Cone exhibition offers peek into David Cameron's drinks cabinet

Stourbridge News: Sarah Hall with the Downing Street collection. Buy photo: 341242M Buy this photo Sarah Hall with the Downing Street collection. Buy photo: 341242M

A NEW exhibition at Wordsley’s Red House Glass Cone is offering a peek into the prime minister’s drinks cabinet.

The 21st Century Engraved Glass exhibition, launched today (Monday), features works by the Guild of Glass Engravers but is also giving glass fans a once in a lifetime chance to see a collection of engraved pieces heading for Number 10 for use by the current and future prime ministers.

The Number Ten Collection, part of Stourbridge’s forthcoming International Festival of Glass, was commissioned by The Glass Engraving Trust and features different elements of Britain’s architectural heritage engraved onto 42 tumblers, carafes and jugs.

Landmarks including Stourbridge’s Red House Glass Cone, Stonehenge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, the Eden Project, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Ironbridge are among landmarks depicted on pieces created by artists Tony Gilliam, Tracey Sheppard, Sandra Snaddon, Virginia Bliss and the late Hilary Virgo.

The exhibition, which runs until Sunday October 7, is the first and only occasion that the items will be displayed in public before they are presented to Number 10 at the end of October.

A range of brightly coloured, detailed and delicately etched pieces also feature in the display at the cone - which is part of the Guild of Glass Engraver’s National Exhibition for 2012.

Highlight pieces include Angels by Tracey Sheppard Hydes, which features engraved skateboarding angels zooming and falling; Lisabeth Sterling’s orange and black entwining of people and leaves called Seeds with Wigs; and Sandra Snaddon’s Olympic Runners which sees athletes depicted on clear glass bowls.

Councillor Tracy Wood, Dudley’s cabinet member for environment and culture said: “This exhibition is truly stunning and shows engraved glass is for more than just trophies. Some of these pieces are moving and amusing.

“I’m especially pleased that we’re able to host the Downing Street Collection and very proud that a carafe featuring the Red House Glass Cone and a piece of Stourbridge history will be making itself at home in Number Ten for generations to come.”

Admission to the exhibition is free.

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