Not currently on display at the V&A

Ribbed Ivy

Glass
ca. 1860 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The technique of press-moulding glass with the aid of a hand-operated machine was first perfected in the United States of America in the early 1820s. It took only two people to shape a measured quantity of hot glass in a heated metal mould. By simply depressing a lever, a metal plunger was lowered into the glass, forcing it into the patterned mould. By the 1830s this method had spread to Europe and Britain, giving rise to stylistic changes and revolutionising the availability of glassware. The technique made the mid- to late 19th century the first period of true mass production. In the 1890s the introduction of steam-powered presses improved quality while cutting costs even further.
American pressed glass became a widely used popular household product and the manufacture process meant that it could be sold at a more affordable price than hand blown or cut glass. The American glass producers' inventiveness met the need for decorative yet practical objects for the home. A wide variety of patterns were developed simulating those on finest cut glass.
The Boston & Sandwich glassworks, who made this piece, was one of the most successful of the American companies specialising in press-moulded glass. The company also made blown glass but is best-known for its 'Lacy' glass. This was a type of pressed glass with a surface pattern that looked like lace.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Press-moulded glass
Brief Description
Glass or egg-cup, press-moulded glass with 'Ribbed Ivy' pattern, manufactured by Boston and Sandwich Glass Co., Sandwich, USA, ca. 1860
Physical Description
Glass or egg-cup, press-moulded with a ribbed surface and ivy moulded motifs.
Dimensions
  • Height: 9.8cm
  • Width: 5.6cm
Production typeMass produced
Credit line
Given by Mr Louis and Mrs Linda Tanner
Summary
The technique of press-moulding glass with the aid of a hand-operated machine was first perfected in the United States of America in the early 1820s. It took only two people to shape a measured quantity of hot glass in a heated metal mould. By simply depressing a lever, a metal plunger was lowered into the glass, forcing it into the patterned mould. By the 1830s this method had spread to Europe and Britain, giving rise to stylistic changes and revolutionising the availability of glassware. The technique made the mid- to late 19th century the first period of true mass production. In the 1890s the introduction of steam-powered presses improved quality while cutting costs even further.

American pressed glass became a widely used popular household product and the manufacture process meant that it could be sold at a more affordable price than hand blown or cut glass. The American glass producers' inventiveness met the need for decorative yet practical objects for the home. A wide variety of patterns were developed simulating those on finest cut glass.

The Boston & Sandwich glassworks, who made this piece, was one of the most successful of the American companies specialising in press-moulded glass. The company also made blown glass but is best-known for its 'Lacy' glass. This was a type of pressed glass with a surface pattern that looked like lace.
Bibliographic References
  • Webb-Lee, Ruth, 'Early American Pressed Glass' Ferris, New York, 1946.
  • Shadel Spilman, Jane, 'American and European Pressed Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass', Corning, New York, 1981. CH.IV
Collection
Accession Number
C.13-2012

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record createdSeptember 11, 2012
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