Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass ‘Mercury’ bottle fragment

Mid Imperial
2nd–3rd century A.D.
Glass; mold-blown
Overall: 1 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 1 1/4 in. (3 x 3.3 x 3.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Museum Accession
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Translucent pale yellow green.
Fragment of square bottle: square, thick-walled body, tapering downwards; slightly concave bottom.
In relief on bottom, cloaked figure, facing three-quarters left, seated on a cushioned chair with proper right leg raised and resting on footstool; in each corner, a large capital letter: M A C N; below M, indented circle with small central boss.
Broken around body (with weathered edges) and most of left edge of bottom also missing; pinprick bubbles; pitting and iridescent whitish weathering.

This base fragment has an impression of the stamp that was carved into the mold. It depicts a draped and veiled figure seated on an armchair. Flanking the figure are the letters MACN, the meaning of which remains unclear.
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.

Related Objects

Glass 'Mercury' bottle

Date: 2nd–3rd century A.D. Medium: Glass Accession: 1991.171.1 On view in:Gallery 171

Glass 'Mercury' bottle

Date: 3rd century A.D. Medium: Glass Accession: 81.10.58 On view in:Gallery 169

Glass pourer flask

Date: 2nd–early 3rd century A.D. Medium: Glass Accession: 74.51.80 On view in:Gallery 176

Glass snake-thread flask shaped like a mouse

Date: 3rd century A.D. Medium: Glass, blue Accession: 2012.479.2 On view in:Gallery 169

Glass jug

Date: late 1st–2nd century A.D. Medium: Glass Accession: 81.10.13 On view in:Gallery 171