Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass sprinkler flask with snake-thread decroation

Mid Imperial
3rd century A.D.
Roman, Syrian
Glass; blown and trailed
H. 4 3/16 in. (10.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Translucent light blue green; base ring and trail in same color.
Outsplayed rim, folded down, round, and in; slanting, funnel-shaped mouth; short, cylindrical neck, with folded diaphragm at base; conical body with straight side, then curving in sharply; applied, solid base ring; low kick in bottom with small pontil scar at center.
A single continuous trail wound around body in a sinuous pattern, partially flattened and decorated with close-set tooled notches.
Intact; a few pinprick and elongated bubbles, and blowing striations; slight dulling and small patches of limy encrustation and iridescent weathering on exterior, larger patches of soil encrustation, weathering, and brilliant iridescence on exterior.

Although the snake-thread decoration seen here is found on Roman glassware throughout the Empire, the shape of this flask belongs firmly in the eastern tradition. It has a constriction at the base of the neck that allowed the contents to be poured out only in drops and so has become known as a sprinkler flask.
Corning Museum of Glass. 1957. Glass from the Ancient World: the Ray Winfield Smith Collection. no. 314, p. 155, fig. 314, Corning, New York: Corning Museum of Glass.

Auth, Susan H. 1976. Ancient glass at the Newark Museum from the Eugene Schaefer Collection of antiquities. no. 150, p. 121, Newark: Newark Museum.

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