Cologne decanter

Louis Friedrich Vaupel American
Manufacturer New England Glass Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Louis Vaupel was one of the most skilled glass engravers working in the United States during the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Trained in Germany, Vaupel immigrated to America in 1850, and began work at the New England Glass Company where he quickly became designer and head of the engraving shop. The engraving on this pair (2015.256.1,.2) of cologne bottles depicting an arrangement of fruit in a basket must be among the finest engraving in America at that time. Vaupel was able to achieve an astonishing degree of naturalism, especially conveying the plumpness of the pears, plums and apples, a feat exceedingly difficult to achieve with a copper engraving wheel. The pair of stags on the opposite side similarly exhibit the engraver’s skill, especially in the rendering of the musculature and fur of the animals. The engraved inscriptions likewise are skillfully rendered, and exhibit an usual variety of lettering styles. Signed and dated examples of American glass are exceedingly rare.

Cologne decanter, Louis Friedrich Vaupel (1824–1930), Glass, cut and engraved, American

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