Saturday, November 01, 2014

Miraculous...Delicate.... Confectionery Delights!

Antique, Early 19th c Blown Glass Cake Decorations
What a delight to share!  We have been blessed to acquire a collection of early glass cake or pastry decorations amassed c1840, perhaps made well before that. They are of such high skilled execution and design one could speculate they could have been commissioned by Master Chef Antonin Careme himself for some spectacular dessert marvel.  The collection includes 14 separate pieces, and so wonderful, I have chosen to share them each a few at a time so you can appreciate their petite & wonderful magic for yourselves.
They all of coarse have their issues, but they pale in comparison to their Grandeur!  My mind races off on adventures of its own when I try to imagine the cake or cakes that once held these masterpieces of a glass blower's art~ what occasion was so special to require such intricate, delicate figures?  A Wedding???  A Birthday????  Perhaps a Engagement???  Perhaps there was a special baby on the way???  I would tend to theorize it is a set for a wedding or engagement~ all of the birds and animals are in pairs...the only bird that is not, is paired with a nest of eggs (fertility)...there are not one but two pieces containing strawberries (in 17th & 18th c strawberries represented faithfulness and commitment in marriage)...there is a carriage & driver~ (perhaps come to take a girl courting?).... there are the two spade shape arches that still retain their long glass spikes~ in the center of one is a cupid with a bow and arrow (love)....the tallest of all the figures, at nearly 14" tall, is this wonderful piece shown above~ it has a glass hook on each side, that once probably held a hanging basket...but of what? It looks like a scale to me~ a perfectly 'balanced' scale..... so far everything is screaming love & courtship and engagement/marriage!
But then....in gets thrown the big question mark~ a candelabra with not one or two..but three candles!
It is second tallest of the figures, on very fancy cobalt glass feet.  The last home of the collection displayed them glued into their display case~ all of which I will be carefully removing. They are so delicate~ one cannot help themselves to hold their breath when looking at them, for fear of blowing one over and breaking it
 As if the three clear glass rods were not indication of a candle enough....here they are~ three wonderfully hand blown hollow glass candles complete with dark wicks atop them
Each fits perfectly over the glass rod of the candelabra
Now there is a funky flourish of glass jetting straight out toward the camera in this picture~ so perhaps there were another two candles on this....but it doesn't look like anything is missing from the middle, where they would have been attached, and there aren't any extra candles....but even if there were....what is the significance of three or five candles??? Three or five years.....what does it man? I want to know!!!  lol

   Whoever, and for whatever reason these were made, I probably will never know, but one thing is for certain, these were a special commission from a master glass worker, from a very, very wealthy person, for a very special occasion.  I hope later to display them as they were made to be, on a set of cakes. Until then, I hope you will enjoy the next few posts of them individually.

5 comments:

Penny said...

Oh my goodness! I've never seen anything like this. What beautiful items. Each one is a piece of artwork all on its own. Seated on top of the lovely frosted cake - oh, I can only imagine.

Reconstructed Fabulousness said...

O my goodness Rachael, they are exquisite. I can see now why you were SO excited when they arrived. Who would have known that such delicate articles ever even existed, curious to know how it is you came upon them! Why you were looking at cakes has now become abundantly clear...LOL...they do look like they might be at quite a height when fully installed on a cake...you might need a glass display cabinet and not a dome!!! Lovely and thanks for burning the midnight internet oil to showcase them.... :-)

Pam said...

Oh, my gosh, Rachael....what fabulousness! An old friend just had to comment on these amazing things! We are living in California now.....and our first grandchild arrived a month ago today. Miss Olivia Juliet Fisher, who is enchanting and all good things! Hugs to you and your family.....Pam

Anonymous said...

A glass Menagerie indeed! My guess was sort of close, but the reality takes the cake! What a gorgeous acquisition...so fortunate to have survived all these years, and a fantastical addition to the Museum...Sooo - what's the story, the provenance, how did you find them...etc!!!! Inquiring minds want to know - Thanks for sharing them with us. Elisabeth in CT

Barbara Brown said...

Oh MY!!! Sooooooooo pretty!!!! You're lucky they didn't come in a bazillion pieces!!!
By the way, we're home. Had fun, will call you tomorrow.
LY, Mom