Blaschka sea sculptures at Tring

21 July 2008

Striking squid, anemones and jellyfish crafted in glass are the focus of Blaschkas' Sculptures from the Sea exhibition, opening today at the Natural History Museum at Tring

The models were made by the Blaschka family in the 19th century and this is the first time in decades that some of them will be seen on display.

Scientific accuracy
Portuguese man-of-war Blaschka glass model

Portuguese man-of-war Blaschka glass model

The Blaschka glass models still amaze scientists with their accuracy. They were originally used as teaching aids and were also on public display.

Pollution damage, metal corrosion and salt migration over the past 100 years, however, have made them very fragile.

Model conservation

Museum conservators have spent 3 years carefully conserving the models and they are now stable enough to be transported to Tring to be exhibited.

'It's a real privilege to be able to display these marvellous models,' says Paul Kitching, Museum Manager at the Natural History Museum at Tring.

Common octopus Blaschka glass model

Common octopus Blaschka glass model

'With their striking colours and spectacular forms, we hope our visitors will be inspired by these delicate glass creations, which combine scientific accuracy with artistic flair.'

Specialist techniques

The spectacular creations were made by a father and son team but the specialist techniques were lost when the Blaschkas died.

Blaschkas' Sculptures from the Sea opens at the Natural History Museum at Tring from 21 July to 30 September 2008.

There will be a series of children's activities to accompany the exhibition throughout the summer including Brilliant Blaschka Bookmarks, Clothes Peg Creatures and Fantastic Filtering Fanworms.