Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd century CE. A lovely mold-blown translucent glass bottle of a blue-green hue with a planar base and rounded corners, a four-sided body, a rounded shoulder that tapers to a narrow tubular neck, a collared rim, and a wide applied strap handle joining neck to shoulder. Areas of bright silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence nicely complement the vessel's turquoise color in sapphire, emerald, citrine, amethyst, and amber colors. Size: 3.875" W x 4.5" H (9.8 cm x 11.4 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 similar example of a different color, please see "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Art, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 83, fig. 146.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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