Glass gold-band mosaic bottle


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168

Translucent cobalt blue, turquoise green, and purple, opaque white, and colorless encasing shattered gold leaf.
Everted, horizontal rim with beveled underside to lip; cylindrical neck; squat globular body; flat bottom.
Gold-band mosaic pattern formed from a single serpentine length of layered canes formed in the following order: green outlined in white and purple, colorless with gold leaf, and blue outlined in white and purple; the length is wound three times round body, being fused together across bottom. A single fine horizontal line incised on upper surface of rim near outer edge; a band of two parallel horizontal grooves around top body; and another single horizontal groove on body at point of greatest diameter.
Intact, except for deep, weathered chips in side of body; slight dulling and pitting, iridescence, whitish weathering, and areas of soil encrustation.
Rotary grinding marks on exterior.

Small bottles and lidded pyxides (boxes) in mosaic and luxury gold-band glass were made during the Julio-Claudian period. But as glass-blowing became more widespread during the mid-1st century, they were quickly supplanted by free-blown versions, often in more transparent glass that allowed one to see the contents.

Glass gold-band mosaic bottle, Glass, Roman

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