Featured Objects from Animals in Glass

Featured exhibition objects from Animals in Glass.

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    This fusion of snake and vase, as well as the symbolic meanings it represents, perfectly embodies the Art Deco style. The design caused a sensation at the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris. The name of the style is derived from that of the exhibition.
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    The scarab rolls dung into pills, buries them in the earth, and thereby provides nutrition for its larvae. The fact that something as inferior as dung gives life to this beautiful beetle made the scarab an ideal representation of Khepri, god of the rising sun, rebirth, and transformation. “Khepri” means both “scarab” and “he who becomes.”
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    Friedrich Zitzmann (1840–1906) was an expert glassblower who trained in Murano. In 1895, he worked with Karl Koepping in Berlin, where he honed his lampworking skills. His works were widely exhibited at international fairs, but signed examples are rare.
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    The stem of this wineglass is unusual in that the serpent is not arranged in a symmetrical pattern.
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    The càntir is a vessel for drinking water that is poured into the mouth without allowing the spout to touch the lips of the drinker. The bird atop the handle is a purely decorative feature. Here it has no symbolic meaning.
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    This fragment bears a mark in the shape of a serpent.
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    This handle was part of an elaborately cut cage cup. Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome, and his twin brother, Remus, had been nourished by a she-wolf. It is not surprising, then, that the Romans had a special affection for wolves.
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    The senmurv is a creature from Iranian mythology that combines features of a dog, a lion, a fish, and a peacock. Its depiction is closely related to the Sasanian kingship. It became a merely ornamental feature only after the Sasanian empire ended in 651.
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    This design, copied from Sir Edwin Landseer’s lion statues in Trafalgar Square, London, was very popular. It was made in at least two sizes and six colors.
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    Charles David Aubin must have learned lampworking in France, his native country, before he reportedly fled to England during the French Revolution. The stag hunt was a popular sport among the European aristocracy. Especially in England, it was favored over fox hunts until the 1830s. This lampworked scene, which incorporates wood as well as glass, was badly damaged in the Corning flood in 1972. The small scale of this diorama made repairing it a very delicate operation.
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