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Fire and Vine: The Story of Glass and Wine: Exhibition Overview

This research guide accompanies the exhibition in the Gather Gallery at The Corning Museum of Glass through December 31, 2022.

Olive green non-lead glass; mold-blown, applied and impressed seal; printed paper. Tall, cylindrical shape, with short cylindrical neck; trailed flat band below the rim; black paper sleeve over the neck, printed in gold script "[Ch] âteau Lafite"; applied flat circular seal on the rounded shoulder, with raised inscription "LAFITE/1887" with two foliate devicesprinted rectangular paper label on the front (the upper two corners torn), with etching of a large building with circular tower (Chateau Lafite), and inscription in black and red below: "1 .er CRÛ / CHÂTEAU LAFITE / GRAND VIN [in red] / Barons de Rothschild [script] PROPRIÉTAIRES / Recolte [script] 1887"; a crown above a red shield in the lower left corner, with elaborate scrolls and the inscription "CHATEAU/LAFITE" in, two bands on the shield; inscribed "DÉPOSÉ" at the lower left, and an unreadable inscription at the lower right; a smaller printed rectangular label below, inscribed "Envoi de [script] / Will. Tourneur & C .o [script] / BORDEAUX"; deep kick on the underside of the base, with bulge at the top.

Fire and Vine: The Story of Glass and Wine


The entwined histories of glass and wine extend back thousands of years, from lavish feasts of ancient Rome, to the polite society of Britain in the 1700s, to formal dinner parties of postwar America, to an essential experience within our contemporary food culture. The strength, impermeability, and versatility of glass has played an important role in every step of wine’s journey, from the production, distribution, sale, and ultimately the enjoyment of this intoxicating beverage.

The exhibition "Fire and Vine" includes a rare 2,000-year-old fragment of cameo glass depicting a grape harvest, a still-sealed bottle of wine found in a shipwreck off the coast of England, and an exceptional 400-year-old document describing an “almost unbreakable glass jar” that could prevent wine from spoiling.


A Sampling of Objects in Fire and Vine

Light blue glass; blown, tooled, applied. The carafe or decanter consists of a mold-blown and tooled bulbous body with kicked base, a narrow shoulder, and a long, straight-sided neck. The body is tooled into a pattern of


Accession Number: 2001.3.57
Place Made: probably Belgium, Liege
Date: about 1670
Technique: blown, tooled, applied
Dimensions: Overall height: 24.3 cm

Colorless and transparent ruby glass; blown, tooled, applied. Colorless bowl with flared rim sits atop a red, open cylindrical, stem that widens slightly to domed foot.

Red Wine Glass

Accession Number: 2006.3.71
Maker(s): Behrens, Peter (German, 1868-1940), designer; Rheinische Glashutten-Actien-Gesellschaft (1872-1937), factory
Place Made: possibly Germany, Cologne or Ehrenfeld
Date: 1900-1901
Color: colorless, transparent ruby
Technique: blown, tooled, applied
Dimensions: Overall height: 15.9 cm; diameter (max): 7.5 cm

Dark translucent olive green glass; blown, tooled, applied. Onion shaped serving bottle with applied handle and thumbpiece.

Serving Bottle

Accession Number: 2011.2.5
Place Made: England
Date: about 1690
Color: dark translucent olive green
Technique: blown, tooled, applied
Dimensions: Overall height: 14 cm; width: 14.8 cm; diameter (max): 14 cm

Goblet with conical optic-molded cup and foot joined with a stem consisting of a hollow molded lion mask flanked on top and bottom with waisted elements.


Accession Number: 2017.3.41
Maker(s): Salviati Dott. Antonio (f. 1877), manufacturer; Venice and Murano Glass Company (1872-1877), manufacturer
Place Made: Italy, Venice
Date: about 1872-1895
Color: colorless, opalescent
Technique: optic-molded, blown
Dimensions: Overall height: 17.9 cm; diameter (max): 9.2 cm

Volatile acid still consisting of the following components: (-1) Black rectangular footed metal base; (-2) long metal rod with one threaded end; (-3) gray two-sided metal vice with two adjustable thumb screws; (-4) metal arm with adjustable band clamp; (-5) colorless glass still with two plastic two-way stopcocks, metal coil in interior, red and black plastic cap at base, and black electrical cord with red power switch; (-6) gray two-sided metal vice with two adjustable thumb screws; (-7) metal arm with three-finger rubber-tipped clamp with two adjustable thumb screws; (-8) colorless glass condenser; (-9) blue plastic clamp; (-10) plastic T-tube with three sections of rubber tubing and two plastic clamps; (-11 through -13) sections of rubber tubing.

Volatile Acid Still

Function: Tests for the presence of harmful bacteria that could turn wine into vinegar.
Accession Number: 2021.8.1
Maker(s): Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass Coop (f. 1993), manufacturer
Place Made: United States, CA, Berkeley
Date: 2021
Materials: glass, metal, plastic, rubber
Technique: blown, assembled
Dimensions: Overall height: 61.5 cm; width: 24.5 cm; depth: 31 cm. Base width: 23 cm; depth: 14 cm

Dark colorless lead glass; blown and cut. (a) Deep ovate bowl having on one side, at bottom, a cylindrical nozzle fitted with pewter spigot set in cork, and at bottom a metal mounting and rod passing through knopped stem of standard with domed circular foot; decoration: circlet of trifoliate leaves on plain field between bands of broad paneling at bottom and finger-flutes at top. (b) High domed set-in cover with stemmed- cone finial; decoration: same leaf circlet between bands of broad panels. (c) Standard -- hexagonal paneled stem, flat cutting on foot.

Covered Wine Urn with Standard

Accession Number: 50.2.59
Place Made: Ireland
Date: about 1785
Materials: lead glass, pewter, cork, metal
Technique: blown, cut
Dimensions: Overall height: 65.8 cm; base diam: 21.75 cm

Recent Rakow Research Library Acquisition

Fire and Vine Media

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Meet the Curator

Katherine Larson,
Curator of Ancient Glass

Watch as master flameworkers Eric Goldschmidt and Caitlin Hyde, along with Curator of Ancient Glass Katherine Larson, explore the theme of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and agriculture. Alongside Larson's curatorial perspective, Goldschmidt and Hyde team up at the torch to sculpt a compositional glass portrait of Bacchus from borosilicate sheet glass and rods.

Watch as Hot Glass Demo Team gaffer George Kennard and Curator of Ancient Glass Katherine Larson, PhD, explore the topic of wine consumption in upper-class English society in the 1700s.

Find Answers to Your Glass Questions

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