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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1928

  • Work on this object began.

2015

2017

2019

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Ruba Rombic Toilet Bottle And Stopper, ca. 1928

This is a Toilet bottle and stopper. It is dated ca. 1928. Its medium is molded glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Ruba Rombic line of glassware designed by Reuben Haley for the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company in 1928, and patented in that year, consisted of over forty forms, from decanters, vases and candlesticks to drinking glasses and plates, all available in a variety of colors. The range became the company's most popular design and moved the firm's work away from historical and traditional designs towards modernism. Ruba Rombic was probably inspired by cubist art Haley saw in Paris at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. One period advertisement called the design the "famous Ruba Rombic...an epic in modern art." The design was so popular that even when the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company temporarily shuttered its factory, the firm sent the molds to the Phoenix Glass Company where limited production occurred between 1933 and 1936.
This toilet bottle, vase, bowl, and display sign form a strong group of the line’s offerings. Seen together, one can observe how the jagged lines of the irregular forms carry across the group. The illumnated glass sign, an extremely rare survival, shows how the wares were advertised to the public. The sign importantly speaks to the role of effective advertising in the marketing of such an expressive and markedly different aesthetic. This sign may have shown in one of many department stores around the country that sold the line at affordable prices for middle-class consumers during the Great Depression. On the sign the faceted nature of the vases has even infiltrated the font displaying the pattern name.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

  • Fractal.MGX Table, 2009
  • stereolithography-formed and pigment-infused epoxy resin with polyurethane....
  • Gift of George Azar.
  • 2016-22-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 19.7 × 11 × 8 cm (7 3/4 × 4 5/16 × 3 1/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Ruba Rombic Toilet Bottle And Stopper, ca. 1928; molded glass; H x W x D: 19.7 × 11 × 8 cm (7 3/4 × 4 5/16 × 3 1/8 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-21-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/404536633/ |title=Ruba Rombic Toilet Bottle And Stopper, ca. 1928 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>