The Victorian Cameo Glass Pieces of Thomas Webb & Sons

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass pic

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass
Image: halimmuseum.com

Cameel Halim is an experienced Evanston, Illinois, real estate investment entrepreneur who has been collecting rare timepieces and objet d’art for decades. In 2016, Cameel Halim’s long-held dream of opening a museum featuring his extensive collection is coming to fruition with the Halim Family Museum of Time & Glass. Among the featured pieces at the soon-to-open institution is a Thomas Webb & Sons cameo glass jar from the late 19th century.

One of the most well-established Victorian glasshouses, Thomas Webb & Sons maintained a location in Stourbridge, England. At the studio, the brothers Thomas and George Woodall were particularly known for their production of classically inspired cameo glass. This style of glass came to popularity in the early 19th century, as craftsmen tried to replicate a dark blue color specific to an ancient vase unearthed in a Roman sarcophagus.

It took until the 1870s until a comparable modern cameo glassmaking technique was perfected that incorporated advanced techniques such as acid etching. Today, Thomas Webb cameo glass pieces are highly sought after and known for their rich, vibrant blues, reds, and yellows.

The Sought-After Tourbillon Mechanism Timepiece

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass pic

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass
Image: halimmuseum.com

Cameel Halim guides CH Ventures, LLC, and undertakes commercial real estate investments spanning Wisconsin and Illinois. For many years, Cameel Halim has collected mechanical devices such as clocks and watches and has overseen the creation of the soon-to-open Evanston institution Halim Family Museum of Time & Glass.

One of the most sought-after timepiece types is the tourbillon, which was invented by Abraham Breguet in the late 17th century and patented in 1801. With tourbillon meaning “whirlwind” in French, the mechanism features a balance wheel that spins on itself in an oscillating manner, similar to a revolving pendulum. There are single axis and multiple axis tourbillons, with the mechanism placed in a “cage” that nestles within the watch face.

The practical purpose of the tourbillon is to counteract gravity’s effects and provide accurate timekeeping. In today’s watch market, in which the chronometer has surpassed the tourbillon for accuracy, this purpose has given way to the prestige of ownership. The extremely delicate and expensive nature of the mechanism means that contemporary tourbillon watches such as the Zenith Defy Xtreme Zero G Multi-Dimensional Tourbillon Watch retail for half a million dollars.

Antique Clock Museum Opens in Illinois

 

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass pic

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass
Image: halimmuseum.com

The president of CH Ventures, LLC, Cameel Halim owns and manages real estate properties all over the Chicago area. A licensed structural engineer, Cameel Halim is an antique clock enthusiast.

Nearly a decade in the making, the Halim Museum of Time & Glass at 1560 Oak Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, was recently opened by Mr. Halim. The museum exhibits some of the oldest timepieces in the world, including a 17th-century elephant clock displaying a man tied to a tree that is circled by a leopard and lion every hour, a precision longcase clock that was used at the Princeton College observatory from 1817 to 1867, and a case clock that was used by the 10th Japanese shogun from 1760 to 1786.

Also on display is an early 20th-century English skeleton clock encased in a broken glass dome that has been glued together. The dome was shattered when Germans bombed London during World War II. Another timepiece on display is an ancient table clock that keeps time with a marble zigzagging along a track every 30 seconds.