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Classification: Glass

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Image of Vase

Unknown Maker, American



Object Type: Glass
5 1/2 in. (13.97 cm)
Medium and Support: Mold-blown glass
Accession Number: 1985.0015.0004

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jackson L. Bostwick

Currently On View

This vase is a form of American art glass made in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Art glass was designed specifically to focus on visual, decorative appeal rather than functional use. Before this time, vases were rare and they were not made of glass. The Victorian era (about 1840 to 1900) changed this by formalizing social events and encouraging lavish decoration of the home. As a result, various styles of decorative art glass were soon in demand.

The maker of this vase is unknown, but it was likely produced in one of the glass factories of the Midwest. It was created by heating opalescent (or creamy white opaque) glass until it was a hot liquid, which was then poured into a mold to create its spherical shape. While still hot, it was “flashed” in clear glass and rolled across a collection of orange, pink, and yellow glass chips that melted into the surface creating the colorful confetti-like design. The glassmaker would have used tongs and other tools to pull the neck of the vase up and create its ruffled lip. Art glass remained in demand until the 1930s when the Great Depression produced a decline in demand that devastated what was largely a cottage-type industry.

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