Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cylindrical glass bottle

Signed by Frontinus
Late Imperial
3rd century A.D.
Glass; blown in a three-part mold
H. 7 1/2 in (19.1 cm.) diamter 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Translucent yellow green, with handles in same color; streaks in purplish red on lower body and bottom.
Rim folded out, down, round, and in; flaring mouth; uneven cylindrical neck, expanding downwards; broad, convex shoulder, pushed-in at center; cylindrical body with slightly convex vertical side; uneven, slightly concave bottom with small central pontil mark; two broad strap handles with ribs on either edge attached on opposite sides to edge of shoulder, drawn up, then turned in horizontally and trailed onto underside of rim. Two prominent vertical mold seams run down body from top to bottom, misaligned on one side, with a separate disk-shaped base section; on one side, there appear to be small indented circles near the top and bottom on either side of the misaligned seam, perhaps indicating fasteners or hinges.
On body, side divided into three horizontal bands of roughly equal width; top and bottom bands have six continuous horizontal ribs; central band is plain; on bottom, outer flat ring with four letters F R O N arranged as if the four cardinal points on a fine concentric circle, and a small concentric circle around center.
Intact; many pinprick and larger bubbles, and blowing striations; slight dulling and iridescence on exterior, patches of iridescent weathering on interior.

In addition to the so-called Mercury flasks (such as 81.10.58 displayed nearby), cylindrical bottles decorated with horizontal ribs were very popular glass containers in the northwestern provinces of the Empire during the second and third centuries A.D. These barrel-like bottles often have the name of the maker, Frontinus, inscribed on the base; on this example, it has been abbreviated to FRON. The workshops associated with Frontinus were probably located in northeastern France.
Said to be from Cologne (Froehner 1879, p. 139, pl. XXXI, 124.)

Until 1881, collection of Jules Charvet, Le Pecq, Île-de-France; 1881, purchased from J. Charvet by Henry G. Marquand; acquired in 1881, gift of Henry G. Marquand.
Froehner, Wilhelm. 1879. La verrerie antique: déscription de la Collection Charvet. pp. 62, 139, pl. 31.124, Le Pecq: Jules Charvet.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1881. Twelfth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Association for eight months ending December 31, 1881. pp. 215-16, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kisa, Anton. 1908. Das Glas im Altertume, Vol. 3. p. 944 n. 44, Leipzig: K. W. Hiersemann.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1911. "The Room of Ancient Glass." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6(6) Supplement: p. 14, fig. 12.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930[1911]. The Room of Ancient Glass, : p. 14, fig. 12.

Harden, Donald Benjamin. 1940. "Roman Mould-Blown Glass." The Connoisseur, 106: no. 10, p. 105.

Fremersdorf, Fritz. 1961. Die Denkmäler des römischen Köln. Bd. 6. Römisches geformtes Glas in Köln., Die Denkmäler des römischen Köln, Bd. 6. pp. 59-60, pl. 117, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2006. "Roman Mould-Blown Stamped Bottles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Corpus des signatures et marques sur verres antiques, Vol. 2, Danièle Foy and Marie-Dominique Nenna, eds. p. 454, pl. 10, Aix-en-Provence: Association française pour l'archéologie du verre.

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