This fantastical Art Deco stag sculpture is handmade from lampworked glass by master glass sculptor Istvan Komaromy (b.1910 - d.1975). Described as the 'Michelangelo of glass', Komaromy numbered royal families, amongst those who collected and commissioned his work.
Komaromy produced his work by hand without the use of assistants and all of his glass pieces were made using a Bunsen burner to transform solid or tubular coloured, or opaque glass rods into the most delicate shapes. A short clip of his exceptional talent at work can be seen in the archives of the British Pathe website: Istvan Komaromy - Blow Pipe Art! 1935
This elysian piece presents the stag as balancing on a black glass ball, a characteristic common to Komaromy's pieces produced in the 1950s, as is the mounting of the piece to the marble plinth. The arched, sculpted curves and stylised contours bring elegance on many levels, from the form and posture of the overall piece to details such as the delicate eyes, horns and tail. The glass itself is a blend of opaque pale blue, translucent opalescent and hairline swirls of charcoal grey, giving an overall effect of marble.
Note: accompanying this piece is also an original brochure.
Excellent. No chips, cracks or repairs. Please refer to photos as they form part of the condition report. The underside of the base is lined with protective felt.
Height: c. 9.6" / 24.5 cm tall (from horns to plinth base) x c. 4.9" / 12.5 cm width (from nose to tail). Base measurements: c. 2.9" / 7.5 cm x c. 2.9" / 7.3 cm
A BIT OF HISTORY
Komaromy was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1910 but grew up in Budapest studying science at the university. He began making scientific glassware to sell to his fellow students for additional income, which led him to experiment with creating artistic Art Deco pieces. Komaromy showed some of his glass pieces to his University professor, who was so impressed that he persuaded Istvan to give up his scientific studies and become a glass artist. He arranged sponsorship so that Komaromy could travel to major exhibitions around Europe, at which the young glass artist was successful in winning a number of gold and silver medals (the estimate is as many as 16).
By 1935 he was visiting Britain as a celebrity artist, giving demonstrations all over the country including venues specialising in high-quality glassware, such as Harrods in London. He was featured on British Pathe News that year, making a beautiful glass figurine - a 'dancer' - and also a statue of the cameraman filming him. The short film entitled 'Istvan Komaromy - Blow Pipe Art! 1935' can be found in Pathe News archives on their website.
Komaromy would eventually move to London in 1937 and in 1939, he set up his glassworks in Croydon. He numbered several Royal families amongst those who collected and commissioned his work. In 1953 he made a leaping stag and two does on a wooden stand, known as 'The Leader' for Queen Elizabeth's coronation. It is thought that the Queen collected a number of Komaromy's pieces. Although famous for his 'dancers' - which were popular items and sold very well in specialist glass outlets, he also sculpted other classical figures, animals such as does, stags and horses. His range extended to candelabras, goblets and decanters, vases, abstract forms and complicated figure studies. He used over 200 kinds of glass, often manufactured by Pilkington's to his own recipes.
During his lifetime Komaromy frequently featured on television and radio and in art magazines; his work is held in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and in the Pilkington's Museum of Glass, as well as in the Museum for Applied Arts in Budapest, Hungary.