Glass snake-thread dropper flask


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169

Greenish colorless; colorless, opaque yellow, and translucent turquoise green trails.
Everted rim, folded over and in; neck funnel-shaped at top, then cylindrical with constriction on inside at base; squat piriform body; integral base ring; kick in bottom with traces of pontil scar.
Three separate trails pressed on to body with notched upper surfaces; one colorless shaped like a serpent with a horned head and long spiral tail, similar trail in opaque yellow, and between these two a longer turquoise trail with similar head, humped body, and spiral tail passing below the yellow trail to form another panel on the other side of the colorless trail.
Intact, except for internal cracks and one minor loss on yellow trail; pitting and iridescent weathering; black streaky inclusion in head of turquoise trail.

The distinctive blue and yellow colors of the snake-thread trails mark this small flask out as a product of the late Roman glass factories at Cologne on the Rhine in Germany. The dropper-flask shape, however, is paralleled by numerous examples decorated with colorless trails, found principally in the Roman east.

Glass snake-thread dropper flask, Glass, Roman

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