Tucked inside a museum on the Harvard University campus is a gallery teeming with plants so lifelike in appearance you’d be forgiven for swearing they’re real.
But this foliage is glass — really old glass.
There’s a red maple branch, for instance, that looks plucked from a Vermont tree during the fall peak season. There’s part of a budding cashew tree boasting two rust-colored cashew apples and drooping nutshells, each leaf vein and stem intricate in detail.
These are only two examples of more than 4,300 individual glass models in the collection, which has at least 780 species from the plant kingdom represented. They are affectionately known as the “Glass Flowers,” or formally as the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants.
The detail and the anatomical exactness stuns onlookers like Erin Averill, a 26-year-old from Orange County, California, who was recently perusing the flowers.
“My first thought was that they’d be similar to Dale Chihuly’s work,” she said….
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