Author Topic: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine  (Read 543 times)

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Offline Anne

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Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« on: August 25, 2013, 03:41:10 PM »
There's an interesting article in the Sept 2013 issue of the Smithsonian magazine, about the colour change in the Lycurgus cup:

Quote
This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers
Researchers have finally found out why the jade-green cup appears red when lit from behind
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/This-1600-Year-Old-Goblet-Shows-that-the-Romans-Were-Nanotechnology-Pioneers-220563661.html


Offline Frank

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Re: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 12:01:41 AM »
Weird. I knew before 1990 that this piece was dichroic glass and with the effect achieved by gold in the metal. The use of the nano term is perhaps the 'new'. But that gives me a headache as the development of nanotechnology cannot really be applied to 'normal' molecular chemistry, where of course any particles of a particular material in glass are likely to be nano sized. In that sense articles like this are misleading.

I am certain of the date of my knowledge as I was led to that Roman piece when researching a dichroic Monart miniature I had found in Scotland in the 1980s.

n.b. Today dichroic glass is often applied to the trade name of a commercial product used by lampworkers that is dichroic from a surface treatment.
Frank A.
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Offline flying free

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Re: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 08:04:32 PM »
Just adding for historical reference really as it doesn't tell us anything -
I don't know the history of this piece, but this article in the Illustrated London News dated 13 April 1850, discusses the Lycurgus cup and says it is green but looks red or amethyst when held up to the light.  It doesn't discuss or even question  how that effect was achieved. 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Print-of-1850-Roman-Venetian-Glass-Steel-Casket-Ancient-Art-/350896441789?pt=UK_art_prints_GL&hash=item51b30ec9bd
m


Offline KevinH

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Re: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 10:16:04 PM »
An interesting point about the image in the Illustrated London News article is that it showed the Lycurgus Cup with a foot which, as stated in Harold Newman's An Illustrated Dictionary of Glass, 1977 was "an attached modern metal base" and was removed after purchase by the The British Museum in 1958.

Newman also made reference to: "Recent analysis of the glass shows traces of silver and other metals, which may contribute to the dichroic effect." He also included an information source reference to Journal  of Glass Studies (Corning) V (1963).
KevinH


Offline flying free

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Re: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 11:23:21 PM »
Kev, this picture from the British Museum look as though both silver rim and foot are attached though? and it looks the same as the one in the illustration doesn't it?

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_image.aspx?image=k737.jpg&retpage=20945


Offline flying free

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Re: Lycurgus cup article in Smithsonian magazine
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 11:29:49 PM »
ok here's a pic of it with removed foot

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?partid=1&assetid=755705&objectid=61219

And I never realised it has a crack in it (for all those worried about buying damaged glass  ;D )

I love the figuring on the metal foot and rim - reminds me of Art Nouveau French silver work - perhaps it was the inspiration for some of it before it really went all Art Nouveau full swing.
m


 

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