Medallion with Portrait

Object Name: 
Medallion with Portrait

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Object Name: 
Medallion with Portrait
Accession Number: 
Overall Diam (max): 4.9 cm, Th: 3.5 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Purchased in part with donated funds from the Clara S. Peck Endowment
Web Description: 
Gold glasses are objects decorated with gold sandwiched between two fused layers of glass. Roman glassmakers applied the gold as foil, which was usually decorated by removing unwanted areas and adding scratched or painted details. Most Roman gold glasses were made in the third and fourth centuries. One form was the medallion, a small, circular object that generally consisted of a deep blue disk and a colorless cover glass. Most of these medallions have portraits, which are sometimes accompanied by Greek or Latin inscriptions. This example bears the Latin inscription “anatoli gavdias” (Anatolius, rejoice!). Although the inscription wishes joy to a man, the medallion is decorated with the portrait of a woman drawn and painted on gold foil. Perhaps she was his wife or close companion and gave the medallion to him as a gift.
Tyschiewicz, Count Michel, Former Collection
Sheppard and Cooper, Ltd., Source
ANATOLI GAVDEAS (Anatolius, rejoice!)
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass over translucent deep blue glass; glass elements probably case separately and at least partially ground and polished; gold leaf and pigment applied to upper surface of deep blue glass; colorless glass then placed over decorated surface and both elements heated until they fused; after annealing, upper surface of colorless glass and edges ground and polished as necessary. Circular, flat medallion decorated with bust of female, shown full face with hair combed back from forehead in series of waves and with thick eyebrows; wearing mantle over high chiton with nearly-vertical corrugations; in background, Latin inscription in capital letters consisting of two words, one on each side of figure: ANATOLI GAVDIAS (Anatolius, rejoice!); around border, but not in front of bust, which extends to edge of medallion, running scroll of ivy leaves.
A Catalogue of the Late Antique Gold Glass in the British Museum (2015) illustrated, p.16;
Birzu grafai Tiskeviciai ir ju palikimas (Counts Tyskiewisz of Birzai and their heritage) (2008) illustrated, p. 272, fig. 1049; p 304 (color); BIB# 107227
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Two (2001) pp. 241-242, pl. 828; BIB# 58895
The Corning Museum of Glass: A Decade of Glass Collecting 1990-1999 (2000) illustrated, pp. 11, 13, #3; BIB# 65446
Glass, Gold, and Gold-Glasses (1996) illustrated, p. 8, fig. 6; title page;
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1991 (1992) illustrated, title page;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 33 (1991) illustrated, p. 96, #2; BIB# AI27386