Glass cup


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166

Translucent yellow green with same color handles.
Unworked vertical rim of varying thickness; cylindrical body with vertical sides; bottom with S-shaped curve around outer section, then a projecting circular base with raised outer band but concave with slight kick in center; two loop handles attached to sides over upper decorative frieze.
Body decorated with a plain band below rim above two horizontal friezes in relief; on the upper, which is bounded above and below by a fine raised line, two Greek inscriptions, each within a tabula ansata; one flanked by ivy sprays with leaves and berries and the other by vine sprays with leaves and bunches of grapes; both sets of foliage issuing from two vertically fluted colonettes with base and Ionic capital, set at sides near handles; dividing the upper from the lower frieze, a broad projecting horizontal ridge; on the lower frieze, close-set vertical flutes, rounded at both ends; on outer section of bottom, a diagonal net pattern; three raised concentric circles and central dot on base.
Broken and cracked, with one handle missing and large gap and two smaller chips in rim; a few pinprick bubbles; faint weathering and iridescence.
Sides blown in a three-part mold, with mold marks extending to ridge below vertical flutes; separate saucer-shaped mold for underside and bottom.

Mold-blowing developed in the early decades of the first century A.D. as an offshoot of free-blowing. The earliest makers of mold-blown glass probably came from the Syro-Palestinian region, although their wares quickly became popular throughout the Roman Empire. The most famous and attractive vessels are signed in Greek by Ennion; about thirty examples of his work survive today. These three vessels show the variety of forms and fine decorated details that Ennion's workshop produced.

Glass cup, Glass, Roman

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