Medallion with Falconer

Object Name: 
Medallion with Falconer

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Object Name: 
Medallion with Falconer
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall Diam (max): 9.1 cm, Th: 0.4 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
This translucent purple disk was decorated on its front by means of a stamp, which imparted the low-relief design in the glass. Depicted in the scene is a horse running to the left, astride which is a rider who turns at the waist to look out at the viewer. He wears an elaborate headdress, a belted caftan, and knee-length boots. A falcon perches on his left fist. Below the horse and rider, a hound pursues a hare to the right. The canine’s jaws are open, and the animal appears to be about to seize its fright¬ened prey. A second bird above the horse’s head completes the scene. Perhaps this bird is the falcon’s prey. Falconry was the sport of kings and noblemen, and it is like¬ly that the man depicted here comes from the upper echelons of his society. At least six Islamic disks with falconers are known, and all may have been made with the same stamp. Similar disks show eagles, lions attacking gazelles, and birds of prey catching hares. The Museum is fortunate to have in its collection another stamped medallion decorated with a musician playing a lute (2010.1.10). All of these images were popular in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, and several are inscribed with the names of 12th-century rulers. These inscribed examples, along with other data, help to assign a 12th-century date for the Mu¬seum’s disk. In the 1930s, archaeologists discovered similar disks set in a plaster window grille in a medieval palace at Tirmidh, Uzbeki¬stan. This discovery helps to explain the function of the Muse¬um’s disk as a miniature windowpane.
Sheppard, Christopher (d. 2015), Source
Primary Description: 
Translucent purple glass; stamped. Medallion: circular, impressed on one side with circular stamp (D. 8.4 cm). Decoration is in relief (Th. 0.25-0.1 cm) and consists of horseman riding from viewer’s right to left while holding falcon, and hunting dog, hare, and second bird, all within narrow raised border (D. 8 cm). Rider has head and torso turned toward viewer, with proper right arm folded across his chest, left arm partly extended to his left, and head slightly inclined as if looking at falcon. Rider has elaborate triangular headdress with projections on either side, and long tassels hanging from them; he wears elaborate coat- or caftan-like garment fastened with belt or sash and with long sleeves and a frilly hem, above which is a design resembling a half-palmette; his visible (proper left) leg appears to be protected by knee-length boot. Falcon, perched on rider’s proper left fist, is shown in profile facing viewer’s left; it has large tail and its visible wing is slightly open. Horse is shown in profile, galloping and with all four legs visible. Its tail is knotted, perhaps with ribbon, and it has bridle, rein, saddle cloth (saddle cannot be seen), and breeching strap with decorative pendant, all with beaded outlines. Between heads of rider and horse, one bird with long tail and folded wing appears to be running toward viewer’s right. Between and below front and hind legs of horse, hunting dog with long tail and jaws open to show prominent teeth, runs toward viewer’s right in pursuit of hare, which looks backward over its shoulder. Undecorated side has slightly uneven surface.
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 7;
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 9; BIB# AI87745
Recent Acquisitions: Islamic Glass (2011) illustrated, p. 13, left; BIB# AI86934