Vintage 1960 & 70s Dartington Glass is collected by many people for it's minimalist designs and wonderful quality. The company was set up in 1967, in Torrington, North Devon. People adore the glass platters, vases and ornaments created by skilled glass blowers and award winning designers such as Frank Thrower, who was the company's key influence.
above a Daisy Platter by Frank Thrower
Why is Dartington Glass called this when it is based in Torrington?
In the 1920s, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhurst bought and renovated Dartington Hall, which is located just outside Totnes in South Devon. They set up the Dartington Hall Trust to help regenerate the rural economy and instigated many innovative and forward-thinking ideas to help boost production in farming and to also promote arts & crafts as a way of creating jobs in rural areas.
In the 1960's, they decided to set up the Dartington Glass making factory in the North of Devon to help create new jobs in that area. The idea was to help people find employment in their own local community rather than having to leave for the cities.
You can see the influence of Scandinavian Glass makers in this wonderful Dartington Glass Owl Dish designed by Frank Thrower
Dartington Glass has strong links to Swedish Glass Manufacturing
Above... the Lotus Platter, these look absolutely wonderful on a table or standing upright in front of a light source
Over the next few years, Scandinavian glass blowing skills were passed on to the local English craftsmen, who worked to Scandinavian designs. Frank Thrower's designs soon became a key focus for the Dartington Glass collection. His ideas were minimal, fresh and exciting - so different from anything seen in the British glass making industry at the time.
Above...a Dartington Daisy platter in original box
Above... Etruscan Ripple Vase with flared top
Above... Dartington Glass Heart shaped paperweight
In 1969 Frank received the Observer Award for Design, 1972 saw the Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1972 and in 1985 his ‘Sharon’ champagne flute was included in a V & A exhibition called ‘100 Best Ever Products’. Frank was awarded an MBE in 1987 just before he died, and had also opened the new Glass Centre in Torrington to mark the 20th anniversary of Dartington Glass.
Ripple Flare Vase from the 1970s
In 1986 the company changed it's name to Dartington Crystal and by 1993 The Dartington Hall Trust had sold it's remaining shares in the business.
Above...Dartington Glass Posy Vase
Information on this page will be updated as and when we learn more, and is based upon our current knowledge.