Ancient Greece, Classical period, ca. 5th century BCE. A stunning example of a core-formed glass amphoriskos once used to hold scented oils. The near-miniature vase boasts an exceptionally elegant form with an ovoid body that is finely contoured with vertical ribs, twin handles that gracefully join the shoulder to the cylindrical neck, and an everted discoid rim, all upon a slightly splayed foot. The decoration of this piece is simply gorgeous, with the cobalt blue body wound with azure and golden yellow thread-like trails applied in a close-knit zigzag or feathered pattern. The golden trails continue above the feathered pattern - encircling the neck as well as the rim - as well as beneath the feathering and below the base. An opulent example of glass-working to be treasured for its sumptuous form, lustrous sheen, fabulous hues, and sophisticated technique. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.875" W x 3.75" H (4.8 cm x 9.5 cm); 4.3" H (10.9 cm) on included custom stand.
According to the Corning Museum of Glass, core forming is "the technique of forming a vessel by winding or gathering molten glass around a core supported by a rod. After forming, the object is removed from the rod and annealed. After annealing, the core is removed by scraping" (https://www.cmog.org/glass-dictionary/core-forming). This process of glass making was begun in the late 16th century BCE by glassmakers of Mesopotamia, and then adopted by Egyptian glassmakers in the 15th century BCE. The technique almost came to an end in the so-called Dark Ages of Mediterranean civilization (1200 to 900 BCE); however, by the 9th century BCE a new generation of glassmakers took up the technique once again, and between the 6th and 4th century BCE core-forming spread throughout the Mediterranean.
A similar example hammered for $6,250 at Christie's, New York Antiquities Auction (sale 2856, June 5, 2014, lot 40): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/an-eastern-mediterranean-core-formed-glass-amphoriskos-circa-5800551-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5800551&sid=3189dc20-b233-485f-878b-67d6274070e8
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Repaired from multiple pieces with small areas of restoration along break lines. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age as expected, minute nicks to base, body, handles, and neck, with fading to some pigmentation. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas.