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Elegant Roman Glass Vessel w/ Blue Rigaree

Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 3rd to 4th century CE. An elegant free-blown glass jar of a pale sage-green hues with a concave base and rough pontil scar, an apple-shaped body, a rounded shoulder tapering upwards to a narrow neck, and a wide, flared rim with an in-folded lip. Roughly eighteen applied zigzag latticework rigaree bands of a deep-turquoise hue oscillate between rim and shoulder and give the vessel a sophisticated presentation. The exterior of the vessel is covered in beautiful layers of silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence which imbue it with a nice chromatic complementarity in hues of sapphire, topaz, ruby, emerald, citrine, and amethyst. A superb example of Roman glass-blowing artistry! Size: 3" W x 3.5" H (7.6 cm x 8.9 cm)

Most scholars agree, Roman glass was of the highest quality - both aesthetically and technically - among the ancients. While glass making had been practiced for centuries, the Romans invented glass blowing in the 1st century BCE which revolutionized the artform. We can appreciate such a wide variety of forms and shapes, because the medium of glass has unique physical properties that make for so many more possibilities than metal or clay. Roman glassmakers reached incredible artistic heights with both free-blown vessels and mold blown forms and decorations.

For a stylistically-similar example, please see "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 1999, p. 96, fig. 178.

Condition: Minor nicks to rigaree bands, rim, and base, with one ancient area of separation of rigaree around rim. Vessel possesses a pontil scar or mark which indicates that the vessel was free-blown. (The absence of such a mark would suggest that the work was either mold-blown or that the mark was intentionally smoothed away or wore away over time.) Nice earthen deposits and wonderful silver and rainbow iridescence throughout.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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