Blaschka Marine Invertebrates Glass Models

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. 


Tufts Journal: Creatures in the Closet

Design Museum

Cornell: Out of the Teaming Sea

Treasures of the Deep

Heidi & Hans-Jurgen Koch


Here’s a neat little video I found on the Blaschka models put out by the Natural History Museum (in London).

Victorian glass models: Portuguese man-of-war | ©National Museum Wales 

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.

Reference: [1]

“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. 

Micro-CT scanning revealed how different clear glass types were used to create the squid model step by step.


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:

Glass Flowers: the Ware Collection and Poem 10
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.

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The collection is at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Here is a poem of mine from 2008.  I have been posting older things because currently I am working on writing a bird field guide and a collection of nests.  They have me preoccupied.

Recently, the two of us love with both
our hands, fondle sad things like hems,
corners, the edges of cherry orchards.

This is said to have made us both a little less
lonely seeming—we have suddenly become

landlocked. I speak brokenly in clock-tongue,
now. I only crane my neck. I know
only what it means to pray.
This is the North,

we discovered.
The definitive.
The North. So looking at you now
is like watching the compass settle,

finally. Today on the steps of a church was a woman
mourning someone her head thrown back,
hands pressed tightly to her chest without delicacy.

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