Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. A grand and semi-translucent flask, free-blown from a pale pink glass. The vessel has a concave base with a rough pontil, a rotund spherical body, a rolling shoulder which tapers to a narrow neck line, a cylindrical neck, and a splayed rim with a petite spout. A single azure-hued rigaree trail wraps around the base of the neck, and small chips above indicate this rigaree would have coiled at least twice more around the neck. The flask's muted coral color is nicely complemented with thick areas of silvery and rainbow iridescence in hues of amethyst, sapphire, emerald, citrine, and turquoise. The overall size as well as the pronounced spout make this flask a rare and exquisite example from the ancient Roman Empire! Size: 6" W x 9.75" H (15.2 cm x 24.8 cm).
Ancient glass manufacture had begun in the 2nd millennium BCE in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Greeks and Phoenicians advanced glass technology greatly in the latter 1st millennium BCE. In the early 1st century CE, Roman workshops began producing blown glass on a large scale. Eventually glass vessels came to replace a wide variety of pottery and metal wares in the ancient world. Ancient Roman glass was traded far beyond the Roman Empire. Roman glass vessels have been found in Scandinavia, India, and in Han Dynasty tombs in China.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Base of flask is reattached and stabilized with light adhesive residue and earthen material along the break line. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, small nicks to base, body, and rim, with some discoloration, otherwise excellent. Nice earthen deposits as well as incredible silver and rainbow iridescence throughout.