Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass cup

Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
1st half of 1st century A.D.
Glass; blown in a four-part mold
Other: 2 7/16 × 4 3/8 in. (6.2 × 11.1 cm)
Diam. of rim: 3 13/16 in. (9.7 cm)
Diam. of foot: 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
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.
Signature: Signed by Ennion

Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: "Ennion made [me/it]" and "May the buyer be remembered"
Said to have been bought in Venice (Froehner 1903, p. 158, no. 1143) and possibly found in Adria

Before 1895, purchased by Julien Gréau; purchased as part of the Gréau glass collection by John Pierpont Morgan; until 1913, collection of J. Pierpont Morgan; 1913, inherited by J. Pierpont Morgan (son); acquired in 1917, gift of J. Pierpont Morgan.
Froehner, Wilhelm. 1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan no. 1143, p. 158, pl. 207, Paris.

Conton, Luigi. 1906. "I più insigni monumenti di Ennione; recentemente scoperti nell’agro Adriese." Ateneo Veneto, 2. p. 15, Venice.

Kisa, Anton. 1908. Das Glas im Altertume, Vol. 3. p. 713, Leipzig: K. W. Hiersemann.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1911. "The Room of Ancient Glass." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6(6) Supp.: pp. 15–16, fig. 14.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930[1911]. The Room of Ancient Glass, : pp. 15-16, fig. 14.

McClees, Helen and Christine Alexander. 1933. The Daily Life of the Greeks and Romans: As Illustrated in the Classical Collections, 5th ed. p. 125, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Harden, Donald Benjamin. 1935. "Romano-Syrian Glasses with Mould-Blown Inscriptions." The Journal of Roman Studies, 25: p. 166.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936. A Special Exhibition of Glass from the Museum Collections: New York, October 13 to November 29, 1936.. p. 7, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Christine Alexander. 1939. Augustan Art: An Exhibition Commemorating the Bimillennium of the Birth of Augustus. p. 22, New York: Marchbanks Press.

Strouse, Jean and Joan R. Mertens. 2000. "J. Pierpont Morgan: Financier and Collector." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 57(3): p. 56, fig. 66.

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. 22.

Whitehouse, David. 2001. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Vol. 2. p. 15, Corning, NY.: Corning Museum of Glass.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 396, pp. 340, 484, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2014. Ennion: Master of Roman Glass. no. 15, p. 95, figs. 14, 40, pp. 27, 52, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2016. "Fragments of Time: Ancient Glass in the Department of Greek and Roman Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 51: p. 38.

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