“Basilisk” Drinking Vessel

Object Name: 
“Basilisk” Drinking Vessel

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Object Name: 
“Basilisk” Drinking Vessel
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 9.2 cm, W: 10.8 cm, L: 20.7 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
In ancient mythology, the basilisk (Greek basiliskos, little king) was a small snake credited with the ability to destroy animals and plants by its glance or breath. By the time this object was made, the basilisk was said to be hatched from an egg laid by a rooster.
Henrich, Wilhelm, Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass with greyish tinge; opaque white lattimo glass; blue, opaque white, and opaque red canes; blown, vetro a fili, vetro a retorti, applied. In the form of a two-headed monster; flattened globular body with head at either end; one held high, forming long drawn-out spout in the shape of horse’s head, with ears pincered out from applied strip of glass; the other set low and apparently imitating a bird, with applied pincered “wattles.” Both creatures have eyes made from bead-canes, with concentric circles of opaque-red, opaque-white and translucent dark-blue. Four applied paws, each cut into three claws, one pair facing to each side. Orifice on back, rim reinforced with applied thread, to which is applied a pair of looped handles, with cast-off and pincered bottom ends. Large jagged pontil-mark underneath the “wattle” of the bird’s head. Body and heads are ornamented with horizontal lattimo bands of plain stripes (a fili) alternating with twisted cables of six threads (a retorti). All applications, except for the eyes, are made of colorless glass with random white threads, which in some places, like in one of the paws, amounts to white marbling. Two large bubbles on base of body have broken up and distort the white threading. Red residue from tooling, especially on bird’s beak. Applied glass on orifice covers entire rim, and has sharp edges inside; perhaps the surplus was chipped off after cooling of the glass.
Corning Museum of Glass 2004-05-13 through 2004-10-17
Bottles of the World (Sekai no hei)
Suntory Museum of Art 1977-03 through 1977-05
Tom Moore: Abundant Wonder (2020) illustrated, p. 59;
Sekai no hei (Bottles of the World) (1977) fig. 76; BIB# 32715
Recent Important Acquisitions, 2 (1960) illustrated, p. 141, #17; BIB# AI97738