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English cameo glass of the late nineteenth century is among the finest of all art glass. In this form, an object is made of cased (laminated) glass of two or more colors, one forming an overlay on the other. The top layer is engraved or cut away to leave a design in relief against a contrasting color. The process, similar to that used in ancient Egyptian and Roman times to carve cameos, was revived in Europe, especially in England, France, and Bohemia, in the nineteenth century.

This tapering cylindrical vase features a classically inspired semi-draped female figure in white on a vibrant blue ground. George Woodall engraved the vase for the English firm Thomas Webb & Sons, a notable producer of cameo glass. The firm exhibited its decorative wares at several world’s fairs, including the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London and the Universal Exposition of 1878 in Paris, where it won a grand prix.

In 1874 Thomas Webb & Sons hired George Woodall and his brother Thomas, both expert engravers of cameo glass. Under the Woodalls’ supervision the firm produced beautiful art glass of exceptional quality in a variety of forms, including vases, plates, plaques, and scent bottles, with a wide range of motifs such as flowers and figures in classical and Victorian styles.

Details

  • Title: Vase
  • Creator: Thomas Webb & Sons (British, estab. 1837)
  • Date Created: 1874 - 1887
  • Location Created: Stourbridge, England
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm), D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
  • Engraver: George Woodall (British, b.1850, d.1925)
  • Credit Line: Museum Purchase
  • Accession Number: 1887.41
  • Type: Glass
  • Medium: Cameo glass

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