Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    Manhattan Project Glass

    Manhattan Project Glass
    Manhattan Project Hanford Site
    Southeastern Washington, USA

    Manhattan Project Glass associated with the Hanford Engineer Works in Washington State, where the Plutonium for the first nuclear bomb tested at the Trinity Site in July 1945 and ultimately the "Fat Boy" atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945, is a unique remnant of history that truly changed the world. Hanford was commissioned by the U.S. Government in 1943 and became the first full-scale Plutonium reactor in the world tasked with transforming Uranium into Plutonium. Given the work being performed at the facility, scientists needed to be protected from the risk of exposure to radiation, so special glass was developed for its windows containing a high concentration of Lead Oxide.

    Following the dismantling of the Manhattan Project, the Seattle-based company that had made the glass was left with remnants of the 'unusual' glass. Such material has become popular for the inherent beauty it displays when cut and polished, although the yellow glass in the raw form is relatively dull and is unattractive. Artist Michael Brokosh has employed his mastery of glass beveling to create this piece which is as much a work of art, as it is a specimen of Manhattan Project Glass. Named the "Rainbow Release" for obvious reasons, the object was designed to capture even the smallest amount of ambient light and, as the light gets brighter, the radiance increases. The material is inherently difficult to work with, making an example like this all the more impressive. This sculpture weighing some 10 pounds (4.6 kilograms) is quite a visual masterpiece. The creation's bevels capture and bend light which is refracted to produce colorful flashes. A mirror has been incorporated into the base and a lens ground through the mirror to allow illumination from beneath the sculpture. Numerous angles and faces of this complex work are apparent and visually striking, to put it mildly. The piece has amazing coloration and an inherent radiant "glow" that is surreal.

    The glass is soft and fragile, so the artist has encapsulated the Manhattan Project Glass crystal relic in a modern, non-leaded, optical glass crystal to ensure the collector a lasting and stable display work of art. Not only does the attribute provide durability to the piece, but it also shields the owner from Lead exposure. The "Rainbow Release" is an amazing one-of-a-kind intersection of American history with artistic vision.
    Measurements: 5.51 x 4.92 x 4.33 x inches (14.00 x 12.50 x 11.00 cm), weighs 4.6 kilograms (10.14 pounds)

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2021
    8th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,193

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 15% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Dec 8, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item