Mosaic Glass Demi Parure

Object Name: 
Mosaic Glass Demi Parure

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Object Name: 
Mosaic Glass Demi Parure
Accession Number: 
See Individual Records
Not on Display
about 1850-1899
Web Description: 
This demi-parure is composed of Hellenistic and Roman mosaic glass fragments secured in open-backed cusped settings and framed in twisted wirework. The matching suite consists of a necklace, two earrings, and two lace pins which were either used to confine a length of lace at the neckline or throat, or used to attach drapery at the shoulder. Italian archeological discoveries of the mid-nineteenth century often included glass, metal and jewelry. The growing interest in these newly discovered artifacts inspired the forms, ornamentation, techniques, and materials used by Italian jewelry designers of the period. Ancient jewelry and archeological-style jewelry became popular with increasingly affluent tourists, and pieces set with micro-mosaics, pietre dure panels, and shell cameos were typical souvenir jewelry. Additionally, large collections of fragmentary ancient glass, including Roman and Hellenistic mosaic glass, were formed during these archaeological excavations. Fragments were often re-polished and wrapped in cardboard mounts with gilded edges to be displayed as precious gems and cameos, set into smaller objects like paperweights, inset into furniture inlays, or, as demonstrated by this demi-parure, reused in jewelry design. Archaeological revival style jewelry was part of the Victorian infatuation with archaeological discoveries, the classical past, and of course, contemporary fashion trends. This demi-parure, for example, would have not only been a beautiful addition to one’s jewelry collection, but would have indicated the wearer’s good taste, in addition to her familiarity with classical antiquity.
Wartski, Source
Cheffins Auctioneers, Former Collection
Primary Description: 
Mosaic Glass Demi-parure. Demi-parure composed of a necklace, two lace pins, and a pair of earrings; constructed of 44 separate Hellenistic or Roman mosaic glass fragments secured in open-backed cusped settings, framed in twisted wirework. Testing confirms that the mounts are a gilded base metal. The open back setting allows light to pass through the glass, as far as the color will allow. The demi-parure is contained in its original red leather box lined with pale green velvet and a plain satin lid.
Acquisitions (2016) illustrated, p. 14 #8; BIB# AI101418
Corning Museum Adds Major Works of Glass, Library Collections (2016) illustrated, p. 316 (#8, top right); BIB# AI102876
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2015 (2015) illustrated, p. 22; BIB# 706294
The Fine Art Sale (2011-11-23) Lot 293;