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Rare Roman Glass Janus-Headed Flask

Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 2nd century CE. A stunning and semi-translucent Janus-headed flask, mold-formed from a pale-yellow glass. The striking vessel is defined with a flat circular base, a bulbous body, a cylindrical neck, a splayed lip, and an in-folded rim. Two faces are depicted with textured hair, wide neck bases, and youthful faces, with one comprising each hemisphere of the body. The visages are perhaps representative of a young Bacchus (Greek Dionysus) - the god of wine, pleasure, and theatre. Thick areas of brilliant silver and rainbow-hued iridescence ignite the muted citrine hue of the body with a palette of amethyst, emerald, ruby, amber, sapphire, and pearl hues. Typical head flasks depict a face on only one side of the vessel, so this elegant twin-headed example is one of extreme rarity! Size: 1.5" W x 2.75" H (3.8 cm x 7 cm).

For a similar example, please see "Solid Liquid" (Fortuna Fine Arts, New York, 1999, p. 81, fig. 142).

Another similar example hammered for GBP 4,000 ($5,506.61) at Christie's, London, South Kensington Antiquities Auction (sale 6060, April 14, 2011, lot 161): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/a-roman-green-glass-janus-head-flask-circa-5425331-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5425331&sid=07dd7678-8086-45ef-a06c-6eb5ca63f39c

Condition: Surface wear commensurate with age as expected, small loss to portion of rim, fading to facial features and glass color, with small chips to base and body, otherwise excellent. Light earthen deposits as well as stunning silver and rainbow iridescence throughout.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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