Frank Thrower (1932-87) was one of the leading British 20thCentury glass designers who had a great impact on glass manufacturing in the 1970s and 80s. His important legacy lives on - more importantly, his timeless designs and glass pieces are still very relevant today.
Over the years I've been trading, I've met many keen collectors or even colleagues of Frank Thrower - and they all talk about him with great affection. His story is interesting - he started as a assistant to Ronald Stennett-Willson, then became a great salesman for Portmerion, here he was approached by the philanthropist - Peter Sutcliffe who wanted to start an enterprise that halted the post war population decrease in Dartington. Together, they began Dartington Glass. Pretty much all the designs were overseen by Frank and so single handedly, he's fairly responsible for taking British Glass Design into the modern world. Today Dartington is still one of Britain's only major Glassmaker.
Simplicity, classic design, good quality lead crystal and a wide use of beautiful colours - makes Thrower's designs really attractive and still very practical today. In fact Dartington have had a little renaissance in the last few years - reissuing some of his gorgeous Daisy vases.
Original pieces of Thrower's crystal and tableware can still be found at really affordable prices and once you get into his design and realise the quality - you'll always be keeping an eye open.
Much has been written about Frank Thrower - so if you want to start collecting or even just buy a beautiful smoked glass decanter for a present - there's plenty of resources for you.
For ID'ing and catalogue info - This blog written by an avid collector is invaluable! http://frankthrower.blogspot.co.uk
For glass lovers and collectors - A beautifully researched and photographed book by Mark Hill http://markhillpublishing.com/frank-thrower-darlington-glass/
and before Mark's Book - I learnt much about Frank from another great Antiques Roadshow and glass expert Andy McConnell's. His book 20th Century Glass is brilliant and he has a great selection of Dartington in his shop and website http://decanterman.com/Books/Books.html