Islamic Art :
AS Collection 3 : Enamelled opaline glass vase in quatrefoil form by Thomas Webb, decorated in the “Moroccan Style"
Enamelled opaline glass vase in quatrefoil form by Thomas Webb, decorated in the “Moroccan Style" - MS.898
Additional Information: AS
Location: Great Britain
Thomas Webb, the son of a successful
Stourbridge farmer, became partner in several
glassworks in the Stourbridge area near
Birmingham, in the first half of the 19th century.
Around 1860 he changed the company's name to
Thomas Webb and Sons and welcomed into the
business his two sons, Thomas and Charles.
The company progressively specialised in high
quality engraved crystal glass, creating also a
niche demand coloured glass.
Frederick E. Kny, a Bohemian master glass
engraver moved to England and worked for Webb
from 1860 until 1896. He joined the company at
the age of 27 and had his own separate
workshop within the Webb factory. William
Fritsche, another Bohemian master glass
engraver, joined Thomas Webb and Sons at the
age of 15 in 1868, and he too had his own
workshop within the factory until he died in 1924.
Kny and Fritsche were among the most famous
and successful of the crystal glass engravers at
Thomas Webb's, and examples of their artefacts
can be found today in the world's leading glass
museums, including the V&A Museum in London
and the Corning Museum in the USA.
In 1876 Thomas Webb and Sons commissioned
the "Pegasus" vase (also known as the Dennis
vase) from the English glassmaker John
Northwood, which took six years to complete,
and was shown by Thomas Webb's in an
unfinished state at the Paris International
Exhibition in 1878. In that same International
Exhibition Thomas Webb & Sons were the only
company awarded a Grand Prix for glass and the
official catalogue proudly described the company
as "the best makers of Crystal Glass in England,
and consequently in the world".
Opaline glass is a decorative style of glass made
in France from 1800 to the 1890s, though it
reached its peak of popularity during the reign of
Napoleon III in the 1850s and 1860s. The glass is
opaque or slightly translucent, and can appear
either white or brightly colored in shades of
green, blue, pink, black, lavender and yellow. The
glass has a high lead content which defined it as
"demi-crystal" or semi-crystal. The primary
influences on this style of glass were 16th century
Venetian milk glass, and English white glass
produced in 18th century Bristol.
Many different pieces were produced in opaline
glass and cities involved in the production
included Le Creusot, Baccarat, and Saint-Louis,
Réunion, as well as various locations in England.
All opaline glass is hand-blown, without any
seams nor any machine engraving. Many pieces
of opaline glass are decorated with gilding, some
with hand-painted floral motifs or birds, whereas
several have bronze ormolu mounts, rims, hinges