Apollo

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Object Name: 
Cast Glass Gem
Title: 
Apollo
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
2013.3.8
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 2.5 cm, W: 2 cm, Th: 0.7 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
1777-1860
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dwight and Lorri Lanmon
Web Description: 
James and William Tassie were prominent London modelers, collectors, and merchants of classical gem impressions during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A catalog of their collection, written by Rudolf Erich Raspe (German, 1737–1794) and printed in 1791, lists 15,800 items, including reproductions of both ancient Greek and Roman gems (see 2013.3.10) and 18th-century originals (see also 2013.3.9) carved by artists employed by James Tassie. This gem is a copy of a cornelian original by one such artist, Edward Burch. Cast in deep amber-brown glass, the gem depicts the head of Apollo, the Greek and Roman god of the sun and the arts, facing right, with long, flowing hair. Located behind the lower portion of Apollo’s neck is a small lyre, while the name “Burch” is inscribed in capital letters below his head. The Rakow Library holds a copy of the 1791 catalog, along with an earlier catalog produced by James Tassie in 1775. In the earlier A Catalogue of Impressions in Sulphur, of Antique and Modern Gems . . . , there are two entries that match the description of this gem: “390. Apollo, god of the sun, medicine, music, poetry, oratory, and son of Jupiter and Latona, (in England) with his lyre (by Burch) Cornelian” and “391. Apollo, god of sun, medicine, music, poetry, oratory, and son of Jupiter and Latona (in England) with his lyre (by Burch) Cornelian.” Signed: “BURCH INVT,” at lower left. Unpublished. Related publications: James Tassie, A Catalogue of Impressions in Sulphur, of Antique and Modern Gems, from Which Pastes Are Made and Sold, London: printed for J. Murray, 1775, p. 15, nos. 390, 391; and Raspe 1791 (see 2013.3.9), p. 197, no. 2818. For more about the Tassies, see John M. Gray, James and William Tassie: A Biographical and Critical Sketch; with a Catalogue of their Portrait Medallions of Modern Personages, Edinburgh: W. G. Patterson, 1894, repr. London: Holland Press, 1974.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Lanmon, Dwight P., Source
1973
to
2013-06-10
Color: 
Technique: 
Material: 
Inscription: 
BURCH
inscription
Cast below the head
Primary Description: 
Cast Glass Gem, "Apollo." Transparent brownish amber glass; cast. Gem depicts the head of the Greek god Apollo wearing a laurel wreath, to right. Behind the lower portion of his neck is a small lyre. The name BURCH, followed by another letter-perhaps E? (for Edward Burch the full name of the artist) is inscribed in capital letters below the head.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2013 (2014) illustrated, p. 11 (#5);
Notes: Corning Museum Adds Major Work to Glass, Library Collections (2014) illustrated, p. 376, #5;
Recent Acquisitions (2013) illustrated, p. 15; BIB# AI95664