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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass handkerchief bowl

Late Imperial
3rd–4th century A.D.
Glass; blown, trailed, and tooled
H.: 3 5/8 in. (9.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Translucent blue green; trail in same color.
Vertical, rounded, thickened rim; deep body with almost vertical side, then curving in sharply at bottom; low, tubular base ring, made by folding; flat bottom but with low internal kick at center and circular pontil mark.
On body, single trail applied two-thirds down side and wound round and upwards in an irregular spiral six times to rim and then wound down again in a spiral twice, ending near where it began, reduced to faint rib by reheating on upper body; rim crumpled, with eight uneven projecting folds.
Intact; a few large bubbles; small patches of soil encrustation, weathering, and iridescence.

Vessels that have been deliberately worked to create a wavy rim and sides are extremely rare in Roman glassware. This bowl is perhaps the best example known to have survived.
Froehner, Wilhelm. 1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan no. 1250, p. 174, pl. 234.6, Paris.

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