Thomas Webb, Opalescent & Uranium Glass Vase. England pre-1910.


As with all free blown glass, this exquisite piece is entirely unique. It has all of the characteristics of having been produced at Thomas Webb, Stourbridge, England and it would have been created at the factory prior to 1910.

The vase also displays two features which makes it stand out from the crowd in terms of its decorative appeal. Its top formation almost has the appearances of an upturned French courtesans' hat as the glass has been skilfully folded inwards and then outwards to provide four corners which enable the vase to present floral displays with more elaboration whilst also assisting to empty it of water after use.

A further decorative feature to the top of the vase is its thinly edged use of uranium glass which has also been patterned with crimping tweezers. This feature makes a beautiful compliment to the hand tooled uranium glass frilled applique to the vase center. It is a gorgeous example of English glass by Thomas Webb, who inarguably one of the most important glassworks in history.

It is hardly possible to identify the precise person who made this piece, however its shape and its formation is identical to an Opalescent & Uranium glass three flute epergne in my collection, which is also by Thomas Webb, and undoubtedly was made by the same person and also using the same glass batch.

All of these, `fancy' glass vase types of incredible variety & styles are collectively known as being English Victorian era glass, even for several years following Queen Victoria's reign, between June 20th 1837 – January 22nd 1901, and so one can also attribute this vase as being Art Nouveau in terms of date and its style. Glass, as with any decorative medium, of any era, has been produced for the fashion and the purchasing customer of its period. This vase marks a cross-over between the still fashionable Victoriana to the increasing popularity of Art Nouveau styling and form, in England.

Free blown English Opalescent glass, is a heat sensitive glass, which in fact has the same ability to be entirely opalescent throughout. Its creamy-white opalescence is achieved by precisely applied heat control to the arrears which require it. This enables a master glass blower, to carefully monitor its opalescent placement and distribution throughout a piece such as this beautiful vase, so as to graduate its whispery-disappearance from its topper most parts, to the mid-section above the frill of uranium glass applique.

It is also due to the above heat application, that one can observe very often a small amount of opalescent glass, to the pontil mark upon a piece. The heat required to attach the ponty rod to the pre-formed foot, causing the glass to become opalescent too, which is entirely unavoidable, as to why most vases of this period have a rough, snapped pontil mark which is more often than not at all times evident upon English free blown glass, unless of course it has then been ground and polished. To remove the ponty rod by heat, would result in the foot being cracked and damaged beyond repair or use, which again is as to why they have been snapped off and remain sharp. All English Victorian free blown glass, will have had its foot applied, before the top formation, hence the ever-presence of a pontil mark upon all items which display a round foot.

The Uranium glass qualities of this vase are exceptional, as can be noted when subjected to UV black light, however as can also be seen, this graceful vase displays perfectly under any lighting conditions, which is hardly surprising, as despite UV being discovered & developed as early as c1801, this glass vase was produced many years before UV lighting was ever available to the masses, let alone known to an English glass worker at Thomas Webb of pre-1910, who produced this enchanting piece.

It is in mint condition for your collection and a very worthy vase it is indeed... You will find no damage upon this historically important piece. For none exists.

Height: 6 inches Top diameter: 4.75 inches Foot diameter: 3 inches Postage weight: 1k

Item ID: JJ668

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