reviewed by Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 9/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
The English Glass Chandelier
by Martin Mortimer
Wappingers Falls, NY:
Antique Collectors' Club
199 pages, 151 illustrations,
36 in color, $99.50.
A deep book in a narrow field, this unique study surveys the glass chandelier in England (with mention of a few continental variations and an occasional candelabrum and candlestick) from its appearance in the early 18th century to the advent of mass manufacturing methods in the late 19th. Discussed are types of arms, nozzles, mounts, spires, drip-pans, shapes of ornament, patterns of glasscutting, details of construction, specific artists such as William Parker and George Perry, advice for restoration, and devices for the instantaneous lighting of large numbers of candles. The author is a longtime lighting specialist in the antiques field, has advised England's National Trust on period glass lighting, and has written widely on related subjects. His book is made even more valuable by its collection of brilliantly clear photographs of more than a hundred examples of the art.
Glass from Islamic Lands
by Stefano Carboni
New York: Thames & Hudson
413 pages, 345 illustrations, 304 in color, $65.
Glass of the Sultans: Twelve Centuries of Islamic Masterworks
by Stefano Carboni and David Whitehouse
New Haven: Yale University Press
340 pages, 150 illustrations, 100 in color, $65.
These two new books share the same general subject, the beauty of glass vessels in Islamic countries from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries. They were both written by Stefano Carboni, an associate curator of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum, joined in one book by David Whitehouse, executive director of the Corning Museum of Glass. And they were both written to accompany the exhibition, "Glass of the Sultans," seen at the Corning Museum through September 2001 and at the Metropolitan from October 2001 through January 2002. Glass of the Sultans catalogues 150 examples from that exhibition and offers scholarly essays by the authors and by Robert H. Brill and William Gudenrath, both of the Corning Museum. Glass from Islamic Lands is based on the al-Sabah Collection now on display at the Kuwait National Museum Complex. Both show a variety of techniques—blown glass, mold-blown glass, hot-worked glass, mosaic glass, cut, engraved, and painted glass. Both have glossaries and bibliographies. Both show remarkable objects in stunning photography.