Here at As Time Goes By Vintage and Retro, we are very fond of Caithness crystal and glass items as the quality is always beautiful. You can tell as soon as you hold or touch a piece of Caithness glass that they have created a stunning item with great attention to detail, and the longer you look the more gorgeous they get!
Caithness Glass was founded in 1961 by Robin Sinclair, in the far-north Scottish town of Wick, Caithness. The location was chosen to both create employment for local workers and because of the easy access to quality sand for production. Robin Sinclair was the 2nd Viscount of Thurso, and an interesting character with diverse interests. He served in the RAF during the Second World War as a Flight Lieutenant in 684 Squadron and he commanded the Edinburgh University Air Squadron in 1946. As well as Caithness Glass, he had interests in hotels, fisheries and plastic companies. He also stood for Parliament as an MP for the Liberal party in 1966.
Caithness Glass moved to Crieff in 2006 and is now the world’s leading producer of glass paperweights, with a library of over 2,500 different and all beautiful designs. There’s definitely something for everyone in the Caithness range! They also make vases, bowls and glasses, among other items, but the vases and paperweights are what they are best known for nowadays. Caithness’ association with paperweights started with the arrival of Paul Ysart, who started working there in 1962, but didn’t really take off until the arrival of Colin Terris in 1968. Both Colin and Paul are renowned paperweight designers for Caithness and their work is highly sought after by collectors. In 1976 they launched the Caithness Collector’s Society due to the huge amount of interest.
In the 2000s Caithness had a turbulent history, going into receivership in 2004 before being bought out by another quality glass company, Edinburgh Crystal and going into receivership again in 2006 when it was purchased by Dartington Crystal. It is still in operation today creating beautiful quality hand made art glass paperweights. If you are ever lucky enough to be in the area, don’t miss the chance to visit the Caithness Visitor’s Centre in Crieff as it’s an amazing experience. Once you get your first Caithness piece, you’ll be hooked, and it’s sure to be a great investment.