Comparison Between Egyptian and Venetian Glass
|Criteria||Egyptian Glass||Venetian Glass|
|Manufacture||- Old Kingdom - The world's earliest
known glass consisted of small beads, amulets and pendants found in sites dating
Manufacture consisted of the following stages:
|- Byzantine craftsmen influenced the development of Venetian glass in the island of Murano starting from the 13th century
- The Italian city assumed the role of the glassmaking centre of the western world.
- Lampworking technique - Silica is molten, and in the interval when the glass is soft before it hardens completely, the material is shaped
- Glassblowing - forming the required shapes while the glass is molten using a blowpipe (a long thin metal tube). The tip of the blowpipe is preheated and dipped in the molten glass in the furnace where molten glass is 'gathered' on it. Then this glass is rolled on a flat slab of marble, forming a cool skin on the exterior of the molten glass. Then air is blown into the pipe, creating a bubble and shaping the glass.
- Venetian glassmakers developed many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo)
|Materials||- Silica - quartz cobbles and sand
- coloring agents - naturally occurring impurities or metal oxides.
|Sophisticated and varied materials|
- Silica and limestone
- Sodium oxide - slower solidification allowing the glassmakers more time to shape the material.
- Quartz sand and potash - produce particularly pure crystals
- Nitrate and arsenic - to eliminate bubbles
- Copper and cobalt compounds - Aquamarine colors
|Colors||- Tinted mainly in green and blue
- Transparency known but rarely used since core forming technique left impurities on the internal walls of vessels
|- Large variety of colors including transparent, white, multicolored, aquamarine and ruby red|
|Thickness||- Thick walls with uneven thickness||- Very thin homogeneous walls|
|Use||- A costly artificial semi-precious stone - limited production
- Used as jewelry for royalty - little bottles, vases, goblets and bowls chiefly destined to hold cosmetics and perfumes of queens
|- trade industry - mass production and exporting to all Europe
- City kept an eye on this main asset, ensuring that no glassmaking skills or secrets were stolen by foreigners
|Glass Makers||- Thutmose 3 brought glassmakers to Egypt as prisoners following a successful military campaign in Asia.
- Glassmakers were common craftsmen with no extra privileges and worked in harsh conditions
|- Importance of glass industry - number of craftsmen more than 8,000.
- Glassmakers were prominent citizens, they were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state and married into Venice's most affluent families