Strikingly coloured Bubble Glass vase from Stevens and Williams. The vase is patterned with controlled columnar bubbles created by trapping air between two layers of molten glass - producing a smooth exterior surface. Keith Murray designed a range of bubble glass pieces for Stevens and Williams in the 1930s - this piece probably made c1940s/50s. Ground pontil mark to base. The vase measures 20.5 cm in height and 15 cm in diameter.
The firm of Stevens and Williams Ltd was established in 1847 after William Stevens and Samuel Cox Williams took over the Moor Lane glassworks at Brierly Hill from their father-in-law, Joseph Slvers. In 1870 they built a new glassworks at North Street, Brierley Hill very close to the Moor Lane glassworks. Initially continuing the production of high quality cut crystal glass (termed "Rock Crystal"), however with innovations in coloured glass in the 1870s they developed their range of cameo glass which became a speciality. Stevens and Williams became one of the key firms in establishing the Stourbridge art glass industry alongside others such as Thomas Webb. The North Street glassworks continued to be run by descendants of Joseph Silvers until 1999 when it was sold to Epsom Enterprises but went into receivership in 2000.
Keith Murray worked as a freelance designer at Stevens & Williams of Brierley Hill in the West Midlands from 1932. Trial pieces were shown in London during this year and the 'Keith Murray range' was produced. Between 1932 and 1939 he produced over 1200 designs including a number of designs utilising controlled bubble glass - some made in very small quantities.