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Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 61

The Journal of Glass Studies is an annual publication of The Corning Museum of Glass that contains articles and notes of a scholarly nature on the art, history, and technology of glass, dating from ancient times up to the mid-20th century. The complete contents as well as the abstracts of each article that are published within this volume are below.

Table of Contents and Abstracts

The Representation of the Snake in Ancient Artistic Glass Production: New Testimonies and Some Considerations (La rappresentazione del serpente nella produzione artistica antica in vetro: Nuove testimonianze e qualche considerazione) (In Italian) Giuliana Calcanip. 11

Few of the world’s museums can boast intact examples or fragments of glass snakes. All of them were made between the end of the first century B.C. and the first half of the first century A.D. This type of glass product demonstrates a taste for the exotic. The fashion was launched in the Hellenistic courts—first in Alexandria, Egypt—and then adopted in Rome and disseminated throughout the empire. Because we have lost the link between places and finds amid the large number of references in classical culture, it is difficult to specify the precise manner in which small snake-shaped glass sculptures were employed.

Most of the glass snakes known today came from collections such as those of Frida Mond and Evan Gorga, which were formed as a result of the massive earth-moving for the extensive urban transformations carried out in Rome at the end of the 19th century. The collecting market then spread these precious ancient finds to various museums in the United States and also in Japan. Two fragments of a glass snake found in the excavations of the villa of the Volusii (located near the Center of Lucus Feroniae in Etruria), as well as a glass snake uncovered in illegal excavations in Italy (and seized by the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, better known as the Carabinieri T.P.C.), offer important new evidence of this particular type of representation.

Dare to Gaze upon Her Face: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Mosaic Face Beads from Meroë Joanna Then-Obłuska, Barbara Wagner, and Luiza Kępa-Linowskap. 39

This article presents an in-depth examination of mosaic glass beads with a face pattern recovered from a child’s grave in the royal cemetery at Meroë (today, Bagrawiyah, Sudan). The unique lozenge shape of these beads places them among the outstanding examples of the many face beads found in Roman-dated contexts throughout the ancient world. The bead remains, which are housed in the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum, were stylistically classified according to two types established by Robert K. Liu: Medusa as a woman and Medusa as a Gorgon. These beads were probably shaped into lozenges in Meroë. Samples were analyzed to determine their chemical composition. The results revealed that the glass used in their manufacture was produced in Egypt.

Glass from the Roman Colony of Epidaurum: Archaeological Excavations in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik, Croatia Nikolina Topić, Helena Puhara, and Lucija Vukovićp. 49

This article presents glass finds from archaeological excavations carried out from 2014 to 2016 at the Rat site in Cavtat, part of the Roman colony of Epidaurum. Architectural remains at the site probably represent public buildings of ancient Epidaurum. This valuable site is situated along the southern part of the eastern Adriatic coast, near Dubrovnik.

The most recent excavations uncovered finds of various Roman glass vessels, as well as lamp(?) and jewelry fragments, that can be dated from the first to fourth centuries. Although most of these finds are fragmentary because they were found in layers of rubble, they have recognizable typological characteristics and decoration, which indicate various production techniques. This material attests to diverse trade connections with Italian, eastern Adriatic, and Medi­terranean trade centers. It also demonstrates the use of luxury vessels and a higher standard of living in the colony of Epidaurum.

Two Fragments of Early Islamic Cameo Glass from Alexandria Renata Kucharczyk p. 59

Two fragments representing early Islamic cameo cutting, one of the rarest and most luxurious forms of glass ornament in that period, were discovered during the excavation of graves in a large Islamic cemetery at the Kom el-Dikka site in Alexandria, Egypt. The colorless body fragments of these two separate vessels preserve green appliqués and linear- and facet-cut decoration. They were probably of Iraqi origin and can be dated to the ninth–10th centuries A.D. This is the first recorded find of this kind of glass from Kom el-Dikka.

Grisaille in Historical Written Sources Carla Machado, Andreia Machado, Teresa Palomar, and Márcia Vilarigues p. 71

Grisaille is one of the oldest and most widely used vitreous paints applied in the production of stained glass panels. This article presents an overview of the written sources on glass technology, with a focus on grisaille recipes, to understand the evolution of this paint throughout the centuries. The authors consulted 46 written sources, 21 of which included grisaille recipes, dating from the 10th (Eraclius manuscript) to 19th (Georges Bontemps, Guide du verrier, 1868) centuries.

