Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Glass oinochoe

Classical or Hellenistic
mid-4th–early 3rd century B.C.
Glass; core-formed, Group II
Other (H. w/ handles): 8 1/4 in. (20.9 cm)
Height: 7 11/16 in. (19.6 cm)
Diameter: 4 3/16 in. × 2 15/16 in. (10.7 × 7.4 cm)
Other (length & width of rim): 1 7/8 in. × 2 9/16 in. (4.8 × 6.5 cm)
Diam. of foot: 2 15/16 in. (7.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Renée E. and Robert A. Belfer, 2012
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
Translucent blue, with same color handle; trails and blobs in opaque yellow and pale turquoise; yellow appliqué at base of handle.

Trefoil rim with slightly irregular shape to spout and tooling marks on upper surface around mouth and on underside of rim; cylindrical neck, slanting slightly forward; top of shoulder almost horizontal, then sloping and rounded; tall, ovoid body, tapering down to broad base pad with thick, rounded edge; hollow bottom; large rod handle applied to top edge of body, drawn up in a curving loop, turned in, and pressed on to back of rim.

Turquoise trail around lip of rim, with one area of poorly applied yellow on one side; unmarvered fine yellow trail wound in a spiral 5½ times around neck; row of large blobs on shoulder, five in yellow, then five in turquoise; yellow trail around top edge of body in a spiral but coalescing in one area to form a broad single band; yellow and turquoise trail down sides of body, tooled into a festoon pattern with twelve upward tooling strokes (another upward and a single downward stroke are hidden behind and below handle); another yellow trail around bottom of body; another unmarvered yellow trail around edge of base; behind and below handle an additional patch of blue glass appears to have been applied and then decorated with rows of blobs; two in yellow to either side of base of handle, then four rows of three blobs (from top to bottom, a row of turquoise blobs, then yellow, then turquoise, then yellow to either side of a turquoise blob); a single blue blob on lower body over festoon; finally, a blob of yellow applied to base of handle and impressed with a female (Gorgon?) mask with long streaming hair and a ribbon (snakes?) under her chin.

Intact, except for minor losses to the trail on rim and a crack in side of rim; many large and deep pits; milky iridescent weathering; thick red encrustation inside mouth.

The size of this core-formed glass jug is exceptional. The vast majority of surviving examples are relatively small by comparison. This piece can rightly be regarded as a tour-de-force, made as a special commission for someone who could afford to have only the best and biggest.
1970s, European private collection; [until 1997, with Phoenix Ancient Art S.A., New York and Geneva, Switzerland]; 1997, purchased by Robert A. and Renee E. Belfer from Phoenix Ancient Art S.A.; 1997-2012, collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Belfer, New York; acquired in 2012, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Belfer.
Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2014. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2012-2014." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 72(2): p. 13.

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