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Object Name: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 25 cm, Diam (max): 19.9 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Thomas Elmer in memory of Helen Libisch Elmer
Web Description: 
Born in Zvečevo, a village in Austria-Hungary (now Croatia), Libisch was the eldest son of a glass cutter, who worked for the well-known Austrian glass manufacturer and retailer, J. & L. Lobmeyr. Libisch began his apprenticeship with his father at the age of 12. Around 1906, he left home, moving from Zvečevo to Vienna, where he executed engravings for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops). In 1911, Libisch moved again, landing in New York. Three days after his arrival he was in Corning, working for the local cut glass manufacturer H.P. Sinclaire & Co. Libisch soon set up a cutting shop at home, and in 1921, he left Sinclaire to work fulltime at home for several Corning companies, including Steuben Glass. When Steuben set up an engraving department at its factory in 1937, Libisch closed his shop and became Steuben’s engraving foreman. He retired from Steuben, and from engraving, in 1956. Libisch was Steuben’s most famous and most skilled engraver. The Gazelle Bowl, designed in 1935 by Sidney Waugh (American, 1904–1963), was engraved by Libisch, as was the Valor Cup, designed in 1941 by John Monteith Gates (American, 1905–1979) in support of the British war effort. These are among Libisch’s most recognized creations for Steuben. Although the Kingfishers vase is made from a Steuben blank, the vase was not made for Steuben but for Libisch’s family. A lover of the outdoors, his engraved birds and plants, copied from an illustration in a children’s picture book, are lively and impeccably executed. After his death, the Kingfishers vase was inherited by his daughter, Helen Libisch Elmer, the wife of the donor Thomas Elmer.
Libisch, Joseph (American, b. Croatia, 1886-1964), Former Collection
Elmer, Helen Libisch, Former Collection
Elmer, Thomas, Source
L412. / 90
Affixed on base White square paper label
Affixed on base White circular paper label
Affixed on base White circular paper label
Acid stamped on base "STEUBEN" enclosed withing a fleur-de-lis
Primary Description: 
Vase, "Kingfishers". Colorless glass; blown, engraved. Inverted bell-shaped vase with circular foot. Exterior of vessel decorated with engraved scene showing two kingfisher birds perched on a branch of a flowering tree above a small pool of water.
The Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning, 1868-1940
Corning Museum of Glass 1977-04 through 1977-10
Toledo Museum of Art 1977-11 through 1978-02
The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s (2017) illustrated, p. 265 (fig. 323); BIB# 169366
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2012 (2013) illustrated, pp. 38, 39; BIB# AI94590
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2012 (2013) illustrated, p. 43, #30; BIB# AI95675
Notes: Corning Museum Makes Significant Acqusitions in 2012 (2013) illustrated, p. 262, #28; BIB# AI98180
The Complete Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning (Rev. ed.) (1997) illustrated, p. 157, fig. 508; BIB# 36644
The Complete Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning (1979) illustrated, p. 155-156; BIB# 28811