Glass astragal (knucklebone)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156

Translucent amber brown.
Shaped like the knucklebone of a sheep or goat. Solid with continuous mold seam along sides and ends.
Intact; pinprick and a few larger bubbles; dulling and patches of faint weathering.

In antiquity, one of the most popular games of chance was played with astragaloi, knucklebones of sheep and goats. They could be used like dice or like jacks, thrown in the air and caught on the back of the hand. Knucklebones have been found in tombs where they must have been intended to help the deceased while away endless time.

Glass astragal (knucklebone), Glass, Greek

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