Cane Slice with Portrait of Christopher Columbus

Object Name: 
Cane Slice with Portrait of Christopher Columbus

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Object Name: 
Cane Slice with Portrait of Christopher Columbus
Accession Number: 
Overall Diam: 2.01 cm; Th: .25 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Giusy Moretti
Web Description: 
In antiquity and in Renaissance Venice, mosaic or millefiori glass was used to create polychrome patterns. Rods of different colors were bundled together, fused, and drawn out into a long cane whose cross section displayed the intended ornament. The most elaborate works of this type achieved the graphic outline of a portrait. But rarely did they result in the painting-like perfection of this image of Christopher Columbus. A single cane could produce many slices, and other sections of the Columbus cane are known. This cane is considered to be the greatest work achieved by Vincenzo Moretti (1835-1901) and his son Luigi. Vincenzo began his career pulling cane in Pietro Bigaglia's bea factory, and he later worked in the famous company of Antonio Salviati [see 98.3.8] in Venice. It was there that he revived the ancient millefiori technique, which was proudly presented to the public at the Paris world's fair of 1878. Because Moretti's works resembled the Roman vasa murrina, vessels made of a mysterious stone, they were called vetri murrini. The Christopher Columbus murrina was probably made to mark the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
Moretti, Giusy, Former Collection
Primary Description: 
Cane Slice with Portrait of Christopher Columbus. Multi-colored transparent to opaque glass. Bust of Christopher Columbus facing 3/4 left on purple ground with bend of light purple surrounding.
The Techniques of Mosaic Glass, Millefiori and . . . Filligree (2001) illustrated, p. 24, #5;
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1999 (2000) p. 51;