Beautiful and scientifically accurate glass models made by the father and son team, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka (1822-1895, 1857-1929). Commissioned by museums and universities, these pieces remain a part of several collections around the world.
Check out this essay to learn more about the history of the Blaschkas and Cornell’s collection.
An intricate antique glass model of a Portuguese Man-of-War. The ‘float’ is about 55mm wide by 90mm long. Total height: 240mm. There are about two hundred tentacles made of thin coloured glass, supported and attached by fine copper wires.
This art work was created during the late 19th century, by Leopola Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son Rudolf (1857-1929), who produced beautifully detailed glass models of bizarre sea creatures for natural history museums and aquaria all over the world.
“What looks like a real squid is actually a very lifelike glass model that is part of the Natural History Museum’s historic art collection. It was made by the German Blaschka workshop over 100 years ago with a perfection that is hard to recreate today.
Priceless Blaschka glass models now on display | Natural History Museum
The delicate glass artworks of sea creatures crafted by father-and-son team Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka were made between 1866 to 1889. Find out how Museum staff prepared them to go on display in the new Treasure gallery.
See the models and the rest of our 22 Treasures in person at the Museum:
Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka were glass artists from Dresden, Germany commissioned by Harvard University from 1887 to 1936 to create realistic replicas of plants. At the time there was no way to preserve and showcase plants to the public in their original, live state so glass was used instead. The two men made thousands of these models with no apprentices or help. I got a book called Glass Flowers in Nashville, TN at Bookman, Bookwoman Books. It was printed in 1940 and has drawings by Fritz Kredel of 16 of the pieces from the Ware Collection, all with a focus on pollination. Each plate has a substantial description of the pollination of each flower.It is the most beautiful book that I own.Here are three of my favorite plates illustrated in the book. Click on them for a better look.