An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890
Lot 84
An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 16,000 - 24,000

Lot Details
An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890 An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890 An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890
An important curio carved cameo vase by Thomas Webb and Sons, circa 1890
The quatrelobed form with flared trumpet neck, the thick-walled transparent glass body overlaying a thin internal layer of opalescent glass, the lower body carved and part colour-padded with undulating waves incorporating seaweed, coral, crabs, and a seabird, the neck and upper-body carved with various flowering leafy branches and a butterfly, the rim and base of the neck decorated with a formal border, 27.5cm high, 'WEBB' mark on base (body cracked)

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Private Collection, Scotland.

    This vase is recorded in the Webbs archives as design W2530. Although in a delicate state of preservation, an original drawing is reproduced in A Facsimile of Two Thomas Webb & Sons' Pattern Books Principally for Cameo Glass by the Woodall Team (2000), p. 11. A drawing based on this pattern book is also shown by Ray and Lee Grover, English Cameo Glass (1980), p. 342, fig. S220. This vase is listed in the Thomas Webb & Sons Price Book (Grover, p. 181) as 'W2350, 11in Vase Curio Carved, W £7.6.6, Nash 2/6, £18'. The prefix 'W' refers to works executed by the Woodall team and designed by George or Thomas Woodall, and 'Nash' referring to Charles Nash who was paid two shillings and sixpence for finishing off this piece. Beneath this is written 'flown, reduced to £10', indicating that the vase was cracked before it was sold and the price reduced accordingly.

    The vase was one of a small range designated in the Webb factory archives as 'Curio' glass. This was produced using a technique known as 'padding', in which small pads of coloured glass were placed onto the body of the vessel where the cameo reliefs were to be executed, before being cut and engraved as an integral part of the overall decoration. This type of carving is associated with Daniel and Lionel Pearce who created the 'Sylvandale' range of cameo vases with landscapes made by Thomas Webb & Sons between 1900 and 1905. These Art Nouveau creations have been compared with the marquetrie sue verre glass of Emile Gallé, a similar technique to Webb's Padding which Gallé and other French glass artists had developed in the 1890s. The factory pattern books suggest, however, that the present lot is earlier than the Pearce designs and instead was designed by George Woodall around 1890-94 and carved by the Woodall team.

    The 'Curio Carved' vase illustrated alongside the present lot in the Webbs pattern books survived in the collection of Lillian Nassau and is illustrated by Ray and Lee Grover, p. 414, cat. C407. This is the same shape as the present vase and was numbered W2531. The work on this had cost the Woodall team £5.10s and this vase was on sale for £12.10s (reduced from £15). The next vase drawn on the same page shows canoeists shooting rapids. This was in the Michael Parkinson Collection and is illustrated by Charles Hajdamach, British Glass 1800-1914 (1991), p. 225, col. pl. 20.

    Another vase of the same shape as the present lot with padded decoration of fish and sea-shells was exhibited at the Imperial Institute in London in May 1894. This is illustrated by H. W. Woodward, Art, Feat and Mystery (1978), p. 31. A further vase with the same theme of fish and seabirds, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was in the Corning Museum Cameo Glass exhibition (1982), cat. 86. A vase with a floral design attributed to Lionel Pearce was shown in the Glass Circle exhibition From Palace to Parlour (2003), cat. 221 and was sold by Sotheby's, Great Exhibitions Sale, 31 October 2006, lot 629.
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