Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Morgan Vase. The Victorian sense of “good taste” emphasized ornate works. Some glassmakers met this demand by creating dramatic color effects.
Several American factories produced Peachblow glass, which had a surface that shaded from opaque cream to pink or red, sometimes over opaque white. This glass was made in imitation of the Morgan Vase, a famous 18th-century Chinese peachbloom porcelain vase that sold at auction in 1886 for the astonishing price of $18,000. The sale was widely reported, and glass and pottery manufacturers raced to capitalize on the publicity by producing objects that resembled the Morgan Vase in shape and color.
The pressed glass stand on the Corning Museum’s Morgan Vase was made to resemble the Chinese carved wood stand for the peachbloom vase.