Ceremonial glasses used by Prime Minister at No 10 were made thanks to Hampstead visionary

Michael Nathan handed over the collection to Prime Minister David Cameron last week

Michael Nathan handed over the collection to Prime Minister David Cameron last week - Credit: Nigel Sutton

After more than a decade of planning, the leaders of the world will now drink from Michael Nathan’s glasses.

Last Thursday (January 10), a ceremonial collection of 40 tumblers, carafes and water jugs was formally presented to David Cameron and will be used when he hosts guests such as presidents Barak Obama or Vladimir Putin at Number 10.

It marked the end of a project the Hampstead resident masterminded to create a set of Darlington Crystal glasses for use by the Prime Minister and his guests.

Mr Nathan, chairman of the Glass Engraving Trust, first proposed the idea to former Prime Minister John Major when he was in Downing Street.

Mr Nathan, who lives in Oak Hill Park, said: “Mr Cameron said it would be useful when he is entertaining the president of some country or other.

“If there was a gap in conversation, he could turn to discussing what was on the glass and how it compared to his own tumbler.”

The set, designed by five craftsmen, features iconic landmarks from across the country, with London Zoo’s Aviary, St Pancras Station and London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park among the designs on the glassware.

Most Read

The retired accountant dreamed up the project when he last enjoyed the comforts of the Prime Minister’s private chambers in the early 1990s.

Mr Major had just been presented with a set of British silver when Mr Nathan, then president of the Guild of Glass Makers, suggested a collection of glasses showcasing the talent of Britain’s glass engravers.

Mr Nathan, a senior past master and honorary liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers, said: “Everybody says it’s through my doggedness and determination that the whole project has gone so well, but it’s really about promoting British glass engraving and British glass in general.”