The Daphne Ewer

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Object Name: 
The Daphne Ewer
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 22.2 cm; Shoulder Diam: 9.5 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
The Romans used two kinds of painted decoration on glass. In the first kind, known as cold painting, the surface is covered with watercolor, tempera, or oil paint. In the second kind, the “paint,” made from powdered glass, is fused to the surface of the object by heating it in a furnace. This more permanent technique is called enameling. The Daphne Ewer was decorated with cold painting and gilding. It depicts a scene from Greek mythology. The nymph Daphne, daughter of the river god Ladon, resisted her father’s entreaties to take a husband. The god Apollo, wounded by an arrow of Desire, saw Daphne and fell in love with her. She fled from him and, almost exhausted by the chase, called out to her father to rescue her. As Apollo reached out to embrace her, she was transformed into a laurel tree.
Paget, E. L., Former Collection
Terletzky, Dr., Former Collection
Surutschan, I. K., Former Collection
Mavrogordato, Pierre, Former Collection
Morgan, J. Pierpont, Former Collection
Smith, Ray Winfield, Source
Primary Description: 
Roughly egg-shaped ewer. Rim everted; neck cylindrical, splaying at bottom and merging with body; small base-ring made by folding. Ribbed handle, pinched at upper extremity to form thumb-rest, attached to shoulder and rim. Decorated on lower part of neck, body, and base. Decoration on neck and body divided into two registers with identical borders above, between, and below; each border consists of continuous row of gray volutes on gilded band enclosed by gray lines with outer dark red bands; upper (narrow) register contains inscription in Greek capitals, "HXAPIC" (Grace), first and last letters separated by wheel-like rosette with gray fillers to right and left, all other letters separated by red quatrefoil with gray centers; lower register depicts four gilded figures with gray outlines and details, with quatrefoil in field; Cupid incites Apollo, who is naked except for cloak and sandals, and with quiver of arrows on shoulder. Apollo runs toward right, in pursuit of Daphne; Daphne is shown in the act of changing into a bay tree; her father, Ladon, sitting on a rock and supporting horn of plenty with extended left hand, looks on.
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
Enamelling and Gilding on Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 51-53, 92; BIB# 142116
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) pp. 407, 682; BIB# 61154
Fire and Ice: Ancient Glass in the Princeton University Art Museum (2012) illustrated, p. 34, fig. 68;
Glass: A Short History (Smithsonian Books edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 40; BIB# 130360
Glass: A Short History (The British Museum edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 40; BIB# 135965
Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity (2011) illustrated, p. 72, fig. 48; pp. 63-64; BIB# 121973
Richard La Londe and Friends (2009) illustrated, p. 26; BIB# 112312
Historie du Verre: L'Antiquite (2005) illustrated, p. 101; BIB# 76552
Looking at Glass: A Guide to Terms, Styles and Techniques (2005) illustrated, p. 41; BIB# 99164
Antikes Glas (Handbuch der Archaologie) (2004) illustrated, p. 437, 445, 535, 544, 545 (Taf. 360); BIB# 83444
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Two (2001) pp. 266-270, pl. 864; BIB# 58895
Beauty of Glass (2000) illustrated, p. 62; BIB# 77736
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 80, 249; BIB# 61154
Untersuchungen zu den Glasern un Gipsabgussen aus dem Fund von Begram/Afghanistan (1998) illustrated, pl. 4, no. 3; pp. 24-25; BIB# 57685
Enciclopedia Dell'Arte Antica, classica e orientale (1997) illustrated, p. 1024, fig. 1299, left;
Glass, Gold, and Gold-Glasses (1996) illustrated, pp. 6-7, fig. 4;
Domestic and Divine: Roman Mosaics in the House of Dionysos (1994) illustrated, pp. 163, 165 (fig. 103); pp. 170-171 (fig. 107-108); p. 173; BIB# 35773
Corning Museum of Glass. Newsletter (Summer'93) (1993) illustrated, p. 3;
The Corning Museum of Glass and the Finger Lakes Region (1993) illustrated, p. 10, #18; BIB# 35681
A Short History of Glass (1990 edition) (1990) illustrated, p. 28; p. 30, #20; BIB# 33211
Masterpieces of Glass: A World History From The Corning Museum of Glass (1990) illustrated, pp. 46-47, pl. 15; BIB# 33819
Conservation of Glass (1989) p. 86, fig. 3.23; BIB# 24726
Glass Of The Roman Empire (1988) illustrated, pp. 52-53, fig. 22; pp. 8-9; BIB# 32608
Glass of the Caesars (1987) illustrated, pp. 272-271, #150; BIB# 31831
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (postcards) (1987) illustrated, #22; BIB# 34348
Appointments 1982 (1981) illustrated, Front cover; p. 10; BIB# 67110
Story of Glass Coloring Book (1981) illustrated, p. 7; BIB# 67749
Our Latin Heritage, Book 1 (1981) ill. C-6; BIB# 21805
A Short History of Glass (1980 edition) (1980) illustrated, p. 28, #20; BIB# 21161
Glass (1966) illustrated, frontispiece; BIB# 119578
Glass from the Ancient World: The Ray Winfield Smith Collection (1957) illustrated, pp. 165-166, #342; BIB# 27315
A Masterpiece of Late Roman Glass Painting (1956) esp. p. 15;
A History of Technology (1956) pl. 27 a; BIB# 20319
A Masterpiece of Late Roman Glass Painting (1956) esp. p. 15;
Title Unknown (London News) (1955-04-09) p. 653, fig. 12;
Verrerie Antique (1954-09) illustrated, p. 14-15;
Ancient Art in American Private Collections (1954) #360, col. pl. XCVI; BIB# 19297
Catalogue des Verres Antiques de la Collection Ray Winfield Smith (1954) illustrated, p. 27, #123, col. pl. IV-V; BIB# 28196
A Glass Bowl with the "Judgment of Paris" (1953-06) esp pp. 87, 184;
Sur quelques verreries de Bégram (1952) p. 15; BIB# 80250
Das Maerchen von einem Glase aus Antiochia (1951-08-26)
Ein bisher verkanntes romisches Goldglass mit christl. Wuderscenen in der roem. Abteilung des Wallraf-Richartz-Museums zu Koln (1930) pp. 282-304, esp. p. 298, # 32, B.1;
Die Typen der Daphnedarstellungen (1929) illustrated, pp. 62-63, pl. 12-13; BIB# 80253
Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts (1926) XLI, p. 81;
Late Hellenistic Painted Glass Vases and the History of Decorative Painting (1914) pp. 1-26, esp p. 13, pl. 5, 24.3, 3P;
Fund eines altchristlichen Glases in Koln (1908) esp. col. 73, fig. 1-2; BIB# AI46207