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Octagonal Bottle

Date:
500–629
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Moulded glass
Dimensions:
Overall: 3 5/8 x 3 11/16 x 3 11/16 in. (9.2 x 9.4 x 9.4 cm)
Classification:
Glass-Vessels
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.74
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
Only a few octagonal jars survive. They are all decorated with Jewish symbols.

These vessels were made for Jews and Christians, possibly as tokens for pilgrims visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem or for use in burial rites. They appear to have been mass-produced in a single workshop, since the vessels for the two religions closely resemble each other in shape and style and differ only in the symbols decorating them. The Jewish vessels depict the menorah (candelabrum), shofar (ram’s horn), incense shovel, and lulav (palm branch). The Christian vessels are decorated with several types of crosses. The relief designs were produced by blowing molten glass into a mold.
Said to be from Kafr Kama (now in Israel).; Louisine W. Havemeyer, New York (until 1929)
Richter, Gisela M. A. The Room of Ancient Glass. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916. p. 18.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The H. O. Havemeyer Collection; a catalogue of the temporary exhibition, March 10-November 2, 1930. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 112.

Barag, Dan. "Glass Pilgrim Vases from Jerusalem, Part I." Journal of Glass Studies 12 (1970). p. 35.

Harden, Donald B. Glass of the Caesars. Milan: Olivetti, 1987. p. 98, 177.



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