Designed by Matthew Boulton British
Glass by James Keir British, Scottish
Assembled by Boulton & Fothergill British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 512

Matthew Boulton’s documented design for a graceful vase, with pine cone, oak leaf, and satyrs’ masks detailing, is clearly recognizable in this piece, which combines matte, opaque, white glassware sourced from the Birmingham-based workshops of the chemist and inventor, James Keir, with the pre-fabricated ormolu mounts produced and applied in Boulton & Fothergill’s Soho manufactory. While Boulton’s characteristically elegant Classical style harkens back to an idealized vision of ancient Rome, Keir’s chemical innovations set this glass right at the cutting edge of Europe-wide experiments to manipulate and expand the medium’s colors and density. To Boulton’s affluent and fashionable clientele, this vase was stylish, tasteful, and modern.

Vase, Designed by Matthew Boulton (British, Birmingham 1728–1809 Birmingham), White opaque glass, gilt-bronze mounts, British, Birmingham

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