Roman, late Republic to early Imperial Period, ca. late 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A stunning mold-formed bowl made from translucent, amber-hued glass. The vessel is defined by a slight concave, gently-expanding base, planar walls, a shallow interior cavity, and a thin rim with a fire-polished lip. Adding to the overall aesthetic is a singular wheel-cut line beneath the rim interior as well as a pair of concentric wheel-cut lines just above the interior basin surface. Thick sections of brilliant silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence provide a sumptuous chromatic complementarity to this beautiful bowl. Size: 5.1" W x 1.75" H (13 cm x 4.4 cm).
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.
For a stylistically-similar example with exterior ribs, please see "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 41, fig. 49.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Martin Wunsch collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1980s
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Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, small nicks to rim and exterior surfaces, with light encrustations, and some fading to wheel-cut lines. Nice earthen deposits, root marks, silver iridescence, and rainbow iridescence throughout. Old inventory label beneath base.