Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass is a museum in Corning, New York dedicated to the art and science of glass. It was founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works and has a collection of more than 50,000 glass objects, some over 3,500 years old. Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works as a gift to the nation for the company’s 100th anniversary, the Corning Museum of Glass is a not-for-profit museum dedicated to telling the story of a single material: glass. Thomas S. Buechner, who would become director of the Brooklyn Museum, was the founding director of the glass museum, serving in the post from 1951 to 1960 and again from 1973 to 1980; the original Museum and library were housed in a low, glass-walled building designed by Harrison & Abramovitz in 1951. By 1978, the Museum had outgrown its space. Gunnar Birkerts designed a new addition, creating a flowing series of galleries with the library at their core, linked to the old building via light-filled, windowed ramps. With memories of the 1972 hurricane still fresh, the new galleries were raised high above the flood line on concrete pillars.
The new Museum opened to the public on May 28, 1980 29 years after its first opening. By the early 1990s, the Corning Museum of Glass was once more overflowing its exhibition space, increasing visitation put a strain on guest facilities. In 1996, the Museum embarked upon the first phase of a planned five-year, $65 million transformation. Under the directorship of Dr. David Whitehouse, the first element to be added was The Studio; this state-of-the-art teaching facility for glassblowing and coldworking opened for classes in 1996. Architects Smith-Miller + Hawkinson designed an addition to the main Museum building, using glass wherever possible to convey the beauty and elegance of the art form in the building itself; the Museum's renovation was completed in 2001, included a new visitors' center, Sculpture Gallery, Hot Glass Show demonstration stage and a hands-on Innovation Center with exhibitions designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. A redesigned 18,000-square-foot GlassMarket, one of the largest Museum shops in the country, filled the entire first floor of the museum.
The Rakow Library was relocated to new quarters across the Museum campus. Over the past decade, the Museum’s collection and global impact have grown significantly. At the beginning of 2012, the Museum announced a $64 million expansion project, designed by Thomas Phifer, to expand contemporary gallery and Hot Glass Show space; the new contemporary wing is slated to open in March 2015. In June 1972, disaster struck as Hurricane Agnes emptied a week's worth of rain into the surrounding Chemung River Valley. On June 23, the Chemung River overflowed its banks and poured five feet four inches of floodwater into the Museum; when the waters receded, staff members found glass objects tumbled in their cases and crusted with mud, the library's books swollen with water. The case holding 600 rare books tipped over, the books were covered by mud and shards of glass panes. Half of the entire Library collection was damaged in the flood. According to Martin and Edwards, 528 of the Museum's 13,000 objects had sustained damage At the time, Buechner described the flood as "possibly the greatest single catastrophe borne by an American museum."
Conservation was an immediate concern and staff moved to freeze the flooded materials. Museum staff members, under the directorship of Robert H. Brill were faced with the tremendous task of restoration: every glass object had to be meticulously cleaned and restored, while the library's contents had to be cleaned and dried page by page, slide by slide before being assessed for rebinding, restoration, or replacement. During the extensive recovery efforts, the Library occupied an abandoned Acme grocery store across the street from the Museum. Altogether and volunteers dried and restored over 7,000 water-logged, frozen books over the next 2 years; the rare books were sent to Carolyn Horton, a leading restoration expert, who disassembled, washed and rebound them. On August 1, 1972, the Museum reopened with restoration work still underway; the Museum's Glass Collection showcases more than 35 centuries of glass artistry. The Museum's collection of contemporary artworks includes pieces by significant artists such as Klaus Moje, Karen LaMonte, Bruno Pedrosa, Dale Chihuly, Libenský / Brychtová and Josiah McElheny.
The Glass Collection Galleries show the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collection in the world. The galleries explore Near Eastern, Asian and American glass and glassmaking from antiquity through present day, they tell the story of glass creation, from a full-scale model of an Egyptian furnace, to the grand factories of Europe, to the small-scale furnaces that fueled the Studio Glass movement that began in America in 1962. The galleries contain objects representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking has been practiced; the galleries include: Glass in Nature, Origins of Glassmaking, Glass of the Romans, Glass in the Islamic World, Early Northern European Glass, The Rise of Venetian Glassmaking, Glass in 17th-19th Century Europe, 19th Century European Glass, Asian Glass, Glass in America, Corning: From Farm Town to “Crystal City,” Paperweights of the World and Modern Glass. In addition to these galleries, there is the Jerome and Lucille Strauss Study Gallery, Frederick Carder Gallery and Ben W. Heineman Sr. Gallery of Contemporary Glass.
