Portland Vase

The Stourbridge 2012 Portland Vase Project

Venue: Ruskin Glass Centre

Date & Time: 10am - 5pm Friday 24 August - Monday 27 August

Price: Free

This exhibition is the culmination of a 12 month project to create a replica of the Portland vase.  The original Portland vase was made in Rome in about AD5-25, is in the British Museum which describes it as “the most famous cameo-glass vessel from antiquity”.  The Portland Vase had a long and fascinating history before becoming part of the British Museum’s collection in 1810 and a number of people have been inspired to make replicas.  Perhaps the most famous was as part of a 19th century competition when Benjamin Richardson offered a £1000 prize to anyone who could achieve this feat.  Taking three years, glassmaker Philip Pargeter made a copy and John Northwood (a famous 19th century Stourbridge engraver) engraved it to win the prize.  This copy is in the Corning Museum of Glass, New York.

The blank for the Stourbridge 2012 recreation was blown in Stourbridge by Richard Golding and team, from glass donated by Plowden and Thompson, engraved by master cameo engraver Terri Colledge on site at the Ruskin Glass Centre in project instigated, owned and managed by Ian Dury.  This is a real celebration of Stourbridge craftsmanship and the intention is that the replica will stay in Stourbridge for all time.  Also on display will be a replica of the Auldjo Jug and an accompanying exhibition about the project.

Glass Artist, Charlotte Hughes Martin, has also been working with pupils from Pedmore Primary, St Mary’s Primary, Kingswinford and Kingswinford Secondary Schools on a contemporary slant to the original Portland vase.  In a project kindly supported by the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers, pupils have been busy learning about glass engraving and coming up with designs based on contemporary symbols and iconography.  A selection of winning designs (voted for by the public) will be sand-engraved onto blanks and the result exhibited during the festival.


Photos courtesy of S Bruntnell, P Dutton, C Day, K Brocklehurst, J Christley, M Holm, M Durran, P Wood, J Plant, J Smith, Glass Genie, KT Yun, D McNeill, J Coakley,  J Elliott, S Snaddon, I Dury.
J Low, J Newman, V Bamforth, N Baker.
© Copyright - International Festival Of Glass 2014

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