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Celery Vase

Maker: Attributed to Bakewell, Pears & Co. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Material: Flint Glass
Year: ca. 1860
Size: Height - 9.5”
2014.05.09 EL, The Mr. & Mrs. Franck H. Kaiser, Sr. Collection

This is one of four matching surviving celery vases. While this form is now out of fashion, no formal Victorian dinner table was complete without celery vases. They would have been arranged symmetrical down the center of the table. These vases were partially filled with cold water into which the celery was placed. The leafy ends of the stalks formed part of the table decorations.

Celery was considered a status food by Americans in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was labor-intensive to grow and in some climates required a green house.[1]

Adelicia’s example displays a typical columnar form with scalloped rim and needle etching. Near the top of the vase etched bands of varying widths encircle, both above and below a modified Greek Key design. The remainder of the bowl is decorated with etched stars. A mulita faceted ball shape knob tops the octagonal stem that is mounted on a flat plan blown foot.

[1] Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victorian America by Susan Williams. Pantheon Books, New York. 1985. P 110

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