Cameo Vase

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Object Name: 
Cameo Vase
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 15.2 cm, Diam (max): 10.5 cm
Not on Display
about 1880
Web Description: 
This well-executed and rare example of deeply cut cameo glass is attributed to William Northwood (1858–1937), the nephew of John Northwood (1836–1902) and a glass carver and acid etcher in his uncle’s Wordsley Glass Works in Stourbridge. The sculptural quality of the carved caterpillar, snail, and insects, depicted among stems and leaves, and of the worm cut into the base, contributes to the masterpiece status of this vase among 19th-century English glasses. Another remarkable feature is the translucency of the three layers of glass, with a rich ruby glass on the bottom. William Northwood is known to have decorated glass vessels in different styles, and with both classical themes and Oriental patterns. He excelled in cutting cameo glasses with multiple layers that his uncle produced as commissioned works for the firm of Stevens and Williams (where John Northwood became artistic director in the early 1880s) or sold himself. The provenance of this vase suggests that the Northwood family treasured the piece. It became an heirloom that William’s sister Gertrude regarded with pride. For more information on the Northwoods, see Charles R. Hajdamach, British Glass, 1800–1914, Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1991, pp. 188–190 and 217
Bonhams, Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless, translucent ruby and opaque white glass; blown, tooled, carved. This vase has a waisted conical form of encased translucent ruby and opaque-white glass, carved with trailing nasturtiums pendant from a band below the rim, a snail, a caterpillar and other insects crawling on the stems and leaves, the base carved with a worm amongst the roots.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 38-39, #24; BIB# AI86878