Monday, December 01, 2014

Of Pups & Strawberry's

To again revisit the early collection of lampwork glass cake decorations we acquired earlier this year, I start with one of my favorites~ it will need much work to restore. It was originally on a long glass spike like the cupid arches,  but just the nature of the thing made it impossible to display any way but standing straight up and down (more on that later)~ so to display it, the thick glass rod it was on was snapped off and it was then very sloppily glued to a scrap chunk of wood. They were not careful how they broke off the spike, and left a long tail, so the center was drilled out of the wood for it to fit...but then, it must still not have fit very well, as they used the broken glass rods as props to jet in underneath of it all around, to help keep it up on its hideous base. The whole lot was then absolutely smothered in an animal base glue, that will have to be soaked off slowly. YUK!

  and Oh! The wee pups! There are two sets of dogs in the set~ both pairs are on their own footed bases. I Adore these two ~ their bodies made from pink and white opaque glass, they have little black spots and ears~ just look at the detail around the eyes~ I wonder if they were made to resemble actual living dogs~ right down to their red collars. And just look at those pointy tails~ so delicate, but not as delicate as their wee legs~
This once happy chap, looking to me like an English Spaniel.... has sadly lost  their mate~ one can see bits of the four legs still attached to the base where it once stood. He, or she, is amazing~ an absolute amazing example of early lampworkers art!
And yet, another container of strawberries~ this one in a pink accented pedestal base. The berries each carefully made from red/pink glass and firmly attached within the vase.  But why strawberries???? Why would strawberries excite me and make me think of a wedding? Well~ let me explain.
    In Flowers of the Renaissance by Celia Fisher, (page 149),  The 17th c representation of strawberries was such that  “The white flowers and red fruit stood for purity and for Christ’s redeeming blood. The three parts of a strawberry leaf reflected the doctrine of the Trinity, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were distinct entities joined in one God”.  On the  flip side, in the 17th & 18th c some felt strawberries
 represent lust and temptation...their inclusion could be a reminder to resist temptations and remain faithful~
  all  would befit a young couple just getting married...... not to mention, wild ones were plentiful and hardy.
 Here is another view of that gorgeous vase of strawberries on that hideous wooden chunk.  Imagine my surprise and absolute amazement when I realized that none of them are connected or attached to the vase~ which would explain why they would have to always be upright to display and not loose all the pieces~
 Can you believe it?! All of the berries and leaves have had their stems drawn out into long spikes that stick down into the vase~ the vase itself like a huge frog.  One can remove them all and rearrange to their liking~ each so delicate, each a work of art in itself.

 *a frog was a cover that could be placed over a vase or container, with cross cross net/wires or holes in the top, that flowers could be placed thru to keep them in place in a floral arrangement 

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