Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass jug

Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
1st half of 1st century A.D.
Glass; blown in a four-part mold
Other: 7 1/2 × 4 3/16 in. (19.1 × 10.6 cm) Diam. of rim: 2 3/4 in. (7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
Translucent deep honey brown; handle in opaque white.

Outsplayed rim, folded up and in, forming collar on inside of mouth; cylindrical neck with short vertical projecting ridge at top; sloping shoulder; piriform body, tapering downwards; flat bottom; handle with two prominent ribs attached to shoulder, drawn up and outwards, then turned in at a right angle, folded up to form loop above rim and then dropped onto rim and top of neck.

Decoration comprises four registers on neck and body, divided by ridges and raised horizontal lines: on neck, vertical flutes rounded at both ends; in frieze on shoulder and upper body, continuous floral spray with upturned spikes, forming circular frames for six downturned palmettes with outward facing leaves, alternating with six downturned palmettes with inward facing leaves; around middle section of body, frieze filled with net pattern, broken on one side by a tabula ansata containing a Greek inscription; on lower body, vertical flutes, rounded at top, with spikes projecting upward between flutes; on bottom, deep, small kick with central knob.

Intact, but slight indent in top of side near handle; slight dulling and pitting, patches of creamy weathering and iridescence.

Neck and upper body blown in a three-part mold, with mold marks extending to ridge below frieze with net pattern; separate cup-shaped mold for lower body and bottom.

Opaque white was used frequently on early Roman glass, for the vessel body, for decorative trails, and most particularly as an outer layer or casing in cameo glass. This jug is the only known example of a vessel signed by Ennion on which opaque white appears.
Signature: Signed by Ennion: ΕΝΝΙWΝ EΠΟΙΕΙ

Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: "Ennion made [me/it]"
Said to have been acquired in Constantinople (Froehner 1903, p. 164, no. 1183)

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.P. Morgan.
Froehner, Wilhelm. 1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan no. 1183, pp. 163–64, pl. 217, 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. 714, Leipzig: K. W. Hiersemann.

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

Rostovtzeff, Michael Ivanovitch. 1914. Antichna︠i︡a Dekorativna︠i︡a Zhivopisʹ Na ︠i︡ug︠i︡e Rossīi. Vol. I: Opisanie I Issledovanie Pamiatnikov. p. 514, fig. 96, St. Petersburg: Imper. Arkheologucheska︠i︡a Kommissī︠i︡a.

Eisen, Gustavus A. and Fahim Joseph Kouchakji. 1927. Glass: Its Origin, History, Chronology, Technic and Classification to the Sixteenth Century, Vol. 1. p. 271, pl. 56, New York: W. E. Rudge.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930[1911]. The Room of Ancient Glass, : p. 16, fig. 16.

Harden, Donald Benjamin. 1935. "Romano-Syrian Glasses with Mould-Blown Inscriptions." The Journal of Roman Studies, 25: p. 168, pl. 23c.

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.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936. Roman Art, A Picture Book. fig. 8, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. 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, fig. 49, New York: Marchbanks Press.

Harden, Donald Benjamin. 1940. "Roman Mould-Blown Glass." The Connoisseur, 106: no. 2, p. 102.

Harden, Donald Benjamin and Grace Crowfoot. 1956. "Glass and Glazes." A History of Technology: The Mediterranean Civilizations and the Middle Ages, c. 700 B.C. to c. A.D. 1500, Vol. 2, Charles Singer, Eric John Holmyard, Alfred Rupert Hall, and Trevor Williams, eds. p. 322, fig. 300, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Forbes, Robert J. 1957. Studies in Ancient Technology, Vol. 5. p. 169, fig. 31, Leiden: Brill.

Auth, Susan H. 1976. Ancient glass at the Newark Museum from the Eugene Schaefer Collection of antiquities. no. 58, p. 65, Newark: Newark Museum.

Lehrer, Gusta. 1979. Ennion: A First Century Glassmaker. p. 7, pl. 1.4, Ramat Aviv: Haaretz Museum.

Israeli, Yael. 1983. "Ennion in Jerusalem." Journal of Glass Studies, 25: p. 67.

Donceel, R. 1987. "Un fragment de verre de l’atelier d’Ennion à Apamée." Revue des Archéologues et Historiens d’Art de Louvain, XX: p. 38, fig. 2.

Stern, E. Marianne. 1995. Roman Mold-Blown Glass: The First through Sixth Centuries. pp. 73 ns. 82c and 84c, p. 151 n. 4c, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider.

Barag, Dan P. 1996. "Phoenicia and mold-blowing in the early Roman period." Annales du 13e Congrès de l'Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre, Pays Bas 28 août-1 septembre 1995, Gioia Meconcelli, ed. no. 7 , Lochem: Association internationale pour l'histoire du verre.

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.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 2000. The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West, Elizabeth J. Milleker, ed. no. 54, pp. 66–67, 207, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 398, pp. 341, 484, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2014. Ennion: Master of Roman Glass. no. 1, p. 70, fig. 13, p. 27, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2015. "Ennion, Master of Roman Glass: Further Thoughts." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 50: pp. 104–9, figs. 2, 4.

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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