About This Artwork

Joseph Locke
American, 1846–1936
Made by New England Glass Company
American, 1818–1888
East Cambridge, Massachusetts

Pair of Agata Vases, c. 1887

Blown glass
H. 42.2 cm (15 3/16 in.)

Americana Endowment, 2002.19.1-2

Aestheticism began in England, and English artisans helped to spread its ideals in the United States; several of them immigrated permanently and became the chief designers at American firms. Glass engraver Joseph Locke, for instance, emigrated from England in 1883 and became the head designer at the New England Glass Company, where he invented a number of varieties of art glass. He was especially interested in replicating the subtly shaded glazes on Chinese and Japanese porcelain and experimented with different chemical treatments to achieve similar effects in glass. These vases are typical of Locke’s rare Agata line, which was produced only between 1885 and 1887. For these pieces, he used a metallic stain on top of his Wild Rose glaze to produce a mottled surface.

— Permanent collection label




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