Saturday, 17 September 2016

Stunning glass jelly fish

Last week I popped into our Island Museum as they had been doing some major work to the main exhibition space and the first section was now open. Which does look very impressive.
But the exhibit that made a huge imprecision, literally blew me a way,
was the display of glass jelly fish

Yes you heard correctly, glass jelly fish!
Portuguese - man - of - war about 30 cm high
Turns out they are the work of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka
These Bohemian glass blowers in the late 1800 mastered a technic of replicating
invertebrates and plants in blown glass. 
This was for scientific teaching, as invertebrates like jelly fish were impossible
to preserves for research.
Harvard University has an amazing collection of their plants. Can you imagine the difficulty of shipping such delicate objects across the Atlantic.........

But as you can see these objects are stunningly beautiful and so lead to their popularity with Victorian collectors, in the island Mr Guille and Mr Alle were two such gentlemen.  They were the founders of our local Library having taken inspiration from the Public Library in New York.

Their library surprisingly called the Guille Alle(!) also was home to the first museum in the island predominately made up of their collections and that of their friends.
It wasn't till 1979 that the museum got its own purpose built home up in the grounds of
the Priaulx Library, where it still is today.
I was mesmerised by them, the back lighting casting such beautiful shadows.

So amazing that they have survived so well in storage, I certainly don't remember ever having seen them on display before, and I have hear rumours that there are few more still in store....
If you get chance to pop in do and I hope you will be as amazed as I was.
(I did ask permission before taking these photos, but only had my photo with me which is why they arn't great, sorry)

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