May de Lencquesaing has had a lifelong passion for rare and contemporary glass. One of the largest privately owned collections in the world, ranging from the 1st and 2nd Century to modern classics. Her collection is a unique journey through the history of glass making. Visitors will be able to discover and learn through a journey retracing centuries of glass making.
The Italian virtuoso Lino Tagliapietra is widely known as one of the greatest glass blowers and artists of all time. Embodying a fluid dance of vivid colours and light, his inimitable creations of glass artwork are housed in the most reputed museums and galleries around the world.
Born on the island of Murano, in the Venetian lagoon, with a history of glass-making dating from 1291, Tagliapietra’s interest in glass was intrinsic. As a young boy, he quit school against his parents’ wishes and entered a glass studio as an apprentice. From fetching water and sweeping floors to eventually assisting in glass blowing, Tagliapietra’s skills were honed through observation and hands on experience. By his early 20s, he had mastered the complexities of technique and expression, earning the rank of “Maestro”, and was working for some of the most prestigious glassworks companies in Murano. He went on to became not only a celebrated independent artist creating his own unique pieces, but also a teacher and mentor whose profound influence is felt around the world.
After a lifetime in glass and decades of achievement and acclaim, at 84 years of age, Tagliapietra’s passion for glass still knows no bounds.
When you look at this spectacular work of art, one is struck by Tagliapietra’s supreme mastery of colour control, contour, shape and exquisite balance.
This particular piece was purchased in 2017 by May de Lencquesaing and celebrates her friendship with Lino Tagliapietra.
The 17th century Siphon glass from Germany is also known as a ‘trick glass’.
‘Trick glasses’ played an important part of the drinking culture of Europe. If you don’t know how the glass works, you will not be able to use it. Only when you place your finger on a carefully disguised hole in the hollow of the stem, are you able to drink from the glass through the stag’s head.
A great Ruby Coloured Flask
One is immediately struck by the deep red ruby colour of this flask, an exquisite colour derived by the addition of gold chloride to the glass mixture. Gold ruby is arguably one of the most beautiful colours of glass. Originally known in the ancient world, this recipe got lost over the years but was rediscovered by a German pharmacist Johann Kunckel in the 17th century. The difficulty in producing this fabled red glass lay in the fact that the glass initially appears grey until reheating brings out the deep red colour.
Visit the Glass Museum:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 10am to 3pm
Compiled by: Shirna Lindoor, Glass Museum Supervisor