University Museums

Title: Empress pattern
Name: Vase
Date: 1904-1905
Medium: Crystal, cut glass
Country/Culture: American
Dimensions: 36 x 10 x 9 in. (91.4 x 25.4 x 22.9 cm) Other (Ring): 5.7 x 7.6 cm (2 1/4 x 3 in.)
Classification: Decorative Arts, Glass
Credit Line: Gift of the Questers of Iowa. In the Iowa Quester Glass Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: UM2000.74abc
More Information
During the late 1800's, some wealthy Americans hosted lavish dinner parties, with twelve-course meals and wines and champagnes costing up to $65,000. At these dinner parties, thousands of dollars were spent on flowers, and only unique and rare vases such as this one were acceptable to hold such expensive flowers.

This three-part revolving vase, give to the Iowa Quester Glass Collection at the Brunnier Art Museum, qualifies as one of these rare vases. The term revolving is applied to the vase because it must be assembled by turning the two solid silver mountings together. The style or pattern of the vase is "Empress" and is one of the many patterns that was patented during the Period of Brilliant Cut Glass.

The vase was manufactured by the Quaker City Glass Company (1902-1927) of Philadelphia, which produced three versions of this type. In a catalog, circa 1904-1905, a vase like this one was sold for $125 wholesale, and listed with two smaller vases of the same design at $61 for a 24" vase and $90 for a 30" vase. These vases were also listed with three-part punch bowls which were designed in the same style.