This is a great piece of Steuben vintage crystal c. 1942 and entitled "The Trapper". It is a lidded cabinet vase of classic shape with a pedestal base decorated with controlled bubble inclusions; this pattern is also taken to the lid handle. On the front face of the vase is a highly detailed engraving by Sidney Waugh representing an early colonial trapper.
Dimensions: Approximately 14 cm (5 3/4 in) height.
Signature: "Steuben 1942" script signature on the base and "Sidney Waugh" signature below the engraving.
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks, or repairs and no noticeable scratches to the body.
Reference: ""Steuben Glass, An American Tradition in Crystal" by Mary Jean Madigan, page 243 (see photo).
A Note About the Artist:
Sidney Waugh was one of the persons responsible for Steuben's reorganization in 1933 and he was the chief associate designer with the firm until 1963. As a sculptor, Waugh received many awards including the Rome Prize for his outstanding contribution to American sculpture.
He was born at Hamhurst, Massachusetts and educated at Hamhurst College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, as well as the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. For a time he was a pupil and assistant to Henri Bouchard.
Among his sculptural commissions were works for the United States Federal Court Building, John Hopkins University and the United States Battle Monument in Florence, Italy. He was director of the Rhinehart School of Sculpture in Baltimore, Maryland from 1942 to 1957 and the author of The Art of Glass Making (1938) and The Making of Fine Glass (1947).
Over the years he designed both the form and the engravings for many important pieces of Steuben crystal. His works are held in many public and private collections in the United States and abroad.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
For 100 years, Steuben has been at the forefront of glass design, balancing state-of-the-art technological advancements with centuries-old traditional glassmaking techniques. Founder Frederick Carder was born in England and was a self-trained chemist, physicist, draftsman, and potter. He became passionate about glassmaking as a child growing up in Staffordshire and spent time sketching, modeling, and playing with clay at his grandfather's pottery factory.
In 1878, his grandfather died and his father and uncles inherited the factory not appreciating the talents of the ambitious 15 year old. He left and took a job as draftsman and designer at a local glassmaking firm, Stevens & Williams. Here, he was allowed to experiment with colorizing agents and create new designs in colored glass, cameo glass, and engraved glass. The company put his designs into production, and they were such a commercial success that it eventually sent him on "fact finding" trips to Austria, Germany, and the United States.
In 1903, Carder was on his way to meet Thomas E. Hawkes, the president of a Corning company that bought glass blanks from Stevens & Williams. When Hawkes offered to establish a glass factory for Carder, Carder accepted. He named the company Steuben after the county where it was located and began production almost immediately. Steuben Glass Works specialized in colorful Art Nouveau glass just coming into popularity, and the early years were the most productive.
In 1918, the Corning Glass Works acquired Steuben as both companies positioned themselves for the years following World War I, and Frederick Carder continued in his capacity of Managing Director of the new "Steuben Division" of Corning Glass.
In 1932, Steuben made one of its most significant technological advances, a glass they named "10M" which had extremely high refractive qualities that permitting the entire light wave spectrum to pass through the glass, including the ultraviolet range. In 1933, Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. became Steuben's new president, and he introduced to the market this clear, pure 10M glass now known as Steuben crystal.
Houghton collaborated with sculptor Sidney Waugh and architect John Gates. With the introduction of Steuben crystal, colored glass was gradually phased out of Steuben production, and the Steuben Division became known as simply Steuben Glass.
Gazelle, Steuben's first major engraved design, was introduced in 1935 and reflects the influences of Swedish simplicity and the massive geometry of Art Deco; this is the first Steuben pattern that utilizes all of Steuben's renowned glassmaking techniques: blowing, cutting, polishing, and copper-wheel engraving.
Having now made glass for over 100 years, Steuben has always sought to balance state-of-the-art technological advancements with the centuries old craft of glassmaking and the skills of the craftsmen. They continue today to create distinctive designs and to adhere to the "hand methods" of forming, polishing and engraving fine art glass in a mission to produce "the finest glass the world has ever seen."
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