Clutha

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Object Name: 
Bottle-Shaped Vase with White Cane and Floral Decoration
Title: 
Clutha
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
2009.2.2
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 30.5 cm, Diam (max): 12 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1890
Web Description: 
Christopher Dresser was hired in the 1880s to create a new “art glass” series for the manufacturer James Couper & Sons, which was located in Dresser’s hometown of Glasgow. Sold under the trade name “Clutha,” the ancient name of Glasgow’s river Clyde, these artistic vases turned out to be Dresser’s only experiment in glass design. Dresser worked in many design fields, including metalwork, furniture, ceramics, and textiles. He was one of the most important designers associated with the Arts and Crafts movement in Great Britain, and he is regarded as being the first independent British industrial designer. The influences on his work range from Japanese, Egyptian, and Asian art and design to botany. Dresser’s interpretation of glass was radical in his time. Longnecked, bulbous vases in bubbly yellows, browns, and greens heralded the organic shapes that would become characteristic of the Art Nouveau style, but his designs also exhibited a pioneering modernism. This vase is a rare example of the “Clutha” series: the bottle shape, intentionally plain in form and color, is covered with acid-etched floral decoration that is enlivened by the application of an abstract white cane. This object expresses Dresser’s interest in organic decoration and the power of simple lines. Signed “CLUTHA” and “DESIGNED BY CD REGISTERED” on the base, with the lotus flower trademark of Liberty & Co., London. Published in Michael Whiteway, ed., Shock of the Old: Christopher Dresser’s Design Revolution, New York: Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in association with V&A Publications, London, 2004, p. 211, fig. 282.
Department: 
Provenance: 
John Alexander Ltd., Source
Category: 
Material: 
Inscription: 
CLUTHA / DESIGNED BY C.D. / REGISTERED
signature
Acid stamped On underside of base Large circular formation including the lotus flower trademark of Libery & Co., London
Primary Description: 
Transparent green and opaque white glass; blown, tooled, applied cane, acid-etched. Bottle shaped vase with constriction at the neck, plain lip. Acied-etched floral decoration covers the bell-shaped body and stops just below the lip. Acid-etched signature on the underside of base: "CLUTHA / DESIGNED BY C.D. / REGISTERED" with the lotus flower trademark of Liberty & Co., London.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2009 (2010) illustrated, p. 40, #26; BIB# AI79879