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Apsley Pellatt Cut Glass Sulphide Centerpiece

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Apsley Pellatt Cut Glass Sulphide Centerpiece

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Height:
    15 1/4 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    England/Ireland
This exceptional and rare four-light cut glass centerpiece by the renowned Apsley Pellatt is a work of tremendous skill and artistry. A symphony of delicate diamond-cut glass, this light is topped with a flower vase center enclosing an intricate wheel-cut cameo, or sulphide, of Andromache, the wife of the Trojan Hector. Rosette accents, a conical stem and stepped circular foot complete this enchanting design. Apsley Pellatt glass featuring sulphides is very rare today. To find one of such exceptional beauty and quality is extraordinary.

Sulphides, also known as "glass incrustations," were a revolutionary development in glassmaking, and Apsley Pellatt was at the forefront of its creation. In 1819, he took out a patent for this process of encasing a medallion in glass, which he called "crystallo ceramie," later called "Cameo Incrustation" and "Sulphides". In 1821, Apsley wrote a book about this process, Memoir on the Origin, Progress and Improvement of Glass Manufacture including .....Glass Incrustations, which in 1849 was expanded and revised under the title "Curiosities of Glass-Making". A similar example of this incredible light is illustrated in this book, which states that the central vase was intended to hold real or artificial flowers. This piece was also exhibited at The Great Sulphide Show at The Corning Museum of Glass in New York in 1998.

Circa 1820

15 1/4" high

Apsley Pellatt IV was one of the chief innovators of the mid-19th century British glass industry, who joined his father's glass business, Pellatt and Green, in London around 1811 at the age of 21. A student of the historical techniques of glass-making, Pellatt learned about continental European methods first-hand, and by rigorous experimentation. Along with prominent scientists of the early 18th century, Pellatt took a great interest in glass chemistry. In fact, an experimental glassworks was built at Pellatt and Green's Falcon Glass House premises for experiments on optical glass in the 1820s. His Curiosities of Glass Making (1849) became an invaluable manual for his glass-making contemporaries. Pellatt won a prize medal at the Great Exhibition, where he displayed cut glass services, "Anglo-Venetian" gilt and frosted glass, sulphides and even lanterns and medical bottles. His two main exhibition pieces were a 24-foot-high cut glass chandelier for 80 lights and an "Alhambra-style" red, white and blue chandelier. John Tallis in his History and Description of the Crystal Palace (1852) declared Pellatt's work "second to none in excellence or beauty."

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