Roman Empire, Lebanon, Sidonian, ca. mid 1st to early 2nd century CE. A breathtaking amphoriskos, comprised of translucent aubergine glass, blown in a two-part mold (note the seam running down the length of the body on both sides) and displaying repeating horizontal ridges throughout the body. The cylindrical neck was free blown and resolves to a gently flared, folded rim, and twin green trailed handles join neck to shoulders. An exquisite glass amphoriskos (miniature amphora) once used to hold perfumed oil with gorgeous silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence across the surface. Size: 3" H (7.6 cm); 3.375" H (8.6 cm) on included custom stand.
Here are Pliny's words as he describes his voyage to Sidon, "From this point on we must go back to the coast and to Phoenicia. There was formerly a town called Crocodilian, and there still is a river of that name…Then comes Cape Carmel…Next are Getta, Geba, and the river Pacida or Belus…Close to this river is Ptolemais…Next Tyre, once an island separated from the mainland by a very deep sea-channel 700 yards wide, but now joined to it by the works constructed by Alexander when besieging the place…but the entire renown of Tyre now consists in a shell-fish and a purple dye!…Next are Zarephath and the city of birds (Ornithon oppidum), and Sidon, the mother-city of Thebes in Boeotia where glass is made." (Pliny, Natural History V.75-76, 77-79 CE).
Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; ex-Christie's December 13, 2013 New York Antiquities Auction, part of lot 48; ex-Dr. James Burk, Indiana, 1960s-1970s with Sumer Gallery, New York, New York, USA, 1983
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