Splendid glass in Sandwich, Mass.

Jane Shadel Spillman

Jane Shadel Spillman Exhibitions

(From left to right) 1. Monumental overlay glass lamp, opaque white cut to cranberry, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, Sandwich, Massachusetts, c. 1865–1875. 2. Large overlay glass lamp, cobalt blue cut to opaque white cut to clear, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, c. 1865–1875. 3. Monumental overlay glass lamp, opaque white cut to emerald green, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, c. 1860–1875. 4. Overlay glass lamp, cranberry cut to clear, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, c. 1865–1875. All images courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York.

Glass lamps made in the 1860s and 1870s were often quite decorative, and a number of those made at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company in Sandwich, Massachusetts, were particularly well done. Many were colored as well as cut and/or engraved, and were very popular. The Sandwich Glass Museum has a nice collection of these lamps, and those will be joined this spring by other exceptional examples when a group of vibrant overlay glass lamps from the collection of New York art historian and art and antiques dealer Stuart P. Feld goes on exhibit.

The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was in operation from 1825 until 1888. It is probably most famous for its pressed glass tableware, which has been collected by Americans for many years. However, the company made blown glass pieces in several colors, often cut and/or engraved, too. Fortunately, at least one Sandwich catalogue still exists that shows some of these pieces. Among them are a variety of blown, cut, and engraved table lamps, several of which were even tall enough to be floor lamps. These have surfaced in colorless glass with overlays of red, blue, green, and opaque white glass in a few combinations.

Like all the glass made by Sandwich, the lamps are impressive, with colored glass overlaid on colorless glass that is nicely engraved or cut. The bases are well shaped, as are the fonts, and both sections are decorated. Other American glass companies, such as the New England Glass Company, the Dorflinger glass company, and the Hoare and Hawkes companies in Corning, New York, made lamps, but nothing so remarkable.

Lights from the Parlor: The Overlay Lighting Collection of Stuart P. Feld • Sandwich Glass Museum, Sandwich, MA • to July 29, 2018 • sandwichglassmuseum.org