Antiquities > Ancient Glass

Metal Wires in Core-Formed Alabastron?


Robby R:
I was pretty sure it was a reproduction, and I'm even more sure now that I see fresh-looking, perfectly formed metal wires in the body of the vessel.

See attachments. One shows what I think is a metal wire in mid-body as well, so the whole thing was formed with them.

What do you think? I've never heard of a core-formed vessel with metal wires being part of the formation process.

Otherwise, the bottle's construction looked quite right. What gave it away as a fake was that the top wasn't quite right, and the vessel was crazed instead of weathered/pitted.

Wow.  Never seen or heard of anything like it.

Hope you didn't lose out too much on it.


Robby R:

I have contacted the Corning glass museum with the question.

No, I lost nothing on it. I got my money back after proving it to be a reproduction.

Robby R:
The Corning Glass Museum has responded as follows:

"Your core-formed alabastron is indeed a 20th century reproduction, although we are not aware of any formal experimentation with this type of technique. There are no ancient core-form pieces we have seen that have wire supports.

"Our glassworkers who have had some experience with recreating core-forming suspect that there was never a proper 'core' in the construction of this vessel, but the glass was somehow stuck onto and melted into the wire cage, rather than built around the core. (If you haven't seen it, this video shows what we think was the general process for core forming.) This would alleviate the problem of having to remove the core after the object was complete. Wires were used, for example, in the 17th and 18th century lampworked Nevers figurines (such as these) to give structural support to the glass."
Attached video:
Attached web-page:


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