The Study Gallery is filled with a wide range of objects from all periods. The gallery is named after Museum benefactors Jerome and Lucille Strauss, who, by gift and bequest, provided the Museum with an unparalleled collection of 2,400 drinking glasses
A snow globe is a transparent sphere, traditionally made of glass, enclosing a miniaturized scene of some sort together with a model of a town, landscape or figure. The sphere encloses the water in the globe. To activate the snow, the globe is shaken to churn up the white particles; the globe is placed back in its position and the flakes fall down through the water. Snow globes sometimes have a built-in music box; some snow globes have a design around the outerbase for decoration. Snow globes are intriguing and are used as a collectible item for children and adults; when the first snow globes became well-known remains uncertain, but the popularity dates to the early 19th century in France. They may have appeared for glass blowers as adjuncts to paperweight, which had become popular a few years earlier. Snow globes were exhibited at the Paris Universal Expo of 1878, by 1879 at least five or more companies were producing and selling snow globes throughout Europe. In 1889, a snow globe containing a model of the newly built Eiffel Tower was produced to commemorate the International Exposition in Paris, which marked the centenary of the French Revolution.
Snow globes became popular in England during the Victorian era and, in the early 1920s, crossed the Atlantic to the United States of America where they became a popular collectors item. Many of these globes were produced by Atlas Crystal Works, which had factories in Germany and America. At the end of the 19th century the Austrian Erwin Perzy, a producer of surgical instruments, invented the so-called Schneekugel and got the first patent for it, his goal was to develop an extra bright lightsource for use as a surgical lamp. As he tried to intensify the candlepower of a so-called Schusterkugel with particles made out of different materials for reflection purpose, the effect reminded him of snowfall and it's said that by this he got the idea for a snow globe, he built his first actual globe with the basilica of Mariazell as a model in it. Because of the great request for his snow globes, along with his brother Ludwig opened a shop in Vienna, where the production continues until today as a family business.
Today the globes get exported throughout the world. In the United States, the first snow globe-related patent was granted in 1927 to Joseph Garaja of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1929, Garaja convinced Novelty Pool Ornaments to manufacture a fish version underwater. In America, during the 1940s, snow globes were used for advertising. In Europe, during the 1940s and 1950s, religious snow globes were common gifts for Catholic children. Snow globes have appeared in a number of film scenes, the most famous of, the opening of the 1941 classic Citizen Kane. In the 1950s, the globes, which were made of glass, became available in plastic. There are many different types of snow globes available; these globes are produced by a number of countries and range from the mass-produced versions of Hong Kong and China to the finely crafted types still produced in Austria. Snow globes feature diverse scenes, ranging from the typical holiday souvenirs to more eclectic collectibles featuring Christmas scenes, Disney characters, popular icons, military figures, historical scenes, etc.
Snow globes have been used for election campaigns. Since 2000 fashion and luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Ladurée, Sonia Rykiel, or Martin Margiela, got hold of the trend and grew fond of snow globes as collectible totems and emblems of their brand image; such enthusiasm was reinforced by presence in numerous art collections of contemporary artists Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz who use snow globes as a medium, or museums who paid tribute to famous artists such as French sculptor Auguste Rodin in creating high quality numbered glass dome snow globes. Snow globes consisted of a heavy lead glass dome, placed over a ceramic figure or tableau on a black cast ceramic base, filled with water and sealed; the snow or "flitter" was created by use of bone chips or pieces of porcelain, sand or sawdust. As they became more sophisticated, the glass became thinner, the bases were lighter and the snow was made out of particles of gold foil or non-soluble soap flakes. For health and safety reasons, white plastic has become more common in the construction of modern snow globes.
The liquid has evolved to light oil and a mixture of water and antifreeze. An added benefit was that glycol slowed the descent of the snow. Caution should be taken if a snow globe is broken because the liquid, which can contain antifreeze, can be deadly to cats and dogs if ingested or licked off their fur. Today's snow globes can include music boxes, moving parts, internal lights, electric motors that make the "snow" move so that it is no longer necessary to shake the globe; some have central slots for positioning items such as photographs. In 2005, many U. S. stores started to sell inflatable snow globes as part of their Christmas décor. These have a base with a blower, forcing air which carries polystyrene pellets from the bottom and through a tube up the back to the top, where they are blown out and fall down inside the front, made of transparent vinyl; the rest of the globe, including the characters inside, are made of colorfu
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status
Milk glass is an opaque or translucent, milk white or colored glass that can be blown or pressed into a wide variety of shapes. First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, yellow, brown and the white that led to its popular name. Milk glass contains dispersion of particles with refractive index different from the glass matrix, which scatter light by the Tyndall scattering mechanism; the size distribution and density of the particles control the overall effect, which may range from mild opalization to opaque white. Some glasses are somewhat more blue from the side, somewhat red-orange in pass-through light; the particles are produced via addition of opacifiers to the melt. Some opacifiers only dispersed in the melt. Others are added as precursors and react in the melt, or dissolve in the molten glass and precipitate as crystals on cooling; the opacifiers can be tin dioxide and arsenic and antimony compounds. They are added to ceramic glazes, which can be chemically considered to be a specific kind of milk glass.
