Art and Novelty in Nineteenth-Century Pittsburgh
Published by: D Giles Limited
256 Pages, 9.00 x 11.00 in, Color and B&W illustrations throughout
- Published: April 2023
A vibrant study of the history and production of the Bryce glass company, one of the most successful designers and producers of pattern glass tableware, novelties and lamps in the nineteenth century.
Scottish immigrant James Bryce (1812–1893) began his glassmaking career at the age of ten as a child laborer on the floor of a Pittsburgh glasshouse working for $1.25 a week. In 1850 he founded his own glassware company just as pressed glass was increasing in popularity. Pressed glass transformed the lives of everyday people by making beautiful tableware widely available to those who could not afford the expensive blown and cut crystal enjoyed by their wealthy neighbors. Bryce became one of the largest producers of pattern glass in America and by 1871 was shipping its products all over the world. The company continued operations for 113 years, guided by second and then third generation family members.
This volume celebrates the beauty and artistry of the naturalistic designs, colorful tableware, and whimsical novelties Bryce produced between 1850 and 1891. At its heart, this book is a highly-illustrated work with 190 newly commissioned color plates beautifully photographed by leading decorative arts photographer Gavin Ashworth. It concludes with a compendium of authenticated Bryce products illustrated primarily with period line drawings that will be a valuable tool for both sophisticated glass scholars and casual collectors alike.
- Bryce, McKee & Company, 1850 to 1854
- Bryce, Richards & Company, 1854 to 1865
- Bryce, Walker & Company, 1865 to 1882
- Bryce Brothers, 1882 to 1891
- Bryce Brothers Company, Blown Glass from 1893 to 1965
- Appendix I: The Bryce Family Glassmakers
- Appendix II: Bryce Patents 1860 to 1891