- Museum number
- Series: Embassy
Water goblet from Embassy glass service; clear glass, with vertically ribbed flat-section stem, the bowl and foot free-blown, the stem pressed and polished.
- Production date
1940-1942 (made between)
Diameter: 8 centimetres (base)
Height: 22 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- In set with 1988,0608.2-4
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no. 281.
Teague worked initially as an advertising artist from 1908 to 1926, when he visited Europe, where he was much impressed by French modernist design (see Pencil Points 18, September 1937, 543)- His first industrial design was for Eastman Kodak cameras. In 1932-3 he designed a range of table and ornamental glass for the Corning firm of Steuben (for examples, see New Haven 1983, Yale University Art Gallery, 'At Home in Manhattan, Modern Decorative Arts, 1925 to the Depression', K. Davies nos 8 and 13; Brooklyn 1986, The Brooklyn Museum, 'The Machine Age in America', 327, fig. 8.81). Steuben glass remained an expensive status symbol and was promoted as 'severely patrician' by Teague, whereas Libbey glass was advertised as 'well within the reach of the modest income', although using handmade methods in high-quality crystal. According to Arts and Decoration 40, November 1933, Libbey glasses ranged in price from $10 a dozen to $25 a dozen.
The 'Embassy' pattern service was designed for the State Dining Room in the Federal Building at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The original service was engraved with a crest incorporating the American eagle beneath thirteen stars (A. Duncan, 'American Art Deco' New York 1987, 126); it still survives in the White House (J. Shadel Spillman, 'Whitehouse Glassware: Two Centuries of Presidential Entertaining', White House Historical Association, Washington 1989, 126-7) The service comprised eight stemware sizes: cocktail, sherry, dinner wine, dessert wine, champagne, cordial, goblet and Delmonico. There were also finger bowls and three sizes of tumbler. The specially created columnar stems were unusual because they were the same height for all items. The flattened columns echo George Sakier's 'classic modern' glasses with round-section fluted stems of c. 1933 - 4 (Arts and Decoration 40, April 1934, 44).
Teague was design consultant for the Fair while Fuerst was Libbey's in-house designer. After the failure of the Libbey-Nash series in 1935 (see Decorative Arts 1850-1950, Cat. 220), Libbey was bought up by Owens-Illinois, who employed Edwin W. Fuerst, formerly head of Owens-Illinois' package-design department, to design a new line of crystal called 'Modern American'. The first catalogue of 'Modern American' was printed in 1939. The series, including 'Embassy' pattern, was formally introduced in 1940 but was ended by the restrictions of the war just over a year later. For the Libbey Company and the 'Embassy' service, see C.U. Fauster, 'Libbey Glass since 1918', Toledo 1979,119, 247, 397 (illustration of whole service).
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Designed for: New York World's Fair 1939
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number