Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pellatt & Co.

Apsley Pellatt (27 November 1791 – 17 August 1863) was an English glassware manufacturer and politician.

The son of glassware makers Apsley Pellatt (1763–1826) and Mary (née Maberly) Pellatt, Apsley joined the family glass-making company of Pellatt and Green in 1811. He took over the London-based glass-works on his father's death, renaming it Apsley Pellatt & Co.

Apsley Pellatt married twice; first in 1814 to Sephonia Kemp and second in Streatham in 1816 to Margaret Elizabeth Evans of Balham, with whom he had one son (who died young) and four daughters.

His main interest lay in the chemistry of glass-making. In 1819, he took out his first patent for the manufacture of "sulfides" or Cameo Incrustations. Pellatt originally called them "Crystallo-Ceramie," reflecting their French origin. The process involved the embedding of ceramic figurines into the glass sides of paperweights, jugs, decanters, etc., by cutting a hole in the hot glass, sliding in the insert, and resealing the glass afterward.

Pellatt became the most famous and successful producers of sulfides in England from 1819 to the mid-century rivalled only by Baccarat in France. He described their manufacture in a book on glass-making entitled "Curiosities of Glassmaking" published in 1849. After his retirement around 1850, the glass-works went into decline in the hands of his brother Frederic.

Pellatt was a public-spirited man who for some years served on the Common Council of the City of London. He unsuccessfully contested Bristol at the 1847 general election, and was elected at the 1852 general election as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Southwark. He held the seat until his defeat at the 1857 general election, and was unsuccessful when he stood again in 1859.

He died in Balham in 1863 and was buried at Staines, where he had lived in later life. His wife died in 1874 and was buried in the same vault.

by Paul Green

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