Manufacturer New England Glass Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 736

The New England Glass Company of East Cambridge, Massachusetts, like many other period glass manufacturers, exhibited exemplary wares at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Their display, pictured in at least two stereoviews of the interior of the fair’s Main Building, included two cut-and-engraved glass compotes similar to this example. They all feature a surface of fine and dense diamond cutting, and are distinguished by three superbly engraved oval reserves. Clearly executed by one of the company’s most accomplished émigré glass engravers. Each features a different, yet intimate vignette: a pair of sprightly butterflies pulling a two-wheeled cart overflowing with flowers; a bird perched on the edge of a nest with four eggs; and a still life of two crossed sheaves of wheat with fruit. Their impeccable detail—right down to the leaves of grass trampled beneath the chariot, for example—powerfully conveys the heights of an expert glass engraver’s craft.

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