In the autumn of 1927 Gustaf Tenggren received a commission for an advertisement, depicting the Fenician's discovering the secret of glass-making. Situated in Newark, Ohio, Heisey's glassware was a well established producer of pressed household glass. From originally producing clear glass, in the mid 1920ies the company started to introduce brightly colored glass. Heisey's was the first glass company to use magazine advertising as an essential marketing tool.
In his income ledger Gustaf Tenggren has noted the steps through the delivery process quite detailed, making it possible to follow the complete order from the intermediating company, J Horace Lytle's Ad Agency in Dayton, Ohio.
|December 1927: Original B-W watercolor for the ad "The Fenicians discovering glass". |
The first ad, in B-W only, was published in Saturday Evening Post in December 1927. It seems to have been very well received, as it were followed by four more in full color during 1928 and a final one in early 1929. Each of the following illustrations were executed as oil paintings and paid with $800 each, whereas the first B-W ad was $500.
|January 1928: Marietta Beroviero reveals her father's craft secrets of|
making colored glass to her lover, thus breaking the monopoly.
The row of paintings form a colorful panorama, illustrating some of the highlights in the history of glass. It gave Tenggren another opportunity to excel in historic clothing and consolidated his reputation as one of the more important commercial artists at the time.
|May 1928: A Fenician artisan 2000 years ago amazes the Emperor by blowing glass.|
|July 1928: The Roman noblewoman receives a rare and precious gift, a glass item.|
|September, 1928: The officers drink to the health of the King, James II, |
in a yard long glasses made out of the newly discovered flint glass.
|January 1929: Petronius, sentenced to death by Nero, lifts a vase |
of poisoned drink, determined to end his life in gaiety.