Warrior Vase

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Object Name: 
Warrior Vase
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 49.2 cm; Body Diam: 24 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Benjamin D. Bernstein
Web Description: 
The elaborate scene on this vase illustrates an episode from the legend of the Song-dynasty general Yue Fei (1103-1141). Four Song warriors fight with hammers against a single enemy, a soldier of the Jin dynasty who is armed with two spears. The fight ends in a draw, but the brave Jin soldier later learns that he is the son of a Song general who had been killed by the Jin. This moment of revelation is set in a pavilion that is shown in the background of the scene on the vase. The Warrior Vase has an inner layer of "crushed ice" (or "snowflake") glass, and the decoration is carved from a thick overlay of ruby glass. This technique is known from snuff bottles of the 18th and 19th centuries, but it is extremely difficult to accomplish on large objects.
Bernstein, Benjamin D. (1907-2003), Source
Primary Description: 
Warrior Vase. Colorless cased with "snowflake" glass, with third layer of transparent gold ruby glass. Blown, cased, cut, copper-wheel engraved in cameo (Hochschnitt) and intaglio (Tiefschnitt). Tall, thick vase. Cylindrical neck tapers slightly, with flat rim that is cut. Globular body. Applied base of red glass flares downward, with cutout circular hollow; outer edge of rim is roughly beveled. Cameo engraving: on body, horseman with two spears fights against four horsemen, each with two bulbous "hammers," in landscape with rocks, trees, and stylized flowers; on reverse, pine tree and rocky mountains. Flight of steps leads from battle scene on body to brick wall foundation with three-domed pavilion on neck, where four figures look and point at scroll painting. Scene on painting is incised, possibly by diamond-point engraving; it shows a decapitated man, with his severed head at his feet, and a bystander. Vase rests on teakwood stand in shape of lotus blossom, with seeds of central pod in detached carving.
Corning Museum of Glass
Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Clear as Crystal, Red as Flame: Later Chinese Glass
China House Gallery 1990-04-19 through 1990-06-17
Curated by Claudia Brown and Donald Robiner
La escultura en vidrio (2017) illustrated, p. 143 (fig. 3.43);
Chinese Glass snuff Bottles: Foreign Influences on an Indigenous Art Form (2015-03) illustrated, p. 7;
Scenes of Glassblowing Workshops at Guangzhou & Boshan (2014) illustrated, p. 103; BIB# 140419
European Glassmaking Techniques in China: Kilian Stumpf's Probable Influence over Liuli (2013-03) illustrated, p. 13;
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 24; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 24; BIB# 134856
Glass: A Short History (Smithsonian Books edition) (2012) illustrated, pp. 60-61; BIB# 130360
Glass: A Short History (The British Museum edition) (2012) illustrated, pp. 60-61; BIB# 135965
Warrior Vase (family) (2011)BIB# 131706
The illustrated encyclopedia of glass (2011) illustrated, p. 200; BIB# 128671
Glass, Knocking at the Door of Art (2010) illustrated, p. 33; BIB# 115616
Glass of the Alchemists: Lead Crystal-Gold Ruby, 1650-1750 (2008) illustrated, pp. 296-298, #115; BIB# 103865
Glass of the Alchemists: Lead Crystal - Gold Ruby, 1650-1750 (2008) illustrated, p. 6 (top left); BIB# AI101015
The Arts of China after 1620 (2007) p.176, Fig. 223; BIB# 87453
Eight Sledgehammers on Glass (2006) illustrated, pp. 94-96;
The Gather (2006) illustrated, back;
Layers of Wonder: Majestic and Marvelous Cameo Glass (2003-05) illustrated, inset between pp. 40-41;
Glass in Art, History, and Science at The Corning Museum of Glass (2003) illustrated, p. 69, no. 6; BIB# AI64198
The Encyclopedia of Glass (2001) illustrated, p. 165; BIB# 69319
Brave New Nanoworld (1999) p. 9;
All About Glass = Garasu Daihyakka (1993) p. 111; BIB# 36566
Treasures from The Corning Museum of Glass (1992) illustrated, p. 94, #88; BIB# 35679
The Survey of Glass in the World (1992) illustrated, p. 60-61 (no. 125); BIB# 44518
A Sparkling Celebration: The Corning Glass Center Shines Through Four Decades (1991) illustrated, p. 8 (inset), p. 21 (bottom right); BIB# 138761
Clear as Crystal, Red as Flame: Later Chinese Glass (1990) illustrated, pp. 82-83 (#49); BIB# 33493
A Short History of Glass (1990 edition) (1990) illustrated, pp. 36-37, #29; BIB# 33211
Masterpieces of Glass: A World History From The Corning Museum of Glass (1990) illustrated, pp. 180-181, pl. 82; BIB# 33819
Garasu Nyumon (Introduction to Glass) (1983) illustrated, p. 114; BIB# 32417
2,000 Years of Cameo Glass at The Corning Museum (1982-07) illustrated, p. 56; BIB# AI9264
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking (1982) illustrated, pp. 40, 108, #34; BIB# 30609
Story of Glass Coloring Book (1981) illustrated, p. 35, middle; front cover, left; BIB# 67749
A Short History of Glass (1980 edition) (1980) illustrated, p. 34, #28; BIB# 21161
Le Nouveau Musee du verre a Corning (1980) illustrated, pp. 52-59, #12;
Glass (1966) illustrated, frontispiece; BIB# 119578