Profile inlay of a royal figure

Blue head from a composite relief inlay on a piece of furniture or shrine. Molded and cut. Body (Ptolemaic-Augustan) of black, yellow and white in opaque red matrix; figure wrongly assembled.

Historical period(s)
Dynasty 18, New Kingdom, ca. 1539-1295 BCE
Medium
Glass
Dimensions
H (overall): 7 cm (2 3/4 in)
Geography
Egypt
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.539a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Glass, Jewelry and Ornament
Type

Inlay figure

Keywords
Egypt, man, molding, New Kingdom (ca. 1539 - 1075 BCE)
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Blue head from a composite relief inlay on a piece of furniture or shrine. Molded and cut. Body (Ptolemaic-Augustan) of black, yellow and white in opaque red matrix; figure wrongly assembled.

Label

From the New Kingdom (ca. 1539-150;1075 B.C.E.) onward, Egyptian artisans used glass to fashion small objects such as jewelry, amulets, and miniatures. They also combined glass with other materials, often metal or wood. Colored glass inlays formed in molds adorned a variety of objects, including jewelry, furniture, and coffins.

This type of glass inlay could be used to decorate many kinds of objects, from jewelry to furniture and coffin inlays.  This particular example, if it was intended to be a royal portrait, was probably used as part of  an item of jewelry.

Published References
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Ancient Glass in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1962. p. 7, fig. 1.
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. p. 110, fig. 4.16.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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