This lovely limited edition crystal cat was designed by Donald Pollard and made by Steuben Glass of Corning, New York. Steuben Glass Works was founded by Frederick Carder and Thomas Hawkes in 1903, and produced highly sought after art glass until 2011. Treasured by art collectors from around the world, Steuben pieces were often the gift of choice when intending to impress, and recipients included dignitaries like Prince Charles and Lady Diana as well as leaders like Pope Benedict. As an interesting side note, the glass slipper in the Cinderella Castle Suite at Disney World was made by Steuben Glass.
After suspending production for a three year period, the company introduced a new lead free glass formula in early 2014. This new formula is currently being used at the Corning facility to produce a limited number of Steuben designs. A selection of the company's line of hand coolers, animal figures and other pieces are also being made in Europe.
This enigmatic cat figurine was designed by Donald Pollard in 1960 and reissued in a limited edition as part of Steuben's Heritage series in 1988. The piece has a great mid century look with a stylized appearance. The cat's body has a columnar form with a flat head featuring two frosted almond shaped eyes angled toward one another. The cat's head is finished with two triangular ears which break the circular plane. According to the Steuben catalogue, "Cat" - item 8102 - is "hand formed of solid crystal [and] seems to smile with knowing anticipation, its tail curled cozily about its feet. As Mark Twain, a great cat admirer, once asked, "...a house without a cat...may be a perfect house, but can it prove its title?"
The cat is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. As a vintage item, the piece shows signs of use consisting of light scratching to the base related to display which is mentioned for accuracy. The 3lb 15oz piece stands 8.5" tall and is approximately 3" in diameter. The underside is signed "Steuben" along with "SHS" for Steuben Heritage Series and "1988", all in diamond point script.
Vintage pieces produced by Steuben have become collectors items and will likely appreciate in value as stock on the secondary market becomes more difficult to obtain. This listing provides a great opportunity to enhance your decor with a lovely and authentic Steuben work of art.