A Roman Yellow Glass Acetabulum, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
A Roman Yellow Glass Acetabulum, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
A Roman Yellow Glass Acetabulum, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
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A Roman Yellow Glass Acetabulum, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE

RG2112

Regular price$1,950 USD
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This pale yellow-green glass bowl has a tubular foot, flared walls and out-curved rim with a wide fold on the underside, the body with strong areas of silvery iridescence surface patina.

These cups, known as acetabulum, were named from the Latin word acetum, meaning vinegar. The Romans believed vinegar was good for the constitution and were served diluted vinegar and water from such examples while eating. The Romans also used them at table to hold sauces, honey, etc, and in the kitchen to measure ingredients. For example, where a recipe today would call for a cup of flour, the Roman recipe would call for an acetabulum of flour. The terracotta equivalent of acetabulum was also used in a “thimble-rig” game, a sleight of hand entertainment where spectators would guess under which acetabulum a stone or similar small object was hidden.

Reference: Kunina N. Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection. ARS Publishers, LTD, St. Petersburg, 1997, cat. #290; Hayes J. W. Roman and Pre-Roman Glass in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1975, cat. # 196.

Dimensions: Height: 1 3/4 in (4.45 cm), Diameter: 2-3/4 in (7 cm)

Condition: The cup is in excellent condition. There is superb iridescence on the outside and inside, much of the inside is covered with a layer of iridescence and dirt. No apparent sign of damage.

Provenance: The Hanita and Aaron Dechter Collection, Los Angeles, acquired before 1989. Published: K. Hamma, ed., The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, San Bernardino, 1989, p. 84, no. 31, (not illustrated). Exhibited: San Bernardino, California State University; and Art Galleries, California State University, Northridge, The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, 5 May-2 June 1989 and 26 February-30 March 1990.

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