Alhambra-style Vase

Object Name: 
Alhambra-style Vase

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Object Name: 
Alhambra-style Vase
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 62 cm, W: about 27 cm, Diam (max): about 26.3 cm
On Display
about 1860
Web Description: 
This large sculptural piece is modeled after a group of Islamic ceramic vessels found in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; they are known today as “Alhambra” vases. The quality of the design, the proportions, and the meticulously executed gilding of this glass example suggest an attribution to the Harrach glasshouse, one of the leading fashion-sensitive manufacturers at that time. The Museum’s new “Alhambra” vase was one of three objects illustrated in Waring’s Masterpieces at the International Exhibi¬tion, a publication that showed prize-winning displays, including those of the Munich-based retailer Steigerwald, at the London world’s fair of 1862. Frank Steigerwald, head of the firm, was awarded a medal for “excellence of manufacture of cut crystal and ornamental glass.” Despite Steigerwald’s reputation for high-quality “manufacturing” (the company had also won medals at the world’s fairs of 1854 and 1855), part of its inventory was produced by Bohemian glasshouses and merely sold by Steigerwald—a common practice among vendors of luxury goods. The Viennese firms of Lobmeyr and Moser also offered their middle-class clientele objects they retailed rather than produced, including pieces made by the Harrach glassworks. Interestingly, Harrach exhibited a similar Moorish-inspired glass piece at the 1862 exposition, a fact that further supports the attribution of the Museum’s “Alhambra” vase to Harrach. The Harrach glasshouse’s participation in these world’s fairs provided both exposure to new consumer markets and insight into what competitors were producing and offering. Instead of merely continuing local traditions, Harrach excelled in emulating foreign styles and techniques, and its adopted designs contributed to its international success.
Zietz, Rainer, Source
Kristall-Fabrik / F. STEIGERWALD / in / MÜNCHEN
Affixed interior of foot White oval paper label with saw-tooth edges and greenish-gray and gold ink.
Affixed interior of foot White circular paper label with scalloped edges and Roman numeral II in black ink.
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass; blown, mold-blown, cut, ground, drilled, gilded, assembled. Brass (?) metal fixtures and mounts. (a) Baluster-shaped vase base with twelve slightly concave panel sides and two-tiered twelve-sided stepped pedestal foot. Two ground vertical patches on either side near rim; two holes (1 cm diameter) drilled in each ground patch. (b) Waisted neck with six panel sides and widely flaring rim. Base of neck portion fits into rim of vase base. Two holes (0.5 cm diameter) drilled midway up either side of neck. (cd) Two solid wing handles with scalloped edges. Brass (?) metal mounts with threaded screw fixed to shortest edge of each handle; screws fit into drilled holes in neck (b). Two glass dowels fixed to opposite edge of (c), which fit into drilled holes in base (a). Dowels missing from wing (d). (ef) Two dome-shaped brass (?) washers that fit on threaded screws of (c) and (d).
Shaping History: Looking at the Past and Present in Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 175, #1; BIB# 135186
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2011 (2012) illustrated, pp. 7, 22;
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 32; BIB# AI87745
Notes: Corning Museum Makes Major Additions to Glass, Library Collections (2012) illustrated, p. 277, no. 21; BIB# AI92535
From Neuwelt to the Whole World: 300 Years of Harrach Glass (2012) illustrated, p. 36 (top left); BIB# 128810
Z Nového světa do celého světa: 300 let harrachoveského skla (2012) illustrated, p. 36 (top left); BIB# 134593