Glass oinochoe


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.

Broken and repaired, with minor losses to the trail on rim, some areas of fill, and some retouching; 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.

Glass oinochoe, Glass, Greek

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