Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass conical beaker or lamp

Period:
Late Imperial
Date:
4th–5th century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Glass; blown with applied decoration and cut
Dimensions:
H.: 7 1/4 x 4 3/4 in. (18.4 x 12.1 cm)
Classification:
Glass
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.194.149
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Colorless with pale green tinge; translucent cobalt blue blobs.
Thick, uneven, cracked off rim, with slightly inverted lip; conical body with slightly concave side; small, rounded bottom with slight indentation.
Three horizontal bands of cut decoration on body: immediately below rim, a single broad groove; a second similar groove also on upper body; and the third band comprising fine wheel-abraded lines on lower body. Between the second and third cut bands, a band of applied blobs in relief comprising two single large blobs alternating with two groups of six smaller blobs arranged in a downturned triangular pattern.
Complete, except for a weathered chip in rim and two large cracks running from rim down body; a few bubbles, mainly in blobs; dulling, slight pitting, and patches limy encrustation, weathering, and iridescence.

Conical vessels of this type have been excavated with traces of oil remaining and in circumstances indicating that they were used as lamps. The vessel would have hung in a metal support and would have been nearly filled with water. The oil and wick would have floated on top.
Fremersdorf, Fritz. 1962. Die Denkmäler des römischen Köln. Bd. 7 Die römischen Gläser mit aufgelegten Nuppen., Die Denkmäler des römischen Köln, Bd. 7. pp. 53–54, Cologne: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

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