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Gorgeous Roman Glass Jar - Aubergine

Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. A fabulous free-blown translucent glass vessel of a squat form and pale aubergine color. The bulbous body has a concave base with a smooth pontil scar and exhibits nine unevenly-spaced indentations, a rounded shoulder, a narrow neck, and a collared rim which leads to a deep interior cavity. A few wheel-cut hairline striations race around the exterior, giving the monochromatic vessel am elegant appearance. Faint exterior areas of silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence complement the vessel's aubergine hue, though the iridescence is prominent and flaky within the interior. A fantastic example from the height of the Roman Empire! Size: 3.25" W x 3.25" H (8.3 cm x 8.3 cm).

Ancient glass manufacture had begun in the 2nd millennium BCE in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Greeks and Phoenicians advanced glass technology greatly in the latter 1st millennium BCE. In the early 1st century CE, Roman workshops began producing blown glass on a large scale. Eventually glass vessels came to replace a wide variety of pottery and metal wares in the ancient world. Ancient Roman glass was traded far beyond the Roman Empire. Roman glass vessels have been found in Scandinavia, India, and in Han Dynasty tombs in China.

A similar example (and an additional vessel) hammered for $5,000 at Christie's, New York "Antiquities Including Property from The Collection of Max Pavelsky" Auction (sale 2364, December 9, 2010, part of lot 75 [left-most vessel]): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/two-roman-glass-vessels-circa-1st-4th-century-5385381-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5385381&sid=679c854e-78f4-43b5-8346-9770bf662644

Condition: Surface wear and light abrasions commensurate with age as expected, and light roughness around rim and base, otherwise intact and choice. Light earthen deposits as well as lovely silvery and rainbow iridescence throughout.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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