Models were a key component of an itinerant glassworker’s show. Large or small, complex or simple, these lampworked objects enticed passerby to pay admission to the exhibition. They demonstrated what could be made with glass, from functional bottles and vases, to recreations of notable monuments and ships, to the most delicate, spiderweb-thin strands of spun glass.
Itinerant glassworkers offered small objects as gifts for attendees; others made them available for purchase. Cases of glass were awarded to the most beautiful baby in town or the best dancer. Large models, including the famous working glass steam engines of the 19th century, dazzled crowds with their size and intricacy. These were the showstoppers of a glassworker’s exhibition; they could elevate a simple demonstration into a sought-after spectacle.