Cameo Scent Bottle with Plums

Object Name: 
Cameo Scent Bottle with Plums

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Object Name: 
Cameo Scent Bottle with Plums
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 7.6 cm, W: 4.7 cm, D: 3.4 cm
On Display
about 1880-1900
1904 (silver)
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Ennion Society
Web Description: 
When Philip Pargeter (English, 1826–1906) and John Northwood (English, 1836–1902) unveiled their glass replica (92.2.7) of the famous ancient Roman Portland Vase, they set off massive demand for carved cameo glass in Victorian England. With rising consumer demand, companies competed to perfect the cameo technique and economize production for a broader market. The glasshouse of Thomas Webb & Sons was the most prolific, accomplished, and innovative of those producers. Founded in 1837 by Thomas Webb (English, 1804–1869), the firm that became Thomas Webb & Sons was based in Amblecote, just north of Stourbridge. Thomas’ three sons, under the leadership of Thomas Wilkes Webb (English, 1837–1891), took over the business upon their father’s death. The firm recruited and trained a large team of artists and craftsmen, including many from abroad, whose skills and reputation produced highly sophisticated and desirable cameo glass. This diverse collection of cameo-carved scent bottles showcases the range of cameo glass production by Webb & Sons, from plainer two-color bottles of a standard decoration and shape (for example 2016.2.4 and .5) to more complex and unusual pieces like the gourd-shaped 2016.2.6 and monkey-decorated 2016.2.14. These delicate bottles would have been sold to consumers of the growing Victorian middle classes at fashionable new department stores, such as Tiffany & Co. in New York and Harrod’s in London. For more information on 19th-century cameo glass, see Christopher Woodall Perry, The Cameo Glass of Thomas and George Woodall, Somerset: Richard Dennis, 2000; S.M. Goldstein, L.S. Rakow, and J.K. Rakow. Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking. Corning, New York: Corning Museum of Glass, 1982; Ray Grover and Lee Grover, English Cameo Glass, New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1980.
Jacobson, Susan Kaplan, Source
CM [image of anchor, lion, and letter "e"]
Stamped (b) around neck of cap hallmark for C C May & Sons (1888-1912), Birmingham, Sterling, 1904
Primary Description: 
Cameo Scent Bottle with Plums. (a) Translucent amber and white glasses, silver; cased, blown, carved, assembled. Flattened globular white on translucent amber glass scent bottle. Each side of bottle decorated with a pair of round fruit, probably plums, on branch with leaves; a housefly rests on one fruit on one side of bottle. Flat base outlined with curled ends of stems. Threaded silver collar fixed to top of bottle. (b) Chased acanthus scroll globular silver cap with cylindrical neck. Cork fixed within top of cap.