The European fascination with Egyptian culture reached new heights following the expedition by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) to Egypt in 1798-1801. This recently acquired obelisk made by Werner and Meith around the years 1800-1810 epitomizes the resulting Egyptomania.
Only three other Werner and Mieth–made obelisks are known to have survived. The fact that this artifact is one of only four known underlines its rarity. The Corning obelisk was most likely a royal commission; the Werner and Mieth ormolu mounts give this claim added validity. A potential link to the French royal house under Napoleon is a strong possibility: one major client of Werner and Mieth was Joséphine de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s wife. At least one of Werner and Mieth’s glass objects has survived in her home, Château de Malmaison. (2013.3.13, H: 69.2 cm, W: 19.6 cm, D: 19.5 cm.)
Obelisk, Werner and Mieth Workshop, Germany, Berlin, about 1800-1810. Overall height: 69.5 cm; Height of bronze base: 10.5 cm; Height of glass obelisk: 59 cm. Widest point of glass obelisk: 8 cm. (2013.3.13)
View the full object record: http://www.cmog.org/artwork/unknown-178