First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, yellow, brown and white. Some 19th-century glass makers called milky white opaque glass "opal glass"; the name milk glass is recent. Made into decorative dinnerware, lamps and costume jewellery, milk glass was popular during the fin de siècle. Pieces made for the wealthy of the Gilded Age are known for their delicacy and beauty in color and design, while Depression glass pieces of the 1930s and 1940s are less so. Milk glass is used for architectural decoration when one of the underlying purposes is the display of graphic information; the original milk glass marquee of the Chicago Theatre has been donated to the Smithsonian Institution. A famous use of milk glass is for the four faces of the information booth clock at Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Milk glass has a considerable following of collectors. Glass makers continue to produce both original pieces and reproductions of popular collectible pieces and patterns. Kanawha Glass Co.
Fenton Glass Company Fostoria Glass Company Imperial Glass Company Mosser Glass Dithridge & Company Westmoreland Glass Company Federal Glass LaOpala RG limited L. E. Smith Glass Company Thai Soojung Glass Company Limited National Milk Glass Collectors Society National Westmoreland Glass Collectors Club
Glass art refers to individual works of art that are or wholly made of glass. It ranges in size from monumental works and installation pieces, to wall hangings and windows, to works of art made in studios and factories, including glass jewelry and tableware; as a decorative and functional medium, glass was extensively developed in Assyria. Invented by the Phoenicians, was brought to the fore by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the builders of the great Norman and Gothic cathedrals of Europe took the art of glass to new heights with the use of stained glass windows as a major architectural and decorative element. Glass from Murano, in the Venetian Lagoon, is the result of hundreds of years of refinement and invention. Murano is still held as the birthplace of modern glass art; the turn of the 19th century was the height of the old art glass movement while the factory glass blowers were being replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and continuous window glass. Great ateliers like Tiffany, Daum, Gallé, the Corning schools in upper New York state, Steuben Glass Works took glass art to new levels.
The first uses of glass were in other small pieces of jewelry and decoration. Beads and jewelry are still among the most common uses of glass in art, can be worked without a furnace, it became fashionable to wear functional jewelry with glass elements, such as pocketwatches and monocles. Starting in the late 20th century, glass couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing made from sculpted glass; these are made to order for the body of the wearer. They are or made of glass with extreme attention to fit and flexibility; the result is delicate, not intended for regular use. Some of the earliest and most practical works of glass art were glass vessels. Goblets and pitchers were popular as glassblowing developed as an art form. Many early methods of etching and forming glass were honed on these vessels. For instance the millefiori technique dates back at least to Rome. More lead glass or crystal glass were used to make vessels that rang like a bell when struck. In the 20th century, mass-produced glass work including artistic glass vessels were sometimes known as factory glass.
Starting in the Middle Ages, glass became more produced, used for windows in buildings. Stained glass became common for windows in grand civic buildings; the invention of plate glass and the Bessemer process allowed for glass to be used in larger segments, to support more structural loads, to be produced at larger scales. A striking example of this was the Crystal Palace in 1851, one of the first buildings to use glass as a primary structural material. In the 20th century, glass became used for tables and shelves, for internal walls, for floors; some of the best known glass sculptures are statuesque or monumental structures such as the statues by Livio Seguso, or by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Another example is René Roubícek's "Object" 1960, a blown and hot-worked piece of 52.2 cm shown at the "Design in an Age of Adversity" exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in 2005. A chiselled and bonded plate glass tower by Henry Richardson serves as the memorial to the Connecticut victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In the early 20th century, most glass production happened in factories. Individual glassblowers making their own personalized designs would do their work in those large shared buildings; the idea of "art glass", small decorative works made of art with designs or objects inside, flourished. Pieces produced in small production runs, such as the Lampwork figures of Stanislav Brychta, are called art glass. By the 1970s, there were good designs for smaller furnaces, in the United States this gave rise to the "studio glass" movement of glassblowers who blew their glass outside of factories in their own studios; this coincided with a move towards smaller production runs of particular styles. This movement spread to other parts of the world as well. Examples of 20th-century studio glass: There has been a massive explosion in the underground art scene revolving around functional glass art. Many people agree that Bob Snodgrass was the first to popularize glass smoking vessels as well as fume; as he traveled with the Grateful Dead he was able to share his techniques to many different people in many different communities before settling down in Oregon and creating the Eugene Glass School.
