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Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 59

The Journal of Glass Studies is an annual publication of The Corning Museum of Glass that contains articles and notes of a scholarly nature on the art, history, and technology of glass, dating from ancient times up to the mid-20th century.

Volume 59 (2017) includes articles about the glass finds from various Gallo-Roman archaeological sites in northeastern France, a gold-glass medallion with a portrait of Ariston, an Islamic gilded and enameled plate with an Arabic inscription, the royal glasshouse of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the reassessment of traditional glass manufacture in northern India, and an iridescent double-walled silvered bowl, just to name a few. The complete contents as well as the abstracts of each article are below.

Table of Contents and Abstracts

Glass Vessels and Beads from the Late Bronze Age Temple at Tel Sera’, IsraelWendy J. Reade, Dan Barag, and Eliezer D. Orenp. 11

Excavations of the Late Bronze Age temple precinct at Tel Sera’ (Tell esh-Shari’a) in the western Negev, Israel, have yielded two glass cylinder beads and fragments of four New Kingdom Egyptian core-formed vessels. The Late Bronze III settlement strata (X and IX) at Tel Sera’ represent the zenith of Egyptian activity in the province of Canaan during the 19th and 20th Dynasties (13th to mid-12th centuries B.C.).

While the number of glass objects from Tel Sera’ is not large, these objects make a significant contribution to the record of glass object types in the Levantine region of the ancient Near East. They also underscore the significance of glass as an elite product in the cosmopolitan cultural framework of the Hurrian-dominated northern Syro-Levant and Mesopotamia, and of powerful Egypt and its Asiatic vassal states.

Glass of the Gallo-Roman Period from Northeastern FranceCaroline Leblondp. 23

This article is devoted to glass finds of the Gallo Roman era in the Mandubian (Alesia), Lingon (Langres and Mirebeau), and Sequanian (Mandeure Mathay) territories of Burgundy and Franche-Comté. In antiquity, this area constituted one of the main crossroads of northeastern Gaul, which is corroborated by the glass finds. They include numerous imports from the Rhone basin, western Switzerland, the Rhine region, and even Italy and the eastern Mediterranean. However, the repertoire of shapes and of certain details representative of particular glassmakers indicates that the demand for glass vessels must have been met primarily by regional workshops.

Drinking with the Dead? Glass from Roman and Christian Burial Areas at Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia)Allison E. Sterrett-Krausep. 47

Excavations by the Leptiminus Archaeological Project at the East Cemetery in Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia) revealed a substantial quantity of late Roman and Byzantine glass fragments. Some of these vessel fragments, found in tombs, may represent grave gifts or symbolize elements of funerary ritual. Most of the vessels, found in nonburial contexts that formed during the cemetery’s periods of use (late second–late sixth centuries), suggest that glass vessels probably played an important role in commemorative activities at the cemetery. The presence of possible glass drinking sets in an area used for Christian burials suggests that rituals involving drinking or pouring libations may have regularly taken place nearby. These rituals probably followed longstanding traditions associated with commemorating the deceased in Roman society, potentially highlighting the role of glass vessels in creating continuities between Roman and Christian practice.

The Gold-Glass Medallion with a Portrait of Aristion, Second Half of the Third Century A.D. (In French)Chantal Fontaine-Hodiamont and Paul Fontainep. 83

The medallion of Aristion (D. 4.1 cm), an underappreciated object catalogued as “nineteenth-century,” has recently been rehabilitated as “ancient,” thanks to chemical analysis. This two-layer glass medallion consists of a blue ground and a colorless cover, separated by a finely incised gold-leaf design depicting the head and shoulders of a young woman with a Scheitelzopf (braided topknot) hairstyle typical of the period of Gallienus.

The portrait is encircled by the inscription “ΑΡΙCTIΟΝ HKAΛΗ ΜΑΤΡΝΑ” (Aristion, the beautiful matron, to be understood as “Aristion, noble-hearted lady”). The terms used in the inscription underline her legal status as the wife of a Roman citizen, as well as her excellent reputation and moral qualities, and they associate her with Roman society in the Hellenized East. A study of the technology and style of the medallion connects it with a small series of exceptional portrait medallions dating from the third century A.D., which were clearly created for a highly privileged clientele.

The Taraneš Cup: New Information on an Old Find (In German and English)Katja Broschat, Susanne Greiff, and Mila Surbanoskap. 101

Cage cups are among the most spectacular glasses from the late Roman world, and they have fascinated researchers for decades. Each new find elicits many comments from scholars, and debates concerning function, origin, and technology are carried on with great enthusiasm.

