A Victorian Aesthetic Movement Tumbler
Wheel-Engraved by Hand With A Sunflower and Initials "W.B."
10 cm high, diameter at rim 7.5 cm
A clear lead crystal tumbler with a tapering bowl, wheel-engraved by hand with a sun-flower and ferns and with the initials "W.B."
In the late 19th Century the sunflower became a key motif of the Aesthetic Movement - led by fashionable figures in the art and literary worlds such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James Abbot McNeill Whistler and Oscar Wilde. The big bold yellow flower, with its wonderfully geometric seedhead, was seen as symbolic of bright, vivid, carefully arranged ornamentation: key principles of 'Aestheticism'. The flower's constancy in facing towards the sun could be seen as a proud representation of unshrinking audaciousness. The fern pattern is a show of the late 19th Century passion for 'polypodiophyta', a particularly English trend which became known as "Pteridomania" or "Fern Fever".
This glass, therefore, demonstrates the highly fashionable nature of its owner "W.B."