Inlay Figure

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Object Name: 
Inlay Figure
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 21.5 cm
On Display
299-1 BC
Web Description: 
The use of glass inlays to depict parts of human figures in decorative contexts began at least as early as the reign of Tutankhamen in the 14th century B.C. Although many parts exist, complete figures are relatively rare. The male figure shown here may be a composite, although the legs and torso do appear to be from the same figure. Unlike the earlier inlays, in which the various parts of the body were fitted into separate recesses, the wig, head, collar, torso, loincloth, and legs of the Corning figure - which dates to the last centuries of the pre-Christian era - were fitted together and originally held in place with an adhesive. This technique, developed by the Ptolemaic glass industry, coincided with the revival of gesso and plaster objects. Such inlays decorated wooden coffins, and they were also employed in household furnishings and religious shrines.
Sangiorgi, Giorgio (Italian, 1886-1965), Former Collection
Dattori, Former Collection
Sangiorgi, Sergio (Italian), Source
Primary Description: 
Inlay Figure. Multicolored glass, plaster; fused, assembled, ground , polished. (a) Opaque deep olive (appearing black) glass with inlay cane of opaque ocher-yellow; Fused, assembled, ground, and polished. Inlay element in the shape of a wing for a human figure facing right, cut to fit an inlay head with protruding ear, entire section below ear reconstructed in plaster. (b) Opaque aquamarine glass, bubbly with some pitting on surface; Fused, assembled, ground, and recut. Inlay element in the shape of a human head facing right, nose, lips and chin sharply delineated, ear has been recut in antiquity, upper section with eye and eyebrow are reconstructed in plaster and painted white and black. (c) Canes of opaque yellow, red, blue- green, ochre-yellow, white, red and colorless glass, some pitting; mosaic glass technique. Inlay element of broad elaborate semi-circular collar composed of four elaborate bands which alternate with four ocher-yellow bands; the first is a series of circular yellow canes surrounded with bands of red and colorless in the matrix of aquamarine. Next an alternating series of rectangles reminiscent of a triglyph and metope design; an opaque white circle sits in colorless (appearing gray) rectangle on either side is a rectangle with four vertical yellow stripes. This pattern series is separated by a red rectangle with a central yellow dot; the third register consists of aquamarine triangles outlined in yellow on a base of red; the fourth register is a series of white triangles set in a red ground, much of the central third register and almost all of the fourth register is painted on plaster. (d) Translucent deep blue glass, pitted; Fused, assembled, ground, and retouched by cutting. Inlay element of a torso facing right with raised right hand, long delicate fingers have been recut, some recutting and secondary polishing on the stomach area, two major cracks with some plaster restoration on left shoulder near collar. (e) Canes of translucent deep blue glass, opaque white, opaque red, opaque yellow, and opaque ocher; mosaic glass technique. Mosaic inlay in the form of a short loin cloth, the side panels consisting of a vertical band of alternating blue and white stripes, the front horizontal registers of red feathers outlined in yellow with small white dots decorating the tip of each scale. The bottom of the garment is outlined with ocher- yellow and is badly chipped. (f) Translucent deep blue glass, some pitting; cast and retouched by cutting. Inlay element of a right leg and foot, toes articulated by recutting, some modeling of knee. (g) Translucent deep blue glass, some pitting; Fused, assembled, ground, and retouched by cutting. Inlay element of left leg with some gridding and cutting along the foot and some modeling in the area of the knee.
Designs in Miniature: The Story of Mosaic Glass
Corning Museum of Glass 1995-06-03 through 1995-10-22
Treasures from The Corning Museum of Glass
Yokohama Museum of Art 1992-10-12 through 1992-12-13
The Art of Glass: Masterpieces from The Corning Museum of Glass
IBM Gallery 1989-12-12 through 1990-02-02
National Gallery of Art 1990-12-09 through 1991-04-14
Decorative and utilitarian works from the Corning Museum of Glass, surveying 35 centuries of glass-making technology and stylistic developments from ancient Egyptian, Roman, Islamic, and Asian cultures to contemporary American and European examples. The works were selected by Corning Museum staff members Dwight P. Lanmon, director and curator of European glass; David B. Whitehouse, curator of ancient and Islamic glass; Jane Shadel Spillman, curator of American glass; and Susanne K. Frantz, curator of 20th-century glass.
Cast: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process (2017) illustrated, p. 244 (top right); BIB# 149978
La escultura en vidrio (2017) illustrated, p. 122 (fig. 3.14);
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 11, top; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 10, top; BIB# 134856
Shaping Colour Density, Light and Form in solid Glass Sculpture (2012) illustrated, p. 50, fig. 11; BIB# 131009
Egyptian Inlay (family) (2011)BIB# 131496
The illustrated encyclopedia of glass (2011) illustrated, p. 90 (left); BIB# 128671
Glass, Knocking at the Door of Art (2010) illustrated, pp. 22-23; BIB# 115616
Richards Complete Bible Dictionary (2002) illustrated, p. 436 (top left); BIB# 73428
Designs in Miniature: The Story of Mosaic Glass (1995) illustrated, p. 10, Fig. 7; BIB# 26765
Treasures from The Corning Museum of Glass (1992) illustrated, p. 14, #5; p. 246; BIB# 35679
The Revell Bible dictionary (1990) illustrated, p. 436 (top left); BIB# 65501
Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (1979) illustrated, pp. 242-243, #702, pl. 33 (a-g); BIB# 29547
Collezione di Vetri Antichi dalle Origini al V sec. D.C. (1914) p. 73, pl. 52, #269; BIB# 35815