In recent years, several cage cups have been available for study and restoration treatment in the glass conservation laboratory of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz. The most comprehensive research was conducted during the restoration of the cage cup from Taraneš (Macedonia), which is dated to the early fourth century A.D. This cup, which was discovered in a warrior’s grave in 1980, was published by Milan Ivanovski in 1984 and 1987. Shortly after the recovery of this object, a partial temporary reconstruction of the fragmentary vessel was undertaken.

This article focuses on the new reconstruction of the vessel and the information that was obtained from that project.

To perform a successful reconstruction of the cup, a modern blown core was manufactured and subsequently copied with artificial resin. This resin core served as a support and permitted the fragments to be mounted by “sewing” them with nylon threads.

The newly documented traces of manufacturing indicate cutting and grinding of a thick-walled blown blank.

Eventually, the profile of the cage cup differed noticeably from the design of the previous reconstruction. In particular, the sequence of the inscription band and the frieze had to be transposed.

Glass Coloring Technologies of Late Roman Cage Cups: Two Examples from BulgariaAnastasia Cholakova, Thilo Rehren, Bernard Gratuze, and James Lanktonp. 117

This article presents the results of recent analytical work (LA-ICP-MS) performed on fragments from two cage cups: a figural beaker found near the ancient town of Serdica, modern Sofia, and a beaker with an inscription found near Yambol. In a set of 12 fragments, the authors identify two different chemical compositions of colorless glass, three compositions of blue glass, and one composition each for green-blue and purple glass.

The new data allow these scholars to investigate the relationship between the colorless main body and the colored external layers of the cage cup blanks, and provides hitherto unsuspected insights into the making of blanks. Two of the blue compositions are unrelated to the colorless base glass, but the other three colored compositions were probably produced by the addition of coloring materials to the colorless glasses of the blanks.

This technological approach seems to be beneficial for securing adequate annealing and compatibility when different glasses are combined in a single blank and intended for further elaborate cold working.

Glass Finds from the Christian Basilica of Pianabella (Ostia) (In Italian)Mara Sterninip. 135

The site of Pianabella (Ostia), which was excavated in 1988–1989, produced about 2,500 glass fragments. Most of them are dated to the late Roman and early Christian periods and are related to the basilica, which was built at the beginning of the fifth century and abandoned in the 10th or 11th century.

The fragments are mainly colorless, but they range from yellowish and greenish to light blue-green. The glass is of good quality, except for the window glass, which often has air bubbles. The forms include three-handled lamps, funnel-shaped lamps, and stemmed goblets, all of which were intended for the lighting of the basilica. There are also hemispherical cups, truncated conical beakers, and, in much smaller numbers, rims of flasks and jugs. An important presence of almond rims, well known in the urban area, was also found, but the shape of the objects from which they came is still unknown.

The window glass fragments came from the collapsed southern wall of the basilica, which had large arched openings. Unfortunately, the spoliation that followed the abandonment of the church resulted in the loss of most of the glass mounted in those openings. The recovered fragments suggest that there were no painted panes or glass of a particular color. They range from yellow to brown to green and light blue-green.

Blue and White: Carolingian Glasses in Provence (In French)Danièle Foy, Bernard Gratuze, Marc Heijmans, and Janick Roussel-Odep. 153

Carolingian blue glasses with opaque white trails and prunts constitute a particular group that has been known for about 30 years. Until now, all of the finds had been recovered in northern regions (Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the northern half of France).

This article highlights a wider distribution, covering the Mediterranean region, and a range of more diversified forms, including lamps. We wonder about the manner in which these objects were used (as reliquaries, lamps, and other church objects?). Analyses reveal a very homogeneous composition with natron, without the recycling of Roman glasses, contrary to what has often been proposed. These objects were probably blown in the west, but the location of the primary workshops that produced the raw glass remains unknown.

The Kubadabad Plate: Islamic Gilded and Enameled Glass in ContextÖmür Bakırer and Scott Redfordp. 171

This article concerns the first dated vessel of Islamic gilded and enameled glass from an archaeological context: a plate most notable for its long and showy Arabic inscription. Because it was found during excavations at the 13th-century Anatolian Seljuk palace of Kubadabad, the authors call it “the Kubadabad plate.” This plate, which is essential for understanding the rise and spread of gilded and enameled glass vessels in the medieval eastern Mediterranean, is examined here in several contexts. The first of these is the archaeological context of the palace, followed by the context of glass production in Islamic Anatolia and Syria. A more complete reading of the inscription is proposed, and the style and content of this inscription, like the plate in general, are related to contemporaneous production in Syria.

