Something as simple and everyday as a wine bottle can become an object of desire if it is created by craftsmen who spend centuries perfecting their technique. This is the case with our “frasca” (a four-sided transparent glass bottle for holding wine), which was inspired by the Dish with the story of Hermaphrodite and cameos of the Twelve Caesars – a piece from the “Tesoro del Delfín” (The Dauphin’s Treasure) collection. The work was achieved drawing on the wisdom and artisanal magic of the Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja (Royal Factory of Glass and Crystal of La Granja).
(Glass “frasca”. Tienda Prado)
Since the opening of this factory at the end of the 18th century, products have emerged from its furnaces that instil the admiration of those who get the opportunity to hold them in their hands and contemplate them. The factory originally came into existence in order to supply the Spanish palaces so that they could avoid having to resort to importation. It continues to pay attention to the detail in its products and maintain the traditional manufacturing techniques, exemplified in this piece, which was mouth-blown in a fixed single-piece mould and manually carved by the maestros at the Real Fábrica.
(Glass “frasca”. Tienda Prado)
This prompts us to recall one of the most beautiful and surprising treasures guarded within the walls of the Museo del Prado. The Dauphin’s Treasure, which for many is still undiscovered, ranks among the most exceptional decorative art collections in the world. In it, we can discover the complicated art of rock crystal, a mineral so fragile and with such extreme transparency and beauty that it transforms these pieces into true sculptures. A completely “transparent art”, as it was defined in the “Rock Crystal Carving in Renaissance Milan” exhibition that we programmed in the last quarter of 2015 with the curatorship of Letizia Arbeteta and the scientific coordination of Leticia Azcue Brea.
(Dish with the story of Hermaphrodite and cameos of the Twelve Caesars. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado)
Our frasca, is obviously not attempting to emulate those sculptural works with an economic value exceeding that of paintings by Tiziano or El Bosco (the will of Philip II bears witness to this) and in the elaboration of which were employed experimental technical secrets gathered from minds as exceptional as that of Leonardo da Vinci. However, those works have inspired us to create this exclusive object, thanks to the collaboration of the Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja.
Next, you can see a moment in the process of carving the frasca in the Real Fábrica. In the creation of all of its pieces, this factory scrupulously maintains the same manufacturing processes as were used in the 18th century.
The trees that embellish our bottle are taken from the motifs on the Dish with the story of Hermaphrodite and cameos of the Twelve Caesars, which is part of The Dauphin’s Treasure. With curiosity, historians have pointed out the originality of this theme, the history of Hermaphrodite, which is not common in these works of art – something that suggests an assignment from a particular client. Together with the great work of the Fábrica de La Granja, we wanted to pay our particular homage to these extraordinary and wonderful pieces with a piece intended for those who know how to appreciate and enjoy unique objects.
(Dish with the story of Hermaphrodite and cameos of the Twelve Caesars, detail. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado)