three hundred years of collectable glass in one day

The Cambridge Glass Fair

Whitefriars.com Exhibition: February 2009

Bubbled Ducks

Display of ducks and slabs
Display of ducks and slabs

The Whitefriars.com exhibition for February 2009 was a fabulous display of the perennially-popular bubbled ducks. They came in all shapes, sizes and colours, most of them flying in from the North West courtesy of Tony Elwood.

Tony Elwood talking about the display
Tony Elwood talking about the display

Some came along with Anita Wood and yet more accompanied Patrick Hogan and Terry Martin.

There were some real rarities, too, including a ‘family’ of five ruby coloured ones with a great big heavy daddy duck of around 8ins in height, a mother duck and three babies, one a dinky little fellow of around 2 ½ ins high. This toothsome fivesome was made by Ronnie Wilkinson c1970.

There were ten production colours represented and then some more unusual examples.

A lovely sky blue example was brought in by Terry, and there was an qua, a silver, a strawberry and a one-off dark blue without the usual base, or foot. There was also an experimental bubbled flint duck of a totally different squat shape that was produced in the 1960’s.

The monstrous alien
The monstrous alien
Then there was another that was a monstrous ‘alien’, a creature in cinnamon cased in arctic blue that was no doubt a frigger (an article produced by the glassblowers during their spare time) and he looked ready to pick a fight with any of the others who cared to take him on! As well as the alien, another interloper can be seen if you look closely at the picture of the ruby ducks
Ruby family and friends
Ruby family and friends
below – a strawberry Annenberg bubbled owl, also brought in by Terry.

The ducks were mainly arranged according to colour families and it was interesting to

see the difference between the earlier and later examples, the older ones being a slender, more upright shape and having fire-polished beaks rather than ground. These were all made by Harry Dyer.

Sometimes known as ‘dilly’ ducks, these collectable items can command some very high prices if an uncommon colour and there are duck aficionados country and maybe worldwide.

Some of Tony Elwood’s collection of Whitefriars architectural slabs was also shown, complementing the duck display.

All in all, a quacking show!

exhibition highlights

  • Family of ruby ducks

  • Rare sky blue, silver and aqua ducks

  • Strawberry duck

  • One-off dark blue example

  • Flint experimental squat duck