Glass-making, as far as we can tell, started in Mesopotamia around 2,500 BC. About 1,500 BC, the Egyptians began making glass—mostly small amulets, beads, and tiles for decorative inlay. As the Egyptians expanded into (and conquered portions of) the Middle East, they captured and brought back to Egypt various skilled artisans, including glassmakers. At this point, the Egyptians began making more sophisticated forms like glass vessels. Although glass production was increasing, it was still tightly regulated by the monarchy; glass was considered an expensive luxury and glass-making was reserved for the royalty—for their personal use, their commissioned projects or their gift-giving.
Times have changed. Today, one need not be pharaonic to afford the indulgence of glass. And, fortunately, the Egyptians are still making glass. We’ve just received an order of Christmas ornaments from Cairo ($20 and $25). Mouth-blown free-hand (without any molds), hand colored, baked, cut on a wheel and gilded with 21 karat gold paint, they make a lovely addition to the Christmas tree—with a classic, old-time sensibility—and are the ornaments with which Coptic Christians decorate. And, for those without Christmas trees, they also look terrific catching the light in a window or in a bowl.
Please come into the shop to see the full range of handsome and colorful ornaments—those from Egypt and elsewhere.
For the Holiday season, LEO Design is open daily from Noon ’til 10:00 pm.