- Museum number
Sherbet glass, 'Knickerbocker'; clear glass, free-blown bowl with mould-blown and cut square base.
- Production date
Height: 8.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- In set with 1988,0608.5-6
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.220c.
Arthur Douglas Nash was the son of Arthur J. Nash, an Englishman who worked in Stourbridge before emigrating in 1892 to the USA, where he ran L.C. Tiffany's glass studios until 1919.
From 1919 A.D. Nash ran the Tiffany Furnaces until their closure in 1928, when he formed his own firm, the A. Douglas Nash Corporation, but this too closed in 1931. He was then hired by Libbey to create a new line of luxury glassware. The series was formally introduced in 1933, with a catalogue and exhibition at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Advertisements appear in Arts and Decoration, New York 40, November and December 1933. The Libbey-Nash series comprised some eighty new patterns, but much of it proved too expensive; it was hit by the Depression and admitted a failure after two years. Nash left Libbey in 1935 and made no further designs for glass.
The complete 'Knickerbocker' service comprised a 12-oz tumbler, 10-oz tumbler, 6-oz sherbet, 4-oz cocktail and 1-oz cordial glass. It was a custom-built line - i.e. not regularly carried in stock - and so could be decorated at the factory with the purchaser's personal monogram, at an extra charge. The service was still in production in 1942, with the addition of a sugar bowl, cream pitcher and salt dips, not designed by Nash (C.U. Fauster, Libbey Glass since 1918', Toledo 1979. 398, reprint of Libbey 1942 Modern American Glassware Catalogue). As the sales blurb rightly says, 'the heavy crystal block gives each item perfect balance and a delightful "feel"'.
Glasses with solid square bases were produced by other American firms in the early 1930s, notably the ranges designed by W.D. Teague for Steuben (Brooklyn 1986, The Brooklyn Museum, 'The Machine Age in America', 329, pl. 8.81) and by G. Sakier for Fostoria (see The Studio Yearbook, 1931, 149). Both these ranges were stemmed. The idea of placing the bowl directly on to the square base was already current in France, since the Paris Exhibition of 1925, when Baccarat exhibited a service with flared bowls on square bases designed by G. Chevalier. Later on, Jean Luce designed a straight-sided, square-based, clear-crystal service very similar to the Nash glasses. For illustrations of the Luce service, see Mobilier et Decoration, Sèvres 1934, 179 and 196, and Design for Today, 111, London June 1935, 212. For a square-based decanter and glasses designed by S. Gate for Orrefors, Sweden, see Design for Today 11,1934, 371.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number