Millefiori Plate

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Object Name: 
Millefiori Plate
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 2.2 cm, Diam (max): 16.8 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Barbara Olsen in memory of Fellow, John K. Olsen
Web Description: 
Millefiori glass is formed from a number of slices of glass cane in a variety of colors which are arranged in a design and then fired so that they will soften slightly and fuse together. It is a technique originally developed in Mesopotamia and was later used extensively by the Greeks and Romans during the first century B.C, and into the first century A.D. The canes are made of several colors fused together and then drawn out before annealing and then slicing into sections. It is particularly critical to have glass formulas for the various colors that have the same coefficient of expansion so that as they cool they will stay together and not shrink and develop cracks as they are annealed. Between about 1909 and 1925, the Steuben glass company made relatively few pieces in this technique, and most of them are bowls or plates like this one since these shapes show the design well. All of this work must be done by hand, and it takes a considerable amount of skill to create such a piece. Most Steuben millefiori pieces were made by a craftsman named “Johnny” Jansen, who Carder regarded as one of the best glassmakers ever to work at Steuben. Jansen was hired in 1905 or 1906, and worked there until the 1930’s, on a wide variety of shapes and techniques. Carder must have been fascinated by this technique, since he made some millefiori pieces himself in the late 1950’s.
Olsen, Barbara H. (Mrs. John K.) (1923-2016), Source
A-G #166
on bottom
Primary Description: 
Multicolored millefiori canes assembled in a colorless matrix surrounded by a band of purple glass. Canes are assembled in a "cross" pattern with blue and white canes forming "cross" and outer circle, and green and amber canes filling other areas. Millefiori canes are fused together to form plate.
Notes: Corning Museum Makes Significant Acqusitions in 2012 (2013) illustrated, p. 261, #26; BIB# AI98180
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2012 (2013) illustrated, pp. 9, 41; BIB# AI94590
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2012 (2013) illustrated, p. 41, #28; BIB# AI95675