This is a wonderful example of Quezal glass. The baluster shaped vase is ivory coloured with an almost pearl-like finish that is highly reflective. The vase is then intricately decorated with a pulled leaf or heart and vine pattern. The "vines" are of an iridescent silver green, while the heart-shaped leaves are of an orange copper tone. The whole piece is finished with a superb flaring rim with an iridescent gold finish on the interior.
Dimensions: Approximately 20 cm (7 3/4 in) high.
Signature: "Quezal" mark on base.
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks or repairs.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
The Quezal Art Glass & Decorating Company was founded on March 27, 1902 by Martin Bach, Nicholas Bach, Thomas Johnson, Adolph Demuth, and Lena Scholtz in Queens, New York. The name Quezal was chosen for the rare and beautiful Central American bird the quetzal, and it was used in the company's literature to promote its products. Quezal art glass ranks with the very best of turn of the 20th century American art glass produced by Quezal contemporaries such as Louis Comfort Tiffany's "Favrile" and Frederick Carder's "Aurene" at the Steuben works.
The President Martin Bach Sr. (1862-1921) was the key driver behind the growth of the company, emigrating from France - where he had worked at the Saint-Louis Glass Co. - to the U. S. in 1891. Following his arrival, Bach worked for Louis Comfort Tiffany as a chemist at the newly formed Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company in Corona, Queens. After almost 10 years of the best glassmaking education one could obtain at the turn of the century, Bach left Tiffany to establish his own company. Thomas Johnson, also a former employee of Tiffany, and Maurice Kelly were two of the early master glassblowers employed by Quezal, whose techniques led to some of the impressive technical accomplishments of Quezal art glass.
Quezal design patterns were extremely detailed and precise and their patterns intricate so consequently the technical artistry of their glassmakers had to be very refined. Quezal glass was frequently decorated with floral motifs reflecting the focus on nature proliferating with the Art Nouveau movement, and it often used the gold interiors and iridescent glass techniques so popular at the time. One unusual and unique feature of Quezal glass is the brilliant iridescence which was infused on both the interior and exterior of the glass, and its iridescent colors of the rainbow mirrored the elaborate feathers and colors of the quetzal bird after which it was named. In fact, "pulled feathers" were a common feature in the exterior decoration of Quezal art glass.
Quezal glass is usually signed, with "Quezal" or "Quezal NY" etched into the glass or written with a stylus leaving a silver or platinum signature. Quezal art glass was always a luxury good like Louis Comfort Tiffany's Favrile glass, and both Quezal and Tiffany typically sold for higher prices than the top end French art glass of the day from Galle and Daum. During a period of financial challenges and following the death of Martin Bach Sr. in 1921, the company was sold to their family physician and friend Dr. John Ferguson. Ferguson later sold the company to his friend Edward Conlan, but he continued to serve as the company's president and Martin Bach's son served as the general manager. They operated the factory until 1924, and Martin Bach Jr. later worked at other major American glass makers including Durand and the Imperial Glass Co.
Today, you can see displays of Quezal art glass and some of the original design sketchbooks, catalogues, and more donated by the Martin, Clifford, and Gladyce Bach at the Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Village, in Millville, NJ.
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