Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE. An elegant, translucent, pale blue-green glass lotus bud beaker with a mold-blown body presenting four rows of raised lotus buds interspersed with round bosses, an overall upward gently flaring profile, a base with concentric circles in relief, and a round rim with a fine wheel-cut line below. During the 1st century CE, lotus bud beakers were extremely popular and were created by using a series of different molds. This particular style, featuring ample lotus buds interspersed with bosses was created by using one of the most elaborate molds. Size: 5" H (12.7 cm); 5.375" H (13.7 cm) on included custom stand.
Most scholars agree, Roman glass was of the highest quality - both aesthetically and technically - among the ancients. While glass making had been practiced for centuries, glass blowing was invented in the Roman-controlled Holy Land in the 1st century BCE. This innovative technology revolutionized the artform. We can appreciate such a wide variety of forms and shapes, because the medium of glass has unique physical properties that make for so many more possibilities which would eventually replace a wide variety of pottery and metal wares in the ancient world. Roman glassmakers reached incredible artistic heights with both free-blown vessels and mold blown forms and decorations and were traded far beyond the Roman Empire. Roman glass vessels have been found in Scandinavia, India, and in Han Dynasty tombs in China.
A similar beaker sold at Christie's London, Sale 7161, 20 April 2005, Lot 168 for 4,560 GBP ($6,015) - https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-roman-pale-green-glass-lotus-bud-4470059-details.aspx
See similar examples in Yale, no. 126, p. 49 and Vatican, no. 677, p. 69, pl. 30; for a related variant of the lotus bud beakers, see Hermitage, nos. 118-119, pp. 275-276.
For another similar example, please see the Corning Museum of Glass, accession number 79.1.96: https://www.cmog.org/artwork/knobbed-or-lotus-bud-beaker-0
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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