Peles National Museum’s glassware collection of more than 1500 pieces has been formed in two large stages, closely linked to the castle’s history. The first and most important stage, 1866 – 1941, is represented by the Royal Family acquisitions and demands; the second, 1969-1974, by the acquisitions made by the museum.
The initiative of the collection belonged to King Carol I. His succesors, such as Queen Marie, enriched the valuable kernel already existing.
The collection integrates German, Italian, Austrian and French items alongside Bohemian or English cristal vases, dated 19th and 20th centuries.
By the acquisitions and demands of items inspired by old models, King Carol I is regarded as belonging to Historicism collectors area. Thus, the German segment of the collection illustrates 15th – 17th centuries Rennaissance and Baroque decorative models: imperial effigies, electors, knights and German families coats of arms.
An important position, not only by the great number of pieces, is occupied by Murano works of art, bought between 1900-1920, from The Venice and Murano Company, led by Giulio and Amalia Salviati. These workshops created historicist works of art, inspired by 16th-17th centuries original items, which demonstrates the artisans’ talent and mastery. The unique qualities of glass, either transparent or irisated, are given by its exceptional coloring, the beauty of shapes and its fragile elegance, and demonstrates the mastery of Murano artisans which remain beyond compare till nowadays. The decorative repertoire of the pieces produced at Murano is composed by caravels, sea fauna,dragons, swans, snakes, masquerons and floral garlands. The collection was enriched later with pieces manufactured in Modern style such as richly irisated vases, millefiori beads etc.
Alongside the pieces used for official representation, the Royal family had also usual pieces: dinner services made of French crystal (Baccarat, Saint Louis workshops), engraved with vegetal motifs, liqueur glasses and flower pots of Bohemian crystal, decorated with hunting scenes and engraved and gilded floral motifs; drinking glasses of English crystal (Thomas Webb’s workshop) cut with diamond points and engraved with the royal cypher topped by a closed crown.
Another segment of glassware collection is constituted by Modern Style pieces.
The Austrian Lobmeyr workshops, the Imperial Court suppliers, made a crystal set composed of glasses, bowls and saucers decorated with pastoral scenes painted with colloidal gold, according to a bill since 1908. The dressing set of double-layered crystal (white – crimson) decorated by Josef Hoffmann as wel as the irisated glass vases made by Loetz Witwe Company are inscribed to the same area.
Due to princess Marie, who became Queen of Romania in 1914, the glassware collection is enriched with remarkable items, Art Nouveau expressions. Marie’s artistic approach to 1900 phenomenon had much in common with her own perception as artist and collector. She bought pieces created by the most important Art Nouveau artists such as: Emile Gallé (The Paradisiac Muse and Claire de lune are to be noticed), René Lalique vases ( Tortues vases, Chamarande, Côtes plates etc). Auguste and Jean- Antonin Daum ( a chandelier and camée vases), Christian Desiré, Jean Sala, Gabriel Argy – Rousseau, Almaric Walter, Louis Comfort tiffany ( drinking glasses made of Favrile glass, reading lamp etc). That British princess, a supporter of the revival of traditional crafts promoted by Arts and Crafts workshops, created herself Art Nouveau works of art, among them are to be mentioned six glasses made in Austrian workhops and painted by herself with floral motifs, kept in Peles National Museum’s patrimony.
It is to be metioned the Royal Family’s policy of stimulation the Romanian glass industry. Traditional and Art Deco glass sets, personalised with the royal cipher, have been commissioned in Azuga and Mediaș factories. In the Pelisor castle is to be seen a smoky glass set made at Azuga factory of which director was Emerico Montesy who studied the art of making glass at Nancy, as a disciple of Daum brothers and of Emile Gallé.
Between 1969-1974, Peles National Museum enriched the glassware collection with Bohemian crystal, Emile Galle, Daum and Lalique creations, bought from private Romanian collectors.
Peles and Pelisor interiors exhibit some of the most valuable pieces of the glassware collection and suggest to the visitor a voyage in the delicate and fragile world of glass.