Pendant in the Shape of a Man’s Head

Object Name: 
Pendant in the Shape of a Man’s Head

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Object Name: 
Pendant in the Shape of a Man’s Head
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 3 cm, W: 1.6 cm, D: 1.6 cm, Diam (max): 2.8 cm
On Display
500-400 BCE
Web Description: 
The Phoenicians were an economic and cultural force in the Mediterranean from 1200 B.C. Their realm extended from the Syro-Palestinian coast to North Africa, and they controlled much of the trade in this region and across the Mediterranean. They became skilled glassworkers who fashioned technically masterful beads and developed unique forms of pendants made by core forming. These objects were often traded. The powerful port city of Carthage (located in modern Tunisia), which was established by 800 B.C., was the center of production for many of these beads and pendants. Pendants with men’s heads, featuring curly hair and beards, are by far the bestknown work of the Phoenicians, who also crafted pendants with demons’ masks (e.g.,66.1.249) and rams’ heads (e.g., 66.1.212), as well as cylindrical barrel beads with protruding eyes that are thought to have been used as protection against the “evil eye” (e.g., 64.1.13). While the Romans would continue to display the human face on their glass beads, the type of head pendants fashioned by the Phoenicians ended with the demise of their kingdom.
Sangiorgi, Giorgio (Italian, 1886-1965), Former Collection
Sangiorgi, Sergio (Italian), Source
Primary Description: 
Pendant in the Shape of a Man’s Head. Translucent aquamarine, opaque brick-red, opaque white, and translucent deep blue glass; rod-formed, trailed, tooled. Large pendant bead in the shape of a bearded head, buff core with applied loop on top, face modeled, eyes lined with deep blue, eyebrows and curls across top of head and vertically ribbed beard of same glass, lips applied over beard, jewelry highlights of opaque white in center of forehead and above and below ear.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
A Touch of Glass
Explorers Hall, National Geographic Society 1995-02-15 through 1995-09-15
Glass Jewelry: 25 Centuries of Style
Steuben Glass, Inc. 1991-09-24 through 1991-10-26
Glassworks: The Art of Frederick Birkhill (2020) illustrated, p. 30;
Ancient and Islamic Glass: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2019) illustrated, pp. 32-34;
Il Vetro a Lume = Lampworking (2018) illustrated, v. 1, p. 15 (fig. 1);
Connections & innovation: from Brooklyn to Corning: 150 Years of Glassmaking in Corning, New York, 1868-2018 (2018) illustrated, p. 4 (top left);
Tracing Eye Beads Through Time (2013-03) illustrated, p, 24, fig. 5, bottom right; BIB# AI92488
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 10, bottom; BIB# 134015
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 11, no. 3; BIB# 134720
Beads: 3,500 Years of Glass Beads (2013) illustrated, p. 9 (fig 4, upper left); BIB# AI93926
Flameworking Through the Ages (2006) illustrated, p. 2 (bottom); BIB# 94524
The History of Beads: from 30,000 B.C. to the present (1998) illustrated, p. 19; BIB# 69265
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume One (1997) p. 164, #285; p. 350, #285; BIB# 58895
Human Heritage (1984) p. 86, ill.;
Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass (1979) illustrated, pp. 110-111, #222, pl. 13; BIB# 29547
Masterpieces of Glass (Ceramic Age) (1955) p. 58, ill.;