Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass bowl fragments with cut decoration

Late Imperial
ca. A.D. 330–380
Glass; blown and cut
H. 3 7/16 in. (8.8 cm) diameter 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
Translucent green.
Hemispherical bowl with plain, ground rim; convex curving side; round bottom.
Below rim, a single horizontal wheel-cut groove; around body, a figural frieze. It comprises three figures wearing short-sleeved tunics, facing front with their heads turned in profile to left and their arms raised, standing above a structure marked with five courses of masonry in which two opening are visible (probably three existed); to the right of the structure, the lower part of a column and the legs and lower body of a robed figure; to the left, three other standing figures, one apparently wearing leggings, flanking a rock from which flows a stream of water. On the bottom, is a circular medallion, in which is depicted a man, standing facing left, wearing a long robe and with a long staff under his outstretched right arm.
Broken and incomplete, repaired from six joining fragments (including 1992.61); some pinprick bubbles; patches of severe pitting and weathering, with dulling and iridescence.

The bowl is decorated with Christian scenes that represent well-known stories from the Old Testament. The figure in the medallion at the bottom is either Moses or Aaron; his staff is the rod that turned into a snake. On the body are two separate scenes: one is of the Three Youths in the Furnace; the other shows Moses and the Miracle of the Rock in Horeb.
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. no. 1091, p. 150, pl. 186.

Caron, Beaudoin. 1997. "Roman Figure-Engraved Glass in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 32: no. 7, pp. 19, 30-4, figs. 34-37.

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