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.
I went to Boston this weekend to visit my best friend @yogalady and while I was there I took the opportunity to have my MIND BLOWN by the Blaschka Glass Flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
ALL OF THESE FLOWERS ARE 100% GLASS!!!
Produced on a foot bellow powered Bunsen burner in the 1870’s by just two incredible flame-workers!
They are so intricate, realistic and perfect I thought my little glass worker heart was going to explode! As a nature inspired flame-worker it felt practically a like a religious pilgrimage. I still can’t even believe my eyes just looking at the pictures I took! It was a fantastic highlight to an all around perfect trip!
Prepare to be spammed by more pictures of awesome things in Boston!
The specimens are among the thousands of meticulously detailed marine invertebrate models fashioned between 1863 and 1890 by a father-son glassworking duo, for the primary purpose of research and education. Collectively, their work depicts more than 700 different species—including various anemones, squids, and sea stars—found in waters around the globe.
The models’ destinations were also far-flung. From their glassworking studio in Dresden, Germany, Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolf, shipped their fragile pieces to museums and academic institutions in locales as diverse as Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
“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.
A steampunk-style sculpture made from raised copper and brass with glass in the Japanese technique called “Tankin.”
Ancient Minoan pottery replicas painted with cephalopod designs.
An illustration from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
A drawing of octopuses attacking a fleet of ships, depicted as fact by a French naturalist in 1803.
A highly detailed drawing of cephalopods by famed naturalist Ernst Haeckel.
Glass models of squid and octopuses by father-son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka.
A replica of the famous abstract work, The Birth of the Cephalopods, by Mark Rothko.
A dramatic depiction of a sea of ammonites 73 million years ago.
The intriguing yet slightly disturbing image of Contessa with Squid by Omar Rayyan.
Cephalopod tattoo art.
We also commissioned San Francisco Bay Area artist Nemo Gould to create three kinetic sculptures for “Tentacles" using found objects. Gould has transformed a jumble of junk into delightful dioramas that carry conservation messages delivered through a sense of wonderment.
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: