Ancient Greece, Classical period, ca. 5th century BCE. A beautiful example of a core-formed glass amphoriskos (miniature amphora) once used to hold perfumed oils. The near-miniature vase boasts an exceptionally elegant form with an ovoid body that is finely contoured with vertical ribs, twin handles that gracefully join the shoulder to the cylindrical neck, an everted discoid rim, all upon a narrow, slightly splayed foot. The decoration of this piece is simply breathtaking, with the cobalt blue body wound with azure and golden yellow thread-like trails applied in a close-knit zigzag or feathered pattern. The golden trails continue above the feathered pattern - highlighting the handles, encircling the neck, and resolving at the rim – as well as below the feathering. A divine work of glass art to be treasured for its impeccable form, beautiful hues, and sophisticated technique. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.875" W x 3.5" H (4.8 cm x 8.9 cm); 4" H (10.2 cm) on included custom stand.
According to the Corning Museum of Glass, core forming is "the technique of forming a vessel by winding or gathering molten glass around a core supported by a rod. After forming, the object is removed from the rod and annealed. After annealing, the core is removed by scraping" (https://www.cmog.org/glass-dictionary/core-forming). This process of glass making was begun in the late 16th century BCE by glassmakers of Mesopotamia, and then adopted by Egyptian glassmakers in the 15th century BCE. The technique almost came to an end in the so-called Dark Ages of Mediterranean civilization (1200 to 900 BCE); however, by the 9th century BCE a new generation of glassmakers took up the technique once again, and between the 6th and 4th century BCE core-forming spread throughout the Mediterranean.
A similar example hammered for $6,250 at Christie's, New York Antiquities Auction (sale 2856, June 5, 2014, lot 40): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/an-eastern-mediterranean-core-formed-glass-amphoriskos-circa-5800551-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5800551&sid=3189dc20-b233-485f-878b-67d6274070e8
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Vessel repaired from a few pieces, with a large portion of obverse side restored with some overpainting along break lines. Surface wear and roughness commensurate with age as expected, small nicks to rim, body, and foot, with some fading to coloration, otherwise excellent. Nice earthen deposits throughout.