Renaissance Light: A Glass Cesendello (Hanging Lamp) RediscoveredElisa P. Sanip. 193

This article discusses an example of one of the rarest glass objects: a Renaissance hanging lamp. This lamp has an unusual history: it was transformed into a goblet in the 19th century to conform with the display and collecting fashions of that time.

Although only a handful of these lamps survive, their symbolic importance has been preserved for us through their depiction in altarpieces painted by some of the most famous artists of Renaissance Venice. By using visual evidence from contemporaneous paintings and written documents, the author offers some observations on the use and display of such lamps. Stylistic connections with other existing glass lamps attempt to place this object where it probably belonged: at the heart of Renaissance devotional practices.

The Royal Glasshouse of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, from 1551 to the End of the 16th Century (In French)Elise Vanriestp. 207

The royal glasshouse of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is the most famous French-Italian glasshouse of the 16th century, but paradoxically it has not been the subject of any published studies before now. Four years of archival research has made it possible to propose an updated overview.

Henry II and Catherine de Médicis established the glasshouse near the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1551, and they granted Italian glassmakers permission to produce façon de Venise glasses for the royal family and the court. For more than 25 years, these glassmakers made gilded and enameled glasses that resembled genuine Venetian glasses and façon de Venise glasses made in other countries. The resemblance was so close, in fact, that it is difficult to identify precisely which glasses were made at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Three glasses bearing the coat of arms of Catherine de Médicis are known, and they may be related to this famous glasshouse.

The Gourd-Shaped Vessel: A Portuguese Product?Inês Coutinho, Teresa Medici, Robert Wiley, Luís Cerqueira Alves, Bernard Gratuze, and Márcia Vilariguesp. 215

Several glass assemblages excavated in Portugal and dated to the 17th century include a shape, derived from the traditional dried gourd bottle, that is uncommon elsewhere in Europe. Ten gourd-shaped bottles were selected from two archaeological assemblages (the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha in Coimbra and São João de Tarouca) to be studied and chemically characterized by µ-PIXE and LA-ICP-MS. The bright colors were analyzed by UV-Vis reflectance spectroscopy to identify the metallic ions responsible for those colors, thus revealing potential insights into color intent. Considering the complexity of the shape, some reproductions were made, indicating that the original glassmakers exercised high levels of temperature control and fully understood the Venetian technique of half-molding. Very high contents of alumina were found in the glass, which may indicate that the gourds were produced in Portugal using local raw materials.

The Adventures of the Muranese Glassworkers Who Immigrated to France in the Second Half of the 17th Century (In Italian)Paolo Zecchinp. 235

Although the early history of Venetian-made glass mirrors, dating to the second half of the 17th century, has already been written, this article adds some interesting details about three of the makers of those mirrors: Antonio Cimegotto, Giovanni Civran, and Gerolamo Barbini. Their story begins in June 1665, when they, along with some other people in town, beat a priest. Fearing arrest, they accepted an offer from Marco Bormioli, who was at that time on Murano and seeking to employ technicians needed to begin the production of mirrors in France.

In and after August 1665, 10 Muranese glassmakers inadvertently taught this craft to representatives of French glasshouses, revealing carefully guarded secrets when they were intoxicated. When one of the Muranese artisans died during this time, the others became frightened and decided to return to Murano when they were promised immunity, payment of expenses for the journey, and permission to open a factory with funds provided by the guild of mirror makers. Although the third promise was not kept, the three craftsmen nevertheless began the business, but they could not continue to operate it. By 1670, they were regretting their decision to leave France, but the French minister Colbert, who had originally hired them, was no longer interested in the project.

A Single Ingredient for Primary Glass Production: Reassessing Traditional Glass Manufacture in Northern IndiaManinder Singh Gillp. 249

A reassessment of technologies indicates that only a single ingredient, namely reh, was employed in traditional raw glass production in northern India during the 19th and 20th centuries, and probably earlier as well. Reh occurs naturally as efflorescence on saline soils in the region, and it was collected from the surface by various methods for use in the manufacture of glass. The fusing of reh by firing it in a furnace would yield only green or black glass, of which only green glass could be further colored via a secondary melting with added colorants. The high-alumina and low-magnesia peculiarity associated with Indian glass in general appears to be a characteristic of glass manufactured with reh, or a similar sodic efflorescence, as a single ingredient.

The Bird in the Fishbowl (In German)Helmut Rickep. 261

Biedermeier art glass is usually defined by small beakers, bowls, and plates, and occasionally by decanters and vases. But there is an intriguing group of goldfish bowls, standing up to 50 centimeters tall, that has not been closely studied. Two are painted entirely in gold, several in transparent enamel, and one in black enamel (Schwarzlot) of very high quality. Most of these objects show seascapes, and they were made mainly for export.