As time went on, more and more artists got involved with pipe making and with the introduction of social media the market exploded. Top artists such as Quave and Sagan are able to bring in upwards of one hundred thousand dollars per piece with the market only expanding as the prohibition on marijuana comes to an end. Combining many of the above techniques, but focusing on art represented in the glass rather than its shape, glass panels or walls can reach tremendous sizes; these may be hung from a ceiling. Large panels can be found for interior use. Dedicated lighting is part of the artwork. Techniques used include stained glass, frosting and gilding. An artist may combine techniques through silkscreening. Glass panels or walls may be complemented by running water or dynamic lights. Several of the most common techniques for producing glass art include: blowing, kiln-casting, slumping, pâté-de-verre, flame-working, hot-sculpting and cold-working. Cold work includes traditional stained glass work as well as other methods of
Das Boot is a 1981 German submarine film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann. It has been exhibited both as a theatrical release and as a TV miniseries, in several different home video versions of various running times, in a director's cut version supervised by Petersen in 1997. An adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim's 1973 German novel of the same name, the film is set during World War II and follows German U-boat U-96 and its crew, as they set out on a hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic, it depicts both the excitement of battle and the tedium of the fruitless hunt, shows the men serving aboard U-boats as ordinary individuals with a desire to do their best for their comrades and their country. Development began in 1979. Several American directors were considered three years earlier. During production, Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, the captain of the real U-96 and one of Germany's top U-boat "tonnage aces" during the war, Hans-Joachim Krug, former first officer on U-219, served as consultants.
One of Petersen's goals was to guide the audience through "a journey to the edge of the mind", showing "what war is all about". Produced with a budget of 32 million DM, the film's high production cost ranks it among the most expensive films in the history of German cinema; the film grossed $84.9 million worldwide. Columbia Pictures released both a German version and an English-dubbed version in the United States theatrically, but the film's German version grossed much higher than the English-dubbed version at the United States box office; the film received positive reviews and was nominated for six Academy Awards, two of which went to Petersen himself. Today, the film is seen as one of the greatest of all German films. Lt. Werner, has been assigned as a war correspondent on the German submarine U-96 in October 1941, he is driven by its captain, chief engineer, to a raucous French bordello where he meets some of the crew. Thomsen, another captain, gives a crude drunken speech to celebrate his Ritterkreuz award, in which he mocks Adolf Hitler.
The next morning, the U-96 sails out of the harbour of La Rochelle and Werner is given a tour of the boat. As time passes, he observes ideological differences between the new crew members and the hardened veterans the captain, embittered and cynical about the war; the new men, including Werner, are mocked by the rest of the crew, who share a tight bond. After days of boredom, the crew is excited by another U-boat's spotting of an enemy convoy, but they are soon spotted by a British destroyer, are bombarded with depth charges, they escape with only light damage. The next three weeks are spent enduring a relentless North Atlantic gale. Morale drops after a series of misfortunes, but the crew is cheered temporarily by a chance encounter with Thomsen's boat. Shortly after the storm ends, the boat encounters a British convoy and launches four torpedoes, sinking two ships, they are spotted by a destroyer and have to dive below test depth, the submarine's rated limit. During the ensuing depth-charge attack, the chief machinist, Johann and has to be restrained.
The boat sustains heavy damage, but is able to safely surface when night falls. A British tanker they torpedoed is still afloat and on fire, so they torpedo it again, only to learn there are still sailors aboard; the crew swim towards them. Unable to accommodate prisoners, the captain orders the boat away; the worn-out U-boat crew looks forward to returning home to La Rochelle in time for Christmas, but the ship is ordered to La Spezia, which means passing through the Strait of Gibraltar—an area defended by the Royal Navy. The U-boat makes a secret night rendezvous at the harbour of Vigo, in neutral although Axis-friendly Spain, with the SS Weser, an interned German merchant ship that clandestinely provides U-boats with fuel and other supplies; the filthy officers seem out of place at the opulent dinner prepared for them, but are warmly greeted by enthusiastic officers eager to hear their exploits. The captain learns from an envoy of the German consulate that his request for Werner and the Chief Engineer to be sent back to Germany has been denied.
