A large Roman Glass Bottle, 1st Century CE
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This tall, graceful bottle is a wonderful example of Roman glass. The transparent glass itself is a light aqua hue with scattered areas of light iridescence in soft green, blue, and pink hues. The body of the glass is cylindrical; the neck straight and slender. Internally, the base of the neck is somewhat constricted allowing the user to carefully measure out amounts of the bottle’s precious contents. Ten peacock blue trails are preserved on the neck, drawn from a point of application at the top, and continuing as a relief thread over the aqua surface to end at the base of the neck with the finishing drop. Three thicker threads were then applied, at the top, middle and base to enhance the decoration. Handling and rotating the vessel helps the viewer to observe the particularities of the technique. The irregular space between the individual blue lines affirms this glasswork is uniquely handmade.
Dimensions: Height: 8 1/2 inches (21.6 cm)
Condition: Minor loss to threading, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired in Cyprus prior to 1972. This piece is accompanied by an export license from Cyprus. William R. Crawford, a retired American career diplomat and expert on the Middle East and Cyprus, was Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs at the State Department between 1959-1964, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Cyprus thereafter. In the 1970's, he was ambassador to Yemen and then to Cyprus and later became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs. He donated part of his collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prior to his death in 2002.