Roman, Imperial Period, ca. late 1st to 2nd century CE. A beautiful free-blown pitcher formed from near-opaque, pale-green glass with a slight concave base and rough pontil scar, a bulbous body which tapers to a narrow cylindrical neck, a flared and in-folded rim, and an applied trail handle with wide lower termini and a folded thumb rest just beneath the rim. Though much of the exterior is coated in thick encrustations, the fiery rainbow-hued iridescence which has formed on top imbues the vessel with a fabulous palette of ruby, emerald, sapphire, golden, citrine, amethyst, and topaz hues. A fabulous example of fine Roman-era glasswork! Size: 2.375" W x 3.5" H (6 cm x 8.9 cm).
For a schematically-similar example, please see "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 85, fig. 151.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Martin Wunsch collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1980s
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Small repair to rim. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, losses to areas of thumb rest and handle, small nicks to rim, handle, and body, with thick encrustations across most exterior surfaces. A pontil scar or mark indicates that a vessel was free-blown, while the absence of such a mark suggests that the work was either mold-blown or that the mark was intentionally smoothed away or wore away over time. Nice earthen deposits and fabulous rainbow iridescence throughout.