For each recipe, the various raw materials were identified and classified according to their role in the grisaille: coloring agents, base glasses, and other materials. This research showed that the raw materials and production methods used in grisaille have been consistent through the centuries. The main difference lies in the chemical composition of the base glass, particularly in the lead content. Major technological changes occurred in the 19th century, with the replacement of the historically burned metals, used as coloring agents, by natural earth pigments, and the substitution of minium for calcined lead.

The Broken Piece of a Larger Picture: A Renaissance Enameled Glass Fragment Depicting a Triumphal Procession Inês Coutinho, Luís C. Alves, and Teresa Medici p. 87

Among the finds from the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha (Coimbra), one of the largest assemblages of archaeological glass dating to the 17th century unearthed in Portugal, a small blue fragment dec­orated with enamels and depicting a triumphal procession stands out. This article presents the results of a study of this fragment, which is related to the oc­cupation of the monastery during the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

The glass and the enamels were analyzed by µ-PIXE, using an external beam configuration. The results, especially those pertaining to the body glass, permit us to propose a Venetian origin for the fragment. We also believe that cristallo was used to produce the associated glass object. The composition of elements related to the cobalt ore confirms that the fragment is to be dated before 1520.

Two Filigrana Glass Drinking Pots with London Mounts, 1548–1549 Dora Thornton, Kitty Laméris, William Gudenrath, and Andrew Meek p. 97

Two pots (tankards) with gilded silver mounts bear­ing London hallmarks (1548–1549), now housed in The British Museum in London, exemplify the Venetian glass industry’s mid-16th-century production at its most sophisticated. An important parallel, the Parr Pot (housed in the Museum of London), is shown to have had its glass element replaced in the 19th century or later.

The filigrana decorative technique, which had been developed on Murano only two decades earlier, would remain in the Venetian maestros’ repertoire, eventually becoming a defining visual “signature” of Venetian glass—thus the value of investigating it at such a temporally proximate moment.

The pots are scrutinized from four different but complementary points of view: (1) an art historian (Dora Thornton) places them in the broad context of the corpus of Renaissance decorative art objects; (2) a glass specialist (Kitty Laméris) pursues parallel objects and investigates the various types of canes found in the objects; (3) a glassblower and historian (William Gudenrath) reverse-engineers the manufacturing process to shed more light on Muranese glasshouse practices of that day; and (4) a materials scientist (Andrew Meek) presents comparative chemical analyses of the component glasses and, using state-of-the-art imaging technology, permits closer views than hitherto available of telling features both superficial and within the walls of the vessels.

On Some Enameled Glasses of the Renaissance in Germany (Zu einigen Emailgläsern der Renaissance in Deutschland) (In German)Ingeborg Krueger p. 135

Archaeological finds, some of them from a datable context of the first half of the 16th century, provide new evidence in the discussion of the beginning of post-medieval enameling on glass in Germany. Fragments of green and blue beakers with enameled and gilded decoration represent luxury versions of vessel types that are well known from many sites in southwestern Germany. Because the style of their figural decoration is also German, they were probably produced regionally—which means that not all enameled glasses were imported from Venice before the second half of the 16th century.

Comparing the style of the painted decoration on archaeological fragments with that of two intact museum pieces demonstrates that a blue beaker in Frankfurt with Renaissance busts in roundels and the year “1529” scratched in the golden border would be a much more recent (before 1857) copy of a lost 16th-century beaker, and that the David and Bathsheba scene on a Stangenglas in Hamburg would have been painted as late as the late 19th or early 20th century in Renaissance style (possibly on an old glass).

Venetian Conical Goblets of the Renaissance Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Luciano Borrelli, and Cristina Tonini p. 157

This article focuses on conical goblets, which are typical vessels of Renaissance Venetian glassworks. They are often depicted in Italian paintings of the 16th century, and they are among the archaeological finds from the Venetian lagoon and Padua. These goblets were widely appreciated, and they later became products of glasshouses working à la façon de Venise. The article includes a discussion of some significant kinds of conical goblets, including examples bearing coats of arms. One of these heraldic goblets, excavated at Buda Castle, displays arms that were formerly attributed to Beatrix of Aragon, but which the authors have now linked to the Grimani family of Venice. They also propose a new recipient or buyer for the Sforza goblet in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, and for the Habsburg goblet in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The last part of the article is devoted to conical goblets with various knops, one of which has a pattern of lozenges; this pattern is depict­ed in paintings from the Venetian area and is described in Venetian documents.

