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The undeniable achievements & skills of the Venetian glassworkers throughout glassmaking history, are captured here with this stunning example of a glass epergne.
This elaborate table center piece comprises of a large diameter bowl, honeycombed and edged with pink, into which are two complementing hollow-blown glass orbs, which in turn provide a support for the central decorative features: A tall tulip formed vase with pink glass threading & crystal applique, and three twist-cane branching flower stems, each tipped with flower heads. The entire then surmounted & presented upon a scalloped edged mirror. The overall effects are simply breath taking, wherever it is suitably displayed.
One see's the same features and decorative motifs of this epergne, upon Venetian glass chandeliers of the period. These very same chandeliers are exceptionally desirable and as such they command very high prices, and justifiably so too.
The assembled height of the epergne is an impressive 18 inches (46cms) whilst the mirrored base has a diameter of 10 inches (26cms) to make a fabulous and surprisingly sturdy display, as to why perhaps the entire has not suffered from any damage. Each piece of glass is in pristine condition. When I purchased this piece, the original mirror was badly 'pitted' and much of its surface had disappeared through time & wear. I therefore had a replacement made of exact same size and style. This later addition was a wise move in this instance as it has improved the appearance of the piece, and returned it to its original visual splendor.
Each flower is removable, as is also the central tulip, which screw fits into a metal fixture to keep each branching flower stable & secure whilst in situ.
Glass epergnes were widely popular items during the Victorian period and countless examples were produced by almost every glass factory of the era throughout the world. They would grace the dining tables and sideboard cabinets of the upper classes, as these items were highly priced & highly prized by those fortunate enough to have owned them. Due to the nature of how they used, cleaned and or moved from place to place filled with flowers, sweetmeats or even heavy fruit, by their owners, many hundreds of these wonderful items have been damaged beyond repair. This example is not one of those causalities, and it is a remarkable survivor of its type.
Having been a glass blower myself, this amazing epergne almost speaks to me and I can acknowledge the technical skills required to produce each component piece. The most crucial stage of making this particular epergne is one of axis, and of glass-to-glass compatibility. The inner globes of glass would have been the first stage to blow and to form using pure crystal,which would have been blown into a diamond-quilted mould, as one piece,and using tweezers so as to form one globe on top of the other,the uppermost one frilled with a gather of pink glass. The above procedure would be needed to be done with speed, by a team of two or three highly knowledgeable glass workers...
Having formed the central globes, they would be kept at just below melting temperature whilst the next crucial stage was produced, which is the bowl.
The bowl required to be perfectly shaped & formed so to accommodate the pre-made globes within it. There are no margins for error here, and the master glassblower would have to ensure, by eyes alone, that both of the pink glass frills which decorate the top & bottom of the bowl, were perfectly placed on their horizontal and with precise spacing to keep the item completely uniform around the entire circumference... and then the `tricky part' which is to ensure an exact placement of the central globes into the center of the bowl, without any amount of distortion of shape or balance. One single error here and the epergne will be doomed.
Not until the above made item had annealed and cooled completely, would success or failure become apparent. The problem of cracking or even shattering to both of the connected items, would have been of major concern to the glassworkers, whilst the glass was ever-so-slowly allowed to cool by carefully controlled and monitored decrease of heat.
Please study my photographs of this sensational item, as they form the major part of this epergnes description. Further information which relates to `glass threading' (as is featured upon the central tulip motif of this piece) can be seen on my shop item number JJ634 should you wish to peruse it.
As with all of my shop items, this epergne shall be appropriately & professionally wrapped & packed and it is available to be shipped overseas...
Assembled height: 18 inches Length of central tulip: 11.5 inches Lengths of stemmed flowers: 9.5 inches Bowl diameter: 6.5 inches Mirrored base diameter: 10 inches Postage weight: *3k 500gms *Postage Discounts are available for this item to overseas (outside of Europe) by request.
Item ID: JJ721
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