the Coolest … Collection of Blue Bristol Glass
Published on March 16, 2009 :: 2 Comments
Our collection of bristol glass is displayed in our bedroom, in a black showcase alongside collections of mercury glass, copper lustre and tramp art boxes. The rich clear turquoise color of this glass energizes me and makes me happy. I love the way it pops against the deep Benjamin Moore Fireball orange of our bedroom walls (which are not as bright and pink-toned as they look in these photos.) Read here about the display cabinets and bedroom paint job.
One of my favorite things about searching out blue glass for our collection is the variety of forms to be found. The lamp and the painted vase are older, probably 1890s or so, and are wonderful examples of traditional Bristol glass silhouettes. The bulb vase and the smaller vase are not as old and have clean modern forms. And we find different shades and intensities of the aqua blue color in different pieces too.
As you can see we tend not to collect the painted pieces – I prefer enjoying the color and shape of the piece without distraction. But I am attached to the one tall vase with the bird and flowers, and the decoration adds a historical note to our collection, since most old pieces were painted.
Most bristol glass pieces were hand-blown into molds, and show an open or polished pontil on the base. That is where the piece was broken off from the glass stock after being blown into the mold. Here are the bases of the painted vase and the lamp base as examples of open pontils.
Here is a link to an article in Country Living last year on Victorian Bristol Glass. It focuses more on the hand-painted pieces, with some wonderful photos. And it shows some of the other colors of Bristol glass – I love the clambroth!