Museum Publications

You are here

Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 45

Articles in this volume include glass vessels found in the Theban tomb of Nesikhons, texts and translations of seven Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin documents that refer to glass made at Tyre between A.D. 985 and the early 13th century, an exploration of an unusual 18th-century American lead glass decanter engraved with Masonic symbols, and a discussion of the lampworking table used by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka to create their extraordinary lampworked figures.

Table of Contents and Abstracts

Glass Vessels from the Burial of NesikhonsBirgit Schlick-Nolte and Rainer Werthmannp. 11

The latest securely-dated glass vessels from Pharaonic Egypt belonged to Nesikhons, wife of the high priest Pinodjem II. She was buried April 9, 974 B.C., in a dry rock-cut tomb in western Thebes (Theban Tomb 320, first royal cache), together with a set of extraordinary glass beakers. Many of them are not core-formed, but were apparently made around a gypsum mold that could be removed without leaving traces. Since the beakers left the dry atmosphere of the tomb, efflorescent crystals are forming and cover the glass.

Samples of four of the beakers were analyzed by SEM and EDS, and compared with glass from Timna. The beakers are low in potassium and magnesium, so they were most likely made from sand and mineral soda, unlike New Kingdom glasses. The low alkaline earth contents make the Nesikhons glass especially susceptible to attack by moisture, accounting for their extensive weathering. Copper and carbon amber were found as dissolved colorants, along with lead antimonate and sodium antimonate as pigments.

A Glass Pendant in the Shape of Harpokrates from Yavneh-Yam, IsraelMoshe Fischer and Ruth E. Jackson-Talp. 35

A glass pendant in the form of Harpokrates, son of the Egyptian goddess Isis, was found at Yavneh-Yam, Israel. The pendant (H. 2.75 cm) was made of translucent deep blue glass in a two-piece mold that left vertical seam marks along the length of the figure. It belongs to a well-known group of pendants defined as molded “full figure in the round,” a subtype of pendants “in the round.” These pendants are widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean and other areas, but most of them do not come from secured excavated contexts. Since the Yavneh-Yam pendant was found in a well-defined archaeological context (end of the second century B.C.E.), it could hint at the existence of a domestic cult dedicated to Harpokrates (implicitly Isis) during the Seleucid occupation of the site. Furthermore, it enables us to state that the group of molded “full figure in the round” pendants originated in the late second century B.C.E., earlier than has been suggested.

Glass and Faience Vessels from Sarmatian Graves of UkraineAlexander V. Simonenkop. 41

Imported glass vessels were in use throughout the time that Sarmatians inhabited the northern Pontic region. During the Early Sarmatian period (second and first centuries B.C.), these vessels were few. The only example that has been recovered is an Achaemenian calyx from Semionovka.

Many finds from the Middle Sarmatian period (first to mid-second centuries A.D.) have been recorded. They include a millefiori bowl and faceted beaker (Isings form 21), a kantharos (Isings 39), faience and glass dishes, a flagon (Isings 14), a balsamarium (Isings 6), and a jug (Isings 52c).

Cups (Isings 44 and 96b1), a balsamarium (Isings 82b2), and some other vessels of Late Sarmatian date (second half of the second century to mid-third century) have been found. Graves containing cups and dishes (Isings 45, 47, and 106d, and Eggers 212 and 213) are dated to the final phase of the Late Sarmatian period (second half of the third century to fourth century).

Glass in Tunisia: The Contribution of Recent Franco-Tunisian Excavations (In French)Danièle Foyp. 59

Franco-Tunisian teams have excavated four late Hellenistic to early Islamic archeological sites in northern Tunisia during the last 15 years: Roman villae in Carthage, salt fish factories and villae in Neapolis (Nabeul), Christian basilicas in Sidi Jdidi, and a necropolis in Pupput. All of these sites yielded glass objects dating to these periods. This article reviews the various shapes found there. Some of them are imports from the East, while others seem to have originated in Western workshops. Secondary workshops in Africa, dating from the Byzantine and early Islamic periods, have been identified through typological studies of vessels and lamp glass. Chemical analyses have permitted scholars to connect the main productions to compositional groups that have already been identified outside Tunisia. The remains of an undated tank furnace discovered in Carthage suggest the existence of a primary glass furnace.

A Bowl Engraved with Abraham’s Sacrifice from Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais (France) (In French)Hélène Chewp. 91

A well-known engraved glass bowl from the Wint Hill group outlined by D. B. Harden was recently purchased by the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. The Christian subject of the decoration (Abraham and Isaac) and the archaeological context in which the bowl was discovered in the 19th century are analyzed. Based on this analysis, the question of where this entire group of fourth-century glasses was produced is raised once more.

