Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass bowl decorated with hunting scenes

Late Imperial
2nd half of the 4th–early 5th century A.D.
Glass; blown and cut
H. 3 1/16 in. (7.7 cm)
diameter 7 1/16 in. (18 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Translucent deep blue green.
Slightly inverted, ground rim; hemispherical body and round bottom.
Cut decoration: below rim, a band of three horizontal grooves, two narrow flanking above and below a broader groove; on side, a frieze containing seven human figures and four animals, showing a man facing right and wearing only a pallium (cloak) and boots, half leaning on a spear and collapsing into the arms of a long-haired female comrade behind him, dressed in a short tunic and greaves, and in front of him a naked female with long shawl over her outstretched arms; behind her to the right, a band of oval facets indicating a lair in which there is a boar, attacked from above by a hunting dog; to right of boar, a youthful man facing left, with short-cropped hair and fillet on his head and a pallium over his right shoulder, thrusts a spear at the boar, with a dog advancing left at his feet; to the right two archers take aim at the boar, the one behind the hunter probably a woman wearing a tunic, pallium, and boots, the other behind her a young man wearing only a pallium and boots, between them a tree; behind the second archer, a bearded man wearing a helmet (or Phrygian cap) and a pallium over his left shoulder, and holding a shield on his right arm, advances to the right with his left leg raised as he thrusts his spear downwards at the rear half of another boar that is plunging into a lair flanked by trees; below frieze, a single deep concentric groove, marking the ground line, enclosing a central medallion on bottom containing a draped bust in profile to left, wearing a crested helmet and holding a transverse spear.
Broken and repaired from nine fragments, with one gap running from rim, down side, and across bottom; pinprick and a few larger bubbles; patches of severe pitting and iridescent weathering.

Engraved on the exterior of the bowl are two hunting scenes from Greek mythology–one depicts Adonis who has been mortally wounded by a boar, the other Meleager and Atalanta hunting the Calydonian boar.
Froehner, Wilhelm. 1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan no. 1092, p. 151, pl. 187, Paris.

Caron, Beaudoin. 1993. "Roman Figure-Engraved Glass Bowl." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 28: pp. 47–50, figs. 2–7.

Caron, Beaudoin. 1997. "Roman Figure-Engraved Glass in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 32: no. 9, pp. 19, 34–42, figs. 42–50.

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