Ancient Rome, Hellenistic, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. An exceedingly rare piece, this alabastron with its characteristic tubular body that flares downward resolving in a rounded bottom, is an example of an astoundingly elaborate creation of the ancient glass industry, the gold-band technique. The ancient artist sandwiched canes of gold glass between glass of various opaque hues, including cobalt blue, teal, forest green, sage green, chocolate brown, azure blue, and white, all fused together into a mesmerizing swirling pattern. A similar example appears on the front cover of Fortuna Fine Arts' landmark catalogue entitled, "Solid Liquid" (New York, 1999). The authors of this catalogue aptly described the technique as follows, "This effect was achieved by using canes of colorless glass which enclosed a thin layer of gold leaf. These special canes were fused together with canes of different color glass, creating vessels of stunning beauty through which the gold leaf appears to flow freely." Truly a painstaking technique, and here we have a truly awe-inspiring example of it! Lucite stand included. Size: 1.25" W x 5.5" H (3.2 cm x 14 cm)
cf: Grose, David ; The Toledo Museum of Art. Early Ancient Glass. (Toledo, 1989) p.208, no.225
cf: Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd.; Solid Liquid (New York, 1991) cover and pp. 34-35
Provenance: Ex - Prominent LA County collector who acquired these prior to 2000
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