Barnsley has long been associated with the art and industry of glass making. The glass collections at the Museum include Yorkshire and British examples as well as many more from Europe and North America. 

There is an extensive collection of wine glasses and table wares from the late 17th century through to the 19th century as well as a large collection of art and studio glass. James Powell & Sons were famous makers of glass based in Whitefriars, London in the Victorian period and their work is accompanied by other famous names such as Lalique and Gallé.  

Glass was heavily influenced by Scandinavian modernism in the 20th century and there are many examples of the items being produced by firms such as Orrefors and Riihimäen Lasi Oy as well as French makers such as Daum. 

The close association between Barnsley and glass is being continued with commissions such as a sculptural piece from Blair Cunningham in 2009. 

Vase, late 19th century

Emile Gallé (1846-1904)

Gallé was one of the most important French glassmakers of the 19th century, inspiring generations of artists. Many of his designs were inspired by nature and included flowers and insects. This vase is inspired by the Art Nouveau style which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A vase with a long thin neck and short round base with patterns of flowers and leaves in black

‘Canun’ Sculpture, 2009

Blair Cunningham

This sculpture was created by the artist in response to the parkland and glass collections at Cannon Hall Museum as part of the 'Reflections' festival in 2009. Cunningham is an art historian, artist and lecturer who trained at Glasgow School of Art in the 1990s.

Abstract sculpture with different leaf like shapes attached to thin black sticks arranged in a pyramid structure

Antique Roman Balsamarium, 1st-2nd century AD

Maker Unknown

The art and science of glass making is an ancient skill and was well-known in Roman times. They used glass for storing a wide variety of liquids. A ‘balsamarium’ is a vessel for holding balsam or lotion and can take many different forms.

Glass sculpture with two tubes for holding liquid, two handles at either side and one at the top. It is tall and thin and has blue line decorations.

Wine Glass, 1760s

Maker Unknown

This wine glass has a very intricate spiral stem which would have taken great skill to create. The glass is hand-painted with decorative patterns. Wine glasses were very popular in the 18th century as they allowed glass makers to show a variety of techniques.

Ornate wine glass with thick stem and base and a relatively small glass for holding the wine at the top. It is decorated with brown leaves and geometric designs.

Vase, 1962

Attributed to Gunnar Cyrén for Orrefors

This vase was most likely designed by Gunnar Cyrén in the 1960s. Cyrén was a Swedish glass artist, silversmith and industrial designer. He worked for Orrefors between 1959 and 1970 and again in the late 1970s. The Orrefors glassworks was founded in 1898 near the village of the same name in southern Sweden.

Glass vase with a small base and a wide squat bowl like container. It is grey and white and decorated with animals and foliage like a jungle scene

Figure of a Swan, 1912

Wood Brothers

This swan was made by Wood Brothers of Barnsley in the early 20th century. John and James Wood founded the company in 1834 to make fine tablewares in glass. They were later joined by two more brothers. The company produced domestic and industrial glass until 1981.

Glass swan with a slender curved neck and chunky body. The glass is clear on the neck but has a blue tinge for the body.

Wine Glass, mid 17th century

Maker Unknown

The bowl of this glass is decorated with swirling white lines known as 'latticino ware'. This was very popular amongst Venetian glass makers of the 17th century. It is believed this piece was by a British maker in the Venetian style. Venice has been an international centre for glass making since the medieval period.

Wine glass with a short stem and triangular shaped container for the wine, tapering to a point thinner than the stem it sits on. It has swirly grey designs reminiscent of water.

Set of Candlesticks, mid 20th century

Designed by Nanny Still for Riihimäen Lasi Oy

Nanny Still studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Finland before joining the Riihimäki Glassworks in 1949. She was one of a number of designers working in the modern Scandinavian style. Her work won many international design awards.

Three orange translucent candlesticks of different heights and widths. One is wide and very close to the ground, the others are taller and thinner.

Sweetmeat Dish, 1730s

Maker Unknown

A sweetmeat dish was used for serving sweet food such as candied fruit and nuts normally as part of a large meal. In the Georgian period many dishes were placed on the table for people to help themselves and sweetmeat dishes would have been part of this extravagant display.

Glass dish with thick stem and base and crystal like decorations, with a wavy top.

Decanter, 1884

James Powell & Sons

This decanter is in the shape of a carafe and is decorated with green glass trailing in horizontal lines. James Powell & Sons were based at Whitefriars in London and produced glass in the Victorian period. They worked with many Arts and Crafts designers and made art glass that was both attractive and functional.

Glass jug with bottle stopper in the neck. It has a tall neck with a handle to the right, and a wide curved base decorated with translucent green lines

‘Clutha’ Vase, 1900

James Couper & Sons

This 'Clutha' vase made by James Couper and Sons in Glasgow, Scotland. 'Clutha' is the Gaelic name for the River Clyde. The company worked with various designers, one of whom was Christopher Dresser. Many of the pieces were sold through Liberty from the 1880s onwards.

Yellow vase with black line decorations. It is not a perfect shape and twists and turns up to its neck.

Sculpture, ‘Le Coq’, 1960s

Michael Daum for Daum Glassworks

The Daum Glassworks was founded by brothers Auguste and Antonin Daum near Nancy in France. They were inspired in their glass production by the work of Emile Gallé. This piece was designed by Michael Daum, who was from a later generation of the family. He was known for producing modernist forms in clear glass.

Abstract clear glass sculpture in the rough shape of a cockerel with a curved tail and spiky head feathers.