Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. An attractive and quite sizeable translucent green glass vessel presenting a broad cylindrical body on a concave bottom, a tubular neck leading to a flared rim with a funnel mouth, and a thick trailed handle that elegantly flows from the neck/rim to the shoulder. Adding to its beauty are areas of rainbow iridescence. Although no doubt of utilitarian function, this vessel's elegant form, gorgeous coloring, and rainbow iridescence make for an aesthetically beautiful example as well! Size: 5.375" in diameter x 7.125" H (13.7 cm x 18.1 cm)
This vessel was most likely created in Cologne. By 50 CE, Cologne was the largest Roman settlement north of the Alps. The Romans called the region Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium - meaning Colony of Claudius and Altar of Agrippines. With an impressive population of 45,000, Cologne became a major glass manufacturing area from Roman times all the way through the 18th century CE. Recently, the Roman-Germanic Museum Cologne which has the largest collection of Roman and Frankish glass throughout the world hosted a wonderful exhibit entitled, "Fragile Luxury: Cologne - A Center of Antique Glass Art" (June 3, 2016-March 26, 2017). According to the museum's press release, "As early as the middle of the first century AD, glass factories were set up in the Colonia. The flammable glassworks were located outside the city walls. Probably immigrant glassmakers produced there initially with imported raw glass ingots. It was then recognized that, for example, the pure sands which were present in Frechen were outstandingly suitable for the production of glass vessels." This landmark exhibit traced the 2000 year tradition of glass-making in Cologne.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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