Roman, late Republic to early Imperial Period, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A thickly-ribbed translucent bowl in pale aqua-colored glass. The vessel is mold-made, cast in a shallow phiale-like form, with a slight concave base and displaying thirty-seven ribs which radiate around the body and terminate abruptly just below the smooth, lightly-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 slipped and 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" in Diameter x 1.75" H (12.7 cm x 4.4 cm).
Cf. Oppenlander, cat. No. 256, pp. 96-97 & 99.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Stephen Shalom collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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