Replica of the Portland Vase

Object Name: 
Replica of the Portland Vase

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Object Name: 
Replica of the Portland Vase
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 25 cm; Body Diam: 18.2 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Bequest of Juliette K. Rakow; From the Cameo Glass Collection of Leonard S. Rakow and Juliette K. Rakow
Web Description: 
The fame of the Portland Vase and of Wedgwood's replicas of it, played a major role in the establishment of cameo glassmaking in England. The leading promoter of the revival was Benjamin Richardson (1802-1887) of the Red House Glassworks at Wordsley, who employed many of the most talented glass engravers, etchers, and carvers of the day. Richardson not only bought one of Wedgwood's replicas of the Portland Vase to inspire his craftsmen, but also offered £1000 to anyone who could reproduce it in cameo glass. Richardson's challenge was taken up by two of his employees, Philip Pargeter, who in 1873 supervised the production of the first cased blank shaped like the vase (it was blown by Daniel hancock), and John Northwood, who between 1873 and 1876 carved one of Pargeter's blanks into the first glass replica made by the cameo technique. Northwood's Portland Vase was not the earliest 19th-century cameo glass; Northwood himself had carved a vase decorated with Perseus and Andromeda around 1860. It was, however, the first modern cameo glass to be received with acclaim, and its exhibition led to a flood of commissions and a vogue for cameo glasses that, in England, lasted until the end of the century. One other reproduction of the vase is associated with Pargeter and Northwood: a colorless vessel with etched decoration, which is said to be one of several made under Pargeter's supervision to insure that his workmen could produce the correct form. The etching is attributed to Northwood. (see cameo glass in Stourbridge 89.2.11.)
Rakow, Leonard S., Former Collection
Rakow Estate, Juliette K. (Mrs. Leonard S.) (d. 1992), Former Collection
J. Northwood 1876
Signature and date
Primary Description: 
Cobalt blue glass, flared rim, two handles with v-shaped decoration, slightly conical body with cameo scene.
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking
Corning Museum of Glass 1982-05-01 through 1982-10-31
Cameo glass, one of the most costly and difficult decorating techniques since first century B.C., is documented and illustrated in this catalog. Included are examples from Rome, Islam, and China, as well as English 19th-century masterpieces by John Northwood and George Woodall among others. For the purposes of this catalog, the term “cameo glass” is used to refer to cased glass objects with two or more differently colored layers. The outer layer is usually an opaque or opalescent white, and the outer layer or layers have been carved in to leave the decoration standing in relief against a body of contrasting color. Shading is produced by thinning down the carved layer; highlights are created where the glass is left thickest. Both this catalog, and the exhibition for which it was created, documents the 2000-year cameo glass tradition.
Nineteenth Century English Cameo Glass from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Christian Revi
Corning Museum of Glass 1963 through 1963
The Black Country: A History in 100 Objects (2019) pp. 92-93;
Gods in the western Midlands: the immortal achievements of Wedgwood, Woodall & Webb (2018) pp. 11, 57;
George Woodall and the Art of English Cameo Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 11, fig. 1; BIB# 136420
The 2012 Portland Vase Project: Recreation of a Masterpiece (2012) illustrated, p. 39, top; p. 43, bottom; BIB# 131722
The Yearning for Venetian Glass: Beauty that Traversed Oceans and Time (2011) illustrated, p. 20, fig.6;
Exhibition: Reflecting Antiquity (2008-02-01) illustrated
The Portland Vase (2004) illustrated, pp. 28-29, no. 10; BIB# 81585
Layers of Wonder: Majestic and Marvelous Cameo Glass (2003-05) illustrated, p. 55;
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Three (2003) illustrated, pp. 86-88, # 1032; BIB# 58895
A Closer Look at Antiques (2000) illustrated, p. 200, top left; BIB# 26701
The Cameo Glass of Thomas and George Woodall (2000) illustrated, p. 41; BIB# 64626
An Introduction to The Corning Museum of Glass (1999) pp. 9-12; ill., p. 10; BIB# AI44099
Royal Brierly Crystal (1998/2) illustrated, p. 46, #4;
Lobmeyr 1823: Helles Glas un klares Licht (1998) illustrated, p. 193; BIB# 58172
The Golden Age of Cameo Glass (1995) p. 14; BIB# AI34883
English Cameo Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (1994) illustrated, pp. 16, 18, 60, fig. 12; BIB# 35913
Important Acquisitions from the Rakow Collection (1993) illustrated, p. 139, #2; BIB# AI32225
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1992 (1993) illustrated, p. 5; BIB# AI96377
The History of the Portland Vase (1990) illustrated, Cover, frontispiece; pp. 62-84;
George Woodall and the Art of English Cameo Glass (1989) illustrated, p. 9, fig. 2; BIB# 33295
George Woodall and the Art of English Cameo Glass (1989) illustrated, p. 9, fig. 1; BIB# 136420
2,000 Years of Cameo Glass at The Corning Museum (1982-07) illustrated, p. 55; BIB# AI9264
A Passion for Glass (1982-01) p. 70; BIB# AI29846
The Glass Replicas of the Portland Vase (1982) illustrated, pp. 49-56, esp. p. 52-53;
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking (1982) illustrated, pp. 58-59, 108, #35; BIB# 30609
John Northwood and English Cameo Glass (1981) pp. 50-55, ill. p. 50;
A Museum Built on Sand (1980-10) illustrated, pp. 126-130; BIB# AI9236
Stourbridge County Express (1913-03-01)