Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mme May-Éliane de Lencquesaing shows us her Glass Collection at Glenelly, Stellenbosch

We thought this deserved an article all on its own as the museum so captivated us - as does Lady May. It is an extraordinary collection of glass from different periods in history and from all over the world. It is one of the largest privately owned collections in the world. She has been interested in glass for almost her whole life, and there is rare early glass from the 1st and 2nd centuries as well as modern contemporary classics. Her mother collected and some of her mother's collection is now in the museum
She told us how she had started slowly when she was young and the collection has just grown. There are some very important pieces in the collection. If you have an interest we would encourage you to go and see this very varied important collection of glass. For details of when it is open see
Hearing the story
Glass from all over the world, brightly coloured, often with inclusions of gold
Ancient glass from centuries ago from Phoenicia, Egypt and the Mediterranean, so fragile
This is a statue of Lady May made by the sculptor Maxime Real del Sarte in 1948 and presented to her. It is reproduced on the label of her flagship wine, Lady May
She showed us how well the statue is carved, even on the back. It was suggested that the back view should appear on the wine's back label
Glass from France, made to look like ceramics and finely decorated
A cabinet of French glass made by Rene Lalique, some very famous patterns and some very rare ones
Lynne asking Lady May a question about one of the pieces. Lynne used to buy and sell fine glass when she was in the antique business in London, from English glass to Emile Gallé, Daum, Baccarat, Lalique, Tiffany, Murano from Venice and Bohemian glass amongst others, so she was fascinated
 Some early French Opaline glass, some from Baccarat, c 1820
She told us that the white Opaline glass is very rare
The collection is housed in three rooms and is about to expand with some new pieces arriving soon
This is a sensational piece of opalescent glass topped with the statue of a flying elephant and it is entitled L’Esprit du Temps/Spirit of Time by Richard Texier, made in 2009 at the Daum factory in France
Another quirky modern work entitled The God of Crops
And in the collection of old stained glass which she has, Dick Whittington’s Cat, not black as usually depicted, but yellow
The stained glass window panels are cleverly back lit
A guide to the stained glass panel

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