Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass pyxis with lid

Early Imperial
1st half of 1st century A.D.
Glass; mold-blown
Height: 3 1/16 in. (7.8 cm) Diameter (.a): 2 7/16 in. × 1 15/16 in. × 1 5/16 in. (6.1 × 5 × 3.4 cm) Height (.a): 2 1/2 in. (6.3 cm) Height (.b): 15/16 in. (2.4 cm) Diameter: 2 3/16 × 2 3/8 in. (5.6 × 6.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.194.238a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168
Opaque white.

Box: vertical rim with inward sloping edge; slightly convex cylindrical neck; octagonal sides with pronounced moldings above and below (the upper edge of the former acts as a ledge on which the lid sits); undercurve to base and slightly concave bottom.

Lid: uneven vertical rim; plain cylindrical collar above, curving out to molding; sloping shoulder; flat top.

On box, eight panels around sides decorated with four repeated designs: 1, a spoked circle below a triangular pediment; 2, a palmette below a rounded arch; 3, a circle with central dot within a lozenge; and 4, a lotus flower on a stem below a rounded arch; panels separated by vertical raised lines, decorated on the moldings above and below with raised knobs, perhaps representing thyrsi; on undercurve of base, a circular frieze of overlapping leaves; on bottom, four concentric raised circles with a dot at the center. On lid, eight outward-facing palmettes on shoulder; three concentric raised circles on top with a dot at the center.

Box intact but lid broken and repaired with one chip in rim and other small holes around molding above collar; both box and lid largely covered with milky white weathering and iridescence.

Box mold comprises four vertical panels for the sides and a saucer-shaped section for the base of the box; lid mold comprises a top segment and three side sections.
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. no. 393, p. 59, pls. 43.2-4 .

Matheson, Susan B. 1980. Ancient glass in the Yale University Art Gallery. no. 121, p. 46, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2014. Ennion: Master of Roman Glass. no. 37, p. 130, fig. 28, 34, pp.41, 47, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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