Glass gold-band mosaic alabastron (perfume bottle)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 163

Neck and rim disk: translucent turquoise green. Body: colorless, translucent turquoise green, translucent cobalt blue, opaque white, and gold leaf.
Rim disk and neck: flat, broad, horizontal rim, with rounded edge; cylindrical neck with uneven surface and vertical ribbing; projecting solid flange with downward taper that fits tightly into mouth of body and flat horizontal bottom edge; body: plain vertical rim, slightly beveled and tapering upward; tall, slender body, expanding downwards, then curving in to pointed bottom.
On exterior of body, gold-band mosaic pattern formed from parallel wavy lengths of four canes set vertically: the first in turquoise green; the second in gold leaf sandwiched between two layers of colorless glass; the third in cobalt blue with a thin white stripe; and the fourth again in gold leaf sandwiched between two layers of colorless glass; each cane repeated three times over the body.
Neck and rim disk: intact; a few pinprick bubbles, dulling, patches of whitish iridescent weathering, and encrustation with neck; body: broken and repaired with one small chip in rim and some small holes in cracks; slight dulling and faint whitish weathering.

This cast and carved vessel belongs to a distinctive group of Late Hellenistic containers that comprised a body made of lengths of colored glass and a detachable neck and rim of translucent monochrome glass. The colored bands on the body include ones made of gold leaf sandwiched between layers of colorless glass.

Glass gold-band mosaic alabastron (perfume bottle), Glass and gold leaf, Greek

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