Reliquaries of Muranese Glassmakers in the 16th Century (I reliquiari dei vetrai muranesi del ’500) (In Italian)Paolo Zecchin p. 197

The Murano Glass Museum houses about 30 glass­es of various shapes with a cylindrical body, a stem, and a foot. Almost all of them are very tall (about 20 centimeters). They were used as containers for small objects, such as sweets and medicinal herbs. But they also held relics, and 17 of these glasses, which were brought to the museum at the end of the 19th century, came from the Church of San Pietro Martire, a Roman Catholic parish church on Murano. These reliquaries are gilded and enameled, diamond-point engraved, and cold-painted, and some have mold-blown knobs.

The reliquaries were made in the 16th century, judging from their form. The archival documents note that many of them were made on Murano during that century and sent to Germany. We know that some Venetian glassworkers, as well as glass deco­rators, relocated to the glass factories of Hall and Innsbruck. They surely shared their knowledge with local artisans, but diamond-point engraved and cold-painted glasses made in Venetian style are perhaps too often attributed to their factories.

Art and Science between West and East: European Glass in Edo Japan, 1603–1867 (Arte e scienza tra Occidente e Oriente: Il vetro europeo nel Giappone Edo (1603–1867)) (In Italian) Tiziana Iannello p. 209

With the arrival of Portuguese ships in the mid-16th century, European glass was introduced to Japan, facilitating the encounter of the archipelago with Western art, technology, and science, producing effects that extended to everyday life. During the Edo period, glass products and tools from the West affect­ed Japanese society in three main respects: (1) the use of glassware and glass devices—such as eyeglasses, mirrors, vessels, and clocks—in daily life; (2) the diffusion of artifacts—such as crystals, beads, mirrors, and glazed windows in architecture—for decorative and artistic purposes; and (3) technology and scientific knowledge through glass apparatus—such as prisms, optical lenses, telescopes, microscopes, and thermometers—for empirical, medical, or chemical use, fostering experimental methods and answering speculative questions. Examining some European and Japanese sources on glass trade and dissemination, this article surveys the role of glass in early modern European–Japanese cross-cultural relationships from a multidisciplinary perspective.

A Rediscovered Copy of Reni’s L’Aurora by Eglington Margaret Pearson in The Corning Museum of Glass Eva Rydlová, Katherine A. Larson, and Christopher Maxwell p. 227

In 2016, The Corning Museum of Glass acquired a stained glass painting by the noted late 18th-century stained glass artist Eglington Margaret Pearson (English, d. 1823). Although Pearson is now relatively obscure, she and her husband, James, participated in the Society of Artists, serving an ecclesiastical, noble, and royal clientele. The popularity of glass painting in Georgian England reflects a larger disposition toward the play of light in interior spaces, using painted transparencies of glass, paper, or textiles.

The new acquisition is a rendering of Guido Reni’s L’Aurora, a fresco painting from early 17th-century Rome. It was copied extensively in a variety of media throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Historical and archival sources document the purchase, by the 11th duke of Norfolk, of a copy of Reni’s L’Aurora by Eglington Margaret Pearson in 1795. The painting was displayed at Arundel Castle throughout the 19th century, but it does not appear in a 1917 inventory of the castle’s holdings. We suggest that the paint­ing now in Corning is probably the same painting purchased by the duke of Norfolk and displayed at Arundel Castle—a painting presumed lost for over a century. Extensive conservation treatment has revealed new insights into and an appreciation for Pearson’s luminous painting techniques and those of late 18th-century stained glass in Britain.

Notesp. 243

Une plaquette de verre mosaïqué dans un pavement antique à Toulon (Var, France)
Base-Marks, Impressed Designs, and Names on Square Bottles from Brigetio
On the Fracture Resistance of Ancient Roman Glass from the Jalame Excavations
Glass Production, Circulation, and Consumption in Visigothic Spain: An Interim Report
The Corning Museum of Glass Publishes Second Online Resource
Glassmaking Tests at Early Jamestown? Some New Thoughts and Data
Dioptrice: Examining and Cataloguing the World’s Oldest Surviving Telescopes
The Surprising History of the Ariadne and Bacchus Vase in The Corning Museum of Glass
Major Glass, Library Acquisitions Added to Corning Museum Collection
2019 Rakow Grant Funds to Support Five Research Projects
David Wyatt Crossley (1938–2017)
Vera Ivy Evison (1918–2018)
Clasina Isings (1919–2018)
Yoko Shindo Takahashi (1960–2018)
John P. Smith (1940–2019)
Peter Steppuhn (1956–2018)

Note to Authors and Readersp. 305
Museum Publicationsp. 307
Abstractsp. 313

Purchase Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 61


Pages: 
316
Publication Year: 
2019
Volume: 
61