I am always amused, at this time of year, to see how sales of a small book I brought out a few years ago and entitled “Bristol Blue Glass – the Story of a remarkable cobalt-blue glassware” suddenly leap. It is a reminder that one of the things about writing is that the ‘rewards’ are often not immediate, but can be spread over many years. With Kindle, in particular, it is fascinating to see how sales can tie in with other articles, or blogs, or public lectures, often several years after the ‘hard work’ of writing the book have finished.
Clearly this book appeals to people who want to give a token to someone they know and who likes Bristol Blue – it isn’t a definitive book about every single maker of blue glass through the ages, more an overview of how the fashion for blue glassware swept the country, catapulting the Jacobs family in Bristol to considerable fame and fortune. It also describes how the family were left stranded, bankrupt and shunned by the community, when the sales boom collapsed. Tastes moved on to other exotica such as cranberry glass and so on, and nobody wanted to be seen dead with oh-so-dated blue decanters, wine-glass coolers and condiment sets adorning their fashionable dining tables.
I must admit I love some of the 18th century examples, whether they were made in Bristol, or Newcastle, or in the West Midlands.