Author: Nick Stagliano

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Image features a large egg carved with the allegorical image of "America" as a female figure wearing a robe and feather headdress, holding arrows, and seated before a palm tree and crocodile within a landscape. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Hard Shell to Crack
This ostrich egg is carved with allegorical figures representing the Four Continents—Europe, Asia, Africa, and America—a subject that originated in sixteenth-century drawings and prints and that later gained popularity in the decorative arts.[1] The collection of the late James Hazen Hyde, from which the ostrich egg comes, comprised hundreds of objects and prints depicting the...
This image features a circular sample plate glazed with squares of various colors around the rim, surrounding the logo of a running buffalo in gold, all on a white background. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
What Color Is Your Buffalo?
Sample plates are produced by manufacturers of ceramic tableware as a means of demonstrating the colors with which items, usually in a particular product line, could be glazed. Sample plates provide insight into the colors—and, in some cases, decorative patterns—that were available and popular at particular moments in time. The Cooper Hewitt collection includes several...
Image features tall, bright green symmetrical urn form of ovoid body with neck flaring into circular mouth, two angled handles at shoulder, and short circular foot. The nylon structure consisting of, rigid radiating and crossed strands that create both surface and interior patterns. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Historical Inspiration, Revolutionary Manufacturing
To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition. For more than 20 years, Michael Eden has been a professional potter, often working in a traditional slipware technique. In 2006, he enrolled in a...
The Brick
We’ve come so far technologically that cell phones are now in museums. And in a museum is likely the only place most people will have seen this model – the world’s first commercially available handheld cellular phone. When it came out, it weighed 2.5 pounds, required ten hours for charging for 35 minutes of talk...
Chilled But Not Diluted
You might think that this pitcher looks a bit like crushed ice, and perhaps the illusion is intended. This isn’t just any old pitcher, but a champagne pitcher, and it is special because of its so-called “bladder.”  Within the body of the vessel, underneath the handle, is a cavity in which ice can be inserted,...
A Very Functional Form
This verrière defines the classification of objects we call decorative arts: something that is both beautiful and functional. The function of the verrière is to cool wine glasses by inverting them and resting the feet and stems on the curved rim of the vessel, with the bowls immersed in cold water or ice. This type...
How to Keep Your Cool
In the days before under-counter wine fridges, seaux à bouteilles, buckets made of earthenware or porcelain, were filled with ice water and used to keep bottles of wine cool. Their use continues to this day in the form of metal ice buckets used to keep white wine chilled table-side at fancy restaurants. When these objects were made,...
Double Golden Dragons
This extraordinary chalice takes its inspiration from dragon-stem goblets made by the legendary Venetian glassworkers in the seventeenth century. In this example, also made in Venice but in the late nineteenth century by Salviati & Company, the dragons have been elevated to the body of the cup. Several remarkable glassworking techniques are on display in this object....
A Cricket on Ascension Day Keeps Bad Luck Away
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives on the 40th day after Easter. Some Christians commemorate this as Ascension Day. In Italy, Ascension Day is celebrated by the exchange of crickets between friends. If, in the course of the day, the cricket chirps, its...