- Museum number
Mosaic glass frieze: of lotus flowers composed of numerous elements, partly monochrome, partly mosaic glass. There is no conclusive evidence to indicate which direction the flowers faced, but on the basis of New Kingdom prototypes it is assumed that they were pendent.
Two varieties of lotus appear to be represented. Assuming the flowers to be pendent and reading from the right, the first flower is of lotus shape but it is composed of horizontal bands having no prototype in nature. The area where the calyx would normally be found is opaque white. The central horizontal band is dark blue while directly beneath it is a band of dark red. These separate elements were fused to a colourless glass base. On each side of this lotus, as throughout the entire border, are spacers of roughly triangular form, the right one monochrome red, the left one also red but with a dark-blue lotus bud inlaid on its surface. The next lotus, to the left is more naturalistic, if not in its colours, at least in shape and details. The calyx is of opaque orange glass with sepals of dark blue. The petals are of red and white mosaic glass. The spacer to the left duplicates its immediate predecessor. The next lotus representation duplicates the first lotus except that the calyx area is opaque orange. The spacer to the left is opaque white glass inlaid with a blue lotus bud. The next lotus duplicates the second lotus except that the calyx is red. The terminal spacer at the left is opaque monochrome white. The spacers appear to have been cut to shape.
- Production date
Length: 16.50 centimetres (in total)
Width: 3.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The general effect of this border is striking but the colours are harsh, completely lacking the quality of even the best Ptolemaic glass. The motif used here, a frieze of pendent lotus flowers, was a very ancient one going back at least to the New Kingdom. A comparison of this frieze with any New Kingdom prototype in any media, will at once illustrate how debased the conventions of Egyptian art were at this late date. In the two types of lotus flowers shown in the frieze it is possible that the designer was attempting to illustrate the blue and white lotus. If so, the blue lotus is here more or less faithful to the original but the white lotus, if such it is, is so conventionalized that it bears no resemblance to the actual flower.
W. M. F. Petrie, 'Dendereh' (London, 1900), 35-6, briefly discusses the find without illustrations.
J. D. Cooney, 'The Glass of Dynastic Egypt', chapter 'Mosaic Glass' discusses the Cairo and London pieces.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number