Rudolf Blaschka's Lampworking Bench

Object Name: 
Rudolf Blaschka's Lampworking Bench

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Object Name: 
Rudolf Blaschka's Lampworking Bench
Accession Number: 
93.7.9
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 83.5 cm, W: 85.5 cm, D: 101 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
about 1876
Web Description: 
Leopold Blaschka ordered this lampworking bench for Rudolf Blaschka in 1876, when Rudolf became an official partner in their business. Leopold commissioned a well-known Bohemian family of music organ builders to fabricate this bench with bellows positioned right under the tabletop. Regional styles differed, but this bellows position is typical of Bohemian lampworking benches. Lampworking (the technique of forming objects from glass rods over a flame) was often a cottage industry, so benches had to be small enough to tuck into the corner of a worker’s home. The bench design’s most distinctive aspect is the accordion-style bellows made of two wooden frames on the underside of the table. Moving the treadle (pedals) up and down forces air from the lower chamber into the upper chamber of the bellows. The air delivery system, now missing from this bench, supplied air from the bellows to the flame, a necessary component for the bench to work. This ingenious design produced a constant, even airflow instead of quick bursts, allowing the Blaschkas precise control of the paraffin- or alcohol-fueled flame necessary to make their intricately detailed models.
Provenance: 
Pones, Gertrude (German), Former Collection
Botanical Museum of Harvard University, Former Collection
1993-11-09
Blaschka, Leopold (1822-1895), Former Collection
Blaschka, Rudolf (1857-1939), Former Collection
Material: 
Primary Description: 
Lampworking bench/table. Wood, metal fittings, leather for bellows. a) table with bellows; b) table top (plain sawn wood). a) tenon joins, some peged, rectangular shape with four legs, v-shaped treddle and set of bellows. Legs turned-square at apron joins curves in to turned section, out to octagonal shapewith turned feet. b) table top, rectangular with two two-piece cross bars.
From the Darkness of the Sea: The Cornell Collection of Blaschka Glass Invertebrate Models
Venue(s)
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art 2017-09-02 through 2017-12-24
The historic collection of glass marine animals by Leopold Blaschka (1822–1895) and his son Rudolf (1857–1939) was acquired by Cornell in 1885 for use in teaching in the sciences. This exhibition will feature a selection of these unique sculptures and the Blaschkas’ drawings following a 2016 exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass 2007-05-18 through 2007-11-25
Changing Exhibitions Gallery
 
Il Vetro a Lume = Lampworking (2018) illustrated, v. 1, p. 230 (fig. 149);