Necklace with Glass Pendants and Faience Beads

Object Name: 
Necklace with Glass Pendants and Faience Beads

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Object Name: 
Necklace with Glass Pendants and Faience Beads
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
66.1.196
Dimensions: 
Overall L (end to end): 41.5 cm; (a) Beads L: 6 cm, W: 1.9 cm; (b) Pendants L: 2 cm, Diam: 6 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
1400-1250 BC
Web Description: 
Glass beads were manufactured in the Mycenaean region of Greece during the Bronze Age, and there was a thriving production from 1390 to 1180 B.C. To the Mycenaeans, glass was a precious material, and they made distinctive forms of beads, pendants, and appliqués in glass. The beads are unique for their period in that they were crafted in the type of flat, open molds that were often employed by the makers of gold beads. These molds produced beads with a relief design on one side only, with the opposite side remaining flat. While many such beads now have extensive weathering that conceals the true colors of the glass, they were usually found in bright blues, as can be seen on the pendants used in this necklace. Motifs for these beads included stylized rosettes, papyrus, and lilies (e.g., 66.1.193). The glass pendants in this necklace display one of the most complex designs made by the Mycenaean craftsmen: a tapering rectangular form with a rouletted motif. This distinctive style of glass beads and pendants disappeared when the Mycenaean civilization ended.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Sangiorgi, Giorgio, Former Collection
Sangiorgi, Sergio, Source
1966
Technique: 
Material: 
Primary Description: 
(a) Translucent deep blue and aquamarine glass; mold pressed with multiple suspension holes made while casting. Fifteen large beads roughly rectangular in shape taper from top to bottom, flat on back, a series of three horizontal reels, the largest at the top, the smallest at the bottom with a truncated pyramidal spike projecting out (perpendicular to the surface of the bead) to the left of each reel, the relief bands which highlight the sides and center of the smallest reel continue down the face of the bead, the lower left side is decorated with a rouletted pattern which connects the smallest spike with the horizontal bar created by a series of relief dots. The tip of the bead is defined by this bar and narrow reel. Between these two horizontal bars is a circular depression with two suspension holes pierced along the axis of the bead; into this depression was placed a small rosette of blue glass with eight petals and a convex hemispherical center. This rosette is preserved on one bead. The back of the bead appears to have been recut at the top reel which has been beveled to make the suspension hole area smaller; there is a small pierced hole through the largest spike at its tip, the hole runs parallel to the length of the bead; the third spike is pierced with a small suspension hole which runs parallel to the length of the small reel or perpendicular to the length of the bead. (b) Sixteen blue-green faience beads; mold pressed or cast; elongated barrel-shaped with irregular horizontal ribbing over entire surface.
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 8-9, no. 1; BIB# 134720
Beads: 3500 Years of Glass Beads (2013) illustrated, p. 8 (fig 3, bottom right); BIB# AI93926
Introducing Ancient Glass (2012-04) illustrated, pp. 20-21;
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) illustrated, p. 243, right; BIB# 61154
Beauty of Glass (2000) illustrated, p. 21; BIB# 77736
Bijoux de Verre (1986) illustrated, p. 17;
Ethnic Jewelry (1981) p. 123, ill.; BIB# 21341
Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (1979) illustrated, pp. 90-91, #167 (a, b); BIB# 29547