Ancient Greece, Eastern Mediterranean, Hellenistic, ca. 2nd century BCE. A stunning core-formed glass amphoriskos, presenting with an elegant inverted piriform body, a cylindrical neck, a gently flared rim, twin trailed handles joining rim to shoulders, and a base knob. The cool pale blue-green glass is elegantly marvered with white threads that spiral along the rim, neck, and body of the piece. The surface is also graced with wonderful iridescence. Size: 2" in diameter x 2.875" H (5.1 cm x 7.3 cm)
The Greeks created core-formed or sand core vessels by trailing threads of molten glass over a "core" of sand or clay to form the vessel. These threads were oftentimes feathered or dragged to create intriguing decorative patterns. The term amphoriskos literally means "little amphora" and is indeed a miniature amphora. This shape was quite popular as it was ideal to store precious oils, perfumes, or cosmetics.
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.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private prominent D.K. collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 2000s
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Collection label on underside of foot. Part of rim restored. Repairs to base and one handle. A few expected stable fissures on body commensurate with age. Otherwise, very nice form and coloration with deposits throughout.