Bristol Glass Vase Circa 1890
This late 19th century art glass vase is made of hand blown, semi-opaque milk glass. Termed "Bristol" Glass, these decorated glass vases became fashionable during the Victorian era (1837 to 1901); this beautiful one was made circa 1890. These glass pieces were made in so many factories due to their enormous popularity that it's very difficult to assign a country of origin to them. Made in many countries on the Continent, much of the glass was exported from Bristol, an English port city, which is how it got its generic name.
The baluster shape on this vase is very graceful and appealing. It's decorated with an Art Nouveau transfer print of flowers and leaves, then hand enameled with raised petals, gilded leaves and a central gilded crest. The neck and rim are painted in opaque maroon, as is the round base, a style often seen on vases by Emile Gallé. Beneath the dark brown band at the base of the neck, the maroon color continues, fading to white in ombré fashion. The glass is so thin that the decorations can be seen from the inside.
This is a large vase, standing 12 3/8 inches tall on a 4 1/4 inch diameter base with a polished, indented pontil. It's marked with a hand painted number "29." Measuring 6 inches across at its widest point, the vase has a circumference of 20 inches at that point and it weighs 1 1/2 pounds.
Some of the gilding on the large leaves has been rubbed off, and there is the tiniest nick in the glass of the upper rim (the brown spots there are minute bits of sand). Otherwise, the vase is in excellent condition for its 130+ years of age, with no cracks or repainting. It's an impressive, highly colorful piece of Victorian glass that can hold a large bouquet or stand alone.