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Gold-glass skyphos (drinking cup) fragment

Period:
Hellenistic
Date:
2nd century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Eastern Mediterranean
Medium:
Glass, Gold; cast and painted
Dimensions:
Other: 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm)
Classification:
Glass
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.160.76
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Colorless with yellowish tinge, with gold foil and blue enamel.
Vertical rim, with top edge ground flat; slightly convex curving side, comprised of two layers of glass fused together, both becoming thinner towards the bottom.
Decoration applied between the two layers of glass on side in three registers: at top, pattern of close-set squared crenallations; in the middle, a broad frieze flanked above and below by single horizontal lines, depicting a scrolling vine with grape clusters painted in blue and flanked to one side by a uncertain object (a cushion ?) with three dots in field above and below and beside it another cluster of fruit; at the bottom, a delicate dog-tooth pattern flanked above and below by single horizontal lines.
Broken and repaired from three pieces, with jagged edges at sides and bottom; pinprick bubbles; dulling, slight pitting, and faint iridescence.

Some luxury Hellenistic glass tableware was made using a technique known as sandwich gold-glass. A design of openwork gold leaf was applied between two separately-made vessels, usually of colorless glass, that were fused together, one inside the other. On this rim fragment the principle band of decoration comprises a vine scroll with clusters of blue-colored grapes.
Alexander, Christine. 1925. "Jewelry and Miscellaneous Small Antiquities: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20(7): p. 183.

Rostovtzeff, Michael Ivanovitch. 1941. The Social & Economic History of the World, Vol. 1. p. 372, pl. 43.4, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Rostovtzeff, Michael Ivanovitch. 1941. The Social & Economic History of the World, Vol. 3. pp. 1553-54, n. 198, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

von Saldern, Axel. 1959. "Glass FInds at Gordion." Journal of Glass Studies, 1: no. 5, p. 47.

Harden, Donald Benjamin. 1968. "The Canosa Group of Hellenistic Glasses in the British Museum." Journal of Glass Studies, 10: pp. 38-39.

Oliver, Andrew Jr. 1969. "A Gold-Glass Fragment in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Journal of Glass Studies, 11: pp. 9-16.

Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford, Lili. 1970. "Les bol hellénistiques en verre doré." Babesch: Bulletin Antieke Beschavung, 45: p. 141, fig. 18.

Harper, Prudence. 1971. "Origin and Influence–Cultural Contacts: Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and the Classical World." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 29(7): p. 326.

Goldstein, Sidney M. 1989. "Old Glass, New Glass, Gold Glass: Some Thoughts on Ancient Casting Technology." Glas der Caesaren : römisches Glas des 2. bis 6. Jahrhunderts : der archäologische Befund : Berichte auf dem Glassymposium in Köln, 9.-10. Juni 1988. pp. 115-6, fig. 3, Berlin: Gebr. Mann.

Ignatiadou, Despoina. 2013. Diaphanēs hyalos gia zēn aristokrataia tēs archaias Makedonias (Colourless glass for the élite in ancient Macedonia). p. 161, no. 8, Thessalonikē: Archaiologiko Institouto Makedonikōn kai Thrakikōn Spoudōn.

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