Hexagonal Jug, Moulded glass, Byzantine

Hexagonal Jug

6th–mid-7th century
Moulded glass
Overall: 5 15/16 x 3 3/8 x 2 15/16 in. (15.1 x 8.6 x 7.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1899
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
The stepped cross on these vessels may represent the large cross erected in 420 by the emperor Theodosius II at Golgotha, where Christ was crucified.

These vessels were made for Jews and Christians, possibly as tokens for pilgrims visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem or for use in burial rites. They appear to have been mass-produced in a single workshop, since the vessels for the two religions closely resemble each other in shape and style and differ only in the symbols decorating them. The Jewish vessels depict the menorah (candelabrum), shofar (ram’s horn), incense shovel, and lulav (palm branch). The Christian vessels are decorated with several types of crosses. The relief designs were produced by blowing molten glass into a mold.
Said to be from Kafr Kama (now in Israel).; Acquired through Luigi Palma di Cesnola(in 1899)
RICHTER. "Supplement: The Room of Ancient Glass." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 6, no. 6 (1911). p. 18.

Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. pp. 386-88.

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 60, p. 92.