These aquariums were a combination of birdcage and fishbowl. A bird would enter the interior and either fly or sit “in the water” surrounded by fish. The concept of these hybrids dates back to the late 1500s, but the objects themselves were fashionable mainly between 1825 and 1840, serving as a forerunner to the “aquarium craze” in the mid-19th century. Thirteen of them can be traced today. Six retain the original birdcage, and three of these are elaborately enameled.

Unpainted examples are shown in works from the 1860s and 1870s by the Dutch painter Alexander Hugo Bakker Korff. Others are in museum collections or documented in journals and trade catalogs. The leading producer of decorated glass in northern Bohemia, Friedrich Egermann in Haida (present-day Nový Bor), probably made many of the painted examples.

A Remarkable Iridescent Goblet with a Double-Walled, Silvered Bowl: 17th- or 19th-Century?Dwight P. Lanmon and William Gudenrathp. 285

A goblet with an unusual double-walled bowl encasing silver leaf was published in 1948 as a rare product of a Mansell glasshouse in England in the 1640s. It has been sold several times at auction, each time identified as a 17th-century glass. But it has an iridescent surface that was sprayed on while the glass was still on a pontil. This proves that it cannot be of 17th-century date. When and how was it made, and who made it? The authors consider several glassmakers who used encased metallic leaf in the late 19th century, both in England and on the Continent. They conclude that the goblet was probably made by Salviati in Venice in the late 19th century.

The Artisti Barovier and Liberty Style in Murano: New Contributions from Pauly & C.’s Archives (In Italian)Paolo Pastresp. 315

Based on an analysis of five photographs from Pauly & C., the author identifies the factory in which the illustrated objects were manufactured. Using various data explained in the article, he provides a dating for the photographs (1913–1914). He also illustrates and describes specific characteristics of the objects in the photographs from both technical and art-historical standpoints.

The article includes a review of the Art Nouveau style of glassmaking on Murano. It begins with precursors in the second half of the 19th century, including glasses and murrine vases made by Vincenzo Moretti and Giovanni Barovier. The first Liberty glass works on Murano were made by Artisti Barovier in 1895. The survey continues with an analysis of the floriform vases, murrine vessels, floral murrine vases, “a piume” (feathered) vases, “protolibellule” (proto-dragonfly) vases, the “vasi con le chiocciole” (vessels with snails), i vasi “con medaglione e zanfirico” (vases with a medallion and filigree), the murrine glasses of Vittorio Zecchin and Teodoro Wolf-Ferrari, and objects made by Fratelli Toso based on designs by Hans Stoltenberg Lerche.

The Gallé with Star Signature: A Revised Chronology and a Quantitative Assessment (In French)Samuel Provostp. 349

Following the death of the French glassmaker Emile Gallé in 1904, his widow, Henriette Gallé, directed his factory until she died in 1914. During the first few years of her tenure, the industrial series of glass made by the Etablissements Gallé bore a new commercial signature in which the founder’s name was preceded by a star to identify this production as posthumous.

Some newly uncovered archives from the factory, as well as from its Parisian representative, Albert Daigueperce (1873–1966), permit us to completely reappraise this production, its chronology (1905–1908, and not 1904–1906, as was long believed), and its extent.

Notesp. 377

The Glass Headrests of Tutankhamen
The Collection of Ancient Glass in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague: An Overview
Geography of Antimony in Roman and Early Medieval Colorless Glass
Late Antique Glass from Qaratəpə (Bərdə Rayon), Azerbaijan
Abbasid Glass from Tower 12 at Aqaba
A Deposit of Medieval Glass Vessels at Duluk Baba Tepesi (Turkey)
Nota sul bicchiere mamelucco trovato a Orvieto nel 1899
A 16th–17th-Century Glass Horn from Oudenburg-Bellerochelaan, Belgium
Carl Heinrich Graun, drei zusatzliche Anmerkungen
The Blaschka Legacy in Worldwide Collections: A New Resource
19th-Century Tinsel Painting Meets Modernism
Major Glass, Library Acquisitions Added to Corning Museum Collection
Rakow Grant to Support Excavations in Nigeria, Iran
Antonin Langhamer (1936–2017)
Kenneth William Lyon (1922–2016)
Ivor Noel Hume (1927–2017)
Karl Hans Wedepohl (1925–2016)

Contributorsp. 367
Note to Authors and Readersp. 458
Museum Publicationsp. 460
Abstractsp. 467

Publication Year: 

Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 59