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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass 'Mercury' bottle

2nd–3rd century A.D.
Glass; mold-blown
Overall: 4 1/2 x 1 1/8 in. (11.4 x 2.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan P. Rosen, 1991
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Translucent pale green.
Cylindrical neck, expanding downwards; slightly pushed-in horizontal shoulder; square, thick-walled body, tapering downwards; slightly concave bottom.
In relief on bottom, cloaked standing figure, facing left, holding torch-like object in right hand and left arm bent across chest; in each corner, a large capital letter: G F H I.
Broken around neck (with weathered edges), with upper half of neck and rim missing, one large crack running from neck to upper body; many pinprick bubbles; dulling, pitting, and patches brilliant iridescence and black enamel-like weathering.

Flasks of this type have a base stamp, comprising four Latin letters (GFHI) around a central draped figure, here identified as Mercury holding an attribute.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1991. "One Hundred Twenty-first Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1990 through June 30, 1991." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 121: p. 32.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2006. "Roman Mould-Blown Stamped Bottles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Corpus des signatures et marques sur verres antiques, Vol. 2, Danièle Foy and Marie-Dominique Nenna, eds. p. 454, pl. 8, Aix-en-Provence: Association française pour l'archéologie du verre.

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