- Museum number
Ewer; glass; engraved; free-blown with ovoid body and narrow neck, expanding into a grotesque sea-monster's mask, which forms the spout; body terminates in entwined tails; decoration of the monster's scaly body and ivy wreaths in the spaces are wheel engraved.
- Production date
- 1878 (made circa)
Height: 31.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 1994, no. 363, (Acquisitions 1991-1993).
This highly original zoomorphic neo-Mannerist ewer is a virtuoso piece of wheel-engraving and is unlike anything else produced at the time by other firms specialising in engraved glass, either in France or in England. Only two other versions of this model are recorded: one in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, presented by Baccarat after the 1878 Exhibition, the other acquired by the museum at Lieberec, Czechoslovakia, in 1882 (where it was seen in 1987 by Jean-Luc Olivié of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris). Both examples are unpublished. The Paris version differs slightly in that the lip at the top is pulled up to a high peak. Probably a few versions were made for the Paris Exhibition and the best one given to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. For an illustration of the British Museum version, see 'Journal of Glass Studies 35, 1993, 124.
The Museum of the Cristalleries de Baccarat in Paris holds an earlier version of this model, made for the Paris Exhibition of 1867 (illustrated in D. Sautot, 'Baccarat, une histoire, 1764....', Paris 1993). It has the same inventive shape, with a high lip which is pierced to form the spout, but the engraved decoration comprises formal arabesques and grotesque ornament. There is no suggestion of a monster's head or body. This earlier version is also illustrated in Philadelphia 1978, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 'The Second Empire: Art in France under Napoleon III', cat. no. IV-21, where it is erroneously associated with the Paris Exhibition of 1855..
- On display (G47/dc10)
- Exhibition history
2015-2016 20 Sep-11 Jan, Kobe City Museum, Kobe, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 14 Jul–6 Sep, Kyushu National Museum, Dazaifu, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2015 18 Apr–28 Jun, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
- Associated events
- Designed for: Paris Exhibition 1878
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number