Like many of the architectural features we now cherish in our homes, the most immediate origins of stained glass goes back to the churches, and prominent land owner buildings. Stained glass in particular gained prominence in ecclesiastical buildings with the glass painted panels depicting the saints and the fables of the Bible.
The principal of using glass coloured with metal pigment and made into a picture or pattern by separating the glass shapes with lead or copper foil can be dated right back to the Roman period and the basic method of construction of stained glass windows or panels has not varied that much to since.
Stained Glass Panel Over time with dignitaries seeing the glass design as a status, heraldic and portrait designs began to appear in homes of grandeur.
As glass craftsmen became more prominent and knowledgeable, designs more suitable to domestic homes were developed and glass textures were advanced. Certain areas throughout the UK began to specialise in the production of glass, these areas typical were where coal and clay were in abundance. Coal for the firing and clay for the kilns.
By the 19th century the most prominent town in the UK for glass making was Stourbridge in the Black Country, now the West Midlands, where Regency Antiques is based today. So naturally the lead glass panel makers would be around the local area in order that glass could be easily obtained.
Through the late 19th century and early 20th, production in the area was undertaken by the local women using the outbuildings of their houses. These female artisans constructed panel designs for the builders, architects and home owners nationally.
Over time, regular patterns and designs were collated into books and used as catalogs for sales reference.
At Regency Antique Trading Ltd., we carry hundreds of reclaimed panels dating back through a range of periods and work with them to create required doors and features for our clients, using the same age old techniques. We also produce stained glass panels to our customers designs - again using the same techniques of our forefathers.
We also perform stained glass panel repairs for customers and can easily spend a day just looking through our stocks of stained glass for the right piece to complete the job, that's the most frustrating part and can really do your head... ha ha! It's still one of the most rewarding parts of our work we do.