A “Souvenir” from Baiae in Asturica Augusta (Roman Province of Hispania Tarraconensis) (In Spanish)María Teresa Amaré Tafalla, María Esperanza Ortiz Palomar, and Juan Ángel Paz Peraltap. 105

This article presents two fragments from the wall of an ampulla of Isings type 103. These fragments bear Greek inscriptions on the upper face, along with the words “Baiae,” “Fari,” and “Doli[arium]”. There are also representations of a lighthouse, a building with a porch, and a male figure at a banquet. The fragments, which were found in the Roman city of Asturica Augusta, date from the second half of the fourth century.

Scientific Analyses of Glasses from Late Antique and Early Medieval Archaeological Sites in Northern ItalyMarina Uboldi and Marco Veritàp. 115

Recent finds of glass fragments at archaeological sites in northern Italy have shed new light on the history of Italian glass technology between the fourth and 13th centuries. The fragments were examined by electron probe microanalysis. All of the samples were found to be of soda-lime-silica glass. Secondary and trace elements allowed raw materials to be identified and details of the coloring techniques to be inferred. The transition from glass made by the fusion of natron and silica sand containing lime to a batch of soda plant ashes and pure silica was ascertained. The detection of some minor elements suggests recycling of ancient opaque and colored glass. Iron and manganese were identified as coloring agents for green to yellow hues, and cobalt was used for blue. The evolution from the use of calcium antimonate in the Roman period to tin oxide and calcined lead and tin was also demonstrated for the opaque glasses.

Glassmaking in Medieval Tyre: The Written EvidenceStefano Carboni, Giancarlo Lacerenza, and David Whitehousep. 139

This article presents the texts and translations of seven Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin documents that refer to glass made at Tyre between A.D. 985 and the early 13th century. The documents indicate that Tyre was a source of cut (presumably linear-cut) glass in the late 10th century, and that, in the early 11th century, Tyrian glassmakers exported large quantities of glass (presumably raw glass) to Fustat in Egypt. The later sources, which date from the period of Crusader occupation of the Levant, show that Tyre continued to produce high-quality glass (again, presumably raw glass) that was valued internationally. Given the prominence of Venetians in 12th- and 13th-century Tyre, it is tempting to assume that the glassmakers of Tyre exercised an influence on the glassmakers of Venice.

The John Troup Decanter: Saluting Freemasonry in 18th-Century AmericaJ. Garrison Stradlingp. 151

An unusual lead glass decanter, engraved with Masonic imagery, bears testimony to changes in American society in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. Painstaking research into the development of Masonic organizations in America and the history of glass manufacture leads to the conclusion that this decanter was made in Philadelphia between 1783 and 1788.

The Masonic symbols include the earliest known representation of a Royal Arch on American glass. They also identify Lodge 40 of the Ancient York Masons in Charleston, South Carolina, and John Troup, the attorney who helped to obtain its warrant from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Because American Masonry was in the process of establishing its own regional identities, Lodge 40 joined the Grand Lodge of South Carolina in 1788, having held its number for only five years.

The Blaschkas’ Lampworking TablesSusan M. Rossi-Wilcox, Henri Reiling, and Philip Bisagap. 167

The lampworkers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, father and son, are best known for their scientific models, especially the glass flowers collection at Harvard University. When the family, originally from Bohemia, moved to Dresden in the 1860s, Leopold took his lampworking techniques, table, and tools with him. In 1876, when his son officially joined him in the business, Leopold sought a lampworking table to duplicate his own. The workbench was commissioned from an organ builder named Prediger from Albrechtsdorf (now Albrechtice, Czech Republic). This article discusses the commission, Bohemian-style tables, and the internal workings of the air system from the treadle-driven bellows to the air ports.

Notesp. 179

A Mold-Blown Bottle from the Workshop of Titianus Hyacinthus
Recently Discovered Cage Cup Fragments from Aqaba
The Possible Early Use of Chromium as a Glass Colorant
Antwort auf Fragen von Rosemarie Lierke
Gift of Art Glass Presented to Corning Museum
Carnegie Museum Receives Gift of Contemporary Glass
Rakow Grant Will Support Studies of Glass Conservation, Recipe Book
Preston Singletary Receives Rakow Commission
Paul Jokelson (1905–2002)
Frides Laméris (1921–2003)
Roy Newton (1912–2003)
George D. Scott (1946–2001)
Ernesto Wolf (d. 2003)

Contributorsp. 177
Recent Important Acquisitionsp. 203
Note to Authors and Readersp. 233
Museum Publicationsp. 271
Abstractsp. 279

283 pages
Corning Museum of Glass
Publication Year: 

Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 45