This Side Chair is a recent addition to the Museum’s collection. Although the tradition of glass furniture began in the early 19th century, it was the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London that prompted the development of larger, more elaborate furniture.
From about 1875 until 1920, wealthy Indian families bought quantities of large-scale furnishings from two companies in the U.K., F. & C. Osler of Birmingham and Joseph Webb of Coalbourne Hill, Stourbridge. For much of the 19th century, Osler maintained a Calcutta showroom to serve this important clientele, and indeed, Osler was the manufacturer of the Museum’s newly acquired side chair, created between 1860 and 1900. The 37 individual glass and metal elements in this chair are assembled together over a brass and wood armature, characteristic of 17th-19th century Indian design.
Browse digitized full-text trade catalogs from F. & C. Osler.
Learn more about the time when European glass manufacturers tailored one-of-a-kind and limited-production glass furniture to the tastes of the wealthy Indian elite.