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Details & Cataloguing

Collections & Curiosities: Silver, Ceramics, and Objects of Vertu

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New York

A cut-glass and silvered metal stool in the manner of Osler
20th century

Catalogue Note

Established in Broad Street, Birmingham in 1807 by Thomas Osler, the firm later known as F. & C. Osler Ltd. came to dominate both the English and overseas market in chandeliers, glass light fittings and spectacular decorations. While initially specializing in drops and small prisms, after 1831 under the direction of Thomas’s son Follett, the company produced more ambitious glass designs. By 1845, keen to enter a world market, the business had expanded into Calcutta, where they displayed fine quality pieces specifically created for the wealthy rulers of India and the Near East. Osler’s reputation for magnificent and large pieces was such that by the Great Exhibition in 1851 they were secured a space at the center of the great Crystal Palace, where they exhibited their breathtaking and ambitious twenty-foot high crystal fountain.

Osler found great success in India and the Middle East where the coolness and striking appearance of colored or facet-cut glass furniture, small useful objects, chandeliers, candelabra, and fountains appealed to the affluent rulers there, making India the largest market outside of the U.K. The Osler archives, held at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, includes watercolor drawings of chairs, stools, bedsteads, settees, cribs and even a design for a glass staircase. Their trade catalogue 'F. & C. Osler, Calcutta', of circa 1876-1885, illustrates a red velvet button-upholstered armchair for the Indian market (no. 2895B), described as "Richly Cut Crystal Glass... upholstered in the best crimson silk velvet", together with a conforming side chair (no. 01647A).

Osler supplied cut-crystal glass chairs in 1877 for Maharana Sajjan Singh at the Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur, while others are found at the Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior, illustrated Smith op. cit., p.63.

Collections & Curiosities: Silver, Ceramics, and Objects of Vertu

|
New York