Beaker with Lions (Hedwig Beaker)

Object Name: 
Beaker with Lions (Hedwig Beaker)

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Object Name: 
Beaker with Lions (Hedwig Beaker)
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 8.7 cm; Rim Diam: 7.1 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
This is a typical example of a puzzling group of glasses known as Hedwig beakers. They are unlike any other medieval objects of glass or rock crystal from the Islamic world, Byzantium, or western Christendom. These colorless or nearly colorless glasses are decorated in slant-cut relief with a variety of motifs, including lions, eagles, griffins, and the tree of life. The group is named after Saint Hedwig of Silesia (d. 1243), who is traditionally associated with three of the beakers. Most of the complete Hedwig beakers were found in church treasuries, and fragments of six others were uncovered at archeological sites, all in Europe. The earliest datable examples belong to the 12th or early 13th century. Scholars have argued variously that the beakers were made in the medieval Islamic world, Byzantium, and southern Italy. However, there is no decisive evidence in favor of any one of these locations.
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Former Collection
Rose, Frau Generalmajor von, Former Collection
de Rothschild, Miriam Caroline Alexandrine (French?, 1884-1965), Former Collection
Arthur Churchill (Glass) Ltd., Source
Stolle, Former Collection
Rose, Herr Generalmajor von, Former Collection
Duke of Gotha, Former Collection
Primary Description: 
Almost colorless, but with brownish tinge that is often likened to smoky topaz; small bubbles. Blown; slant- and linear-cut. Beaker shaped like truncated cone. Rim plain and rounded; wall is thick and tapering; base is in form of flange with sloping top, vertical side, and four equidistant notches; underside of base is concave and has pontil mark. Decoration consists of single continuous register extending from top to bottom of wall, divided at top into six shallow slant-cut facets, four of which are vertical and relatively large, while two are triangular and small. The register contains two lions in prominent relief and, above their backs, two kite-shaped motifs, also in relief. Each lion occupies two vertical facets, and each kite-shaped motif is contained in one of the triangular facets. Lions are virtually identical; they walk, one in front of the other, from right to left, with bodies in profile and heads full-face. Each lion has right foreleg extended, and its long S-shaped tail is raised. Head has two circular slant-cut eyes, one projecting ear, and snout with simple linear-cut details; left shoulder is also slant-cut; mane, neck, chest, and parts of back, limbs, and tail are covered with triangular and quadrilateral groups of parallel cuts; claws are indicated by short linear cuts; tassel at end of tail is crosshatched. Kite-shaped motifs are also very similar. Each contains slant-cut equilateral triangle with apex touching top of kite and base extending from side to side. Interior of triangle is divided by three linear cuts into pentagon at center and one small triangle at each angle
Corning Museum of Glass
Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Liquid Refreshment: 2000 Years of Drinks and Drinking Glasses
Corning Museum of Glass 1993-04-24 through 1994-12-31
The Art of Glass: Masterpieces from The Corning Museum of Glass
IBM Gallery 1989-12-12 through 1990-02-02
National Gallery of Art 1990-12-09 through 1991-04-14
Decorative and utilitarian works from the Corning Museum of Glass, surveying 35 centuries of glass-making technology and stylistic developments from ancient Egyptian, Roman, Islamic, and Asian cultures to contemporary American and European examples. The works were selected by Corning Museum staff members Dwight P. Lanmon, director and curator of European glass; David B. Whitehouse, curator of ancient and Islamic glass; Jane Shadel Spillman, curator of American glass; and Susanne K. Frantz, curator of 20th-century glass.
Ancient and Islamic Glass: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2019) illustrated, pp. 114-115;
The Decanter: Ancient to Modern (2018) illustrated, p. 69 (fig. 1);
Jurors' Choice (2016) illustrated, p. 90; BIB# AI101515
The Hedwig Glasses: Thoughts on Design, Function, and Origins (2015) illustrated, p. 6 (top left); BIB# AI101076
Favorite Things (2014) illustrated, back cover; BIB# AI98358
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) pp. 439, 683; BIB# 61154
Hedwig Beaker (family) (2011)BIB# 131670
Hedwig Beaker (adult) (2011)BIB# 131671
Firts U.S. Exhibition of Medieval Glass Objects for Daily Use Opens at The Corning Museum of Glass May 15 (2010-5) illustrated
Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes, and Peasants (2010) illustrated, pp. 228-229, #112; BIB# 115588
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume One (2010) illustrated, pp. 333-337, #586; BIB# 113723
Corning Museum of Glass (2009-01) illustrated, p. 22; BIB# 109342
Window, mirror, and prism (2009-01) illustrated, p. 126; BIB# AI77118
Histoire du Verre: Le Moyen Age (2005) illustrated, pp. 72-73; BIB# 86645
Kreuzfahrer (Crusader) (2004) illustrated BIB# 74537
Plastik sanatlarda cam malzemenin uygulanisi (2003) illustrated, p. 21, fig. 2.13; BIB# 120381
From the Executive Director's Desk (2003) illustrated, p. 2; BIB# AI56892
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, pp. 160-161, fig. 96; BIB# 68105
Beauty of Glass (2000) illustrated, p. 116; BIB# 77736
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 100, 249; BIB# 61154
Lobmeyr 1823: Helles Glas un klares Licht (1998) illustrated, p. 196; BIB# 58172
The Survey of Glass in the World (1992) illustrated, (no. 254), p. 127, 298; BIB# 44518
Hikari no shouchu: sekai no garasu = The glass (1992) p. 94, #147; BIB# 58995
Seasons Greetings from Sherry-Lehmann (1990/11) illustrated, p. 36; BIB# 90994
Fran Mesopotamien till medeltid (1990-01) p. 47; BIB# AI25904
Masterpieces of Glass: A World History From The Corning Museum of Glass (1990) illustrated, pp. 74-75, pl. 29; BIB# 33819
A Short History of Glass (1990 edition) (1990) illustrated, p. 41, #34; p. 44; BIB# 33211
The History of Glass (1989 edition) (1989) illustrated, p. 55; BIB# 150278
La Resurrection des Verras Medievaux (1988-10) illustrated, p. 18;
Islamic Art in the United States: The Corning Museum of Glass (1985) p. 70, ill.;
The History of Glass (1984 edition) (1984) illustrated, p. 55; BIB# 22683
Garasu Nyumon (Introduction to Glass) (1983) illustrated, p. 102; BIB# 32417
A Short History of Glass (1980 edition) (1980) illustrated, p. 40; #33; BIB# 21161
Recent Important Acquisitions, 10 (1968) illustrated, p. 184, #24; BIB# AI97755
Die Hedwigsglaser und verwandte fatimidsche Glas- und Kristallschnitt (1912) p. 55;
Schlesische Glaser (1891) pp. 196-197, ill.; BIB# 28569