F & C Osler

Follett and Clarkson Osler

(Abraham Follett Osler and Thomas Clarkson Osler - brothers)

A work in progress.

Recent developments have resulted in the preliminary conclusion that F & C Osler, a prominent glass company in the UK, is the likely source of many cut crystal Cricklite stands.  Like other companies, Clarke very likely commissioned F&C Osler to produce many of his Cricklite stands used for formal table settings and candelabra.

The following images are those Cricklite stands that have characteristics of other products produced by F & C Osler.  However, to date, very little evidence in the form of company documents have firmly confirmed the attribution.  That said, there are enough similarities and circumstantial evidence that makes the attribution very plausible.

Like so many successful companies, the history of the F&C Osler company is long and diverse.  The following are a few documents and reference materials that explain who and what they were.

Abraham Follett and Mary Osler

October 3. 1862

This portrait was taken on the couple's sixtieth wedding anniversary.  Follett Osler was 84 and Mary was 86.

Abraham (1808-1903) built up the family glass firm, which in 1861 took the prime position in the Great Exposition at Crystal Palace.  Their exhibit, the Glass Fountain was said to be the most striking and admired by visitors.

Through the Birmingham and Midland Institute, Abraham was linked to notable people such as Edward Elgar, Charles Dickens, and influential families such as Tangye, Kenrick, Martineau, Nettleford, Chance, and Cadbury.

Abraham had a great enthusiasm for clocks, erecting one in Canon Street, Birmingham that became the means that the city set its own clocks.  In 1885 Abraham financed and built the The Big Brum clock and bells adjoining the City Art Gallery; today still the standard timekeeper for the city.

Osler Street, of course, bears his name as did the school which stood for so many years upon it.

F & C Osler History and Reference Materials

The following two Clarke advertisements published in the Illustrated London News in December 1888 and 1899  illustrate formal table settings of Clarke Cricklite stands likely produced by Osler.  These stands have characteristics of Osler products and are documented in the Samuel Clarke Cricklite catalogs.

Illustrated London News
December 1898

Illustrated London News
December 1899

By way of Comparison:  

The image one the left is reported to be a F & C Osler oil lamp followed by four very similar examples of Clarke's Cricklites.  The similarities are evident in the use of brass trim and posey holders.  The similarities alone, while circumstantial, provide a convincing plausible attribution only surpassed by official Osler company records.

The brass stand illustrated in the December 1899 advertisement is shown on the right.  While the crystal posey is different, the three-legged brass stand is the same.  The brass stand is stamped "Osler" on the foot supporting the F & C Osler attribution.

Illustrated London News - December 1899

This brass three-legged stand has been identified as a F & C Osler product.

The following Cricklite stands and "richly cut" fairy lamps are suggested to be products of F & C Osler.  While some examples are relatively obvious, others are included based on "similarities" to Osler products.  Without company records to confirm the attribution to Osler, there is always room for doubt.  That said, it seems logical that Clark would have only commissioned one source for his "richly cut" fairy lamps and Cricklite stands.

The following examples include illustrations for Clarke's catalogs, 1887-1888, and actual examples submitted by Fairy Lamp Club members and photos obtained from other on-line sources.  

Clarke Model 356-7

Clarke Model 58232-2

Clarke Model 14206.
(presumed to be Osler - shown without Cricklite)

Unknown Clarke Model

Unknown design included due to the posey holders, pendants, and "richly cut" foot.

Clarke Model 83

Clarke Model 83

Unknown design included due to "richly cut" glass scalloped mirror plateau and use of Clarke model 82 "richly cut" fairy lamp.

Unknown design included due to "richly cut" glass and use of Clarke model 82 "richly cut" fairy lamp with pegged lamp cup

Clarke Model 77
Note that this example does not appear to have the original "Richly Cut" fairy lamp.

Clarke Model 77

Unknown design

Clarke model 82

Clarke model 82

Clarke model 85

Clarke model 85
Ruf 560

Clarke model 82
with "Richly Cut" clear lamp cup.

Clarke model 80

Clarke model 80

Clarke model 81

Clarke model 81
It is interesting to note that the chandelier is incorrectly assembled compared to the catalog illustration.

Clarke model 14205
(presumed to be Osler)

Clarke model 14206
(presumed to be Osler)

Clarke model 14898
(presumed to be Osler)

Note:  There is newly discovered information that strongly suggest that some of the simpler fairy lamps are products of H. G. Richardson, not F. C. Osler