This hourglass shaped vase is made of special iridescent glass called verre de soie or “glass of silk” that was invented by Frederick Carder at Steuben. The Corning Museum of Glass says that "it rainbow-hued iridescence resembles that of a soap bubble." The vase has been decorated by the T.J. Hawkes Company in an Adam-style design featuring swags of draping laurel terminating in flowers, ovals and elongated oval drops.
Height: 10 1/2 inches
Width at Rim: 5 1/4 inches
WIdth at Base: 4 1/ 4 inches
From the Steuben Carder Club website:
Frederick Carder (18631963), a gifted English designer, managed Steuben Glass Works from its founding in 1903 until 1932. At the age of 14, Carder left school and joined his familys pottery business in Brierley Hill, England. He studied chemistry and technology in night school. In 1879, he became fascinated with glassmaking after visiting the studio of John Northwood, where he saw Northwoods cameo glass replica of the Portland Vase, the most famous piece of ancient Roman cameo glass. One year later, on Northwoods recommendation, Carder went to work as a designer at Stevens & Williams, a large English glassmaking company. There, as Northwood's chief assistant, he experimented with glass colors and designs.
Carder moved to Corning in 1903 at the invitation of Thomas G. Hawkes, owner of Steuben. For the next 30 years, Carder had a free hand in designing that firms products and developing new colors and techniques. In 1932, when Steubens new president decided to concentrate on colorless glass, Carder left Steuben to become design director of Corning Glass Works. There he oversaw such large-scale projects as the making of cast panels for Rockefeller Center in New York City. As an octogenarian, he created smaller cast glass sculptures and other one-of-a-kind pieces. Carders glassmaking career ended in 1959, when, at the age of 96, he finally closed his studio and retired.
During the 82 years in which he worked with glass, he produced many works that are dazzling in their virtuosity. Together, they include hundreds of colors and techniques.
From the Corning Museum about Thomas G. Hawkes & Company:
T.G. Hawkes & Co. (c.1880-1959) specialized in cutting fine brilliant cut glass and tableware. The company was established by Thomas Gibbons Hawkes (1846-1913). Born in Ireland, Hawkes immigrated to Brooklyn in 1862, and then moved to Corning to work for the Hoare and Dailey Cut Glass Firm. He opened his own cut glass firm in 1880. This firm, T.G. Hawkes & Co., soon became famous for quality wares. Hawkes' glassware was used in the White House from 1885 until 1938. In 1903, he brought Frederick Carder from England to establish the Steuben Glass Works.
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Steuben Engraved Hourglass Verre de Soie Irridescent Vase, by Frederick Carder