Tales of Things

Where everything has its memory

  1. You are here:
  2. Home (Things)
  3. >
  4. Thing - Glass S...

Glass Snail


Creator: TheGrantMuseum on 17 Jun 2010, 11:23 a.m.

This is one of a dozen specimens in the Grant Museum collection made from glass by Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolph in the late 1800s. They were from a long line of Czech artisans and they began their careers as jewellers working in Dresden, Germany. The soft bodies of marine invertebrates are particularly difficult to preserve, so the Blaschkas were commissioned to make some out of glass.
The Blaschkas’ skills died with them and their work has not been repeated. It is known that most of the models were formed by softening glass with a lamp, then shaping and pulling it out. Some of the models were made using coloured glass, in other cases coloured paints made from ground glass and minerals were applied then melted into the model using a lamp flame. Most of the Museum’s Blaschkas were ordered by Prof E. Ray Lankester in 1888 to fulfil his teaching needs at the time, the rest of the collection arrived from the Science Museum in the 1920s.

The question is, is the shell real or glass?