A GLASS MODEL OF A PORTUGUESE MAN O' WAR
A GLASS MODEL OF A PORTUGUESE MAN O' WAR
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A GLASS MODEL OF A PORTUGUESE MAN O' WAR

LEOPOLD BLASCHKA, CIRCA 1877

Details
A GLASS MODEL OF A PORTUGUESE MAN O' WAR
LEOPOLD BLASCHKA, CIRCA 1877
Modelled smaller than life the glass both stained and painted to reveal structures of Physalia physalis, supported on stand with painted ex inventory number 1877-381, the top blub replaced
8½ x 4 x 3in. (21.5 x 10 x 8cm.)
Provenance
Acquired by the Science Museum, London in 1877.
Deaccessioned 1925-27
Special notice

The VAT treatment will depend on whether you have registered to bid with an EU or non-EU address: If you register to bid with an address within the EU you will be invoiced under the VAT Margin Scheme. If you register to bid with an address outside of the EU you will be invoiced under standard VAT rules.
Sale room notice
Please note the top blub is a later replacement. The estimate has been revised to £10,000-15,000.

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Benedict Winter
Benedict Winter

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Lot Essay

Leopold Blaschka (1822-95) was a Czech jeweller working in Dresden who turned his attention to his passion: natural history. His glass models of plants and sea creatures were highly prized and commissioned by several universities and natural history museums of the late 19th century, where indeed almost all extant examples of his (and his son's) work survive. We know of only one other glass jellyfish in private hands.
The need for a glass didactic models of these jellyfish is that their soft bodies are incredibly difficult to preserve, and when suspend in jars with fluid loose their colour quickly and are thus not a good representation of the appearance of the animal in life. Coloured and translucent glass is of course the perfect material to use, but the difficulty of working in the medium is such that the quality of the Blaschkas work has never been equalled since.

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