Vertical, angular rim; convex curving side, tapering downwards; base ring and concave bottom.
Four large segments of colorless, purple, yellow, and blue, and applied to the interior of the bowl at the center of each segment a hanging garland, comprising an inverted V-shaped white string above a U-shaped swag made up of a mosaic pattern formed from polgonal or circular sections of four different composite canes: one in a yellow ground with a white spiral, a second in a purple ground with yellow rods, the third in a colorless ground with white lines raditating from a central yellow rod, and the fourth in a blue ground a white spiral. The four different canes are arranged in pairs side by side but the order in which they are placed differs in each swag. On interior, a single narrow horizontal groove below rim.
Intact, except for one small chip in rim; pinprick and larger bubbles; dulling, pitting of surface bubbles, faint iridescence on interior, and creamy iridescent weathering on exterior.
This cast glass bowl is a tour-de-force of ancient glass production. It comprises four separate slices of translucent glass-purple, yellow, blue, and colorless-of roughly equal size that were pressed together in an open casting mold. Each segment was then decorated with an added strip of millefiori glass representing a garland hanging from an opaque white cord. Very few vessels made of large sections or bands of differently colored glass are known from antiquity, and this bowl is the only example that combines the technique with millefiori decoration. As such it represents the peak of the glass worker's skill at producing cast vessels.
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Title:Glass garland bowl
Period:Early Imperial, Augustan
Date:late 1st century BCE
Medium:Glass; cast and cut
Dimensions:H. 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm), diameter 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
Credit Line:Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Until 1891, collection of Edward C. Moore; acquired in 1891, bequest of Edward C. Moore.
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Lightfoot, Christopher S. and Elisabetta Valtz Fino. 2001. "In "Ars Vitraria: Glass in the Metropolitan Museum of Art": Greek and Roman Art." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 59(1): p. 21.
Pilosi, Lisa, Mark T. Wypyski, Christopher S. Lightfoot, and Elisabetta Valtz Fino. 2001. "In "Ars Vitraria: Glass in the Metropolitan Museum of Art": Technical Examination and Conservation of Glass." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 59(1): p. 68.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 390, pp. 336, 483, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Picón, Carlos A. 2009. "Glass and Gold of the Hellenistic and Early Roman World." Philippe de Montebello and the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977-2008, James R. Houghton, ed. p. 18, fig. 24, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. p. 78, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Wight, Karol B., William Gudenrath, and Stephen P. Koob. 2015. "A New Nilotic Bowl at The Corning Museum of Glass." Journal of Glass Studies, 57: p. 73, fig. 30.
Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2016. "Fragments of Time: Ancient Glass in the Department of Greek and Roman Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 51: p. 32.
Zanker, Paul, Seán Hemingway, Christopher S. Lightfoot, and Joan R. Mertens. 2019. Roman Art : A Guide through the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Collection. no. 79, pp. 177,179, 195, New York: Scala Publishers.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2020. ART = Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History. pp. 026, 287, New York: Phaidon Press.
Lightfoot, Christopher S. and Kyriaki Karoglou. 2021. Collecting Inspiration : Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co., Medill Higgins Harvey, ed. no. 72, pp. 122–24, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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