Glass beaker


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168

Colorless with green tinge.
Unworked, knocked-off rim with slight bulge below; cylindrical body with vertical sides; concave undercurve and projecting rounded base ring; flat bottom. Three vertical mold seams run down sides from bulge to top of undercurve, with a separate cup-shaped base section.
On body, two fine wheel-abraded horizontal lines on plain band at top of body; eight elongated vertical panels round sides with decoration in high relief: four downward-facing dolphins with shells in their mouth, alternating with four set of objects - a crescent, a four-lobed rosette, a shell, and a six-lobed rosette - arranged vertically; on undercurve, two rows of indented bosses, offset from each other (eighteen bosses in each row); on bottom, a single indented circle surrounding a central hollow with raised dot.
Intact, except for slight chipping and cracking around rim; many bubbles; slight dulling, faint irisdescence, and patches of brownish weathering.

The unique decoration on this beaker is probably meant to recall the circus games, for the Circus Maximus in Rome had lap-counters in the shape of a row of dolphins that allowed spectators to follow the course of a chariot race.

Glass beaker, Glass, Roman

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