Roman, late Republic to early Imperial Period, ca. late 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A thickly-ribbed translucent bowl in pale aqua-colored glass. It is mold-made, cast in a shallow phiale-like form, with a concave base and twenty-three thick ribs radiating around the body. The ribs terminate abruptly just below the smooth, very slightly rolled rim. This style is known as "pillar-molded" glass, referring to the production technique where the shape of the bowl was determined by taking a flat sheet of pliable glass and placing it into a solid mold upside-down; this glass was then worked so that it is slipped/sagged over the mold to create the ribs on the exterior. Bowls like this one were used as part of the Roman "cena," or evening meal, probably for holding condiments like garum (fermented fish sauce). Size: 5.75" W x 1.75" H (14.6 cm x 4.4 cm).
For a similar example, please see "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 42, fig. 50.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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