Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass gold-band mosaic alabastron (perfume bottle)

1st century B.C.
Greek, Eastern Mediterranean
Glass, gold; rod-formed and applied
H.: 3 13/16 in. (9.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Translucent cobalt blue, colorless, translucent turquoise blue, translucent purple, opaque white, and gold leaf.
Plain vertical rim, ground flat; slender body, expanding downwards, then curving in to pointed bottom.
On exterior, parallel wavy lengths of five canes set vertically on blue body: the first in turquoise blue; the second in cobalt blue with a central white stripe; the third in purple with two white stripes, the fourth again in cobalt blue with a central white stripe; and the fifth in gold leaf sandwiched between two layers of colorless glass. The first four canes are repeated twice over the body, but the gold leaf cane only appears once.
Intact body, except for slight chipping to bottom (the alabastron would originally have had a separate neck piece with broad horizontal rim disk); dulling, deep pitting, and brown weathering.
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. no. 1767, p. 228.

Oliver, Andrew Jr. 1967. "Late Hellenistic Glass in the Metropolitan Museum." Journal of Glass Studies, 9: no. 16, pp. 21-22, fig. 13.

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