The crew finishes resupplying and departs for Italy. As they approach the Straits of Gibraltar and are just about to dive, they are attacked and damaged by a British fighter plane, wounding the navigator, Kriechbaum; the captain orders the boat directly south towards the North African coast at full speed determined to save his crew if he loses the boat. British warships begin shelling and they are forced to dive; when attempting to level off, the boat does not respond and continues to sink until, just before being crushed by the pressure, it lands on a sea shelf, at the depth of 280 metres. The crew works to make numerous repairs before running out of oxygen. After over 16 hours, they are able to surface by blowing their ballast tanks, limp back towards La Rochelle under cover of darkness with only one engine still operational; the crew is exhausted when they reach La Rochelle on Christmas Eve. Shortly after Kriechbaum is taken ashore to a waiting ambulance, Allied planes bomb and str
Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewellery or vessel. It nearly always features a raised relief image, and still in discussing historical work, cameo only referred to works where the relief image was of a contrasting colour to the background. A variation of a carved cameo is a cameo incrustation. An artist an engraver, carves a small portrait makes a cast from the carving, from which a ceramic type cameo is produced; this is encased in a glass object a paperweight. These are difficult to make but were popular from the late 18th century through the end of the 19th century. Originating in Bohemia, the finest examples were made by the French glassworks in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Today the term may be used loosely for objects with no colour contrast, other, terms have developed, such as cameo appearance; this derives from another generalized meaning that has developed, the cameo as an image of a head in an oval frame in any medium, such as a photograph.
Ancient and Renaissance cameos were made from semi-precious gemstones the various types of onyx and agate, any other stones with a flat plane where two contrasting colours meet. In cheaper modern work and glass are more common. Glass cameo vessels, such as the famous Portland Vase, were developed by the Romans. Modern cameos can be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting colour; this is called an assembled cameo. Alternatively, a cameo can be carved by the traditional, but far more difficult, method directly out of a material with integral layers or banding, such as agate or layered glass, where different layers have different colours. Sometimes dyes are used to enhance these colours. Sir Wallis Budge alleged that the noun "Cameo" comes from Kame'o, a word used in kabbalistic slang to signify a "magical square", i.e. a kind of talisman whereupon magical spells was carved. Cameos are worn as jewelry, but in ancient times were used for signet rings and large earrings, although the largest examples were too large for this, were just admired as objets d'art.
Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 3rd century BC. The Farnese Tazza is the oldest major Hellenistic piece surviving, they were popular in Ancient Rome in the family circle of Augustus. The most famous stone "state cameos" from this period are the Gemma Augustea, the Gemma Claudia made for the Emperor Claudius, the largest flat engraved gem known from antiquity, the Great Cameo of France. Roman Cameos became less common around in the years leading up to 300 AD, although production continued at a much reduced rate right through the Middle Ages; the technique has since enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early Renaissance, again in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Neoclassical revival began in France with Napoleon's support of the glyptic arts, his coronation crown was decorated with cameos. In Britain, this revival first occurred during King George III's reign, his granddaughter, Queen Victoria, was a major proponent of the cameo trend, to the extent that they would become mass-produced by the second half of the 19th century.
The visual art form of the cameo has inspired at least one writer of more recent times, the 19th-century Russian poet Lev Mei, who composed a cycle of six poems entitled Камеи, as reflections on each of the Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Nero. In 1852 Théophile Gautier titled a collection of his polished, lapidary poems Emaux et Camées. During the Roman period the cameo technique was used on glass blanks, in imitation of objects being produced in agate or sardonyx. Cameo glass objects were produced in two periods. Roman glass cameos are rare objects, with only around two hundred fragments and sixteen complete pieces known, only one of which dates from the period. During the early period they consisted of a blue glass base with a white overlying layer, but those made during the period have a colourless background covered with a translucent coloured layer. Blanks could be produced by fusing two separately cast sheets of glass, or by dipping the base glass into a crucible of molten overlay glass during blowing.
The most famous example of a cameo from the early period is the Portland Vase. Although used in Roman cameos, the earliest prevalent use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance, in the 15th and 16th centuries. Before that time, cameos were carved from hardstone; the Renaissance cameos are white on a grayish background and were carved from the shell of a mussel or cowry, the latter a tropical mollusk. In the mid 18th century, explorations revealed new shell varieties. Helmet shells from the West Indies, queen conch shells from the Bahamas and West Indies, arrived in Europe; this sparked a big increase in the number of cameos. Conch shells carve well, but their color fades over time. After 1850 demand for cameos grew, as they became popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour among the middle class. Classically the designs carved onto cameo stones were either scenes of Greek or Roman mythology or portraits of rulers or important dignitaries. In history, a