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Uploaded on Apr 13, 2011

Curators occasionally make surprising discoveries. Before the Museum acquired this object, it was identified as an 18th-century Indian spittoon. The surface is crizzled (that is, it has begun to deteriorate). The curator had never seen an example of crizzled Indian glass, so he looked at it closely. To his surprise, it has a decorated seal that shows it was made in England by the famous 17th-century glassmaker George Ravenscroft. The object is very rare indeed.

This video features David Whitehouse, former executive director and curator of ancient and Islamic glass at The Corning Museum of Glass.

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