Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass gold-band mosaic bottle

Period:
Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
Date:
1st half of 1st century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Glass; cast and blown, and cut
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
Classification:
Glass
Credit Line:
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.88
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
Translucent cobalt blue, turquoise green, opaque white, and colorless encasing shattered gold leaf.
Everted, horizontal rim with rounded underside to lip; cylindrical neck, with horizontal indent around base; globular body; slightly concave bottom.
Gold-band mosaic pattern formed from a single serpentine length of layered canes formed in the following order: green outlined in white, blue (appearing light blue in places when backed by white), colorless with gold leaf, and blue again; the length is wound three times round body, being fused together across bottom. A single fine horizontal line incised on upper surface of rim near outer edge; a band of three parallel horizontal grooves around upper body; another single horizontal groove on body at point of greatest diameter; and a band of two concentric grooves around outer edge of bottom.
Intact, except for one small chip in base of neck and some short internal cracks; slight dulling and pitting, small patches iridescence, and creamy brown weathering.
Rotary grinding marks on exterior.

Gold-band cast glass was a particularly opulent type of early Roman glassware. It combines canes of brightly colored translucent and opaque glass with strips of gold leaf encased between layers of colorless glass. Only a limited number of vessel shapes were made in this way, and some of the most common are small globular or carinated bottles such as these. They were presumably used to store expensive cosmetics and perfumes.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1930. The H. O. Havemeyer Collection: A Catalogue of the Temporary Exhibition, March 10-November 2. no. 1949, p. 111, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. "The Exhibition of the H.O. Havemeyer Collection: Classical Art." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 25 (3): p. 75.

Oliver, Andrew Jr. 1967. "Late Hellenistic Glass in the Metropolitan Museum." Journal of Glass Studies, 9: no. 1, pp. 23-24, fig. 16.

Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney, Gary Tinterow, Susan Alyson Stein, Gretchen Wold, and Julia Meech. 1993. Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection pp. 104, 116, pl. 104, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 2000. The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West, Elizabeth J. Milleker, ed. no. 52, pp. 64-65, 67, 207, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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