Statuette of Venus

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Object Name: 
Statuette of Venus
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 9.4 cm, W: 4.5 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
This statuette of Venus is a rare example of Roman miniature sculpture in glass. It was probably cast by the “lost wax” technique, a method first used for casting metal. The object was modeled in wax, encased in clay or plaster, and heated. The wax melted and was released through vents that had been attached to the object before it was encased. The clay or plaster dried and became a mold into which molten or powdered glass was introduced through the vents. If powdered glass was used, the mold was heated to fuse the contents. After cooling, the object was removed from the mold, annealed, and finished by cutting. The statuette is a version of the Aphrodite of Knidos, a Greek life-size marble sculpture of the third century B.C., which was frequently copied by Roman artists. The flesh-like color of the surface is a happy accident - the result of weathering. When it was new, the object was yellowish green.
Smith, Ray Winfield (American, 1897-1982), Source
Primary Description: 
Translucent pale yellowish-green glass with bubbles; cast, details wheel-cut. Figurine of naked female; three-dimensional figurine; in stumps below shoulders, circular holes to attach arms; traces of wheel-cutting at armpits and on abdomen.
Glass of the Caesars
British Museum 1987-11-18 through 1988-03-06
Romisch-Germanisches Museum 1988-04-15 through 1988-10-18
Musei Capitolini 1988-11-03 through 1989-01-31
Corning Museum of Glass
Glass from the Ancient World
Corning Museum of Glass 1957-06-04 through 1957-09-15
Ancient Art in American Private Collections
Fogg Art Museum 1954
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
Antikes Glas aus der Sammlung Ray Winfield Smith
Museum Dahlem 1951-09 through 1951-11
Zhongguo gu dai bo li qi min = Chinese ancient glass (2018) illustrated, p. 90 (fig. 3-32);
Shaping Colour Density, Light and Form in solid Glass Sculpture (2012) illustrated, p. 51, fig. 13; BIB# 131009
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) illustrated, p. 600, bottom, right; BIB# 61154
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) illustrated, p. 600, bottom, right; BIB# 61154
Glass, Knocking at the Door of Art (2010) illustrated, p. 325; BIB# 115616
Jurors' Choice (2010) illustrated, p. 76; BIB# AI79770
1950'den gunumuze cam heykel sanati (2007) illustrated, p. 8, #8; BIB# 120378
Conservation and Care of Glass Objects (2006) illustrated, cover, p. 17; BIB# 96019
Akantas (2004) illustrated, p. 69;
Antikes Glas (Handbuch der Archaologie) (2004) illustrated, p. 198 (Taf. 198); BIB# 83444
Glass: an artist's medium (1998) illustrated, p. 10 (upper right); BIB# 60085
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume One (1997) p. 29, #26; p. 326, #26; BIB# 58895
Conservation of Glass (1989) p. 158, fig. 4.17; BIB# 24726
Glass Of The Roman Empire (1988) illustrated, pp. 20-21, fig. 6; pp. 6, 9; BIB# 32608
Glass of the Caesars (1987) illustrated, p. 29, #7; BIB# 31831
History Revealed in Ancient Glass (1964-09) illustrated, p. 348; BIB# AI46886
Title Unknown (Glaswelt) (1958-06-11) pp. 10-11;
Rolf E. Rehfeld. 10 Jahre Glasgetsaltung (1957-06) pp. 10-11;
Verrerie Antique (1954-09) p. 14; BIB# AI1120
Catalogue des Verres Antiques de la Collection Ray Winfield Smith (1954) illustrated, p. 15, #32, col. pl. III; BIB# 28196
Antikes Glas aus der Sammlung Ray Winfield Smith (Museum Dahlem) (1951) illustrated, t.p., p. 5 (#7); BIB# 31796