glass, designed in 1966 and produced from 1967 to circa 1977 this vase is designed with three offset blocks that look to have been laid by a careless or 'drunken bricklayer'. The middle block of the three has a pattern of indentations that were made by protrusions in the mould. All the other sides of the vase have a textured surface apart from the base. 

The layout and the pattern made by the indentations on the middle block is crucial when you are looking for a genuine drunken bricklayer as there are unfortunately many fakes and copies for sale nowadays. 

The pattern shown in my photographs is the correct one, disregard any that do not match this.  Some sellers claim to have bought the original moulds when Whitefriars closed in the early 1980's - you will note if you examine these copies that they carry a different pattern, and therefore could not have been made with the original moulds used to produce this and other genuine examples. The original mould was in fact purchased on the closure of Whitefriars by an individual who did produce some copies, signed under the second brick - also now collectable. 

The rim of the vase should be rounded and smooth & glossy, not flat or ground down. The rim may be a little uneven, this is normal.

You should also take note of the colour, these vases were made in a variety of colours but all are strong colours and are cased in clear glass

(two layers of glass, coloured on the inside then a clear outer skin)

You must also look for a polished circular indentation (called a pontil or ponty mark) on the bottom of the vase, if it doesnt have one it is not a genuine drunken bricklayer, no matter what claims are made by the seller.

Hand blown into a textured mould - in this case designed by Geoffrey Baxter - no piece of Whitefriars is exactly the same and factors like the temperature of the glass and the temperature of the mould can change the thickness of the glass or the casing, even the height and the definition of the pattern in each individual case.

The base will usually carry the expected slight wear from being used over the years - being picked up to clean behind etc

There are often bubbles and/or very small pieces of ephemera from the kiln enclosed within the glass, this is normal

The Standard colours produced were:Kingfisher Blue, Meadow Green, Tangerine, Pewter, Indigo, Aubergine, Willow Green, Lilac and Sage

For a truly excellent Whitefriars resource try WWW.Whitefriars.Com


(c) R Conacher 2012

Thank you to Wolfie Rayner for providing some of the above details

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