Visiting the Crystal and Glass Museum was a last minute decision on our final day in Malaga and all things considered it was one of the most interesting, perhaps even quirky, venues in the city.
The collection of 3000 pieces is privately owned and housed in a personal residence. As is typical in Spain the home includes a centre courtyard. This one is slightly different from most as it has been enclosed by a glass pyramid roof to keep out the rain and allow dinner parties regardless of the weather. (They were setting up for one that evening.)
These three perfume bottles are the oldest in the collection, dating back about 3000 years. They began as a clay model that was then dipped into molten glass and then the clay chipped away. This was the process before glass blowing began.
Later, the Romans took up the craft and blown glass items became the norm for household use.
All of these items are small, measuring between six and eight inches tall.
The tour is designed to travel from one room to another with the glass and crystal featured in each room matching the age of the furnishings.
The portrait of the man (above, right) and the woman (below, right) are the great+++ grandparents of one of the three current owners and date from the 1600s.
In the next room is a display cabinet with the original two pieces of glass our guide ever purchased.
His enthusiasm for the subject was contagious and he pointed out these two pieces with pride. His love and appreciation for literally all things glass and crystal made the tour very special.
The first two pieces of his collection are on the right and left below. The third piece in the middle, is a more expensive goblet due to the blue lines within the stem, and was added to his collection much later. Also, he explained these glasses were used in wealthy homes to drink ale, not wine.
Yet another curio cabinet with more glassware.
Moving ahead in time to a collection of Spanish glass. Sadly, Spain did not fair as well as other nation's in the production of glass, but some pieces were made during the reign of King Carlos III.
Moving ahead to the 19th and 20th century room with its lavish furnishings that John enjoyed as much as, if not more than, the glass exhibit. (Once a furniture maker, ALWAYS a furniture maker, but really who can blame him? I could have easily sunk into that sofa to savour the moment.)
Along with the luxuries of this time period came coloured and etched glass.
Delft china in the dining room.
Another spectacular sofa.
A lovely portrait of the English grandmother of one of the owners alongside a not so comfortable sofa.
My favourite room by far, however, contained a William Morris stained glass window (Jesus is wearing one of his custom designed fabrics!) and on the opposite wall a stained glass window of Notre Dame. Both were discovered through private channels and are beautiful examples of what almost ended up discarded and/or destroyed through lack of interest and appreciation.
After more than an hour we headed back down stairs.
Nestled against a wall inside the courtyard is an exhibit of modern 20th and 21st century glass.
We could have chatted with the tour guide for hours and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Crystal and Glass Museum. It is well worth a visit while in Malaga.
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