Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV

Object Name: 
Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV

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Object Name: 
Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 65.5 cm, W: 36.7 cm, D: 20.1 cm; (a) Medallion H: 36.5 cm, W: 29.5 cm
On Display
about 1685
Web Description: 
The Museum purchased a similar medallion in 1999. Both of these medallions were cast from the same mold, and they show King Louis XIV of France. However, the new acquisition may be a unique memento of the fascinating dialogue between France and the kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) in the late 17th century. There was a frequent exchange of visits between these countries, and Siamese ambassadors toured France. During one of these tours, in 1686, they visited the glasshouse of Bernard Perrot (1619–1709), the most inventive glassmaker in France at the time. His wife later presented the Siamese ambassadors in Paris with glass from his production as a gift for their King Narai. We believe that this portrait medallion was part of that gift. At some point, the medallion received the colored decoration and silvering, as well as a new Asian-style frame that may have been modeled on a French original. The artist who provided the painted decoration of the medallion apparently misunderstood some of the details: he united the hair on the king's left shoulder, his collar, and a sun ornament on his chest into one Asian-style decoration.
Sotheby's, Source
Primary Description: 
Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV. Colorless glass, cast, cold-painted, mirrored, was padded with paper or fabric (felt?) at one time; wood. Colorless glass oval with cast portrait of Louis XIV that was later cold-painted, mirrored and set into a frame with stand.
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) pp. 67, 683; BIB# 61154
Bernard Perrot 1640-1709 (2010) illustrated, p. 99, fig. 6; BIB# 115618
Recent Acquisitions (2005) illustrated, p. 14, top; BIB# AI65630
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2004 (2005) illustrated, p. 9; BIB# AI90240
Recent Important Acquisitions, 47 (2005) illustrated, pp. 222-223, #13; BIB# AI66969
Fine British And European Ceramics and Glass (2004-07-15) illustrated, pp. 130-131, Lot #162;