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International Decorative Art

Ruba Rombic Decanter (No. 824)

Ruba Rombic Decanter (No. 824)

Design Date
1928–1932

Designer
Reuben Haley (1872–1933, American)

Manufacturer
Consolidated Lamp & Glass Company (1894–1933, 1936–1967), Coraopolis, PA

Media
glass

Dimensions
9 x 7 3/8 x 3 3/4 inches

In creating his line of Ruba Rombic glass for the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company, Reuben Haley was inspired by the geometry of Cubism—and the Art Deco style it influenced—to create nearly 40 angular vessels that incorporated jutting trapezoids and triangles. The name Ruba Rombic was derived from two words: the Persian poetry form called ruba’i, in which the lines of poetry are written diagonally rather than left-to-right; and the word “rhombic”, which denotes an irregular geometric form with no right angles or parallel lines. In Consolidated’s ad for Ruba Rombic, they confronted consumers’ traditional idea of glassware: “When you come to think of it, there is no real reason why a vase should be spherical instead of angular, is there? Or a goblet rounded instead of cornered?” Though the Ruba Rombic pieces are hard-edged and aggressively modern, Consolidated produced the line in warm, naturalistic colors, like the smoky topaz of this decanter. When the Ruba Rombic line debuted at a Pittsburgh glass fair in 1928, a trade journal called it “the craziest thing ever brought out in glassware …. The first reaction … is all but shock, yet the more pieces are studied, the more they appeal and there comes a realization that with all their distorted appearance they have a balance that is perfect and are true specimens of cubist art.”

Not currently on view

Markings
unmarked

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
2006.0805

Other Art Deco works