Eye Pendant

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Object Name: 
Eye Pendant
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall Diam (max): 1 cm, Th: 0.7 cm
Not on Display
1300-1100 BCE
Web Description: 
During the New Kingdom period (1550–1070 B.C.), glassmaking was refined, resulting in a production of numerous vessels and beads that equaled the high quality of the glass that had been made in Western Asia. Beads were pervasive in Egyptian society, and they were made in all materials. The Egyptians used beads in many contexts, but especially in burials, as part of the adornment of the deceased, and also as a form of protection. Opaque brightly colored glass imitated the stones that the Egyptians often employed in decorative arts. The use of the eye as a motif developed early in Western society as protection against the “evil eye,” which was thought to be cast upon a person by someone who was envious, causing spiritual and physical harm. Wearing the form of an eye was believed to be apotropaic. This pendant is one of the most basic but clearly understood versions of an eye bead, since its entire form is that of an eye. It was made with techniques that were highly developed by Egyptian glassmakers. The loop and the horizontal perforation afforded multiple stringing possibilities, and the bead could be used in concert with other objects. Eye beads persist today, and diverse examples can be found throughout history and within many cultures.
Kouchakji, Fahim (b. Syria, 1886-1976), Source
Primary Description: 
Eye Pendant. Translucent greenish-blue, translucent medium blue, translucent green, translucent greenish-grey, opaque white, and opaque yellow glass, all bubbly with some stone, dull surfaces, some unweathered; formed on a rod, trail-decorated, tooled. Flat disc-shaped bead of yellow glass with a suspension loop also horizontally pierced, one face retains an eye motif, a yellow-brown dot in a white matrix all in a larger yellow-brown field.
Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass
Corning Museum of Glass 2022-05-15 through 2023-01-08
Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass is an exhibition of glass objects with rich stories presented in ways that allow visitors to share their perspectives on what they are seeing as they tour the exhibition. The exhibition explores how objects can reveal stories about people across time and place, providing connections to the past, meaning in the present, and even ways to consider the future. More than 10 distinct vignettes will investigate how the Museum can broaden voices and narrative in our galleries. Generally, labels that accompany objects in museum galleries are written by museum curators and educators—and often focus on just one of an almost infinite number of possible stories and meanings. In this exhibition, objects—either alone or as a group—and their stories provide an entry point for further conversation.  Exhibition visitors will be introduced to the idea that the stories objects tell are always evolving. In fact, it is happening around them in the exhibition space. Visitors will be able to share their thoughts and add their ideas to the exhibition.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Tracing Eye Beads Through Time (2013-03) illustrated, p. 24, fig. 2, upper left; BIB# AI92488
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 10, no. 2; BIB# 134720
Beads: 3,500 Years of Glass Beads (2013) illustrated, p. 8 (fig 2, bottom left); BIB# AI93926
Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (1979) illustrated, p. 81, #136; BIB# 29547