The Gothic Revival in American Glass

With its prominent band of pointed arches reminiscent of a medieval cathedral, this compote is one of the more spectacular glass objects of the American Gothic Revival.

Gothic Arch Compote (89J)

The Gothic Revival in America was inspired by its counterpart in England where architects and decorative artists joined painters and writers in the Romantic rejection of earlier Classical formality.

Medieval castles and cathedrals blended in with newly appreciated picturesque, natural settings in a way that the formal, precise, symmetric and severe 'temples' of the Greek and Roman Revivals never could. American architects including Alexander Jackson Davis responded with large Gothic Revival masterpieces such as Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York, for which he also designed a variety of fanciful furniture.

Gothic arches appeared on English and American cut glass in the mid-1820s, including the cream jugs of an elaborate cut service made by the Wear Flint Glass Company of Sunderland for the Earl of Londonderry. By 1829 the New England Glass Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts sold mold blown decanters and pitchers in a pattern that it referred to as "Gothic Arch."

However, the most elaborate Gothic Revival designs appeared in American lacy pressed glass of the 1830s in pieces such as this compote and a variety of dishes, sugar bowls, creamers and covered bowls.