Bottle with Birds

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Object Name: 
Bottle with Birds
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 7.7 cm, Diam (max): 3.8 cm
On Display
Primary Description: 
Brownish green, transparent; mold-blown. Bottle with six sides. Rim folded out, up, and in; neck cylindrical; shoulder slopes; wall vertical, tapering at bottom; base flat; no pontil mark. Shoulder and wall decorated in prominent relief. On shoulder, frieze of six rounded arches resting on continuous horizontal rib at junction with wall. On vertical part of wall, six rectangular panels, each filling one side of vessel and separated from adjoining sides by single vertical post which terminates at horizontal rib and supports arches on shoulder. Each panel has, at top, triangular pediment framed by posts and horizontal rib, and, below this, one bird that is either perched or in flight (from left to right): (1) bird with long, bent neck and spoon-shaped bill facing to right, perched on object with narrow base and three bulbous lobes; (2) bird or butterfly with wings extended upward, flying to right and apparently departing from rock or similar object; (3) small bird facing to left, perched on unidentified object and touching edge of panel with beak; (4) large bird with long neck facing to right, perched on bulbous object; (5) bird, apparently raptor, with outspread wings, flying to left above unidentified object; (6) bird with wings extended upward, perched on right side of nest and facing left to feed young bird reaching up in left side of nest. On bottom of wall, frieze of 26 upturned tongues. Mold seams extend from above mid-point of neck, down wall between panels 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, and meet under base, off-center.
Smith, Ray Winfield (American, 1897-1982), Source
Metropolitan Museum of Art 2014-12-09 through 2015-04-13
Corning Museum of Glass 2015-05-16 through 2016-01-04
At the end of the first century B.C., glassmakers working in the environs of Jerusalem made a revolutionary breakthrough in the way glass was made. They discovered that glass could be inflated at the end of a hollow tube. This technical achievement—glassblowing—made the production of glass vessels much quicker and easier, and allowed glassmakers to develop new shapes and decorative techniques. One technique, inflating glass in molds carved with decorative and figural designs, was used to create multiple examples of a variety of vessel shapes with high-relief patterns. The molds used to shape this ancient glass were complex in their design, and the mold-blown glass vessels of ancient Rome tell a wealth of stories about the ancient world, from gladiators to perfume vessels, from portraits of a Roman empress to oil containers marked with the image of Mercury, Roman god of trade. Among the earliest workshops to design and create mold-blown glass was one in which a man named Ennion worked. Ennion was the first glassmaker to sign his glass objects by incorporating his name into the inscriptions that formed part of the mold’s design, and thus he stands among a small group of glass workers whose names have come down to us from antiquity. On view through January, 4, 2016, Ennion and His Legacy, is composed of mold-blown master works by Ennion and other Roman glassmakers. The works are drawn from the Corning Museum’s collection of Roman glass, one of the finest in the world. Within the larger exhibit is a smaller exhibit organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ennion: Master of Roman Glass, which focuses specifically on works made by Ennion. Composed of loans from a number of international institutions and private collections this exhibit within an exhibit brings together many of the known examples of Ennion’s wares and will be on view through October 19, 2015.
Glass from the Ancient World
Corning Museum of Glass 1957-06-04 through 1957-09-15
Verres Antiques de la Collection R.W. Smith
Musee de Mariemont 1954 through 1954
Antikes Glas aus der Sammlung Ray Winfield Smith: Kurpfalzischen Museum Heidelberg
Kurpfalzischen Museum 1952-11 through 1953
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Two (2001) illustrated, pp. 41-42, pl. 511; BIB# 58895
Ancient Glassmaking Techniques: The Blowing Process (1959) pp. 116-122, ill. p. 122;