In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World
Signed by Christopher L. Maxwell
Edited by Christopher L. Maxwell. With contributions by Marvin Bolt, Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, Jennifer Y. Chuong, Melanie Doderer-Winkler, Anna Moran, Marcia Pointon, and Kerry Sinanan.
Britain in the 1700s was complex, dynamic, and full of growth, whether industrial, geographical, intellectual or societal. The nation began the century under the leadership of a Dutch king (William III, r. 1689-1702), followed by a dynasty of Germans (the Hanoverians, r.1714-1837). Its aristocracy was educated on European Grand Tours, and its commercial, political and territorial ambitions stretched from North America to India, and from Africa to China. It was a world that fostered exploration, expansion and exploitation.
The British glass industry replaced that of Venice as the global leader during this period but, beyond its presence in dining and drinking rituals, little discussion has hitherto been made of the significance of glass in the lives of the country’s elite during the 1700s.
In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World accompanies a major exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass in 2021. From portraiture to costume, and science to slavery, the essays contained in this publication offer unique perspectives from noted scholars on the role of glass in defining and expressing the cultural values of Britain during the 1700s.
Published in 2020 by The Corning Museum of Glass.